ERIC Number: ED366031
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Nov-19
Community Concepts of Argumentative Legitimacy: Challenging Norms in National-Circuit CEDA Debate.
Broda-Bahm, Kenneth T.
As a critical activity, academic debate potentially offers its participants a wide choice in deciding how, and on what basis, a proposition can be defended or challenged. Despite this range of possibilities, CEDA (Cross Examination Debate Association) debate at the national level has developed a consistency in the types of arguments offered and the ways in which those arguments are expected to be refuted. As an argument community, CEDA's emerging national circuit has developed powerful norms which are enforcing a particular conception of "good argument" while at the same time limiting the possibility for discussions on the conditions of argument itself. Consensual standards of what is argumentatively appropriate have evolved which strongly favor specific and temporally-bound"scenario"-based interpretations and which discourage meta-argumentative and other philosophical critiques. While the existence of strong norms in an argumentative community may be beneficial, the current norms of the national-circuit CEDA community operate to limit creativity at the highest levels of competitive debate, and to severely restrict the possibilities for those forms of argumentative self-regulation which offer the best hope for maintaining the health of the activity in an environment relatively free of externally imposed norms. (Contains 19 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A