This passage on
The technique is known as “Bulverism.”
And it unfolds in two parts.
- Assume that your opponent is wrong.
- Explain the error they have made.
But how many people proceed in this fallacious way?!
This is actually a form of circular reasoning, for you
Let’s all cut this out, me too.
Here again C. S. Lewis comes to our aid. In a comical passage from a serious essay, he imagines one Ezekiel Bulver, “one of the makers of the Twentieth Century,” whose great achievement was the uncovering of this great and lasting truth: “Assume that your opponent is wrong, and then explain his error, and the world will be at your feet. Attempt to prove that he is wrong or (worse still) try to find out whether he is wrong or right, and the national dynamism of our age will thrust you to the wall.” So Lewis gives this popular argumentative strategy—“ assume that your opponent is wrong, and then explain his error”—a name: Bulverism.*
-Alan Jacobs, How To Think