The Rogerian argument seems to me to be very practical. As the text states, the purpose of academic arguments is to “…approach an issue as an opportunity to solve a mutual problem”. However, this rarely occurs. What this means is that arguments, rather than being used toward the purpose of enhancing and deepening each party’s understanding of a subject, tend to instead reinforce and strengthen each respective party’s more narrow and less refined view of a topic. Thus, no true growth happens. In fact, I would be willing to argue that degradation of the subject occurs, since rather than learning more about a specific topic, the participants of the argument leave with an even more steadfast belief in the “rightness” of their own limited view on a matter.
What the Rogerian argument offers is a template from which to break us out of our more rigid habits; indeed, I will argue that the fact that we tend to argue to be right, rather than to learn, stems from habit. It is a learned behavior, conditioned, and as such can be reconditioned to a more constructive form of communication. The basis of the Rogerian argument lies in “…promotion of emphatic listening and consensus-building dialogue”. Therefore, rather than posing a specific viewpoint and attempting to recognize other viewpoints simply for the purpose of undermining them, a more balanced approach is taken. Each viewpoint has its positives and negatives analyzed. Following analysis, the best parts of each viewpoint are extracted, refined, and formulated into a new viewpoint, one that results from open consensus rather than manipulative rhetoric. I am a huge fan of this method, as I think it has the most potential for the benefit of individuals at any level, be it in individual relationships or in high-level politics.