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The Art of the Argument

Western Civilization's Last Stand
Narrated by: Stefan Molyneux
Length: 5 hrs and 16 mins
4 out of 5 stars (92 ratings)
Regular price: £18.79
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Summary

The Art of the Argument shocks the dying art of rational debate back to life, giving you the essential tools you need to fight the escalating sophistry, falsehoods, and vicious personal attacks that have displaced intelligent conversations throughout the world. At a time when we need reasonable and empirical discussions more desperately than ever, The Art of the Argument smashes through the brain-eating fogs of sophistry and mental manipulation, illuminating a path to benevolent power for all who wish to take it.

Civilization is defined by our willingness and ability to use words instead of fists - in the absence of reason, violence rules. The Art of the Argument gives you the intellectual ammunition - in one concentrated, entertaining and powerful package - to engage in truly productive, civilization-saving debates. Armed with this book, you will be empowered to speak truth to power, illuminate ignorance, shatter delusions, and expose the dangerous sophists within your own life, and around the world.

©2017 Stefan Molyneux (P)2017 Stefan Molyneux

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Point perfect in The Argument

This is a fabulous read/listen for anyone who sees irrationality all around them, though when they point it out, is hounded by the utterly irrational sophist that hangs like a dark cloud over ever rational debate.

This book helps us to understand The Argument, to understand the rain of sophistry that eventually comes down on a reasonable debate when an opponant can't refute an uncomfortable truth. It helps us understand their vicious irrational, incapable acceptence of truth, and it teaches us how to deal with these lost souls.

Not only are we taught to understand The argument, but dotted throughout is a plethora of social issues that cause debate and the eventual encounter of sophistry, but I found it helped me understand these social issues further myself.

If you want to fight for truth, to rid the world of the continued brainwashing and purposeful dumbing down of future generations, the driving out of their ability to think for themselves, read this book, then pass it on. Not just physically, but pass on Molyeux's exceptional wisdom in ever day life by telling others, by not being afraid to fight for truth.

I'd recommend this to anyone who's not only into philosophy, but anyone who believes the lies are getting to much, lies that are lately beginning to overshadow the truth. We need brave people to spread this wisdom, regardless how much resistance you encounter.

The Art of the Argument could be one of the most important books of our time. Five stars from me.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Very shallow with few wise points to say only

The author has some intellectual investment and he has a few good arguments which I cannot deny their common sense value. However, overall this book is full of shallow information and it seriously lacks an academic depth. It rhetorically appeals to feelings of layman. This is not necessarily a bad thing but the book markets itself with higher expectations. Besides, its title is misleading and extremely overrates the value of the book.The author starts with demeaning all academic knowledge on argumentation but then engage himself with them in a very primitive way to support his cases. I do not claim that the book is devoid of any meaningful points. However, the book's points can easily be captured in half an hour. It does not say much about argumentation per se. Rather, the book emphasises the value of argumentation as a means of proper political discussions, which are then used to promote liberalism as if all against liberalism were sophists. I am open to all political ideas and I wish to hear their merits and weaknesses. I had known beforehand that the author has political biases but the lack of depth of his arguments frustrated and bored me. I definitely do not recommend this book to anyone who wants to read intellectually engaging material. I was misled by many high ratings given to this book.

10 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant and Necessary

Thoroughly enjoyable and intriguing. Made me appreciate the argument for what it is. I needed to hear this.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding arguments!

A seriously powerful book with depth, clarity and vigor right throughout.
This is a great advance for reason and overall mind blowing work.
To me, this is Stefan's greatest work to date along side Universally Preferable Behaviour.
It strikes at the heart of the problems we're facing like a knife.
Even if you've never read his other works or are new to philosophy, I would recommend it as he breaks down and builds up his arguments from the ground up, in detail with great imaginative examples that I really enjoyed.
I was put off at first by how short the book is, but having finished it was surprised how much is packed into this bomb of a book.
I would recommend this to anyone who wants to understand logic, reason, science, philosophy politics and psychology. He has most of it covered here and it's very important information that we all can benefit from. "Philosophy is dangerous" speech is in here, and it really moved me.
This book is dangerous because it will upset many sophists around you. That's what makes it so important. I am really impressed and I think it will impress any rational mind.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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beware

Disappointingly partisan, falling foul to many logical errors it warns against. Still some good points if you can stomach the relentless inconsistencies.

5 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Not what I was expecting.

Not what was sold in the description. One of my least favourite books. For a philosopher it almost felt like his views were being forced on me, with opinions being quickly and almost unnoticeably passed off as facts. I almost feel that the author was looking down on me and a lot of other people. Too politically linked for me, and although I didn't disagree with everything I feel the writing drifted from the title of the book.

5 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

If you have a brain, you need this

Fantastic and well explained. Stefan is one of the greatest thinkers of our time. Excellent

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Lacking substance and disturbingly arrogant

Although I disagree with the author's politics, I knew that when I bought the book. That isn't the problem. I think everybody should read material written by those whose opinions differ from their own - if they don't, there's no opportunity to exchange and debate ideas, or to persuade people to change their views. You can't have confidence in your own views if you haven't tested them or allowed others to challenge them. I'm willing to give a high rating to a book by an author I disagree with if it's well written.

The problem with this book is that it claims to be a manual setting out techniques of debate and rhetoric, when in fact there's really not much to it. What it really consists of is an opinionated rant, written in a weirdly unpleasant and arrogant tone. The author uses examples of supposed sophistry (many of which are flawed) purely to express his political opinions and to make quite childish and often ad hominem digs at those with differing opinions. If he were really interested in analysing debating techniques, he would include (better) examples of effective arguments contrary, or unrelated, to his own political views.

There's something else about his style which grates. At times, he sounds like he's giving a speech at a political rally, knowingly and cynically pushing certain buttons to whip up popular support. It's fundamentally condescending. I suspect this book, along with his podcasts, is largely aimed at a young and impressionable audience looking for guidance and direction, and he knows what he needs to do to appeal to them. In that sense, it isn't really an "argument" at all, but rather a piece of propaganda. He is, in fact, the sophist all along.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Specious rubbish.

Advertises itself as an objective lesson in the subtle art of argumentation. Sadly the author defrauds the earnest pursuer of unslanted learning by delivering a series of lectures on the merits of anarcho-capitalism. If you hate single mothers, immigrants, alcoholics, the disabled and the progressive achievements of non Judeo-Christian peoples - well, then this is a book for you.

4 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • rjj
  • Surrey
  • 08-12-17

A wonderful insomnia cure

I admit that I only lasted three chapters but this wins the most boring book of the year award. it is probably a very good book to read but as an audible book it is dull.

4 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Bryan Schneiders
  • 21-12-17

Verbose

Redundant explanations made the book twice as long as necessary. Otherwise good content and performance.

28 of 32 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • RyanJ
  • 20-01-18

Annoying

I thought this would be a book about the principles of argument. It was actually more a philosophical discussion of the concept of argument. I couldn’t finish because the book was unnecessarily wordy to the point where it was annoying. After 3 hours of what I can best describe as rambling (though the rambling may have some great philosophical perspectives), it is really somewhat pointless. The writing style paints the author as overwhelmingly arrogant as well.

74 of 86 people found this review helpful

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  • Tyrone N. Turner
  • 28-11-17

Biased

By its title, this book presents itself as a guide to argue effectively. It doesn’t take long however, to discover the true intent of the author, which is to—by no means of persuasion—tell you of the many flaws of liberalism.

I waited patiently for the author to use an example where conservatism has gone astray but there was no such instance. I’m no expert in debate, but aren’t you supposed to be able to argue your opponent’s position?

This is an opinion piece. Many times throughout this book, I felt as though someone were ranting at me, sprinkling in the word “argument” as a means to defend the title. I finished the book, mostly because I was amused at how far the author would take his rant. He did not relent and instead of learning how to argue, I learned how much this man despises liberal principles.

37 of 43 people found this review helpful

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  • Bryanoutside
  • 07-01-19

False Premises Included

This book was long on social commentary and baseless right wing claims, which were completely unnecessary for the book. Don’t waste your time, this will not teach how to improve your arguments.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Eric A. Williams
  • 18-12-17

Arrogance abounds as arguments are almost absent

The writer uses strong auditory delivery to mask poorly developed content. About 15 percent of the book is consistent with the title. The rest is a dramatic presentation of self aggrandizement. The author is clearly intelligent (because he tells us repeatedly). It was like listening to a mock version of The Dating Game comprised of three bloviating members of Mensa (sorry/not sorry to let the secret out).

Save your money or buy Bo Bennett’s Logically Fallacious.

42 of 52 people found this review helpful

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  • Robin Almquist
  • 08-02-18

Not at all what was promised.

This book is not about arguments at all, and does not give you any tools for winning arguments like promised. Instead it is a cheap rant about the authors current political opponents. The book feels like an unedited transcript of an episode of Free Domain Radio, with all the logical falacies still left in.

22 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • Kat Aston
  • 28-12-18

Right wing garbage which maskerades as theory

I do not recommend this book.

Author/narrator is arrogant and guilty of the very errors in judgement he accuses listeners of. Mostly this is a book of right leaning garbage with some structural advice but lots of the authors editorializing and personal opinion about atheists leftists and people he refers to as parasitic.

It is a repackaging of logic and reason but stripped of academic terms the author seems to think are dragging down the field. I don't think that removing the academic terms actually assists with the understanding of argument or debate but instead reveals the authors anti collegial and anti intellectual bent.

Got this book as part of a two for one deal... So it was essentially free and this is no reflection on audible, but I still feel ripped off. Luckily it can be returned.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Jose
  • 04-01-19

Political conservative propaganda.

The book started with some good discussions about arguments but it quickly got too political, the author used the definition of argument too loosely. This book was more about arguing his outdated conservative principles and bashing the "welfare state" if you are looking for a book about how to debate, or argue then stay away.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Joshua A.
  • 31-01-18

like an extra long podcast

I listen to free domain radio every day, so listening to Stefan speak for 5 hours was no difficult feat. this book has some great arguments and ideas in it. it's worth listening to a few times over.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Justin
  • 24-09-18

Important message, awkward reading

Stefan Molyneux has an evocative and florid style in his writing. Unfortunately, the audiobook’s effect is lessened by his own reading of it. In short, he reads the entire book like it’s a Captain Kirk monologue. Filled with mid-phrase pauses, sudden shifts in tempo, and wide ranges in dynamics, Molyneux’s overly dramatic reading goes to distract from the message of the book rather than enhance or stress his points. It took me very long to get through this book for that very reason.

Point of the book: argumentation is the basis for peaceful resolution of conflict and cooperation. Convince one another through reason, or else fall pray to sophistry - irrational attempts to suppress reason through manipulation, lies, aggression, etc. Therefore argue for truth. Argue for the argument. And be willing to change your own mind if the face of truth and reason.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful