Background

Stefan Molyneux is the host of the largest philosophy show on the internet with over 250 million downloads. He is the author of 10 books.

Molyneux is brilliant and receives a ton of positive support but is not without critics. A quote from Einstein is apropos:

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.”

Summary

The Art of the Argument: Western Civilization's Last Stand is a basic introductory guide on debate and what makes strong arguments.

Interesting ideas

He gives good examples of why clear definitions are important to debate. One example is the topic of equality, which can mean equality of opportunity or equality of outcome.

He wrote that we all thirst for certainty because it allows us to manage our lives more effectively which I thought was quite true. According to Molyneux, the two paths to certainty are either dogma or philosophy.

Talking about confirmation bias, he wrote that we are invested in our beliefs systems just as we are invested in our children, marriages, and careers. I thought this was true and an interesting thought.

Positives

The book was easy to read and can be read in 2 sittings.

The chapters were short and engaging, and the author was concise.

Molyneux does a good job pointing out the flaws of postmodern/Marxist thinking throughout the whole book.

Lastly, Molyneux also criticized New Atheism (militant atheism) which demonstrated strength and honesty.

Some Criticisms

No major criticisms.

Check out his book, here: (Amazon link)

If you enjoy topics in philosophy such as the philosophy of religion and the philosophy of science, check out the essay I wrote The Search for Truth (an essay on religion, science, language, and the meaning of life).


Notes

  1. Einstein quote: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/470750-great-spirits-have-always-encountered-opposition-from-mediocre-minds-the

Bibliography

Molyneux, Stefan. The Art of the Argument: Western Civilization's Last Stand. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017.


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