[eDebate] Thoughts on tonight's Democratic joint appearance

David Rhaesa baitandorswitch
Thu Jan 22 17:04:33 CST 2004


While tonight's debate in some levels may be a debate for who holds the Democratic belt in New Hampshire, it is also a collaborative effort of forceful personalities with the communal relationships of members of the same political Party.  The aims of Group Discussion as it relates to debate may be as important a point of departure in the New Hampshire Democratic debates of 2004.  What are the aims of such discussion?  A. Craig Baird of the University of Iowa wrote in Public Discussion and Debate Revised Edition 1937 that "the assumption of group and committee discussion is that social problems can be solved by cooperative thinking.  A scientific problem in engineering or medicine can often be solved single-handed, but a social issue can be settled only by a meeting of a number of minds and by the agreement of those who are concerned.  Force, law, debate, compromise, all fail frequently to settle a major issue; they merely suppress for the moment the intensity of the conflict.  Note the clear differences between conventional debate and committee discussion.  Whereas debate consists of competitive argument for the purpose of establishing a given proposition, committee discussion substitutes cooperative thinking for the purpose of uniting and crystallizing opinion.  Discussion at its best means continual weighing of the proposition, modification of it, even substitution of a different proposal, until the ideas ot the assembly coalesce.  The outcome is collective opinion.  The vote at the end represents a social judgement." (p.357)Get more from the Web.  FREE MSN Explorer download : http://explorer.msn.com
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