Philosophy of debating & argumentation


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introduction to debate and the principles in argumentation. prepared by Debate Ghana Association

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  • The adequacy of this type of warrant is based on at least two assumptions:That a sufficient number of examples are presented as evidence.That the examples are representatives of the entire group.For instance, a debater can use argument by example when she wants to describe an entire group/ class by presenting evidence from specific cases selected from the group.
  • Argument by dissocaition: the process of dissociation starts with a concept that the audience values, then divides that concept into two new concepts, one one of which is valued and one of which is not. Then the arguer shows how by valuing one of the new concepts and opposing the other, we are able to avoid incompatibility.
  • Philosophy of debating & argumentation

    2. 2. CONTENT PART 1 Philosophy and basics in debating British parliamentary debate Important features of debate Stasis and Structure Exercise/ Student Breakout Teams & Presentations: 1. Audience Analysis Argument, Evidence and Explanations
    3. 3. CONTENT cont. 2. Mini Debate CONCLUSION. Part 2 Arguments and Argumentation Quality of Arguments Criteria for logical Assessment Basic fallacies Exercise/ Student Breakout Teams & Presentations
    4. 4.  Resolutional Analysis worksheet Post Debate Assessment Mini Debate Conclusion, Important concepts
    5. 5. PHILOSOPHY AND BASICS IN DEBATINGDebating as the foundation of Human knowledge.Constructing the meaning of our world throughcommunication with uncertainty.Relationship between communication anduncertainty; Uncertainty is pervasive Uncertainty is reduce through communication The desire for uncertainty is compelling.
    6. 6. Debate a contest of interpretations , thereforeargument.Evaluation of argument a subjective activity.No “right” way to debating.
    7. 7. BRITISH PARLIAMENTARY DEBATEThe British Parliamentary academic debatingformat is the official format of the WorldUniversities Debating Championships (WUDC).As the name suggests, the format has its roots inthe British House of Commons, which served as amodel for academic debating in Britishuniversities. Since its adoption by the WUDC, theformat has spread around the world and is nowthe most widely practiced format of intercollegiatedebating.
    8. 8. BP FORMATBP involves four independent teams per round:two who argue in favor of the motion (known asthe Proposition teams) and two who argueagainst the motion (known as the Oppositionteams).Two teams, known as the Opening Propositionand Closing Proposition, are responsible forarguing on behalf of the topic, known as amotion in BP debating.
    9. 9. Two more teams—the Opening Opposition andClosing Opposition—are responsible for arguingagainst the motion.Each of these teams is comprised of twodebaters, each of whom has a unique name inthe debate.Opening Proposition (for) Opening Opposition (against) Prime Minister Opposition Leader Deputy Prime Minister Deputy Opposition LeaderClosing Proposition (for) Closing Opposition (against) Member of Proposition Member of Opposition Proposition Whip Opposition Whip
    10. 10. Debating Order, Speaker, and TimingORDER TEAM SPEAKER TIME1 Opening Proposition Prime Minister (PM) 7 minutes2 Opening Opposition Leader Opposition (LO) 7 minutes3 Opening Proposition Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) 7 minutes4 Opening Opposition Deputy Deputy Leader Opposition (DLO) 7 minutes5 Closing Proposition Member Proposition (MP) 5minutes6 Closing Opposition Member Opposition (MO) 5 minutes7 Closing Proposition Proposition Whip (PW) 5 minutes8 Closing Opposition Opposition Whip (OP) 5 minutes
    11. 11. Point of Information(POIs)It is an interruption from opposite side during speech delivery.A debater may request the opportunity to present a Point ofInformation (either verbally or by rising) from a speaker on theopposite side of the motion at any time after the first minuteand before the last minute of any speech. POI last for 15seconds.
    12. 12. SPEECHESPrime Ministers Speech It is the first speech in the round and bears a special burden: It must lay out a case that not only offers an argument (or arguments) for the motion but also outlines the round in a way that makes the participation of the other teams feasible. Framing Framing refers to the couching of a debate for understanding. The PM’s most important obligation is to prospectively frame the debate so the other debaters and the adjudicators understand its context and focus. Generally, PM’s decision should be guided by consideration of how the adjudicators will evaluate the effort to define the proposition and “better debate” standard.
    13. 13. Constructive ArgumentationPM’s time is dedicated to the development of the constructive arguments thatoffer reasons for the proposition he has developed in his framing. Typically, thePM will offer three to four arguments for the proposition. These points may beindependent or logically progressive, but they will certainly comprise acomplete, varied, and thorough set of proof for the proposition. Deconstructive ArgumentationThe majority of PM speeches doesn’t focus on deconstructive argumentationfor one simple reason: as the first speech in the round, there is not yet anopposing effort to deconstruct.
    14. 14. Leader of Oppositions SpeechThe leader of opposition has similar functions as the Prime Minister. As the first speakerfor the Opposition, the LO is responsible for framing the focus of the Opposition teamsas well as introducing the constructive and deconstructive positions of the OpeningOpposition team. FramingThe LO faces a decision about how to frame her opponent’s arguments. Principally, LOsdecide whether they accept or challenge the PM’s interpretation of the motion.Like the PM, the LO is subject to the “better debate” standard. Once the LO is certainthat objecting to the PM’s definition is the best strategy, LOs faces another decision.That is must decide whether to rehabilitate the PM’s interpretation or to abandon it. Ifshe chooses to rehabilitate the interpretation, she would use what is known colloquiallyas the “surely” strategy.
    15. 15. Deconstructive Argumentation Deconstructive argumentation is a critical focus for the LO (and, indeed, for allsubsequent speakers) as the engagement of opposing arguments is the definingcharacteristic of debating. It is one of the chief criteria adjudicators use indetermining the ranking of teams. Style for Deconstruction Index arguments made by the PM. Respond to each of them in turn.Deconstruction should take 2 to 3 minutes of the LO’s speech.Constructive Argumentation LO is expected to develop positive matter in support of her position. This isstrategically advantageous to the Opening Opposition team. A more judiciousstrategy is employ to offer both “arguments against” in the form of deconstructiveargumentation and “arguments for” in the form of constructive arguments.Adjudicators are more likely to vote for a team who demonstrates proficiency in allskills rather than concentrating on one and evaluate each speaker by his/her efforts tointroduce “positive matter” into the debate.
    16. 16. Deputy Speakers SpeechesThe primary focus of the two deputy speakers is to support the effort of their partnerwhile contributing to the advancement of the arguments in the round. FramingIf PM offers a reasonable interpretation of the motion and LO accepts thatinterpretation, the framing responsibilities of the Deputy speakers will be differentthan those of their opening partners. Their concern should not be determining theproposition for the round but directing which issues are paramount in the appraisal ofthat proposition and directing adjudicators’ attention toward particular issues whilediminishing others.Two general approaches can be used for framing: Explicitly compare and contrast the issues in play and emphasize on their preferred issue. Group arguments in the round into issues that will address the proposition in their favor.The explicit effort is preferable if the opening speakers have already defined very clearissues.
    17. 17. Deconstructive ArgumentationThere are two styles for deconstruction for deputy speakers. They are: Deputy speaker can group the various arguments in the round into broader issues for adjudicators’ consideration and then deconstruction of opponents’ arguments in each of the issues will occur while new frame for the round unfolds. Deputy speaker can choose to deal with the material presented by the preceding speaker independent of any effort to reframe those arguments into issues and that would have to deal with deconstruction in much the same way the earlier speakers did. It would start from deconstructive argumentation and move to constructive argumentation and would have to utilize the standard structure for refutation. Constructive ArgumentationDeputy speakers have unique challenge in construction: They are charge with sustaining their team’s position in the round. They are charge to fulfilling the mandate of the rules in other to offer unique positive matter. They are charge to reconstruct arguments offered by their partners that might have been compromised by their opponents’ deconstructive efforts.
    18. 18. IMPORTANT FEATURES OF DEBATEAudienceAudience refers to the people to whom the debaters seek to have their side or appeal to.Without an audience, debaters would have little reason to construct an argument,much less to participate in a debate.EvidenceEvidence is the starting point of argument. It should starts with knowledge alreadyavailable to the audience, then supplements that public knowledge with informationgleaned from more technical or scientific sources.
    19. 19. ReasonIt is the process through which evidence is connected to claims. It starts with selectedevidence and then moves through the process of reasoning to connect it to the claimthey support in an attempt to convince the audience to believe in the claim to the samedegree they believe in the evidence.LanguageIt is the medium through which most arguments are communicated to audience.Language used in debate must be generally understood by all or greater part of theaudience and should be natural giving the role of insider rather than an outsider.
    20. 20. STASIS AND STRUCTUREArgument as MovementWhen we are arguing, we: move audience, advance positions, sway opponents, redirectquestioning, follow lines of argument, take logical leaps, retreat from claims, push issues,drive points home, come to conclusions, and so on. There are two important things thatmatter in here: Thinking of argumentation as dynamic, fluid, and transient. Imagining argumentation having a spatial dimension.StasisStasis refers to an imagined place where competing arguments meet. It is the place wherethe arguments we make meet the arguments our opponents make. Two point of stasis arerelevant in debate and they are: Points of stasis that function as propositions Points of stasis that are issues.
    21. 21. As PropositionIn a debate round, a proposition is the most general point of stasis over which theopposing sides will disagree. A proposition serves two functions: The proposition serves as a boundary around the subjects being debated. The proposition divides ground between those arguing for the proposition and those arguing against it.As IssueIssues are similar to propositions but differ in scale and focus and are more narrowpoints of stasis. Types of Issues and Their Subject Cultural: Arguments about the collective identity shared by people in a particular group. Economic: Arguments concerning financial matters. Educational: Arguments relevant to the effort to instruct citizens.
    22. 22. Environmental: Arguments about the natural world.Legal: Arguments related to what is required or prohibited by a society’s rules.Moral: Arguments concerning ethical consequences of a proposition.Political: Arguments relevant to the acquisition and exercise of power.Rights: Arguments about freedoms or privileges.Security: Arguments that address the subject of a nation’s safety.Social: Arguments regarding relationships between people.Symbolic: Arguments concerning the interpreted meaning of phenomena.Welfare: Arguments about public health and well-being.
    23. 23. Tag LinesThey are a one-sentence distillation of a complex argument intended to stick in theaudience’s mind (or in the audience’s notes). Good tag lines have several commoncharacteristics:1. Tag lines should be simple.2. Tag lines should express a single idea.3. Tag lines should be declarative.4. Tag lines should be phrased assertively.
    24. 24. GROUP WORK
    25. 25. RESOLUTIONAL ANALYSISWORKSHEET Goal To encourage students to begin the process of thinking about where a resolution comes from, why it is important and how it is likely to be debated. Method Using a resolution that students are likely to debate in the future, ask students to complete the following statements on paper The resolution is important because… The background of this resolution is important because… The resolution contains several key terms that are … These terms are defined as… This resolution contains several key issues, including…. After completing the statements, students can work in small groups to develop more comprehensive answers. Finally all of the answers can be shared and discussed by the class. DEBATE GHANA ON GJFL 2010/2011 26
    26. 26. PART 2/ DAY 2
    27. 27. ARGUMENTS AND ARGUMENTATIONDefinitionAn argument is a collection of statements organized in away that highlights connections between ideas.Elements of ArgumentationArguments are composed of three elements:ClaimSupportInference.
    28. 28. Elements of argument The elements are central to debate and are related to one another. These include: evidence, reasoning, claim and reservation. The philosopher Stephen Toulmin introduced this in 1958 and was revised 30 years later. Toulmin’s model identifies four basic elements of argument: claim, evidence, warrant and reservation. cont’d Debate Ghana Association on JFL 2010/2011 29
    29. 29. The travel analogy Evidence : [facts]. It is also argument’s starting point. Claim: is the arguer’s destination. i.e. controversial statement a debater intends to support using reasoned argument. Warrant: is the means of travel. i.e. reasoning process. Reservation: involves questions or concerns the arguer may have about the arrival at destination. Debate Ghana Association on JFL 2010/2011 30
    30. 30. Structure of an argumentToulmin’s Model  Simple Argument: consist of a single claim leading from a single piece of evidence following along a single warrant and Warran t Evidenc Claim e Reservatio n accompanied by perhaps (but not always) a single reservation. Debate Ghana Association on JFL 2010/2011 31
    31. 31. Illustration with argument. E.g. Harry is a British citizen because he was born in Bermuda. This is how Toulmin structured the argument on the model. Warrant Persons born in Bermuda generally are Claim Evidence British citizens Harry is Harry was British born in citizen Bermuda Reservation Unless Harry’s parents were U.S Debate Ghana Association on JFL 2010/2011 citizens 32
    32. 32. CLAIMS & PROPOSITIONS Claims and propositions (resolution / topic) are controversial statements that debaters support using reasoned arguments. The primary difference between claim and propositions is that claims are narrower statements used to support broader propositions. Debate Ghana Association on JFL 2010/2011 33
    33. 33. QUALITY OF ARGUMENTSCriteria for Logical Assessment1. Standard of Acceptability The standard of acceptability speaks to the quality of evidence on whichan argument is based.2. Standard of Relevance The second standard for testing the quality of an argument isrelevance. This standard examines the quality of the connection between thesupport and the claim by asking whether the evidence offered is relevant to theclaim made.3. Standard of Sufficiency The standard of sufficiency asks whether the arguments madeproduces a level of certainty adequate for the audience to accept the claim.
    34. 34. EVIDENCE Evidence is the starting point of an argument The two broadest categories of evidence are evidence based on Reality and evidence based on Preference. Evidence based on reality includes facts, theories, and presumptions. Facts are observed or potentially observable data. Theories are statements that explain other facts or predict the occurrence of events. Debate Ghana Association on JFL 2010/2011 35
    35. 35. WARRANTSA warrant is the means whereby debaters move from starting point to destination. It is the reasoning process that allows debaters to connect evidence to claims.Categories of warrantsArgument by example: this creates an association between particular examples and more general rules. Argument by example is based on the probability that examples in a class share important characteristics.For instance, a debater might want to describe certain features of the judges of the International Criminal Court by using characteristics of individual members as evidence. Similarly, a debater might use the actions by members of the Mantse Communist Party to argue that Communist Party members in general act in certain ways. Thus, an argument by example begins with evidence about specific cases and moves to a claim regarding the group as a whole. Debate Ghana Association on JFL 2010/2011 36
    36. 36.  Argument by Authority: this supports a claim by associating that claim with the opinions of experts in the fields. An argument of principle connects a particular situation to a general principle/ rule, arguing that actions in each situation should conform to principles. Argument by incompatibility: this evaluates something by showing how it is incompatible with another thing the audience accepts. Argument by Dissociation: this creates new categories by dividing old categories into new ones. Debate Ghana Association on JFL 2010/2011 37
    37. 37. FALLACIES A fallacy is considered an error in reasoning that negatively affects the judgement of an arguments quality. But the presence of a fallacy doesn’t mean that an argument is disqualified. Three Basic types of Fallacies Problematic premise, Irrelevant reason, and the Hasty conclusion. Fallacy of Problematic Premise– relates to an argument that that fails to meet the acceptability criterion. This category of fallacies include: Debate Ghana Association on JFL 2010/2011 38
    38. 38. BASIC FALLACIES IN ARGUMENTATIONAppeal to the Man (Argumentum Ad Hominem) - Attacking the individual instead ofthe argument.Appeal to Force (Argumentum Ad Baculum) - Telling the hearer that something badwill happen to him if he does not accept the argument.Appeal to Pity (Argumentum Ad Misericordiam) - Urging the hearer to accept theargument based upon an appeal to emotions, sympathy.Appeal to the Popular - Urging the hearer to accept a position because a majority ofpeople hold to it.Appeal to Tradition - Trying to get someone to accept something because it has beendone or believed for a long time.Begging the Question (Petitio Principii) - Assuming the thing to be true that you aretrying to prove. It is circular.
    39. 39. Cause and Effect - Assuming that the effect is related to a cause because the eventsoccur together.Reductio Ad Absurdum- showing that your opponents argument leads to some absurdconclusion.Fallacy of Division - Assuming that what is true of the whole is true for the parts.Fallacy of Equivocation - Using the same term in an argument in different places butthe word has different meanings.False Dilemma - Giving two choices when in actuality there could be more choicespossible.Genetic Fallacy - Attempting to endorse or disqualify a claim because of the origin orirrelevant history of the claim.Guilt by Association - Rejecting an argument or claim because the person proposing itlikes someone whom is disliked by another.
    40. 40. Non Sequitur - Comments or information that do not logically follow from a premiseor the conclusion.Poisoning the Well - Presenting negative information about a person before he/shespeaks so as to discredit the persons argument.Red Herring - Introducing a topic not related to the subject at hand.Special Pleading (double standard) - Applying a standard to another that is differentfrom a standard applied to oneself.Straw Man Argument - Producing an argument about a weaker representation of thetruth and attacking it.Category Mistake - Attributing a property to something that could not possibly havethat property. Attributing facts of one kind are attributed to another kind. Attributingto one category that which can only be properly attributed to another.Euphemism- the use of words that sounds better.
    41. 41. Constructive Arguments for Claims of ValueClaims or Propositions are controversial statements that debaters intend to support oroppose using reasoned arguments. There are two value claims. They are:1. Simple value claims.2. Comparative value claims.Simple Value Claims It is the most basic and elementary kind of evaluative claim. In simple valueclaims values are attached to objects. Object’s in this sense is not limited to physicalobjects. The objects can be person, place, thing, institution, action, and concept. Claims can be combined in support of a simple value Proposition. In doingso:1. Describe one or more features of the object of evaluation.2. Relate the feature to an effect.3. Evaluate the effect.
    42. 42. Outline for Simple Value PropositionI. Introduction A. Statement of the Proposition B. Definition of TermsII. Arguments A. First Claim 1. Description 2. Relational 3. Evaluation B. Second Claim 1. Description 2. Relational 3. EvaluationIII. conclusion
    43. 43. Comparative Value Claims Comparative value claims other than Simple Value Claims compares two ormore objects according to their importance. In comparing it is assume that there isconflict between the object under consideration. Claims are combined in support of comparative value proposition. In doingso: 1. Describe one or more features of each object to be evaluated. 2. Relate these features to an effect. 3. Evaluate the effect.It has the same outline as the simple value claim but the claims are comparing claims(arguments)
    44. 44. REFUTATIONRefutation is the process of ‘tearing down’ or attacking and answering, anopponent’s arguments. It is tool which give debaters the opportunity of notpresenting strong case but also criticizing their opponent’s case while defendingtheir own. Stages for A Successful Refutation1. Reference- State and identify the argument so everyone is clear about what is about to be refuted.2. Response- Answer opponent’s argument, particularly by revealing any fallacies, inconsistencies, or problems in the reasoning and evidence.3. Support- If necessary, read, cite, or refer to evidence to justify, support, or prove the argument on this point.4. Explanation- Summarise the overall position of reasoning and evidence and show how this reasoning and evidence overthrow the opposing team’s arguments.5. Impacts- Show implication by contrasting the argument at hand against the opponents and then explain why one is stronger that the other.
    45. 45. REBUTTALSIt is the reservation not for new arguments or positions but rather for the summarizing,highlighting, and advocating of the crucial arguments that a side has presented during thedebate. It is in this reservation period that refutation becomes more significant. It is theduty of rebuttal debaters to identify or recognize vital issues that have been raised in thedebate. Duties of Rebuttal Debaters1. Summarise- a rebuttal speech briefly summarises the key issues that have been presented. In summarizing rebuttal debaters comments on debate that has already taken place, should review what has happened and draw judges attention to how the arguments end.2. Identify vital issues- the rebuttal should address the overall points that matter in a debate rather than engaging in a discussion of minutiae. Steps to Successful Identification of Vital Issues I. Identify arguments that could cause your team to lose the debate. II. Identify arguments that could win the debate for your team. III. Observe relationship between vital arguments IV. Determine the overall impact of an argument.
    46. 46. 3. Make critical choices- ideally, a rebuttal speaker wants to minimize critical positions advanced by the opponent while spending considerable time explaining the position he is advocating. Factors to Consider in Making Choice I. Time constraints II. Issue constraints III. Judge preferences IV. Argument placement4. Weigh Implication – a good rebuttal speaker will demonstrate that even if the opponent wins some arguments, those arguments are not enough to ‘outweigh’ the speaker’s arguments. Thus a debater can concede some arguments while still wining the debate, but the rebuttal speaker must decide which arguments are more important than others. Components for Weigh Implication. I. Respond, don’t just repeat II. Compare and examine III. Think strategically IV. Plan in advance V. Use opponent’s choices
    47. 47. PUBLIC SPEAKINGSpeech Presentation (Marking: 40%) - First Day1. Participants to deliver 7 minutes prepared speech.2. English shall be the main language of delivery.The prepared speech should be themed around "Socially Responsible CorporateGovernance". Any matter is allowed except race, religion, politics and sex.3. Contestants must prepare their own speech, which must be substantially original.4. Participants should prepare for submission the script of the speech (3 copies).5. Script of the speech will be handed upon Briefing for Participants (see. 7 June,2012). The script is typed in A4 paper, using Arial font, 12pt, with double spacing.Cover should state the title, name of author, and institution.6. Participants will then deliver the speech in front of an audience.7. The speech will be marked based on the content of the speech (45%),and the delivery (55%).