4.3.1.2 Appeals to Reason

(This is a current page, from the Patterns of Power Edition 3 book contents.  An archived copy of this page is held at http://www.patternsofpower.org/edition03/4312.htm)

People can be persuaded by appealing to their reason, if all the following conditions are met:

  • They have the capacity to analyse a logical argument.
  • They have sufficient education to make them aware of the evidence which is being brought to the argument, such as historical precedents, academic sources and published factual data.
  • They have sufficient interest in the subject to want to engage with it, to follow the argument being presented.
  • They have an open mind on the subject and have not already adopted a mindset which is closed to further input.

This is quite a demanding list of criteria, so those who would seek to persuade by appealing to reason ought to be aware of the limits of such an approach.  That said, for someone who is interested in a subject and has some level of education in it, failure to provide reasoned arguments would be a sufficient reason not to respond to someone who was trying to persuade them.

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