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Re: Cartesian Narratives
On Thu, 2 Feb 1995 FOYJ@ZIAVMS.ENMU.EDU wrote:
> Look, I'm really not a fan of all these narrative messages, but
> here's my opinion, if you don't like it, pretend you didn't read it.
> The fact is that narratives are a Cartesian exercise in methodological
> doubt. It places the resolution in a ridiculous narrative, if the
> resolution does not stand up to an narrative test (such as Descarte's
> evil genius disproof of the physical senses) than it is false.
This is not necessarily the type of argumentation we are discussing.
Besides what you outline here would also be true of critiques and rez
flaw arguments that are not unique to the narrative. All the narrative
is in this sense is argumentation through a different medium. The
reaction against the narrative is very interesting. Those people that
have struggled and strained to move debate from its horsey-ducky-pony
days and resist the entrenched system of meaningless debate and Whole Rez
are the same ones that seem to resist new forms being allowed into the
arena. For myself, running a narrative is not the end all be all but an
exercise in argumentative freedom that I personally feel is important. I
find no difference in my motivation than someone attempting to make an
educational activity one filled with meaning (whether that be policy
discussions or any other approach). A narrative "test" of the
resolution is not what I would personally find appealing. Rather the
argumentation form itself is the methodology that I prefer.
> However, methodological doubt exercises are not suited to policy debate,
> because policy debate depends on the existence of what Sartre calls factual
> necessity. In other words, since almost any policy can have a
> methodological doubt raised against it by creating a hypothetical
> narrative (such as Weber's alien traders paradigm) it gives the
> neg. a complete advantage and the aff. no ground.
Methodological doubt is not unique to the narrative paradigm.
Hypothetical variation in phenomenology to test the essence of a given
resolution to the advantages provided has been argued in many forms for
years and is used extensively in the academy to discuss and analyze
policy options. The assumptions behind any action option are not beyond
the reach of discussion. Motivations are important to discuss not only
in analyzing appropriate means but how others will perceive a policy
option and act according to what assumptions are being validated.
> In other words, if you want to run a a narrative, go to a parli round.
> For the love of God stop the narrative madness.
> John FOy
First, I believe you are acting under the assumption that parli is not
"real" debate and this may or may not be true, but the feeling I get is
that you would have us limit the ways in which we argue. As Pat has said
the dialectic and its rigors are dead, dialogism is the paradigm that
appears in practice. To hold out that there are "standards" for debate
seems to me to limit our opportunity to open both our minds and our
community to new ways of thinking about the world.
The backlash to this type of argumentation amazes me. I thought people
may find it esoteric and dismiss it at worst, but for so much discussion
to occur it at least makes me think that a few people may actually be
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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