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ERIC Number: ED306611
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-May
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Topicality: An Equal Ground Standard.
Dudczak, Craig
Arguments on topicality have the potential of becoming an infinite regress both as they are articulated in debate theory as well as how they are developed by debaters in rounds. An "Equal Ground" criterion is proposed as an effective means of assessing topicality. This criterion assumes the reasonability standard of topicality. Additionally, it assumes that the function of debate is to facilitate clash over substantive issues embodied by the resolution. Further, it is argued that topicality, as a procedural issue, should be evaluated by its relationship to eliciting the substantive issues of the debate. Topicality is the means by which substantive issues are defined and emerge. Current standards for resolving topicality, particularly the "reasonable" definition standard, are deficient in promoting this function. Finally, the Equal Ground criterion accepts the premise that the effect of the topicality issue should be to apportion approximately equal ground to the Affirmative and Negative teams. Equal Ground represents an additional warrant in the debate arsenal which may increase the likelihood of the debate focusing on the substantive rather than the procedural issues. (MM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A