ERIC Number: ED326903
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
General Semantics and the "Spirit" of the Resolution.
The Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) strives to eliminate the perceived abuses of intercollegiate debate: machine gun delivery, the overemphasis of evidence cards, and the use of "squirrel cases" (cases so narrow that they ignore most of the resolution or are actually off the topic). CEDA philosophically and, at least to some extent, practically supports the concept of the intent--or spirit--of the resolution. Three ideas from general semantics are particularly suited to thinking about this problem: non-identity, non-allness, and self-reflexiveness. Claiming that there is a true meaning of the topic violates the concept of non-identity. Non-allness means that a word does not represent all that it is supposed to represent, while self-reflexiveness implies that a final conclusion can never be reached about anything. In short, teaching debaters that resolutions have a certain intent is tantamount to saying to them that there is a predetermined, all-encompassing, objective truth, beyond which there is an intellectual void. There is nothing worse for an activity that stresses critical thinking. (Sixty-one references are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Cross Examination Debate Association; Debate Strategies; General Semantics Paradigm (Korzybski); Resolutions
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (76th, Chicago, IL, November 1-4, 1990).