ERIC Number: ED210739
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Judge as an Agent of Action: Limitations on Fiat Power.
Traditionally, the focus of debate has been on what policy should be adopted. The concept of fiat, or authoritative decree or sanction, has enabled debate participants to discuss the relative merits of competing policies without deciding whether or not the policies being compared could be adopted in the real world. While, for the purposes of debate, the affirmative panel must have the power of fiat to put its plan into existence, the ability of the negative team to do the same with its policy has led to some controversy. One possible solution is to alter the current role of the debate judge. With a change in perspective, the judge would not put any policy into existence by fiat, but would decide whether, based on the arguments in the round, the agent in the resolution would take the action recommended by the affirmative team. For example, the judge would think like a federal policy maker when evaluating arguments on some federal action. Thus the judge as a specific agent creates a real world analogy that provides clear and easily articulated guidelines, limits acceptable negative arguments, and eliminates as irrelevant a number of fiat-related arguments. From all these perspectives, the position that the judge should act as the agent specified in the resolution provides a rational approach to the problems raised by the issue of fiat in academic debate. (HOD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (67th, Anaheim, CA, November 12-15, 1981).