AT: Conditionality makes your CP unethical

I mentioned this to a few people at st marks and was asked to post the card in question (more solt gold in the article)

Roger Solt, Debate Coach, University of Kentucky, 2003 (“The Disposition of Counterplans and Permutations: The Case for Logical, Limited Conditionality” – DRG)

The notion that conditional argument is somehow unethical strikes me as even less compelling. Considering several different alternatives does not, on its face, seem morally problematic. Nor does it seem immoral, generally speaking, to modify one’s position to some extent over the course of a discussion or a debate. One might even defend such a course as ethically superior to the approach of adopting a dogmatic stance permitting neither compromise nor modification based on new insights.

One thought on “AT: Conditionality makes your CP unethical

  1. Brad Hall

    There's also this great section:

    My broader point is not that advocacy skills don't matter, nor do I think debate can or should be totally divorced from advocacy. Instead, I am trying to make the more limited point that teaching advocacy (at least advocacy narrowly conceived) is not the only purpose of academic debate. Another important purpose is to teach skills associated with sound policy analysis, skills useful to the citizen and the social critic. And among these skills is the ability to think tentatively and hypothetically, to consider problems from a variety of perspectives, even to entertain mutually exclusive alternatives. Consistency may be a virtue for advocates, but from the standpoint of the thinker and the reflective citizen "a foolish consistency" may be "the hobgoblin of small minds" (Emerson).

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