Meta arguments

Tags: KC CC

One fits all

This KCard presents a useful technique for argumentation in a congruent and seemly simple way. However, it is only simple in appearance, because this technique requires extensive preparation and thinking but can reveal very effective compared to other techniques which can seem simpler to prepare. Fortunately, once prepared though it is quite straight forwards to use.

A reason for everything

The main idea is to find some underlying concepts which will serve your argumentation on the subject. These underlying concepts are what we call meta arguments. From a limited number of meta arguments it is possible to argument on many aspects of a subject thus providing congruence and easy real time adaptation when objections occur.

Examples in politics

A perfect illustration of this is politics: Most politicians have an overall idea of how things should be and this provides them a small number of meta arguments and they can then pass any issue through these meta arguments to hold and defend congruent positions on them which will serve their overall goal.

Take for example communists (or similar extreme leftwing movements), one of their most important meta argument is 'redistribute the richness held unjustly by the outrageously rich to the workers who create it'. From this single idea they claim to solve many the problems: unemployment, security, immigration, ... (consult some communists papers to see the details).

The same goes for nationalists (or similar extreme rightwing movements) whose meta argument is mostly 'stop immigration and promote protectionism'. They use this to solve everything, again their papers can be consulted for details on how they do so.

Quality is the difficulty...

These are just two examples but most political stances are similar, a few meta arguments (sometimes just one or two) which are derived quite simply to address all issues. Whatever is asked to them, they think 'how can my meta arguments solve this' and they develop in real time thus finding a solution and being congruent.

Of course, for this to work your meta arguments must be strong: they must be simple for people to understand, they must seem logical, general to address issues on the subject, ...

This of course is the big difficulty. You must find good meta arguments to hold your stance on your subject, whatever it is: running a country, selling a product, managing a team, convincing your familly, ...