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There is a great infographic/chart on how to have a rational discusioon over on Thought Catalog


Meanswhile over on Yahoo Answers answering the question What does it mean to have a “rational conversation”? we have this as the best answer

Best Answer: It means that neither of the participants have tied their self-worth or identity into what is being argued. It means that evidence and logic will be the only criteria for argument– not emotions, not personal, private preferences, not warm fuzzies. It means that both parties will avoid logical fallacies and will admit it and change when the other party points one out in their argument. It means objectivity– the willingness to change one’s own mind in the face of superior evidence and not squirrel away their beliefs and protect them from scrutiny.

Basically, it’s a discussion in which logic is the most important– not winning, not ego, and not anything personal.


There is also a good article over on that describes “A Code of Conduct for Effective Rational Discussion”

A Code of Conduct for Effective Rational Discussion

Beneath the fold, I have stolen some text that lists 12 principles that make intellectual argument possible. In turn, this list was taken from Attacking Faulty Reasoning: A Practical Guide to Fallacy-Free Arguments by Edward T. Damer, which was recommended in comments by G. Felis.


A brief text on Peter Senge thoughts on dialog from his seminal book The Fifth Discipline, The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization.

Dialogue from Peter Senge’s Perspective

Senge uses Bohm’s work to define and examine such concepts as quantum theory, systems perspective, mental models, incoherent thought, and synergy as they are related to dialogue. Bohm’s thinking and writing saturate Senge’s discussion of dialogue. For example, Senge quotes Bohm in identifying the three basic conditions necessary for dialogue:


And another text from Robert Hargrove a noted CEO coach and author on leadership (RobertHargrove.com)

Robert Hargrove on Dialogue

Robert Hargrove works along with such noted authors and consultants as Peter Senge and Chris Argyris to help managers and leaders apply ideas variously labeled “collaboration,” “teamwork,” “dialogue,” and others that focus on effective groups. He presents ideas distilled and applied from the theories and practices of numerous theoreticians and practitioners.


Peter Senge’s  thoughts on dialog are based on those of the late physicist David Bohm in which he described a…

A freely flowing group conversation in which participants attempt to reach a common understanding, experiencing everyone’s point of view fully, equally and nonjudgementally.

Bohm Dialogue – Wikipedia

Bohm Dialogue (also known as Bohmian Dialogue or “Dialogue in the Spirit of David Bohm”) is a freely flowing group conversation in which participants attempt to reach a common understanding, experiencing everyone’s point of view fully, equally and nonjudgementally. This can lead to new and deeper understanding.