…I reckon I’ve got it. An ‘in your face’ blog in The Telegraph the other day accused our Prime Minister of not having learned in ‘the school of hard knocks’ – not having the appetite to enjoy scrapping it out with all comers.
Montaigne for his part advocates garrulousness:
I love stout expressions amongst gentle men, and to have them speak as they think.
His argument is there is joy in debate and disagreement:
The contradictions of judgments, then, neither offend nor alter, they only rouse and exercise, me. We evade correction, whereas we ought to offer and present ourselves to it.
I’m a bit equivocal on all that. I like to get to the right answer and certainly don’t need to be right in the process. But I don’t like being shouted down – or shoved about. Montaigne though seems energised by it.
When any one contradicts me, he raises my attention, not my anger: I advance towards him who controverts, who instructs me; the cause of truth ought to be the common cause both of the one and the other.
Perhaps I should be work on being a bit more argumentative – up for a rumble. I don’t like cheap shots and low blows, but I’m trying to stand my ground a bit more this week. Let’s see if I get a bloody nose.