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Is arguing good for us? We’re still arguing about it


We tend to associate arguing with destructive actions like quarreling or fighting. Argument is a different animal. It may be fueled by the passion that drives fights and quarrels, but effective arguing requires factual evidence and logic to support why one idea might work better than another idea.

At its finest, argument opens our world to ideas and solutions we hadn’t considered, whereas the passion and clashing egos of a fight often send us sulking to our respective corners.

This hour, we argue that arguing can be good for us, but one could argue that we’re wrong.


  • Lee Siegel: A cultural critic and the author of seven books; his latest is Why Argument Matters
  • Agnes Callard: An associate professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago and the author of Aspiration: The Agency of Becoming
  • David Edelstein: America’s Greatest Living Film Critic

The Colin McEnroe Show is available as a podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode!

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Colin McEnroe and Cat Pastor contributed to this show. 

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Betsy started as an intern at WNPR in 2011 after earning a Master's Degree in American and Museum Studies from Trinity College. She served as the Senior Producer for 'The Colin McEnroe Show' for several years before stepping down in 2021 and returning to her previous career as a registered nurse. She still produces shows with Colin and the team when her schedule allows.
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