The Art of Debate | Rhetoric, Public Speaking, & Discourse for Beginners | The Great Courses

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Published at : 07 Jan 2021
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The ability to debate—to present persuasive arguments, pierce the logic of others, and turn the tables against withering cross-examinations—is one of the truest tests of one’s intellectual capacity, yet we often relegate it to politicians and lawyers. If you’re like many people, you might associate debate with either a high school or college club or a TV political “debate” that features two or more candidates talking over each other. But if you associate debating only with a club or political showmanship with debating, you’re missing out on an exhilarating intellectual pursuit that can help you in all aspects of your daily life. Debate, public speaking, and the art of rhetoric can help you with many areas of life, from making business decisions to engaging friends at cocktail parties. Debate has the ability to bring us together as a society, help us hash out differences of opinion, and make stronger arguments based on reason and compromise. The methods taught in this course are drawn from the field of competitive debate, but you can apply them nearly anywhere: panel discussions, town halls, boardrooms, classrooms, and kitchen tables. The Great Courses’ class on the art of debate offers you the ultimate how-to guide for this powerful skill, with benefits for anyone who wants to make better decisions, think more clearly, and speak better. Taught by acclaimed Associate Professor of Communication Jarrod Atchison of Wake Forest University, these 24 stimulating lectures will help you develop your command of logic, construct clear and concise arguments, recognize the logical fallacies in others’ reasoning, and sharpen your strategic thinking skills. Eloquent language has the power to persuade, but the ideas behind language, and the method of presentation truly separate the thinker from the salesperson. The skill of debate has far-ranging applications beyond the formal stage, pervading much of our professional and personal lives. To debate anyone—and win—is one of life’s most influential and powerful skills, and The Art of Debate gives you all the tools you need to construct winning arguments, make more reasoned decisions, and communicate those decisions more effectively through the power of rhetoric.

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