Re: Are Beliefs Like Clothes?

Robin Hanson (
Fri, 15 Aug 1997 15:45:02 -0700 (PDT)

I wrote:
> I don't see the evolutionary function of just wanting to argue
> for argument's sake.

Eric Watt Forste writes:
>Many people have the experience (possibly illusory) of being able
>to think more clearly, and particularly of being better able to
>detect flaws in ideas, when they are in an argumentative frame of
>mind. Argument also represents an opportunity to invite other
>people to find flaws in one's ideas. Possibly argument is the chief
>means by which ideas are improved.

The theory needs to be coupled with a theory that explains why it is
easier to find flaws in ideas if individual people tie themselves to
specific ideas, rather than critiquing ideas one doesn't feel
especially tied to.

Robin D. Hanson