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Agree to Reject the Counter-Proposition

 

Techniques General persuasion > The Art of Being Right > Agree to Reject the Counter-Proposition

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

To make your opponent accept a proposition, you must give him the counter-proposition as well, leaving him his choice of the two; and you must render the contrast as glaring as you can, so that to avoid being paradoxical he will accept the proposition, which is thus made to look quite probable. For instance, if you want to make him admit that a boy must do everything that his father tells him to do, ask him "whether in all things we must obey or disobey our parents". Or, if a thing is said to occur "often," ask whether by "often" you are to understand few or many cases; and he will say "many". It is as though you were to put grey next to black, and call it white; or next to white, and call it black.

Example

So, you can drive away the car today or risk somebody else buying the beautiful bargain before you return.

Well, we can visit my parents for the weekend or we can stay here, though they will want to come down for a week before Easter.

Discussion

When we offer somebody arguments both for and against an action and them let them choose, we will likely appear quite fair. However, in the words we use, we can add significant bias, showing the benefit of the preferred choice and the problems with the other option.

This method is also a form of alternative close, where a person offers only two choices although there many be many others available.

'Agree to Reject the Counter-Proposition' is the thirteenth of Schopenhauer's stratagems.

See also

Pros-vs-cons reasoning, Alternative Close

 

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