Source: How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading (Revised 1972 ed.), p. 145 Bottom - 146 Top.
The second general maxim of critical reading is as obvious as the first, but it needs explicit statement, nevertheless, and for the same reason. It is RULE 10, and it can be expressed thus: WHEN YOU DISAGREE, DO SO REASONABLY, AND NOT DISPUTATIOUSLY OR CONTENTIOUSLY. There is no point in winning an argument if you know or suspect you are wrong. Practically, of course, it may get you ahead in the world for a short time. But honesty is the better policy in the slightly longer run.
We learned this maxim first from Plato and Aristotle. In a passage in the Symposium, this interchange occurs:
[1.] I cannot refute you, Socrates, said Agathon: Let us assume that what you say is true.
Say rather, Agathon, that you cannot refute the truth; for Socrates is easily refuted.
The passage is echoed in a remark of Aristotle’s in the Ethics. “It would be thought to be better,” he says,
indeed to be our duty, for the sake of maintaining the truth even to destroy what touches us closely, especially as we are philosophers or lovers of wisdom; for, while both are dear, piety requires us to honor truth above our friends.
Plato and Aristotle here give us advice that most people ignore. Most people think that winning the argument is what matters, not learning the truth.
How does 1 above exemplify RULE 10 above?