Why Are So Many Parents Against Vaccines? Ask Aristotle

To persuade parents to vaccinate their children, public health authorities have been giving people facts about vaccines and the diseases that those vaccines prevent. Yet that strategy often backfires. When confronted with the fact that measles is a serious and potentially deadly or disabling disease that can be prevented by a remarkably safe and effective vaccine, many antivaccine parents dig in their heels and become even more strongly antivaccine. Public health workers are often baffled by this response. But as I explain in my upcoming book (No More Measles!), the explanation for this response can be found in the works of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. Aristotle’s students compiled the classic textbook on rhetoric, which is the art of persuasive speech.
Continue reading “Why Are So Many Parents Against Vaccines? Ask Aristotle”