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ERIC Number: ED170800
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Agent in Argument: Toward a Theory of Fiat.
Ulrich, Walter
In recent years, many debates have concentrated on which level of government is most appropriate to adopt a given policy. One suggestion is that fiat power in debate be limited to actions of the federal government. In debate, it must often be decided who should attempt to solve the problem. Too often, debaters forget the real-world limitations on agents, whether these are private citizens or the federal government. It is crucial to isolate the agent of an argument in a debate and to allow the agent powers that are real. The use of fiat is weak for the following reasons: there is no real-world counterpart to the all-powerful policy maker with universal fiat power; it would destroy debate at its logical conclusion because anything could be fiated by anyone; it produces poor debates because negative teams have had a tendency to run counterplans at the state level that merely duplicate affirmative federal plans; and there are time constraints on debate making it difficult to argue both the merits of an appropriate action and who the agent should be. The debate judge should assume the role of the agent in the assigned resolution and fiat action should be limited to federal government action. (TJ)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (St. Louis, Missouri, April 5-7, 1979)