The project started as a challenge by GaryM to formulate one single contrarian argument. I tried to formulate them all. The contrarian matrix is a framework of lines of arguments composing a series of argumentative steps. All the lines are more or less logically independent from each other. They are identified by their sound-byte markers: “overestimated”, “predermined”, “pragmatist”, “win-win”, etc. The formulations basically mirror what has been expressed by known contrarians.

Taken as a whole, the matrix can be interpreted as a minimization process. Each level mimicks Gorgias‘ proof that nothing exists. The Matrix’ levels are somewhat less categorical than the Gorgias argument: after all nobody denies that climate exists. [If you know someone who does, please contact me.]

The positions are not specific to contrarians; it just happens contrarians use these lines over and over again. The specific content (e.g. our warming is not unprecedented) may not be incompatible with the standard view. We reserve judgment regarding the truth, the correctness and the soundness of each claim. We assume their proponents are sincere, but not that what they say is felicitous.

We should always be thankful for contrarian concerns.

The matrix contains keys to satisfy Poe’s Law: “deck chairs”, the HAT, etc. The whole matrix could be considered as a Poe that represents faithfully an argumentative framework that emerges from a collective effort. It reflects the overall contrarian deliverables.

It would be possible to use these arguments in a quasi-random manner, for instance as a Gish Gallop or a Racehorse. To that effect, it may be interesting to create a Moranomattic, that is an argument generator to create either a full text with one argument from each step, or simple a Single Serving Site where a random Moranian line would be created.

It could also be possible to create a diagnostic tool, a bit like Fodor’s Guide to Mental Representation. This would take more effort than to create a matrix, and a matrix might be needed anyway.

Please contact me for your suggestions and comments.