People have to change their own minds

“People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others” – Balise Pascal, French scientist and philosopher. Brain Pickings uses this as the centre of a piece about how you can’t change some bastard’s mind but you can get them to look at things differently without wanting to throttle you.

Nearly half a millennium before modern psychologists identified the three elements of persuasion — attunement, buoyancy, and clarity — French physicist, philosopher, inventor, and mathematician Blaise Pascal (June 19, 1623–August 19, 1662) intuited this mechanism as he arrived at a great truth about the secret of persuasion: Pascal came to see that the surest way of defeating the erroneous views of others is not by bombarding the bastion of their self-righteousness but by slipping in through the backdoor of their beliefs.

How to Change Minds: Blaise Pascal on the Art of Persuasion – Maria Popova, Brain Pickings (20 May 2015)

Read the full piece.

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