Against Tabula Rasa, Part 2: Arguments and Assumptions

In my last post, I argued that judge must take rules of inference for granted. In this post, I argue that judges also have to do what many consider to be intervention.
Most of us think dropped claims don’t matter (e.g., the aff can’t just extend, “I win!”). What matters are dropped arguments. An argument has a warrant — i.e., a set of premises (often including empirical evidence) to justify the claim. 

But each premise can be either assumed or warranted by some other argument. And each premise of that argument can be either assumed or warranted by some other argument. And so on. Ultimately, the argument appeals to some assumptions — i.e., premises for which no argument is given. It is more reasonable for us to accept some assumptions than others.

Here’s the question I want to raise: when can a judge assume some premise, and when does she require further argument?

My answer is that it requires a judgment call, and that’s what judging is (largely) about. When there are two conflicting claims, the relevant question is not just whether each is warranted, but which warrant it is more reasonable to accept. And that question doesn’t just come down to the formulaic, “Which warrant is warranted?” because we can come up with awful arguments for anything. Consider:

The sky is green; if the sky is green, then the U.S. should let acts of terrorism occur; therefore, the U.S. should let acts of terrorism occur.

When it comes to a comparison of warrants, having an argument for your warrant does not always make your warrant better than your opponent’s. It usually does, but only when and because the argument appeals to assumptions that are more reasonable than your opponent’s. For example, the argument above does not appeal to assumptions that the judge should accept. It appeals to assumptions that the judge knows to be false. Of course, what the judge should accept depends on the other debater’s assumptions, so it ultimately requires a plausibility comparison. The judge must ask herself which assumptions are more reasonable to accept.

In debate-technical terms, the depth of a warrant is the extent to which you argue for the warrant. Warrants of depth 1 are sets of premises where each premise is an assumption. Warrants of depth 2 are sets of premises where each premise is warranted to depth 1. Warrants of depth 3 are sets of premises where each premise is warranted to depth 2. (Ignore cases where some premises are warranted to one depth, yet others are assumed or warranted to another depth.)

My point is just that the deeper warrant does not always win. The deeper warrant may lose to the better warrant. If a warrant of depth 3 appeals to assumptions that the judge finds wildly implausible (e.g., 2 + 2 = 5), it should lose to a warrant of depth 4 that appeals to assumptions that the judge knows to be true (e.g., 2 + 2 = 4).

Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given. Sometimes one debater agrees to the other’s assumptions, whether in CX, explicitly, or through drops. But other times, the debaters disagree on those assumptions. The judge has to resolve the debate somehow.

 

Instead of appealing to vague concepts like knowledge and plausibility, we can think about this question in terms of the judge’s degrees of belief in different propositions. Thinking about it in this way may actually offer a solution for the proponent of tabula rasa judging. That’s what I discuss in the next post. But I then show that the solution fails.

  • JacobN1

    I understand your argument against the tabula rasa view to be that:1. It is wrong for a blank slate judge to vote on unwarranted arguments.2. All debate arguments have at least one premise which is not further warranted.This just sounds to me like a novel way of stating the infinite regress problem. But if you don't think that the infinite regress problem precludes justified belief in non-debate contexts (if you do think this, I don't suppose my argument will convince you much), then why should a tabula rasa judge be paralyzed by the infinite regress here? Looking at each of your examples, I don't think they pose a problem for the tabula rasa view.Example 1: Aff extends a dropped "aff wins" spike.If this were the only thing to happen in the debate, I would vote on it. The neg has offered me nothing, while the aff has offered me one premise, "aff wins". Given all the premises forwarded in round and no outside premises, of course I would conclude that the aff wins. It's all I have to go by.This argument is never a consideration in real debate rounds because it is immediately defeated once the neg makes an argument. If the neg drops "aff wins", but the aff drops a warranted negative case, I'll sign the ballot quickly for the negative. The negative case has provided me substantial reason to doubt "aff wins", and the aff has provided no evidence in favor of the premise, so I would reject it.Example 2: Neg says "The earth is flat. If the earth is flat, then the US should not grant terrorists due process. Therefore, negate."(I don't think my slight modification will change the applicability of my argument.)If the aff provides a well-warranted 6 minute case showing that deontological side constraints prevent us from trying terrorists without due process, and the neg says only the above quoted words, I would affirm. The aff has provided much better evidence to support a belief in the resolution. Each argument in the AC seems very likely to be true because it coheres well with a thorough and detailed viewpoint. Each of the neg's 2 premises, on the other hand, has little justification from other premises and paints a very incomplete picture. From a tabula rasa standpoint, I would conclude that the neg's 2 premises are far more likely to be the errant beliefs. Of course you can reverse this view. If the aff had a 2 premise deontology AC, and the neg provided multiple warrants for why the earth is flat (maybe he carded the Flat Earth Society — it exists) and why flatness entails terrorists having no rights, I would negate. The neg's conclusion seems better justified for the same reasons, assuming I ignore prior beliefs.I might not be 100% certain that the 2 aff premises aren't the ones that happen to be correct, but my uncertainty here wouldn't be significant enough to make my decision impossible. Heck, I might even be 100% certain if I have beliefs that are adequately foundational that I can start from. Premises that both debaters agree to might fit this bill.

    • Anon1

      I'm glad the LD community has become a place where nonsense can win rounds and we can finally get some real world skills from it. I mean, think about it, denying the existence of morality is awesome because that's what the leaders of the real world are doing right now (Todd Akin, Paul Ryan etc.) Saying that the "world is flat" and being able to provide warrants for that is a great way to practice good lying skills as those come in handy in whatever you decide to do with your life (business, law, politics.) The great thing about Tabula Rosa judging is that all the judge has to do is forget everything they know how to do besides flowing and all of the sudden everything is morally permissible! I'm just confused why more debaters don't take advantage of this type of judging by taking the ballot and signing it themselves before the round. Debate can become this really cool "race to the ballot" game where both debaters try to sign the ballot for themselves while the judge evaluates who has the better penmanship. Also, I'm surprised more debaters don't make up evidence. After all, why research when you have a judge in the back of the room where "anything goes." And it can be fun too. If your opponent's evidence is from 2012, make your's from 2015 and say that the US has already started that nuclear war that the neg is trying to avoid. Or, make up a more qualified author! In short, Tabula Rosa judging requires debaters to be more confident. If you need to lie, cheat or even physically hurt your opponent to win, that's what the activity is all about!

      • JacobN1

        No matter what your beliefs are, almost every judge you have in the back of the room will think at least a few of them are nonsense. (If Todd Akin and Paul Ryan are the political leaders that you think we should all emulate, I'm one of those judges.) In those rounds, you won't be so happy when your judge disregards your "nonsense" and votes for the team he or she agrees with. You also won't ever learn to critically examine your present beliefs if you write the other side off as nonsense.Obviously my examples are extreme cases. They're meant to illustrate a point. That's why the original post uses the same examples. If you can't convince an unbiased judge that the earth isn't flat, you deserve to lose. Conversely, if you can beat your opponent with "the earth is flat; therefore terrorism is good", you're obviously better. I see no reason why I should vote for my own personal beliefs about geology rather than voting for the person who actually did the better debating.

        • JustinB

          You say that the debater who can convince a judge that the earth is flat is "better."Better in what way? Such a debater certainly talented at persuasion, but is that all that debate should seek to teach? Or is there an ethic of argument that should be taught as well?As we see with our politicians, talent without ethics is a dangerous thing. Those who have the talent to exert influence and gain power have a greater responsibility to use those skills in a positive way. Judges who pick up claims based on faulty assumptions, which I think we can call false claims, because of drops enable unethical argumentation by making it attractive. There are many reasons an argument might be dropped; time skew, speed, no evidence (for the really out there arguments), etc. Allowing such tactics and arguments to decide a round is not the best way to judge. There is room for compromise for logical arguments that one simply doesn't agree with, but not for claims that the judge knows rest on faulty assumptions. You say that you shouldn't vote on your "personal beliefs about geology." what are you talking about? The idea that the earth isn't flat is a fact, not a personal belief. How can we ever hope to have debate be an intellectual activity when we relegate fact to such a subordinate position? Not relying on fact as a standard is the cause of some of the most pervasive and damaging lies in our society.

        • JacobN1

          I suppose you're right that the argument I presented was incomplete in that I didn't justify my notion of better debating. However "debater that was most consistent with what I already believe" doesn't seem like a good standard for evaluation. You say a compromise can be made between complete intervention and complete non-intervention, but I don't see where you can draw the line and remain consistent. I suspect you'd find it unfair if a judge ignored your debater's DA because he "knew for a fact" that the terminal impact of global warming does not actually exist. But where do you draw the line between that judge's 90% confidence that GW is a hoax and your 99% confidence that Flat Earth is? Any specific number is rather arbitrary.

        • JustinB

          I think that the example of GW does help to illustrate the point. Man-made GW is a hypothesis with a lot of evidence, but isn't definitive. The fact that the earth if flat is technically also a hypothesis, but one which is supported by mountains of evidence across a number of fields. To disbelieve GW you only need to discount data and argument. To disbelieve the round earth you literally have to discount gravity. there is a key difference there. the gulf between that 90% and 99% is much larger than you seem to think. Also, assigning percentage points to things seems quite silly to me.

        • JacobN1

          You're pointing out differences in degree rather than kind. If you don't like the global warming example, then how about evolution deniers or astrologists, perhaps? There are oodles of examples, and I can't see how your method for parsing them into "valid" and "invalid" categories is anything but arbitrary.

        • JustinB

          sorry, i was unclear before. Perhaps if we talk about the difference between a hypothesis, a theory, and a natural law we can start to clear things up.basically, a hypothesis is a prediction of what will happen based on an observation. it can be proven a number of ways. when a hypothesis gets a large amount of evidence spanning multiple fields of study, people start to agree that it's a theory, like evolution, and i would argue GW. then there are natural laws, like the laws of gravity, which are so entrenched that they cannot be denied rationally. So the difference is in kind if we talk about GW, either hypothesis or theory depending, or something like the flat earth, which depends on natural laws being wrong. i have oversimplified things, which may make for some issues. but i think that this line of thinking may provide us with a non-arbitrary, or at least less arbitrary, method of differentiating between valid and invalid.

        • Tom Cameron

          I don't understand this conception of debate teaching "ethical" argumentation. I primarily believed in util until I actually had to look into the warrants behind beliefs, which is why I think skepticism about objective morality is true now. Debate changed my view to something that a lot of people seem to think is "unethical," and even despite that view, I'm not a holocaust denier, nor do I do everything that I please.In my opinion, it's more likely a fact that there are no objective moral rules than otherwise, does that mean that I should vote against people who say util is objectively true, just because I believe it's an obtuse conception of how things work based on personal biases rather than concrete justifications?

        • JustinB

          I think you misunderstood my use of the word ethical. I was using the term to argue that debaters shouldn't knowingly make claims that are false. No matter what your view on morality, I think we can agree that such a thing is unethical. and we can see the damage caused by the use of false claims to support arguments. Just look to the Akin controversy as it continues to unfold.My objection was geared toward factual claims, not moral ones. Whether or not there are objective moral truths is a disputed question. We may find and answer one day, but until then we are left with the reasons for and against to resolve it for each person on an individual level. As for the flat earth question, that is not something that remains to be proven.

        • JacobN1

          Why the factual/moral distinction? It seems that espousing a moral view that you think is completely unfounded would be unethical for reasons that espousing an unfounded factual claim would be.Either way, how do you expect switch side debate to exist in a world where debaters can only make arguments that they already think are true? You've gotta disagree with at least one side.

        • JustinB

          The reason for the distinction is that moral claims are ones that are in dispute. The reasons that people find one moral system to be true may be a matter of preference. Even that claim is a matter of preference (I don't really buy it). However, the claim is valid even if it isn't true. Switch sides debate relies on debaters making valid arguments, not true ones. Stating something that is factually wrong to support an argument is invalid as well as untrue.

        • Tom Cameron

          So why don't people just run theory against this? That seems like the easiest way to resolve it in my mind. A tab judge would be just as willing to vote off of theory against that argument. Not to say that I'm a tab judge, but that seems like a plausible response, in addition to people being able to say that the argument is invalid. My question is why the judge has to be the one to intervene instead of debaters having the responsibility to figure out how to beat "bad" practices.

        • JustinB

          Why put the burden on the person who hasn't done anything wrong?There are many reasons that people drop arguments that have nothing to do with whether or not they have a response to the bad argument. Isn't it better if debaters spend more time on substantive and valid claims, rather than waste time on arguments that are false by running a lot of theory? Do we really need to spend so much time in round debating about how we should debate? This is a much better forum for such discussions.

        • Tom Cameron

          Personally, I'd say that not responding to "The sky is green; therefore the US should let terrorism continue" is doing something wrong in the context of a debate round. And no, I don't think that it's better if people spend more time of "Substantive and valid claims," if the price of that is that judges get to decide what counts as an adequate argument and what doesn't.In my mind, learning how to debate theory is pretty educational. In a debate among two good theory debaters, the one on the right side of the issue always has the advantage. What's the better forum for those discussions? This message board? That do anything to remedy the problem, and it also causes problems because it means that the debaters can't entirely control whether they win.A: People can just strike judges that will disregard their arguments: At TOC I struck any judge that didn't like skep. This also just creates dumb little cliques so that half the debaters can only debate in front of half the judges. B: The discussions don't have a conclusive answer, as indicated by this.C: Even if there were a "better forum," which I doubt, it would still trade off with judges intervening.

        • JustinB

          You're right; debaters should respond to argument, especially ones that should be easy to beat. But to say that a judge shouldn't resolve what counts as an argument is a little strange since we ask judges to evaluate between competing arguments. Is deciding a claim isn't valid really so different from deciding on one argument over another? Perhaps they are, but the issue isn't as clear cut as your assertion implies that it is.You're right; theory is educational. However, theory debates are not the most educational in terms of what debaters could be arguing in round. I would much rather here a debate about the actual topic than a theory debate. A: I don't really agree with judge striking for that reason. People choose the judges they want, and never really challenge themselves. I understand the rationale behind judge strikes, but I think the practice has gotten out of hand. Of course, I'm not on the TOC circuit, so my experience is limited. B:If discussions don't have a conclusive answer, how does in-round discussion have any more value? And where does this control come from if we just collapse the timeframe of a discussion that you say has no resolution?C:You're right again. I really think that the solution here is not from judges, but from debaters and coaches. The real solution is for debaters not to run the arguments that cause these problems. And i think that these sorts of discussions can help by putting it in the minds of debaters and coaches. debate rounds are mostly contained, and don't offer the dissemination of information that discussions like these do. At the very least these discussions might help students in round, if that is in fact the only way to resolve things.

        • Tom Cameron

          The difference between deciding on one argument over another is the same as the difference between deciding whether the resolution is true or false (if you're not a truth-tester, put it in your own terms, it still works). It should be about the debaters. That said, if no arguments are made to compare arguments, then the judge may have to intervene. That said, that's a different sort of intervention needed to resolve the debate, rather than intervention because a judge doesn't like something. If someone makes an argument for how dropped arguments need to count as 100% true, and that argument isn't responded to, in addition to another argument, it would be a bad form of intervention to disregard it.That said, debaters should just make arguments in-round about how judges shouldn't accept something as true just because it was completely dropped. For some reason, in-round, people don't usually contest things like the notion that arguments that are dropped are entirely true, even though that's certainly something that they could do. I'd rather not have to listen to any debates that I don't find interesting or hilarious, but I presume you believe that doesn't mean I should disregard them. A: That's fair, but there's a limited amount of prep one can do, and judges disregarding specific strategies just makes for worse debate, or means that people who are good at that style win in front of that judge – it leaves it to chance. If judges all listened to any arguments, then it would be fine. And "Challenging" oneself will happen regardless of judge prefs. The goal for most is to win, and being at a disadvantage because of a judge that you receive by chance would suck.B: They probably don't have more value, but they can still be educational to think about, and I think intervention is worse. C: That's fair, though the better incentive in my mind is to teach people how to beat them rather than intervening. If kids don't know how to answer bad arguments because they're just told that the arguments are bad and shouldn't exist, then they'll lose to them when they don't have a judge that will intervene for them. Alternatively, if kids can beat them then the judge won't matter and people will be less likely to run bad arguments against them.For example, in front of judges that would be fine with disclosure theory, I know that some debaters would run disclosure theory against some of my younger teammates and they be very adamant about how they needed to disclose. When I hit said people though, I wouldn't disclose so that I could easily beat them on the disclosure argument. They didn't run it, and when I asked why, they just said it didn't seem strategic against me. People are going to keep running the arguments they can win with. The best way to stop people from running things is to make sure everyone knows how to beat it.

        • JustinB

          I think we are coming very close to the 'purpose of debate' argument; education or game. i am willing to have that discussion, but i'm running out of time today. until next time!

        • jnebel

          You don't deny that the Holocaust happened. You accept that it happened, but you deny that it was wrong. That seems worse to me…

        • Tom Cameron

          In no way did I imply that I don't think the holocaust is wrong. Just because I think there aren't objective moral rules doesn't mean I don't think that there are (or should be) moral rules. Don't extrapolate things I say to make them seem offensive.

        • jnebel

          I thought your view was that nothing debaters do is unethical/wrong because there's no objective morality. Otherwise I don't see why you would put scare quotes around moral terms in that context. If I misinterpreted your view, I apologize.

        • Tom Cameron

          I used scare quotes because people talk about specific arguments being "unethical," but not everyone agrees on that. E.g. I was used as an example of an "offensive debater" by some lab leaders at VBI, despite not actually making the claims that a lot of people seemed to think I did (such as your comment on my stance on things such as the holocaust). I presume it was in relation to the Skep stuff that I read at TOC, though in my Octas round against Henry, I explicitly stated that I defined the word "morality" as relating to something objective and that constructivist accounts of normativity make sense, but wouldn't be referred to by the word "Moral."The scare quotes are there to indicate that people claim certain arguments are "unethical," though I completely disagree with the use of the term "unethical" to describe such arguments.

        • jnebel

          And do you disagree with the use of the word "unethical" in that context because you think those arguments are not unethical, or because you don't think anything is unethical?Less important: I was only referring to your comment here, and I don't know which VBI instructors you're talking about. It might help to say whom you're attributing those claims to, to see whether those are really their claims.

        • Tom Cameron

          The former. And that's not a big deal, I was just using it as an example.

        • Tom Cameron

          That said, I don't think all arguments/practices are ethical.

        • jnebel

          I think your argument in the last paragraph doesn't fully account for the infinite regress problem. Of course we can convince unbiased, reasonable people that the earth isn't flat. But that's because unbiased, reasonable people still share assumptions with us. Tab judges are not supposed to appeal to their assumptions.Scanlon has an interesting and accurate criticism of this view in debate: "This is what we were talking about earlier with debate. A lot of people, at least a lot of students, tell you that if you cant come up with an argument that some imagined opponent would have to accept on pain of some kind of contradiction, then whos to say whats right? And I think thats the sort of thing that debate encourages. It belies the fact that the question, at the end of the day, isnt: is this person actually going to accept it? The question is: do they actually have good reason to accept it, or not? And thats a judgment that you yourself have got to make. Thats unavoidable. But I think people lose sight of the fact that philosophy is mostly about deciding what to think, rather than about trying to convince other people what to think."The Utopian, July 2012. <a href="http://www.the-utopian.org/T.M.-Scanlon-Interview-2” target=”_blank”>http://www.the-utopian.org/T.M.-Scanlon-Interview-2

        • JustinB

          I need to read more Scanlon…

      • Dylan345543

        It is patently false that conservative leaders deny some sense of morality, rather they act on their own sense of it that you happen to disagree with, I doubt Paul Ryan would accept "Everything is permissible, thus socialism is permissible". Skepticism challenges prior beliefs we hold and forces people to reconsider their ideas which I would consider a good thing and something that can defeat idealogues.

        • JustinB

          It is entirely possible to question and even reject your current beliefs without arguing that there is no basis for any belief. In this case the cure may be worse than the disease.

    • jnebel

      My view is just that "intervention" is inevitable. The infinite regress paralyzes the tab judge because she can't appeal to pre-round beliefs about which assumptions are justified — that's considered intervention.On your first example, suppose the aff adds a warrant for "aff wins," but the warrant is absurd. And suppose the depth of each side's warrant is equal. On your second example, I don't think the concepts of "well-warranted" and "better evidence" make much sense on a tabula rasa model. The idea of better evidence appeals to pre-round beliefs about justification and evidential support. The idea of a good warrant can't just appeal to the depth of a warrant; it also includes the plausibility of the assumptions (just as it does "IRL"). Adding details to a picture doesn't make it more plausible, and may actually make it less plausible (see conjunction fallacy). Debate isn't about the completeness of a picture, the amount of words said, or the length of time spent on an argument. Those are all things a moron could do. Debate is about giving reasons, which must end somewhere.

      • JacobN1

        Do you think that the infinite regress causes paralysis in every day non-debate decisions in the same was that it paralyzes tab judging? If you think that the tab judge can't arrive at justified conclusions without referencing unquestioned outside of round beliefs, then it seems you should think that the real world decision maker should face the same problem as one can't appeal to a set of unquestioned "outside of reality" beliefs for guidance either. I gather that you believe that you have justified real world beliefs despite the regress problem, so why can't you apply the same method that lead to those beliefs within a tab paradigm? I don't see the distinction.I think your response to the first example just points out a generic problem of any system of evaluation, that debaters can essentially tie. Perhaps under your paradigm, both debaters reference take two opposite sides of a position to which you give .5 credence. In practice, I think debate rounds are usually too complex for such absolute ties to happen.For the second example, I think your answer relies on the assumption that each justified belief requires a "deeper" justified belief for evidence, but that is a position that is at least debatable. I think the overall coherence of a set of beliefs can count in favor of the set of beliefs as a whole. For example, finding the Higgs Boson provided good evidence in favor the Standard Model of physics because it added one more belief that was consistent with the beliefs in favor of the standard model. The model is now more complete, so it can explain more of the world as a whole and has fewer holes for internal inconsistency.You might disagree with my epistemology. I provided a different example that may suit your view better. Assume that premises which debaters agree to are foundational beliefs and work from there. My point is that, if you can justify beliefs in the real world, then the same process should lead you to justified beliefs under a tab paradigm. If you think the regress is inescapable, then you probably can't justify a choice of paradigm in the first place.

        • jnebel

          Yes, we have justified beliefs despite the regress problem. But all we have, in order to figure out which beliefs we are justified in accepting without argument, are our own beliefs. So the judge has to use her own beliefs, and that's considered intervention.The tie is more common if the judge's credences are divided equally among all possibilities, which is what the tab judge is supposed to do (more on this in next post). The physics example is additional evidence (i.e., another warrant), not coherence per se. We made observations that confirmed a hypothesis. Yes, I certainly agree that if the debaters agree to all the assumptions, then the tab judge faces no problems. My point is specific to disagreement.

  • JulianSwitala

    Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.Both sides must, by logical necessity, appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.

    • jnebel

      Do you disagree?

      • JulianSwitala

        EDIT: italics, bolds, and underlines did not appear, unlike in a post from pdve. Do I need special permission from Victor Jih to use stylistix crap?I don't know if you explained why it's ***LOGICALLY NECESSAY*** that both sides ***MUST*** appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given. Do the rules/laws/whatevers of ***LOGIC*** (and are we talking about formal logic here? computational logic? modal logic? mathematical logic? predicate logic? logic logic?!?!?!?!?!) mandate that two high school debaters in a debate round must appeal to assumptions? Do the rules/laws/whatevers of ***LOGIC*** include within them their own undoing? Are you, somehow, trying to invoke Gdel's incompleteness theorems and translate them into the context of words/linguistics/arguments/whatevers? Do I have any idea about what I'm talking? Will I receive a, "Dude, what are you talking about?" like Rebar did? BTWz, I truly do appreciate that someone is taking the time to write these articles for people to read because so many people are ignorant and know not what they do and/or are unable to justify their actions and/or whatever! Really though! I read them and enjoy them :)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6del%27s_incompleteness_theorems

      • JulianSwitala

        Are you saying that logic itself is based on an assumption(s)? If so, then by logical necessary (so by an assumption?..,,. are assumptions now equivalent to logical necessities?….,,,,..) are you saying that debaterz must be makin' assumptionz? I THINK I UNDERSTAND NOW?

        • jnebel

          Sorry — I'll drop the "by logical necessity" point, since I have no argument for why it's logically impossible for a belief to be justified by an infinite chain of reasons (that's all I meant). Still, both sides must appeal to assumptions for which no argument is given.

        • JulianSwitala

          Ah, okay, cool. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something and/or reading too far into something and/or whatever. Thanks for the clarification!

  • JulianSwitala

    intellectually property is disgusting. here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUmXXFbhokc AT Alasdair MacIntyre(1) MacIntyres argument isnt unique to normative claims. If all chains of reasoning are finite and terminate in unprovable assertions, then no more possible to prove positive claims objectively than normative ones. The impacts are that: (a) If you buy MacIntyre, you can never negate since you can never have solid grounds for believing that propositions like The neg won the round or I should negate are true; (b) You cant buy MacIntyre, since his own argument terminates in assertions, for instance the assertion that all chains of reasoning must be finite, so by his own logic you have no grounds for buying his conclusion.(2) We accept arguments ending in assertions all the time if those assertions are self-evident. For instance, I dont think the sky is blue because its logically entailed by a set of premises I acceptI believe it because when I look outside, the sky is self-evidently blue. Thus, basing arguments on terminal assertions doesnt make those arguments invalid.(3) The impact of MacIntyre is just that logically complete proofs of normative claims are impossible. But my burden in the round isnt to prove eminent domain unjust from a set of ontological axioms, since it would be impossible to do that in six minutes. The only way be can debate real-world topics within a reasonable timeframe is by appealing to commonly held intuitions about justice, for instance that arbitrarily favoring some groups over others or violating basic rights is bad. If the neg wants to challenge those assumptions, s/he can, but requiring me to prove them ontologically true in a six-minute speech is absurd. Thus, theres nothing wrong with me introducing asserted premises about justice into the round.(4) MacIntyre ignores the fact that there are multiple kinds of truth. In particular, ontological truth of the sort ascribed to things like logic and math is distinct from the subjective truth of things like esthetic judgments. We accept subjective truths all the timefor instance, if I way The Mona Lisa is a pretty painting, we wouldnt say that my claim is false because someone else might think its not pretty. Similarly, even if ethical claims just express subjective preference they can still be subjectively true for a given person if it follows from basic assumptions about justice that they personally accept. Thus, if I prove that eminent domain violates something that you see as a rule of justice, the resolution is true for you and you should affirm. This standard doesnt greatly undermine the predictability of decisions since just about everyone agrees on some basic claims about justice, like the claims that slavery and genocide are bad.(5) The aff isnt necessarily bound to prove anything about justice. If I show that the takings process is structurally incapable of giving each their due regardless of what that is, thats a purely factual claim and thus doesnt bite into MacIntyres argument. [Show where you do this on the flow] Thus, even if its impossible for me to prove anything about the nature of justice I can still affirm.

    • JulianSwitala

      written by christian tarsney. i think he would also love to see the macintyre argument die, especially when the debaters who run macintyre are unable to defend it against these arguments.

    • JulianSwitala

      BLOCK DISCLOSURES R RUINING DEBATE! I DONT WANT PEOPLE 2 BE PREPPED AGAINST MY MACINTYRE CARD ITZ MY FAVORITEEEEEEEE

      • JulianSwitala

        I SHOULD BE ABLE TO COME UP WITH ARGUMENTZ BY MYSELF!

        • JulianSwitala

          IF A COACH WRITEZ ME AN ARGUMENT THEN I AM MISSING OUT ON EDUCATION

        • JulianSwitala

          IF A QUALIFIED AUTHOR MAKES AN ARGUMENT FOR ME THEN I AM DUMB. REALLY I SHOULD JUST BE MAKING ALL MY ARGUMENTZ MYSELF

        • JulianSwitala

          STRAWMEN R SEXIST