Agonism – taking a warlike stance in contexts that are not literally war – pervades our public and private discourse, leading us to approach issues and each other in an adversarial spirit. The resulting “argument culture” makes it more difficult to solve problems and is corrosive to the human spirit. While examples from the intertwined domains of politics and the press may seem beyond individuals' power to change, the domain of private interactions – where equally destructive effects of the argument culture are felt – is one in which individuals have power to make quotidian yet revolutionary contributions to the common good.

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