[eDebate] keenan, "k" and "policy"

Eric Morris ermocito
Sun Apr 12 12:54:25 CDT 2009

My point about the "body of work" is a *presumption *of relevance, instead
of a presumption of irrelevance. Presumptions can always be overcome with
specific arguments. I believe this answers your entire post.

In the system of judging analysis that I'm suggesting, it's certainly fine
to say that your criticism might have been true of early Foucault, but is no
longer true because X, Y, Z changes make it irrelevant or solve the
objection. That's a good answer, and I would defer to the negative making
such an answer.

That's surely different from the negative saying only "assumes early
Foucault" and the judge providing the X/Y/Z or at least the conclusion that
it's "apples and oranges".

If the on point answers reflect a mis-reading, then refute why it's a
misreading instead of having the judge do it for you. I think the "counter
interpretation" thing I suggested for the aff could work for the neg in this
instance. A specific response like "author Y misreads my work" is often
compelling to the same judges than to say original author X misreads

I agree that good answers might not play out well. I think that's
particularly true when the other team has good on-point responses. But, when
judges say "your cards aren't specific enough", they need to make sure the
standard for specificity they are using is consistent with their standards
for specificity on the link cards as well.

Arguments about an author's personal life are presumptively irrelevant
unless tied to arguments about their work. There is a massive difference
between a card saying Heidegger was a Nazi and a card to saying that some of
his concepts provide conceptual foundation of the elements of Nazism which
cause the Nazis to be remembered the way they are remembered.

To say that Zizek's work on religious and his political work are similarly
disconnected is a bit more complicated. To the extent that they are both
informed by the concept of constitutive lack, the fact that a particular
critical author uses one as an example should not shield people reading the
other one.

Finally, remember this shell game is not limited to "zizek on X" vs "zizek
on Y". It's also played when cards are clearly responsive to:
a. The work cited by a derivative author instead of the derivative author
b. The book cited by a K team, but not necessarily the subsection of the
book quoted by the K team
c. The sub-section of the book used by the K team, but not the inference
that the K team is drawing from it.

In each of these cases,  a rebuttable presumption of relevance would
dramatically incentivize reading more specific answers, and would raise the
bar on teams to answer counter arguments instead of side stepping them.


On Sun, Apr 12, 2009 at 11:31 AM, J T <jtedebate at yahoo.com> wrote:

> I'll take issue with the "body of work" comments...that's just not
> reality...in one of those supportive backchannels, I gave examples of
> Foucault and Heidegger where scholars have pointed a definitive alteration
> in their philosophies from different portions of their career; "early and
> late Heidegger/Foucault".  It would be naive to assume some who wrote for 30
> years would have the same opinion throughout...people grow, learn, and
> change....they also clarify what they meant in different works..many "on
> point answers" to K args reflect a misreading of the author, or maybe just a
> different reading...authors often respond to those critics with
> clarification or refutation.
> Quite simply, what we think are good answers when we read an article, might
> not play out that way.
> And why should a team be liable for Zizek's work on religion when they are
> running a cap K?  Just like the Heidegger/nazi debates, aff have to win a
> link that someting in the author's personal life directly affected the line
> of thought advocated in the K...trying to answer Empire with bad "Hardt &
> Negri are nazis" cards is just insufficient. If they were, then HOW did
> nazism implicate their philosophy?
> W. James Taylor ("JT")
> Asst. Debate Coach
> Emporia State University
> ***Nothing in this email should be taken to represent Emporia State Debate
> or Emporia State University. The contents are the sole opinion of the
> author.
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