Wond'ring Aloud 

The philosopher Daniel Dennett considers Darwinian natural selection to be “the single best idea anyone has ever had” and wrote a book-length argument called Darwin’s Dangerous Idea to support the opinion. I’ve read the book and, while reading, find myself agreeing with Dennett throughout, but when I read other people’s arguments, I forget how to suspend the details of each set of ideas so as to consider them on their merits, and on my own terms. I am too easily swayed by rhetoric, and I am not good enough at thinking on my own to separate rhetorical quality from specific ideas.

One reason for me to write out how I think about particular subjects is to lay out the process of the way I think. If I do it well, I will find out weak areas and stronger areas, and I should be able to improve the former and reinforce the latter. Unfortunately, my aesthetic preferences tend to encourage rhetorical rather than analytical writing, and I worry about writing persuasive arguments that lack real merit.

Weren't we talking about Dennett at one point? Did he make some arguments about animal rights that you thought might be well applied to youth lib?

Re rhetorical thought: I suspect that if you're comfortable with rhetoric, then it's not that big a leap to analysis. Simply compile multiple rhetorical options, then compare. ...But then, maybe I'm not truly following where you're going with this.
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