Philosophy Faculty Publications


The Noise of Battle: Talking Philosophy on the Internet

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Source

Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy


Although the Internet is often used to talk with those with whom one agrees, this paper presents an "agonistic" strategy designed to help students find discussion partners with whom they disagree. This "agonistic" strategy has a number of advantages, specifically helping students' skills in writing, reading, logic, and rhetoric, as well as helping them recognizes the values of these skills and the importance of being well-informed when one enters a debate. As a further benefit, this approach has improved classroom discussion and improved the substance and form of those discussions. In contrast with those who fear that the Internet has ushered in an age where citizens may choose only to look at that information confirming views they already hold, this exercise helps show that the distance among intellectual sparring partners is more of a gap than a chasm, and that our debates are not fruitless, but in fact are essential to democracy and a conception of our lives as active, engaged citizens.

Inclusive pages



Paper appeared in Vol. 35, ": Philosophy of Communication and Information." Permission documentation is on file.


World Congress of Philosophy



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