A Philosopher’s Trick to Get People to Change Their Minds (Quartz)

ArguingSeventeenth-century philosopher Blaise Pascal developed a theory 350 years ago that is now backed up by psychologists. To convince people to change their minds, you must understand your opposition’s viewpoint. Rather than explicitly challenge someone’s argument, first point out ways in which you agree. People will lower their defenses and feel less offended when they are supported, as well as when they arrive to conclusions on their own accord. Learn more.

Bowdoin Philosophy Major Studies Value of Democracy for Summer Fellowship


Aidan Penn ’17

How important is democracy as a political system? If society can be run in a way that gives everyone their fair share, what does it matter whether we have the right to vote?

These are some of the questions philosophy major Aidan Penn ’17 wrestles with as he undertakes the Alan M. Christenfeld Fellowship, which supports research mostly in the social sciences and humanities.