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The Art of the Argument

Western Civilization's Last Stand
Narrated by: Stefan Molyneux
Length: 5 hrs and 16 mins
4 out of 5 stars (75 ratings)
Non-member price: $29.22
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Publisher's Summary

The Art of the Argument shocks the dying art of rational debate back to life, giving you the essential tools you need to fight the escalating sophistry, falsehoods, and vicious personal attacks that have displaced intelligent conversations throughout the world. At a time when we need reasonable and empirical discussions more desperately than ever, The Art of the Argument smashes through the brain-eating fogs of sophistry and mental manipulation, illuminating a path to benevolent power for all who wish to take it.

Civilization is defined by our willingness and ability to use words instead of fists - in the absence of reason, violence rules. The Art of the Argument gives you the intellectual ammunition - in one concentrated, entertaining and powerful package - to engage in truly productive, civilization-saving debates. Armed with this book, you will be empowered to speak truth to power, illuminate ignorance, shatter delusions, and expose the dangerous sophists within your own life, and around the world.

©2017 Stefan Molyneux (P)2017 Stefan Molyneux

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Just excellent. Share this book!

I listened and will listen again and again and again. I will also encourage all the people I know to listen/read this book. We really could peacefully change the world with this stuff.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Very insightful

Long time listener of Stefan, I found this book concise and informative. Would highly recommend it to anyone

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Overbearing ego

Ugh... extremely self congratulatory and condescending tone by the reader who is also the author.

Awful performance.

The title comes across as maybe useful and a bit provocative but the author is so self promoting and busy shoveling his own agenda that the entire production is nausea inducing. I gave it a good chance too.

Don't go there

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Do not buy.

Repetitive, poorly thought out examples and analogies.
This book argues for ‘reason’ and ‘logic’; however, it’s arguments are shallow, ill thought out and contradict the definitions of a ‘proper argument’ given in the nook itself.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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I can’t believe I wasted my money on this rubbish!!

Sloppy, confusing, incoherent, defective, right wing rambling garbage! This guy can’t even apply the elementary level terms ‘valid’ or ‘sound’ appropriately let alone anything else. If you’re looking for a quality instructional text about the fundamentals of a good debate or argument, you won’t find them here. Look further to an author that actually has some qualification and competency on the subject. There are many. Interestingly, all of the positive reviews are from people called Stephen and Stefan!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A great audible gift for anyone

A great audible gift for anyone who looks at the media and wonders why, or how do we fix this.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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<br />A good listen. <br />

Important information.

A useful listen and a great gift for Christmas.

Several attempts may be needed to digest this hearty brain food.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Powerful book

This book made me challange my own beliefs and perspectives enough to be annoying. you must read this book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Truly Awful

Sweeping generalizations, hypocrisy and smug arrogance. This author had a clear agenda and a strong personal bias. I was looking forward to listening to a fascinating area of discussion. It could have been good - instead it was intolerable.

6 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Nasty, vile alt-right rubbish

I saw the title and got excited. I should have looked up the author. While he addresses logic and argumentation, he quickly descends into a snide monologue against anything feminism has ever influenced. In you want insight into the minds and worldview of men's rights activists and their efforts to scale back women's rights to the mid 1800s then this is the book for you. I was reminded, for example, that they take themselves and their project to hurt women very seriously. But don't expect to hear the author apply the logic or argumentation he occasionally mentions because, well, he just doesn't do that.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jose
  • 04-01-2019

Political conservative propaganda.

The book started with some good discussions about arguments but it quickly got too political, the author used the definition of argument too loosely. This book was more about arguing his outdated conservative principles and bashing the "welfare state" if you are looking for a book about how to debate, or argue then stay away.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Jason
  • 11-09-2018

Too bad

I was hoping this would be a good guide on rhetoric and logic. In that regard, it does have at least a little value, but that value is overshadowed by the long winded, poorly structured and flawed examples inspired by Stefans personal beliefs. It really takes considerable focus to ignore all the problems and focus on what should have been the real points. Too bad the book itself doesn't filter that noise out for us.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Bryan Schneiders
  • 21-12-2017

Verbose

Redundant explanations made the book twice as long as necessary. Otherwise good content and performance.

29 of 33 people found this review helpful

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  • Tyrone N. Turner
  • 28-11-2017

Biased

By its title, this book presents itself as a guide to argue effectively. It doesn’t take long however, to discover the true intent of the author, which is to—by no means of persuasion—tell you of the many flaws of liberalism.

I waited patiently for the author to use an example where conservatism has gone astray but there was no such instance. I’m no expert in debate, but aren’t you supposed to be able to argue your opponent’s position?

This is an opinion piece. Many times throughout this book, I felt as though someone were ranting at me, sprinkling in the word “argument” as a means to defend the title. I finished the book, mostly because I was amused at how far the author would take his rant. He did not relent and instead of learning how to argue, I learned how much this man despises liberal principles.

41 of 48 people found this review helpful

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  • RyanJ
  • 20-01-2018

Annoying

I thought this would be a book about the principles of argument. It was actually more a philosophical discussion of the concept of argument. I couldn’t finish because the book was unnecessarily wordy to the point where it was annoying. After 3 hours of what I can best describe as rambling (though the rambling may have some great philosophical perspectives), it is really somewhat pointless. The writing style paints the author as overwhelmingly arrogant as well.

77 of 91 people found this review helpful

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  • Robin Almquist
  • 08-02-2018

Not at all what was promised.

This book is not about arguments at all, and does not give you any tools for winning arguments like promised. Instead it is a cheap rant about the authors current political opponents. The book feels like an unedited transcript of an episode of Free Domain Radio, with all the logical falacies still left in.

25 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • Eric A. Williams
  • 18-12-2017

Arrogance abounds as arguments are almost absent

The writer uses strong auditory delivery to mask poorly developed content. About 15 percent of the book is consistent with the title. The rest is a dramatic presentation of self aggrandizement. The author is clearly intelligent (because he tells us repeatedly). It was like listening to a mock version of The Dating Game comprised of three bloviating members of Mensa (sorry/not sorry to let the secret out).

Save your money or buy Bo Bennett’s Logically Fallacious.

43 of 54 people found this review helpful

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  • Souzan Hatchimonji
  • 28-01-2019

A Fraud. Nothing More Than Conservative Spew.

Actually, more than just Conservative spew. The author is a pompous blowhard, continuously putting himself above everyone else for what he considers makes him better -- yet he never provides anything more than standard definitions for standard logic and philosophical concepts. The most egregious offenses are his presentations of his clearly biased arguments against unmarried women, minorities, Democrats, and atheists without any supporting data -- immediately after claiming that without data, one is not properly engaging in argument. In other words, the work is a sham. Really wish I hadn't spent any money on this -- I hate the idea that I paid money to promulgate this Conservative garbage.

Incidentally, based on the reviews, I cannot believe the book has a 4.3 star rating. I suggest Audible take another look at the rating and show everyone the statistics that went into it. Or are they trying to promote sales?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Bryanoutside
  • 07-01-2019

False Premises Included

This book was long on social commentary and baseless right wing claims, which were completely unnecessary for the book. Don’t waste your time, this will not teach how to improve your arguments.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Kat Aston
  • 28-12-2018

Right wing garbage which maskerades as theory

I do not recommend this book.

Author/narrator is arrogant and guilty of the very errors in judgement he accuses listeners of. Mostly this is a book of right leaning garbage with some structural advice but lots of the authors editorializing and personal opinion about atheists leftists and people he refers to as parasitic.

It is a repackaging of logic and reason but stripped of academic terms the author seems to think are dragging down the field. I don't think that removing the academic terms actually assists with the understanding of argument or debate but instead reveals the authors anti collegial and anti intellectual bent.

Got this book as part of a two for one deal... So it was essentially free and this is no reflection on audible, but I still feel ripped off. Luckily it can be returned.

14 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Theresa McMeekin
  • 22-03-2018

Point perfect in The Argument

This is a fabulous read/listen for anyone who sees irrationality all around them, though when they point it out, is hounded by the utterly irrational sophist that hangs like a dark cloud over ever rational debate.

This book helps us to understand The Argument, to understand the rain of sophistry that eventually comes down on a reasonable debate when an opponant can't refute an uncomfortable truth. It helps us understand their vicious irrational, incapable acceptence of truth, and it teaches us how to deal with these lost souls.

Not only are we taught to understand The argument, but dotted throughout is a plethora of social issues that cause debate and the eventual encounter of sophistry, but I found it helped me understand these social issues further myself.

If you want to fight for truth, to rid the world of the continued brainwashing and purposeful dumbing down of future generations, the driving out of their ability to think for themselves, read this book, then pass it on. Not just physically, but pass on Molyeux's exceptional wisdom in ever day life by telling others, by not being afraid to fight for truth.

I'd recommend this to anyone who's not only into philosophy, but anyone who believes the lies are getting to much, lies that are lately beginning to overshadow the truth. We need brave people to spread this wisdom, regardless how much resistance you encounter.

The Art of the Argument could be one of the most important books of our time. Five stars from me.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Ras
  • 28-12-2017

Very shallow with few wise points to say only

The author has some intellectual investment and he has a few good arguments which I cannot deny their common sense value. However, overall this book is full of shallow information and it seriously lacks an academic depth. It rhetorically appeals to feelings of layman. This is not necessarily a bad thing but the book markets itself with higher expectations. Besides, its title is misleading and extremely overrates the value of the book.The author starts with demeaning all academic knowledge on argumentation but then engage himself with them in a very primitive way to support his cases. I do not claim that the book is devoid of any meaningful points. However, the book's points can easily be captured in half an hour. It does not say much about argumentation per se. Rather, the book emphasises the value of argumentation as a means of proper political discussions, which are then used to promote liberalism as if all against liberalism were sophists. I am open to all political ideas and I wish to hear their merits and weaknesses. I had known beforehand that the author has political biases but the lack of depth of his arguments frustrated and bored me. I definitely do not recommend this book to anyone who wants to read intellectually engaging material. I was misled by many high ratings given to this book.

10 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Jake salim
  • 09-11-2018

Brilliant and Necessary

Thoroughly enjoyable and intriguing. Made me appreciate the argument for what it is. I needed to hear this.

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  • Matt
  • 17-05-2018

Outstanding arguments!

A seriously powerful book with depth, clarity and vigor right throughout.
This is a great advance for reason and overall mind blowing work.
To me, this is Stefan's greatest work to date along side Universally Preferable Behaviour.
It strikes at the heart of the problems we're facing like a knife.
Even if you've never read his other works or are new to philosophy, I would recommend it as he breaks down and builds up his arguments from the ground up, in detail with great imaginative examples that I really enjoyed.
I was put off at first by how short the book is, but having finished it was surprised how much is packed into this bomb of a book.
I would recommend this to anyone who wants to understand logic, reason, science, philosophy politics and psychology. He has most of it covered here and it's very important information that we all can benefit from. "Philosophy is dangerous" speech is in here, and it really moved me.
This book is dangerous because it will upset many sophists around you. That's what makes it so important. I am really impressed and I think it will impress any rational mind.

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  • Ross
  • 30-12-2017

beware

Disappointingly partisan, falling foul to many logical errors it warns against. Still some good points if you can stomach the relentless inconsistencies.

5 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-12-2017

Not what I was expecting.

Not what was sold in the description. One of my least favourite books. For a philosopher it almost felt like his views were being forced on me, with opinions being quickly and almost unnoticeably passed off as facts. I almost feel that the author was looking down on me and a lot of other people. Too politically linked for me, and although I didn't disagree with everything I feel the writing drifted from the title of the book.

5 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-11-2017

If you have a brain, you need this

Fantastic and well explained. Stefan is one of the greatest thinkers of our time. Excellent

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Ben Yates
  • 01-07-2018

Lacking substance and disturbingly arrogant

Although I disagree with the author's politics, I knew that when I bought the book. That isn't the problem. I think everybody should read material written by those whose opinions differ from their own - if they don't, there's no opportunity to exchange and debate ideas, or to persuade people to change their views. You can't have confidence in your own views if you haven't tested them or allowed others to challenge them. I'm willing to give a high rating to a book by an author I disagree with if it's well written.

The problem with this book is that it claims to be a manual setting out techniques of debate and rhetoric, when in fact there's really not much to it. What it really consists of is an opinionated rant, written in a weirdly unpleasant and arrogant tone. The author uses examples of supposed sophistry (many of which are flawed) purely to express his political opinions and to make quite childish and often ad hominem digs at those with differing opinions. If he were really interested in analysing debating techniques, he would include (better) examples of effective arguments contrary, or unrelated, to his own political views.

There's something else about his style which grates. At times, he sounds like he's giving a speech at a political rally, knowingly and cynically pushing certain buttons to whip up popular support. It's fundamentally condescending. I suspect this book, along with his podcasts, is largely aimed at a young and impressionable audience looking for guidance and direction, and he knows what he needs to do to appeal to them. In that sense, it isn't really an "argument" at all, but rather a piece of propaganda. He is, in fact, the sophist all along.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • John Grandin
  • 31-12-2017

Specious rubbish.

Advertises itself as an objective lesson in the subtle art of argumentation. Sadly the author defrauds the earnest pursuer of unslanted learning by delivering a series of lectures on the merits of anarcho-capitalism. If you hate single mothers, immigrants, alcoholics, the disabled and the progressive achievements of non Judeo-Christian peoples - well, then this is a book for you.

4 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • rjj
  • 08-12-2017

A wonderful insomnia cure

I admit that I only lasted three chapters but this wins the most boring book of the year award. it is probably a very good book to read but as an audible book it is dull.

4 of 11 people found this review helpful