30 min read
Shane Snow Jan 10, 2023 4:46:10 PM
The meaning of intellectual dishonesty and how to curb it
Discourse and debate are more effective in both democracy and business when we learn to be honest with ourselves and curb the subtle behaviors that get in the way of trading real ideas.
Table of Contents:
A Proposed Set Of New Rules For Political (and other) Debates
Disagreement doesn’t have to be so awful.
Our different viewpoints can make our families and communities and companies better. In my book Dream Teams, I argue that the best kind of collaboration requires:
A) People who think differently (aka “cognitive diversity”)
B) to put their heads together (creating “cognitive friction”),
C) and be willing to change (using “intellectual humility”).
This is the formula that explains how the most exceptional people do the impossible. Innovative companies use it to change the world. Unstoppable athletes change the game with it. Groundbreaking social movements require it. And in theory, a democracy is a great political system for making progress this way, too.
A group where everyone is equal and able to speak freely ought to be able to tap its cognitive diversity and make continuous progress on hard problems together—generating cognitive friction via:
Discourse (exchanging ideas); and
Debate (arguing the merits of those ideas).
But most of the time things don’t work out so smoothly.
Battles of different viewpoints can be painful. They often get personal. And very often, conversations about ideas devolve into battles of whose group is better than the other.
And so instead of epiphanies born from different viewpoints, we get government shut downs. Instead of civil discourse in our companies and relationships, we get backroom maneuvering—or all out war.
but it’s not because having different ideas is bad. it’s because too often discussion of our different ideas falls victim to A THING CALLED intellectual dishonesty.
The following mega-post is a thorough exploration of all the ways it’s possible to be intellectually dishonest, how to recognize it in yourself and others, and how to stop it.
Since politicians and cable news pundits employ intellectual dishonesty very visibly in debates—we’re going to explore this topic through the lens of political debate. But once you see how it works, and just how easily we can fall for it ourselves, I think you’ll be better equipped to deal with it in your own life.
Scroll down to get started, but first…
Shane Snow is a world-renowned teamwork speaker and storytelling keynote speaker.
Innovation, Storytelling & Leadership Skills Training at Snow Academy
Training Courses for Tomorrow's Most Needed Work Skills: Innovation, Teamwork, Storytelling, and more.