[eDebate] A debate is about one question:

tneal at unt.edu tneal
Wed Jan 28 13:11:38 CST 2004

I think Paul is absolutely correct about this.  JP (inadvertanatly) expands 
what he wants in rounds.  By providing an alternative path to policy 
beneficialness, JP admits those arguments that people seem to base their 
politics around: the language criticism.  I think the distance between 
topicality (and other traditional procedurals)  and language criticisms is 
slight at best.  Both roads moot (mute) consideration of the plan and its 
effects upon the world.  Instead the debate has been turned to an analysis of 
the round upon the, at minimum, five people present in the room.  The question 
is one of fairness: whose interpretaion of the topic is most fair to the people 
participating in the activity.  Whose rhetorical deployments are most fair to 
the people present?  Since the debate always involve a deliberation of those 
outside the immediate debate, the fairness considerations are also accounting 
for those absent from, not present in, the round.  This is why Louisville's 
(sp?)project also seems to be allowed under JP's framework.  People can agree 
that the debate ought to be about preference about the plan, but once they 
provide an exception for topicality considerations I do not see how they can 
maintain a lock against other arguments.  This distinction, between topicality 
and the language criticism, is where I think the discussion needs to turn.  
Only by locking out topicality can we lock out the language criticism.

Travis Neal
U. North Texas

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