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Conceal Your Game

 

Techniques General persuasion > The Art of Being Right > Conceal Your Game

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

If you want to draw a conclusion, you must not let it be foreseen, but you must get the premisses admitted one by one, unobserved, mingling them here and there in your talk; otherwise, your opponent will attempt all sorts of chicanery. Or, if it is doubtful whether your opponent will admit them, you must advance the premisses of these premisses; that is to say, you must draw up pro-syllogisms, and get the premisses of several of them admitted in no definite order. In this way you conceal your game until you have obtained all the admissions that are necessary, and so reach your goal by making a circuit.

Example

Consider the child who hides a stolen sweet behinds its back. The deception is obvious and perhaps just a winning smile would have been more effective as the parent now knows they cannot rewards trickery.

Discussion

If one person is attempting a deception of some kind and the other person detects this deception, then the deception will not work. Worse, it will make the second person suspicious and likely not to accept any further argument.

If you are going to use deception, even a well-intended deception, then it is important that the other person does not realize what you are doing.

Conceal Your Game is the fourth of Schopenhauer's stratagems.

See also

Distraction principle, Deception principle

 

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