Sharing the burden of truth

We converse with people we must persuade in one way — we place the burden of proof on ourselves.

We converse with people who must persuade us in another — we the place the burden of proof on them.

A great many people are unphilosophical, and instinctively assess relative power by where the burden of proof is placed. When approached by a person who seeks to persuade, they automatically perceive that person as socially inferior — equal at best — to one who requires persuasion, and thus assumes the role of arbiter.

What is the solution for a philosopher who seeks reasoned consensus in all matters — who wishes to both give and to hear good reasons — but who does not want to be perceived as socially inferior to those who do not share a commitment to reasoned consensus?

Require persuasion to be reciprocal — and when dealing with unphilosophical people, make the other persuade first, before seeking to persuade. In a perfect world, this would not be necessary, but this world is nowhere near perfect.

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