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'Arguing for Our Lives' at BookPeople

Robert Jensen makes his case
Monica Riese, 12:57pm, Mon. Apr. 29, 2013

"Opinions are like noses," the old adage goes. "Everyone has one." Indeed, and the process of changing it – either one's opinion or one's nose – is apparently rather invasive and painful.

We live in an age of 24-hour news cycles, constant output from social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and an ever more divided population on such huge issues as gun control, health care, and abortion. See? Even by calling them "huge issues," I've asserted a stance; you can't turn around without being hit square in the face by someone's political views or another. So what do you do when you find one you disagree with?

Increasingly, it seems like the only response to that question is "yell until my face is blue and then storm off in a huff," but surely there's another way.

Turns out, there is. University of Texas journalism professor Robert Jensen makes the case – slowly, methodically, and in a way that's easily accessible – in his latest book, Arguing for Our Lives. Subtitled "a user's guide to constructive dialogue, the short work steps through the history of argument and discourse before carefully building toward more responsible ways to think about such exchanges – political, religious, and others – and how to sniff out an argument's flaws.

Sometimes, the nose knows.

Jensen will read tonight (Monday, April 29) at BookPeople, 7pm. To have your copy of the book signed, you must purchase it from BookPeople. See website for complete event details.

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