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How to Read the Opposing View

Your strong disagreement with the opposing view can become a hindrance if you are not able to suppress your frustration with your opponent long enough to hear him/her out.  Your primary responsibility is to understand sympathetically your opponent’s basic concerns and to discern what sources of truth she/he values and does not value. 

  • Be on the lookout for places where the author reveals his or her operating assumptions or basic beliefs. 
  • Be willing to appreciate places where the author’s reasoning is cogent and insightful. 
  • Read actively, asking questions and making notes of passages where the author discloses his/her presuppositions. 
You should spend the majority of your research time carefully listening to and analyzing this primary text.