[eDebate] answers for dave -- mine anyway

helwich at macalester.edu helwich
Thu Jun 14 11:32:22 CDT 2007

Sorry for mischaracterizing your position--dualities are so much easier on a tired brain.

A couple of reactions:

1) I am not really asking for "scientific" proof--hypothesis testing is part of many reasoning systems that make nary an appearance in any "hard science" methods textbook. I am asking how you know what you claim to know, so that I and others can evaluate those knowledge claims in an effort to see if they are persuasive. That's all--no regressions necessary.

2) I am troubled by what I see as your stance that it is impossible and/or undesirable to evaluate the descriptive or normative 'truth' of your claims about debate pedagogy. "I think," "I feel," and "I believe" claims are only persuasive to the extent of your credibility/ethos with your audience--they are not (and should not) be subject to either validation or contestation because they are 'true' for you. I do not think that this discussion can produce either some consensus or 'better' debate pedagogy unless the _hard_ work of evaluating causal and normative claims is done.

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