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Re: solvancy and Terry W
> Terry West, who I deeply respect,
:-) And the feeling is mutual. I think that we probably have more
agreement than Josh's post might suggest on the ISSUE of solvency and
its importance to a prima facie case. I think we're quibbling about
technique and method of proving solvency.
>raises some interesting questions which I
> think fundamentally beg the question of my arguments for why an affirmative
> ought not be able to use multiple advocacy solvancy unless all authors assume
> the plan.
I'll talk about the question begging below, but want to note here
that my point about the cause-effect nature of the argument making
disadvantages subject to the same burdens (not to mention counterplan
solvency and perhaps even T. arguments) appears to have been granted
Also, I'm still unclear about what "all authors assume the plan"
means. Does this mean all authors must advocate the same plan
wording verbatim? That seems absolutely ludicrous to me. Or does it
mean that they all advocate the ACTION taken by the affirmative in
reasonably specific terms? And what happens if an author advocates
most of the affirmative plan; another advocates the rest, but neither
necessarily excludes the other? If each says "x will have y effect,"
wouldn't it be NEGATIVE's argument burden to prove that the different
ideas necessarily exclude each other?
>My arguments were 1) That such advocacy begs the question of
> solvancy (e.g. there is no evidence that says the plan will work as written).
Again, my questions above apply. Are affirmative now limited only to
those specific pieces of legislation proposed in Congressional
Record? Must the author spell out every plan detail? And how does
the author feel about fiat? :-)
> 2) that the claim that such combination is solvancy both commits
the falicy of
> equivication (I posit this mathamatically as x and y do not = xy)
I'm not sure arguments collapse to equations quite this simply, but I
see the equation as more of an "x --> y" relationship. I certainly
agree that if aff. argues that "bailout has left Mexican economy on
brink of collapse, plan is ban bailouts in future, advantage is save
mexican and world economy," aff. must read cards saying "banning
future bailouts will save mexican and world economy." You can't just
ASSUME that since bailout caused problems, banning bailout will solve
them. Must all of these cards be from the same author? I don't know
why. If an author's credibility is unquestioned, and s/he concludes
that x --> y, that seems to be enough for me.
> and that it
> potentially takes both authors out of context
Well, I think that's a whole different argument. If an aff (or neg)
has cut evidence in such a way that they've left out information
which would cause one card to contradict another, they ought to be
publicly crucified. But that's an ethics challenge to me, and the
team making it damn well better prove their point. I'm not much of a
fan of "I think there's a possibility you might be doing something
unethical" as a debate strategy. And I do NOT think that's what Josh
is advocating here. But I still think it's the negative's argument
burden to posit WHY the cards from two different sources would
conceivably be in conflict. Otherwise, we get into "well, even if
your cards are from the same source, how do we know your source
wasn't drunk on the day the impact card was written?" Or "how do we
know your source didn't change his/her mind earlier this week?"
>3) that the use of such
> combinations risks being part of a solution that increases the problem (for
> instance, there are multiple drugs that solve infection but many interact
> in ways that cause complications so you ought not take both at once).
Ooh. I'm not sure that's a good analogy. There are also drugs that
individually may not solve infection, but used together might. And
sometimes scientists discover these SEPERATELY and SOMEONE ELSE (like
an affirmative team? :-) ) puts it all together.
>I think that none of Terry's arguments even answer one of these
claims but I will answer each of his arguments anyway.
That's possible; I was responding to a specific post by Jim Haefele,
then to some of the "author advocacy" positions I've heard this past
year. I don't recall whether I've even heard the ASU version of it,
so Josh may indeed be proposing something I haven't seen. But I've
tried to respond above to Josh's most recent post.
> Terry first argues that the literature has multiple adviocates that support
> solutions that are different. I agree, however, it is falacious to say that
> the solutions in combinations will work together. The authors do not intend
> this nor is there evidence that supports this. I ninstances where evidence
> exists that supports this combination than you have found solvancy evidence.
Again, my question is "who has the argument burden?" If affirmative
has evidence that x+y --> z, and negative can't come up with a reason
why x and y would conflict in such a way as to prevent z, why
shouldn't I believe aff.?
> Terry next argues that a single author solution increases the
risk of error
> in that two heads are better than one. This begs the question of the argument.
> If multiple authors exist that support the entire plan, as written, than of
> course the more authors the merrier. However, if there are no authors for the
> plan, as written, no solvancy for the plan exists. In fact, the solvancy
> evidence that speaks of elements of the plan only becomes falacious through the
> combination of the solvancy literature for all of the reasons mentioned in the
> introduction. Remember, x being true and y being true do not make xy true.
Again, the problem of mathematic symbols. XY is usually understood
to mean "x times y" (a multiplier effect) rather than "x and y
combined." While affs may be getting by with too much on assuming
solvency as a result of reacting to a problem, negatives shouldn't
get by with assuming interaction effects they don't prove.
> Terry next says that affirmatives will be forced to debate
> Patently untrue, the typical cases and authors will be well represented by the
> most literature examining the solution that the author advocates. It is
> precisely because affirmatives want to rely on atypical authors that plan
> content rarely mirrors the solvancy evidence.....This argument is also
> internally inconsistant. Most advocates of typicality would agree with my
> argument that you must present a logically correct position. Atypicality and
> hasty generalization are ways of avoiding falacious reasoning. The use of
> combination of authors creates a falicy and cannot be seen as a logical
Did I say something about "atypical" cases? Maybe I was
hallucinating :-). I honestly don't remember this, and I wasn't
looking at my original post. I do think the solvency position as I
understand it could result in affirmatives advocating plans which are
supported by an author nobody else agrees with. That may be
"atypical." I don't think it FORCES affs to do this; but it may
> Terry finally says that it would force debaters to only debate wholistically
> advocated plans and that this would prevent debaters from examining "new
> solutions". This is essentially Joe Boyle's second argument which I have
> already answered. It is also inconsstant with the premise of the first, second
> and third, arguments that Terry advances. Being a-typical cannot both be a
> goal and something to be avoided. In addition, debaters do not have the
> ability to infer solvancy, this is an infinitely regressive argument that would
> justify everything from debate from nothing but opinion to quoting any author
> out of context because you are smart enough to know what the author had
> misanalyzed. I do not see this as a strong argument against the solvancy
I don't think it's inconsistent. My argument is that single author
advocacy allows affs (and maybe forces them) to limit their analysis
to plans which may be advocated by only one person, which deny the
ability to synthesize multiple views into a coherent whole, and
aren't the way we really tend to solve problems in society.
In sum, here are things I would stipulate to:
1) Solvency is a prima facie burden for aff. They must have
evidence that their plan would actually solve the problem(s) they
2) Such evidence must be logically consistent. If negative can
prove that some assumptions might be in conflict with each other,
they have an excellent argument against solvency. The debate can
Here are things I would also claim:
1) No compelling reason has been given why aff. plan must be
wholistically advocated by the same author. Collaboration occurs all
the time; why not in solving societal problems?
2) The logical burden for the solvency/advocacy position must be the
same for negative disads. Solvency argues "plan causes effect
(solvency)." Disad argues "plan causes effect (disad)." Both are
cause effect arguments. There can be little controversy that neg. cp
burdens would be the same. And I would even go so far as to say that
if we can merely challenge author consistency, neg better not read
more than one author on T. positions without proof that they assume
I guess part of my problem is that when I've heard this position run,
it's been little more than a cheap whine to time suck aff into having
to read a bunch of cards to deal with an argument labelled
"procedural." Obviously, Josh has put a lot of thought into it
beyond that, and I welcome hearing more about it. I remain open to
persuasion, just not convinced yet.
> Joshua B. Hoe
> Asst. Dir. Forensics
> Arizona State University
> (602) 965-5578
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