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The Gentle Art of Persuasion: How to Argue Effectively
Chester Porter retired from the Bar on 30 June, 2000. The Bar Council of NSW made him an Honorary Life Member in August 2000 for his exceptional service to the Bar and the profession of law.
Much of life is spent in arguing, domestically, at work, professionally, or it just happens that way. Most arguments are futile wastes of time. Neither the participants nor the audience learn anything. Between men in crowded pubs arguments can even lead to physical fights, usually for no purpose. Yet intelligent argument is often the only sensible way to advance our many causes, to spread knowledge and to achieve progress. It is one thing to sound impressive, to devastate the opposition, to make a great impression. It is by no means the same thing to change people’s minds, to convince them by your arguments. Persuasion is achieved more often than not by quiet, rather than devastating argument.