eristic /ə-RIS-tik/. adjective or noun. Of, given, or relating to, argument, particularly argument for its own sake. A person who engages in such (usually tedious) debates. From Greek eristikos, from erizein (wrangle), from eris (strife). In Greek mythology, Eris was the goddess of discord and discontent.
“Socrates himself was said to have disapproved of this enthusiasm of his: On seeing Eucleides devoting himself to eristic arguments, he said, ‘You’ll be able to associate with sophists, Eucleides, but not at all with human beings.’” (Robin Hard)
“…the eristic preoccupation with victory displaces any commitment to truth.” (Gilbert Ryle)
“The Aneristic Principle is that of order, the Eristic Principle is that of disorder. On the surface, the Universe seems (to the ignorant) to be ordered; this is the aneristic illusion.” (Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson)
“Eristic is what contrarianism is all about. Although the main reason for its prevalence in contemporary public debate is that controversies, quarrels, exposés and attacks sell newspapers and get people switching on their television sets, there is another reason besides. This is that the public media think they are engaging in dialectic on whatever happens to be the hot topic of the day, when despite their good intentions they are in fact promoting eristic.” (A. C. Grayling)
“In other words, man is naturally obstinate; and this quality in him is attended with certain results, treated of in the branch of knowledge which I should like to call Dialectic, but which, in order to avoid misunderstanding, I shall call Controversial or Eristical Dialectic. Accordingly, it is the branch of knowledge which treats of the obstinacy natural to man. ¶ Eristic is only a harsher name for the same thing.” (Arthur Schopenhauer, translated by T. Bailey Saunders)