Arguing for Our Lives

Arguing for Our Lives
A User's Guide to Constructive Dialog

YES! Magazine

"The book provides clear, 'simple but not simplistic' frameworks for engaging in more constructive dialog about the issues that matter most."-- Andy Lee Roth, YES! Magazine

"Sonali Kolhotkar at KPFK's Uprising interviews Robert Jensen"
Nov 7, 2013

University of Texas Journalism Professor Robert Jensen has written a book called Arguing for Our Lives: A User's Guide to Constructive Dialog. In it he challenges us to use our human faculties of critical thinking on such important issues as politics, religion, the media, and more.

- Uprising Radio

"Terror v. Surveillance? Keeping Americans safe in two simple steps"
Jun 24, 2013

"In the frenzy over Edward Snowden's leak of classified information about government data-mining surveillance, public officials and pundits have tried to lock us into a narrowly defined and diversionary discussion that ignores the most important question we face about terrorism. . . . "

- Robert Jensen/

"Robert Jensen discusses "Avoiding false alternatives," an essay adapted from the new book Arguing for Our Lives"
Jun 15, 2013

"If a healthy political culture is rooted in conversation and based on honest argumentation, then one of the most corrosive rhetorical tactics is the use of false alternatives. An argument based on false alternatives keeps people from considering the full range of relevant possibilities. Typically, this involves presenting an issue as if there are two - and only two - possible courses of action, one of which is unattractive for practical and/or moral reasons. An argument from false alternatives also routinely builds into its claim one or more assumptions that could be challenged. . . . "

- Robert Jensen, Truthout

San Antonio Current

"A pamphlet in the classic sense of all good-hearted propaganda, Arguing For Our Lives: A User's Guide to Constructive Dialog, addresses America’s fear of intellectualism and the trepidation many people (including Dr. Jensen’s journalism students) feel about claiming the very achievable title of critical thinker."-- Roberto Ontiveros, San Antonio Current

"Robert Jensen on Prn.FM and Sirius XM Radio"
May 30, 2013

Robert Jensen discusses "Getting Apocalypitic," an article he wrote for Yes!Magazine. 

- Mike Feder, Prn.FM and Sirius XM Radio

"Robert Jensen Interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer"
May 28, 2013

"A potent attack on the rabid, irrational saber-rattling that passes for political and social discourse today, Arguing for Our Lives is a cogent, closely argued, sober, yet passionate call for ordinary men and women to help save our democracy by reclaiming our intellect, by honing our powers of rational argumentation."

- Tirdad Derakhshani, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Robert Jensen on 'Getting Apocalyptic' "
May 24, 2013

Read Robert Jensen's article, "Get Apocalyptic" about turning despair into action in the face of life in a broken economy on a strained planet. 

- Robert Jensen, Yes! Magazine

Robert Jensen on Ken Rose's KOWS show "What Now."
May 13, 2013

Robert Jensen discusses his new book on Ken Rose's KOWS show "What Now."

- Ken Rose, KOWS

"Robert Jensen on Thorne Dreyer's KOOP show "Rag Radio." "
May 10, 2013

Robert Jensen discusses his new book on Thorne Dreyer's KOOP show "Rag Radio."

- Thorne Dreyer, KOOP

"Interview with Robert Jensen on the University of Texas's blog"
May 8, 2013

Robert Jensen discusses his new book.

- Laura Byerley, ShelfLife@Texas

"Robert Jensen on Deb Hobson's KOPN show"

Robert Jensen discusses his new book on Deb Hobson's KOPN show "Chautauqua."

- Deb Hobson, KOPN

"Robert Jensen on Mitchell Szczepanczyk's WLUW show"
May 3, 2013

Robert Jensen discusses his new book on Mitchell Szczepanczyk's WLUW show "From the Trenches."

- Mitchell Szczepanczyk, WLUW

"Robert Jensen's book is excerpted on Rabble"
May 2, 2013

"The universe is an undifferentiated whole. About that we can say nothing more."

This catchy aphorism from political philosopher Bruce Wright may seem nonsensical at first glance, but is worth exploring in the service of deepening our intellectual humility. Facing multiple, cascading ecological crises, we humans need science more than ever—and more than ever we need to understand the limits of science. . . .

- Rabble

"Robert Jensen on UTNE Reader"
May 1, 2013

Robert Jensen shows how critical thought and constructive dialogue are the necessary tools to claiming a social sphere working for the public interest. 

- Robert Jensen, UTNE Reader

"Video of Robert Jensen discussing Arguing for Our Lives at Austin's Bookpeople Bookstore"
Apr 29, 2013

Over 100 people came out to celebrate the publication of Robert Jensen's latest book, Arguing for Our Lives.

- Jeff Zavala, Blip

"An excerpt from Arguing for Our Lives appears on Truthout"
Apr 17, 2013

"Politicians and pundits, on all sides, are quick to suggest that opponents are 'blinded by ideology'; competing proposals that have been successfully tagged as excessively ideological are easy to dismiss as being impractical. But the accusation begs a question: Does ideology always undermine our ability to understand the world? . . . "

- TruthOut

"Robert Jensen on Barry Seidman's WBAI show "Equal Time for Freethought." "
Mar 30, 2013

Robert Jensen is interviewed on Barry Seidman's WBAI show "Equal Time for Freethought" about his book, Arguing for our Lives

- Barry Seidman, WBAI


"Robert Jensen has long been one of the most vocal iconoclasts in Austin and the country, someone who isn't afraid to eloquently state his politics even when the national temperature would keep most people out of the kitchen. . . .  His latest book, Arguing for Our Lives, acts as a guidebook to rhetoric and our popular dialogues indicting ideas of neutrality, stilted notions of 'being political', but also encouraging us to passionately discuss the things we’re not supposed to in polite company. Jensen salvages the word 'intellectual' from its present nadir, demystifies the application of critical thinking skills to everyday problems, and shows how ideology and politicization are inevitable products of point of view; the more visible we can make them, the more honest the conversations we can begin to have. It’s a fascinating read that explains his own personal teaching philosophy, while exposing the ways in which our language can shroud our intents and content."--Austin Chronicle

"Robert Jensen Oped in the Austin American Statesman, 'Important truths behind an anti-war slogan'"
Mar 16, 2013

On the 10th anniversary of the war in Iraq, Robert Jensen investigates the truths behind the anti-war slogan "No blood for oil."  Jensen's latest book is Arguing for Our Lives, just published by City Lights.

- Robert Jensen, American Statesman

"Interview with Robert Jensen by Dustin Hall"
Feb 26, 2013

An audio interview with Dr. Robert Jensen – author, activist and professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.

In this wide-ranging interview, Jensen discusses his views on U.S. foreign policy, criticism that he is "anti-American," his religious beliefs as a Christian-atheist, the line between teaching and activism, and finding sources of hope in troubled times.

- Dustin Hall

"Rationally Speaking, We Are All Apocalyptic Now"
Feb 8, 2013

If we are rational and consider objective scientific evidence of environmental collapse including groundwater depletion, topsoil loss, chemical contamination, ocean dead zones, species extinction, bio-diversity reduction and climate disruption, we need to be apocalypticists, argues Robert Jensen.

- Robert Jensen, Truthout Op-Ed

"The First Rule of Good Teaching"
Jan 2, 2013

Robert Jensen discusses the idea of living your life honestly in front of students as key to good teaching.

- Robert Jensen, Counterpunch

SF Weekly: Read Local

"Do you completely trust the sensational, sound-byte driven news and polarized politicians who never seem to say anything at all, unless it is a totally frightening slip? In a time when public discourse is rife with big-money propaganda, we need to work even harder to think and communicate clearly. While Jensen has honed his critical thinking years over two decades in the classroom, this is a jargon-free book that will enable you to, in the here and now, make small, meaningful steps toward a better world."

—Alexis Coe

"Put religion and politics on Thanksgiving menu"
Nov 22, 2012

Robert Jensen discusses table conversation at Thanksgiving time, encouraging us to have thoughtful discussions about religion and politics no matter how hard that may seem.

- Robert Jensen, USA Today