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A short guide to winning arguments

When I taught logic at an American university, the chief problem was to entice students to take the course. The smorgasbord approach they used to build a degree meant that students wanted things which might be useful to them, or ones they might be good at. Logic, alas, was perceived as neither, and classes were

More than Madonna’s mother-in-law

I am wandering the gilded streets where it all began. A few hundred yards from here a handful of clever, public-school-educated young men met of an evening to discuss how best to transform the thing they loved, the Conservative party. They would meet for something called ‘supper’, apparently. Yes, I am in that little, extortionately

We can’t attack Iran

Alan Dershowitz says that the pre-emptive assault on Iraq has given a bad name to a good idea — and will leave Iran the most dangerous nation in the world Face it. Iran will get the bomb. It has already test-fired rockets capable of targeting the entire Middle East and much of southern Europe. And

Conspicuous bravery celebrated

Michael Ashcroft, a devoted collector of the Victoria Cross, marks the 150th anniversary of the medal’s creation and salutes its simple beauty The concept of bravery intrigues me as much today as it did when I was a schoolboy. What is the crucial factor that makes some people more courageous than others? Is it in

They love capitalism, but not elections

Boris Johnson goes to Beijing on a mission to sell democracy, but finds his hosts — as wedded to authority as they have been for the last 4,000 years — politely declining his offer It was towards the end of my trip to China that the tall, beautiful communist-party girl turned and asked the killer