Throwdown- Intrinsicness in specific instances

Throwdown with Scott Phillips

It’s been a while since I did a throwdown, and this is an issue that I have been thinking about for some time. I am going to defend intrinsicness in one specific instance, not in the abstract say it vs any da.

The instance I am thinking of is this: The neg reads a CP that is arguably plan inclusive, perhaps the easiest example to conceptualize is an agent counterplan. In addition to having another agent do the plan, they also have a line in the CP that seeks to spike out of the better literature based answers to that CP.


1AC- End drone strikes

1NC: Court end drone strikes, court also rule this won’t effect deference

2AC: Deference DA

2NC: We fiated out of the deference DA

It seems here that if the negative is also going for a politics DA, reciprocity demands that the affirmative be able to non intrinsic that da. I will leave flushing out warrants etc till the response post, so lets assume the example above occurred and the 2AC says the following:

“you can do the plan and pass start, intrinsicness is legitimate in instances where the negative uses fiat to moot our literature based offense vs their counterplan. Reciprocity and ground demand that we be given a theoretical argument to level the playing field- this is analogous to their cp spike”

So post in the comments negative responses you can think of to this line of argument, or any thoughts/ideas you have on it

10 thoughts on “Throwdown- Intrinsicness in specific instances

  1. Thomas Hodgman

    It's not reciprocal – the 1NC CP had a plank which pre-empted specific aff arguments, the analogous comparison is not new 2AC intrinsicness arguments but a 1AC plank which protected against some common DAs to the plan (ex, the first line of Damien FG's plan: "Independent from any decision regarding the location of the First Marine Air Wing Headquarters or the Jungle Warfare Training Center at Camp Gonsalve")

    That's a distinction with a difference – the aff is bound by the resolution, un-topical intrinsicness arguments de-justify the resolution and are a reason to vote negative, topicality is key to competitive equity.

    Don't punish strategic 1NC CP-writing – the justified 2AC response would be reading a DA that actually responded to the CP, like deference with the impact backwards, or link evidence and theory arguments that prove you can't fiat "deference isn't effected" – their model of debate promotes poor strategic thinking and rewards inflexibility

    Politics DAs are good – key to civic education, our link evidence proves they're key to accurate representation of the current political atmosphere and a relevant consideration to the plan's consequences

    2AC gave no reason the 1NC CP plank isn't justified, only reasons why the 2AC argument is – we've done both – any risk the 2ac intrinsicness argument isn't reciprocal means err negative

    1. Thomas Hodgman

      One more thing:

      There's no brightline: You have no right to specific 2AC DA ground – all CPs are designed to preclude affirmative offense. Intrisnicness is not a justified response to the 1NC CP – you have to win it's justified in the generic.

  2. Hunter Brooks

    The counterplan spike is egregiously offensive in this case because it

    1. doesn't make legal sense – the court can and does attempt to tailor legal rulings narrowly, but it can't say "whoa guys: even though we are saying some things, those things aren't true and you can't quote us on them later."

    2. fiats out of the actual agent debate – the educational point of agent counterplans is to learn about which actors are most appropriate for which decisions. the neg spikes out of the actual debate on this.

    My gut is that, in an ideal world, the aff should go for "agent counterplans bad," using arguments 1 and 2 to answer the neg's best objection (the educational benefit). But in this world, that's a terrible strategic decision for the aff. I think the problem is that we're unwilling to vote on theoretical objections to this counterplan. "Agents counterplans bad" and "PICs bad" are losing arguments in debates between equally skilled teams (we can argue over whether this should be so or not, but it's certainly so).

    That being said, the reciprocal response that the aff gets to spike out of the disad doesn't seem correct, for the reasons said in earlier posts: the neg argument that justifies these actions would be a 2NC counterplan amendment. Perfect reciprocity here is impossible, but if the aff gets to spike out of any negative DA due to counterplan spikes, the aff can just argue that any part of the counterplan was secretly designed to spike out of a 2AC disad. For instance, the aff can say the part of the counterplan that uses a different agent from the plan was designed to spike out of a devastating reverse politics disad the aff was going out to bust in the 2ac, and therefore the aff shouldn't have to answer the…. security k.

    In this case, the DA is politics, and I think intrinsicness might be justified anyway, but not by the counterplan spike, which should be punished internally to the counterplan debate.

    1. Scottyp4313nr


      I agree perfect reciprocity is always impossible, but actual reciprocity is asymptotic. I don't think this argument magnifies "pics bad" because it damages ground regardless of whether or not the cp is plan inclusive, this is probably just its most egregious form. While I agree the line is not clear, surely we can differentiate between this example and the security k?

  3. Ben Dean

    It's aff conditionality–we don't know if the 2AR will go for the plan with the intrinsicness argument or the plan alone. It's impossible to give an effective 2NR against two worlds simultaneously. 2AR extrapolation and consolidation gives them an advantage.

    1. Kevin

      This logic concludes that permutations should not exist because it's too hard for the negative to answer and the affirmative can spin it however because of time allocations.

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