Arguments need to be written down to properly undergo a dialectic process

[[ 2021-04-29 ]] #argument #epistemics #personal-development

It’s quite clear that our minds require external scaffolding to perform complex intellectual feats. Constructing elaborate, and well refined arguments is no different.

Without writing out ideas and arguments, they are much more prone to our cognitive flaws and biases. If they are written out, we can observe them from multiple perspectives, over extended periods of time (zettelkasten spreads one’s mind across time), and give them the proper scrutiny required to overcome cognitive flaws and automatic biases which hinder the process of learning and developing arguments.

“Any thought of a certain complexity requires writing. Coherent arguments require the language to be fixed, and only if something is written down is it fixed enough to be discussed independently from the author. The brain alone is too eager to make us feel good – even if it is by politely ignoring inconsistencies in our thinking. Only in the written form can an argument be looked at with a certain distance – literally. We need this distance to think about an argument – otherwise the argument itself would occupy the very mental resources we need for scrutinizing it. (1394-1398)”

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