Rather than approach debate primarily as a form of interscholastic competition, this unique book identifies it as an activity that occurs in many settings: scientific conferences, newspaper op-ed pages, classrooms, courts of law, and everyday domestic life. Debate is discussed as an integral part of academic inquiry in all disciplines. As in all fields of study, various competing views are advanced and supported; Debate and Critical Analysis is designed to better prepare the student to assess and engage them.
This text posits four characteristics of true debate -- argument development, clash, extension, and perspective -- which form the basic structure of the book. Each concept or aspect of argument covered is illustrated by an example drawn from contemporary or historical sources, allowing the reader to actually see the techniques and strategies at work. All popular forms of competitive debate, including "policy," "Lincoln-Douglas," "value-oriented," and "parliamentary," are discussed in detail -- as embedded in the actual topical controversies with which they are concerned. In this way, the student can learn the structures, reasoning processes, and strategies that may be employed, as well as the practical affairs of debating, from brief-writing to the flowsheet.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface. The Nature and History of Debate. The Structures of Advocacy and Opposition. Research and Evidence. Argument Anticipation and Briefing. Refutation. Counterpositions and Counterplans. Strategies for Moral Argument. The Form and Techniques of Debate.
"...does have a good deal to commend it. The basic philosophy of the text comes through loud and clear....succeeds in demonstrating that debate is an important and pervasive human experience....one of the few texts which approaches argumentation and debate as a study distinct from formal and informal logic without becoming a simplistic handbook for competitive debaters."
—The Forensic of Pi Kappa Delta
"...a book of rigorous organization and clarity, a model of exposition on a technical subject....an accessible and useful book that deserves a wide audience of debaters."
—The Bates Alumni Magazine
"...no ordinary debate textbook. It is learned, authoritative, carefully organized, impressively illustrated, and exceptionally lucid in its coverage of principles. Students will learn here, not just the basics of argumentation and refutation, but also their subtleties."
—Herbert W. Simons
"Finally! A book that undergraduates who don't want to be debaters can use to learn the fundamentals of argumentation. I have adopted it for use in my course."
—Kathleen Hall Jamieson
University of Pennsylvania
"...an impressive addition to the field of argument and debate. It provides a strong justification for the importance of argument in our society and in other cultures....it is the best debate textbook for instructors without a formal academic debate background..."
University of Northern Iowa