Article

A Critique of the Counter-Warrant as a Negative Strategy

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Abstract

This article responds to the essay by Paulsen and Rhodes in the Spring 1979 JAFA. The proposed negative strategy of the “counter-warrant” is criticized on the grounds that it inaccurately reflects the nature of the debate topic, that the justifications offered by Paulsen and Rhodes are flawed, and that the use of the counter-warrant will introduce insurmountable practical problems.

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Article
This essay argues that the traditional requirement that a counterplan cannot be topical should be reconsidered by the policy debate community. The emphasis is NDT debate on policy rather resolutional considerations legitimates the use of a topical counterplan by a negative team. The traditional arguments against the topical counterplan will be detailed. Then a rationale for this theoretical advance will be forwarded. Our contention is that the acceptance of the topical counterplan reduces the schism between theory and practice in debate.
Article
Topicality arguments in debate have become increasingly complex in recent years. Along with that increase in complexity, recent developments in topicality theory and practice could have spillover effects into other areas of debate theory, such as an increase in the utilization of agent-of-action counterplans and counter-warrants. This essay argues for a jurisdictional standard to be applied to topicality argumentation. The results of such a standard should be increased clash over the substantive issues in policy debate, as well as a decrease in the potential abuse of the above mentioned negative strategies.
Article
Addressing the section of Herbeck and Katsulas' essay on counter-warrants, the authors contend that the fundamental flaw in that section is the a priori assumption that the plan is the focus of the resolution. Further discussion is needed on the merits of debating the entire resolution or just an example if it.
Article
The growing popularity of counterplans has generated a controversy over the proper locus of competition. Theorists have argued that the counterplan must compete with the plan, the policy system, the values implicit within the resolution, or the entire resolution. This essay argues that these different loci of competition are grounded in conflicting conceptions of the resolution. Having established this claim, the essay argues for a plan focus perspective. Accordingly, it critiques the arguments of Hynes and Ulrich in favor of resolutional primacy and the views of Rhodes and White, Madsen, and Mayer in favor of sub-resolutional focus.
Article
Although academic debate on policy questions widely accepts counterplans, the theory evaluating the critical issue of competition has regressed to microscopic comparisons between the plan and counterplan. This trend encourages combinations of proposals which appear at face value able to co-exist, but upon deeper analysis are incompatible. This essay argues in opposition to the trend by applying concepts from general systems theory to competition.
Article
Practically, the alternative-justification cases lower the quality of argument by introducing too many issues into the debate. Theoretically, they make the proposition, rather than the policy, the focus of debate and thus, further divorce debate from real world policy making.
Article
In recent years affirmative plans have been considerably narrower in scope than the stated resolution. To affirm a resolution on the basis of a single unrepresentative example may be to commit the fallacy of hasty generalization. An appropriate response to such an affirmative strategy is the development by the negative of an “example against the resolution,” or counter-warrant. Practical implications of this type of negative strategy also are examined.
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A Prophet Without Honor: A Minority View of the 1979 Heart Final Round
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National Textbook Company, 1975), for more detailed discussion of these admittedly vague goals
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