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Re^7: What is "aggressive" argument? (Streitkultur)

by LanX (Bishop)
on Nov 03, 2010 at 13:00 UTC ( #869225=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^6: What is "aggressive" argument?
in thread What is "aggressive" argument?

> I also worked in several countries in North West Europe--Benelux, Netherlands, Germany,Scandinavia. And there I found they thrive on directness. And mostly, there is no animosity attached to it. You go into a meeting, stand either side of the conference table arguing strongly for an hour; break for coffee and have a laugh about the sport, the weather TV or whatever, before going back in and laying into each other(s points of view). Then a manager calls time; makes a decision; and everyone abides by it. Then lunch together.

This phenomenon is sometimes called Streitkultur and sorry couldn't find an English WP page explaining it. Maybe the term Dutch uncle is a reference to this phenomenon. See also leo for possible translations.

But it's not uniform, there are many regional differences, misunderstandings in discussion culture are a regular source of animosities.

E.g. between (Alemanic) Swiss and (northern) Germans, even while speaking the same language. (Not even talking about British/German-misunderstandings.)

Can't say much about US discussion culture, still hard to understand for meš... (maybe somewhere in between televangelist and John Wayne ...SCNR ;-)

And there are still differences in the educational background. In my observation MBAs rather prefer to win a debate no matter which tricks they use and where the truth lies..

But BUK, to answer your OP, an important part of "Streitkultur" is fairness, e.g. exaggerating rhetorical tricks or strawmans are considered "aggressive".

Cheers Rolf


1) interesting read "Those Americans, mein Gott, I'm never completely sure when they really mean what they say."

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Re^8: What is "aggressive" argument? (Streitkultur)
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Nov 03, 2010 at 21:36 UTC
    This phenomenon is sometimes called Streitkultur and sorry couldn't find an English WP page explaining it.

    Google came up with "A culture of debate", which seems pretty good to me.

    The wikipedia page contrasts it with "autocratic systems", which I thinks is also relevant here.

    If also sums up better than I did, (despite being an auto-translation), what I was trying to say with the OP:

    In a democratic society there is a fundamental principle: different people have different opinions. Parliamentary democracy thrives on political debate, of conflicting interests and finding a balance between these interests. 3 During the dispute in autocratic systems usually seen as a weakening of the Community or a deviation from accepted norms and stabilization is considered in the.

    I don't believe that debate weakens this place at all. Not even heated debated. Indeed, I believe it to be the life-blood of this place. Without it, this place would die.

    But BUK, to answer your OP, an important part of "Streitkultur" is fairness, e.g. exaggerating rhetorical tricks or strawmans are considered "aggressive".

    You and I have touched on similar discussion before. You seem to view 'rhetoric' and 'rhetorical trickery' as the same thing. They aren't.

    Rhetoric is not a scheme for winning arguments. It is codification of techniques for:

    • presenting argument clearly and concisely;
    • and for analysing others arguments to separate the valid from the invalid; the relevant from the irrelevant.

    Whilst it can be used by adept practitioners (which I am not), to attempt to overwhelm the opponents arguments rather than address them; discerning and distinguishing attempted trickery, from the more commonplace mistake or misunderstanding, is another skill set entirely.

    For example, distinguishing a genuine, but erroneous attempt at justification, from a 'deliberate strawman', is a very fine line. I seem to be attributed with far greater skills in rhetoric than I actually have.

    Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
    "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
    In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.
      Too much heated debate will hurt The Monastery, because heated debates tend to eventually devolve into borderline flamewars or even outright flamewars. It might be more accurate to say that having a few "lively" individuals helps make the place more interesting.

      Update: And I'm not sure I buy into your "heated debate" theory. The common bond of trying to solve problems with Perl, how open we are to accepting and helping those new to Perl, and the diverse background of various Monks are arguably much more important. I mean, if you, tye, and ikegami never got into a pissing match ever again, I seriously doubt The Monastery would crumble.

      Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks

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