Why Why We Argue?

Our own Scott Aikin and Robert Talisse at the website of their book Why We Argue (And How We Should):

BookcoverWhy We Argue (And How We Should) is a book about logic and politics. The jokes write themselves. As one person put it to us, “The book's about logic and politics? It'll be a mighty short book!” We appreciate the humor. Nevertheless, there's something disconcerting about the underlying premise that it's ridiculous to expect our politics to be logical. In fact, those who joke about the irrationality in our politics most often exempt themselves and their political allies from the charge. That is, the jokes are driven not by the claim that we humans are fundamentally lacking in logical ability; rather the claim is that politics is illogical because only some of usare properly rational. Conveniently, in most cases, the logical/illogical divide tracks the joker's own political views: it is those with whom she politically disagrees that are failing at logic. Accordingly, for many of those who joke in this way, the task of making politics more logical is the task of removing from politics all opposition to their own favored political views. And that thought is no joke.

In Why We Argue, we affirm the idea that politics ought to be rational. Indeed, we hold that our current politics reflects the aspiration to have our collective lives governed by reason. Why We Argue is a book about logic and politics because our politics already attempts to be logical. The trouble, of course, is that it is so difficult to make good on our shared aspiration.

More here.