Total Posts:10|Showing Posts:1-10
Jump to topic:

Quotation Debate Advice

Surrealism
Posts: 265
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/25/2015 2:41:13 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
So as many of you may know, I've been fiddling around with the idea of a "quotation debate". The idea is that you build your cases entirely from quotations from the relevant writers, thinkers, speakers, etc. The first one can be found here:

http://www.debate.org...

Does anyone have any ideas as to how exactly you would implement this? I think it could be interesting. I also want to know if it's been done before.

Also, would anyone be interested in doing a series of these? I keep thinking of more philosophers I'd like to set up against each other.
Ceci n'est pas une signature.
Ragnar
Posts: 1,658
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/25/2015 8:43:46 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Were I grading that, I think number of quotes would play a key role. Someone finding different authors points in support of the resolution, going together into a case... Well it could be quite fun to read. On the other hand, how many of us have debated a religious person, and they just pasted a section from their holy book instead of making a case?
Unofficial DDO Guide: http://goo.gl...
(It's probably the best help resource here, other than talking to people...)

Voting Standards: https://goo.gl...

And please disable Smart-Quotes: https://goo.gl...
bsh1
Posts: 27,504
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/25/2015 11:15:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/25/2015 8:03:57 AM, WillYouMarryMe wrote:
Well, half of Zaradi's debates are pretty much quotation debates, so maybe he'll know...

Same with me.
Live Long and Prosper

I'm a Bish.


"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

Follow the DDOlympics
: http://www.debate.org...

Open Debate Topics Project: http://www.debate.org...
YYW
Posts: 36,357
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/25/2015 11:41:32 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/25/2015 2:41:13 AM, Surrealism wrote:
So as many of you may know, I've been fiddling around with the idea of a "quotation debate". The idea is that you build your cases entirely from quotations from the relevant writers, thinkers, speakers, etc. The first one can be found here:

http://www.debate.org...

Does anyone have any ideas as to how exactly you would implement this? I think it could be interesting. I also want to know if it's been done before.

Also, would anyone be interested in doing a series of these? I keep thinking of more philosophers I'd like to set up against each other.

There are two theories here: progressive and whatever not progressive would be. The progressive school of thought says that block quoting is not only a good and acceptable practice, but it is generally necessary to win an argument. The non-progressive school of thought takes issue with this because (1) over-quoting often entails the use of excessive verbiage, (2) it shows a lack of originality and thought, (3) it only precipitates the impression of clash at the expense of actual, real, substantive clash. This is not a complete overview of the differences, but I think that the sketch I've presented here is enough for you to get the meaningful differences.

In the realm of real-life debate, which school of thought is preferred depends on who your judges are. That depends on (1) their age, (2) their experience in debating themselves, and (3) whether or not they have real jobs or are only either debate coaches or college students. College aged students and debate coaches (read: people who have probably had some significant circuit debating experience) but who have no or very little experience in professional communication do not get offended or irritated by obtuse and opaque, jargon-laden academic prose. Every other person in the world gets irritated when debaters use words that they don't know, and I, for one, get irritated when debaters MISUSE words and ABUSE quotes in ways that they should not. This is the consistent theme of all "progressive" debating on every level of competition that I have been exposed too.

Kids, on balance, will misuse jargony words, terms, concepts, etc. almost to the extent that they employ them. Rare is the case where debate competitors do not. This presents a huge communicative challenge, and it's bad presentation. It's bad presentation to use unnecessarily complex prose, as almost all academic language is. Even progressive judges, who claim that they understand jargon-laden, unnecessarily complex prose, thrown at them 300wpm, do not. They're lying almost every single time, and it gives judges the operative space to 'fill the gaps' between what you actually said as a debater and what they actually understood on the basis of their subjective preference in favor of or against the resolution. So, in that case, we're ships talking past each other in the night with the judge trying to navigate through shadows in fog to arrive at an arbitrarily reasoned conclusion. This is why block-quoting is bad form: it lends itself to a breakdown in communication that destroys the purpose and function of the exercise of debate.

The reason that people block quote, generally, is because they can't or are unwilling to do the intellectual labor of paraphrasing. Paraphrasing is hard, because it requires a precise understanding of the logical relationship between terms and concepts in a piece of language. But, if you don't go through it, you're likely not going to 'get' that relationship, and you're instead predisposed to (in my experience watching debaters try and fail to achieve even a modicum of clash) get debaters who rather elect to simply vomit back various quotes that have no or only a loose relationship with what's actually going on.

tl;dr: If you understand something, you should be able to talk about in simple language, and talking about it in simple language will make it easier for judges to vote for you. If you use unnecessarily opaque language (read: the stuff of block quotes from academic texts), judges are less likely to vote for you because few are willing to go through the intellectual labor of doing what you should have done as a debater.
Tsar of DDO
16kadams
Posts: 10,497
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/25/2015 11:43:12 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I used to do it but I don't think it is a good strategy.
https://www.youtube.com...
https://rekonomics.wordpress.com...
"A trend is a trend, but the question is, will it bend? Will it alter its course through some unforeseen force and come to a premature end?" -- Alec Cairncross
YYW
Posts: 36,357
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/25/2015 11:53:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I should add one caveat:

Regional differences are a reason why people block quote. If a region's debate norms dictate block quoting, then that's what you do... you just edit the jargon and other garbage out of the quote. This is irritating to me, for a variety of reasons, but if your region demands that you block quote... then that's a reasonable excuse.
Tsar of DDO
Surrealism
Posts: 265
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/25/2015 8:18:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/25/2015 11:41:32 AM, YYW wrote:
At 3/25/2015 2:41:13 AM, Surrealism wrote:
So as many of you may know, I've been fiddling around with the idea of a "quotation debate". The idea is that you build your cases entirely from quotations from the relevant writers, thinkers, speakers, etc. The first one can be found here:

http://www.debate.org...

Does anyone have any ideas as to how exactly you would implement this? I think it could be interesting. I also want to know if it's been done before.

Also, would anyone be interested in doing a series of these? I keep thinking of more philosophers I'd like to set up against each other.

There are two theories here: progressive and whatever not progressive would be. The progressive school of thought says that block quoting is not only a good and acceptable practice, but it is generally necessary to win an argument. The non-progressive school of thought takes issue with this because (1) over-quoting often entails the use of excessive verbiage, (2) it shows a lack of originality and thought, (3) it only precipitates the impression of clash at the expense of actual, real, substantive clash. This is not a complete overview of the differences, but I think that the sketch I've presented here is enough for you to get the meaningful differences.

In the realm of real-life debate, which school of thought is preferred depends on who your judges are. That depends on (1) their age, (2) their experience in debating themselves, and (3) whether or not they have real jobs or are only either debate coaches or college students. College aged students and debate coaches (read: people who have probably had some significant circuit debating experience) but who have no or very little experience in professional communication do not get offended or irritated by obtuse and opaque, jargon-laden academic prose. Every other person in the world gets irritated when debaters use words that they don't know, and I, for one, get irritated when debaters MISUSE words and ABUSE quotes in ways that they should not. This is the consistent theme of all "progressive" debating on every level of competition that I have been exposed too.

Kids, on balance, will misuse jargony words, terms, concepts, etc. almost to the extent that they employ them. Rare is the case where debate competitors do not. This presents a huge communicative challenge, and it's bad presentation. It's bad presentation to use unnecessarily complex prose, as almost all academic language is. Even progressive judges, who claim that they understand jargon-laden, unnecessarily complex prose, thrown at them 300wpm, do not. They're lying almost every single time, and it gives judges the operative space to 'fill the gaps' between what you actually said as a debater and what they actually understood on the basis of their subjective preference in favor of or against the resolution. So, in that case, we're ships talking past each other in the night with the judge trying to navigate through shadows in fog to arrive at an arbitrarily reasoned conclusion. This is why block-quoting is bad form: it lends itself to a breakdown in communication that destroys the purpose and function of the exercise of debate.

The reason that people block quote, generally, is because they can't or are unwilling to do the intellectual labor of paraphrasing. Paraphrasing is hard, because it requires a precise understanding of the logical relationship between terms and concepts in a piece of language. But, if you don't go through it, you're likely not going to 'get' that relationship, and you're instead predisposed to (in my experience watching debaters try and fail to achieve even a modicum of clash) get debaters who rather elect to simply vomit back various quotes that have no or only a loose relationship with what's actually going on.

tl;dr: If you understand something, you should be able to talk about in simple language, and talking about it in simple language will make it easier for judges to vote for you. If you use unnecessarily opaque language (read: the stuff of block quotes from academic texts), judges are less likely to vote for you because few are willing to go through the intellectual labor of doing what you should have done as a debater.

Thanks for the feedback! I would like to add that I forgot to mention the idea of quoting two specific philosophers, hence how the debate shown is the classic Mill v Kant. The general idea I had in mind was less focusing on block quoting but more on replicating debates between two figures in the past. Other ideas might be:

Plato v Aristotle (the classic pair)

Descartes v Bacon (aka Plato v Aristotle Mk. II)

Hegel v Sartre/Kierkegaard (I don't see this topic much and it saddens me)

Leibniz v Derrida (given the time period difference this could be wonky, but maybe...)

Obviously the idea could be expanded to beyond philosophy, but I'm much more interested in philosophy so of course I came up with those. But my point is really that this is more than just block quoting to excess. I really want to replicate debate between two philosophers.
Ceci n'est pas une signature.
YYW
Posts: 36,357
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/25/2015 9:47:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/25/2015 8:18:18 PM, Surrealism wrote:
Thanks for the feedback! I would like to add that I forgot to mention the idea of quoting two specific philosophers, hence how the debate shown is the classic Mill v Kant. The general idea I had in mind was less focusing on block quoting but more on replicating debates between two figures in the past. Other ideas might be:

Quoting philosophers is bad form. Talk about their ideas in your own words, and make your own words into simple language that a reasonably attentive person can understand.

The purpose of debate is not to *wow* judges with the breath of your lexicon. This dazzling effect only works on a certain kind of judges who hold themselves out as being smarter than they are.

What you want is to have a dialogue where there happens to manifest a clash of ideas. That's the purpose and function of debate: weighing the relative strength of arguments against the other. That requires clear and precise communication. This is a lot harder than it sounds, though...
Tsar of DDO
Raisor
Posts: 4,461
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/25/2015 10:51:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/25/2015 8:18:18 PM, Surrealism wrote:

Plato v Aristotle (the classic pair)

Descartes v Bacon (aka Plato v Aristotle Mk. II)

Hegel v Sartre/Kierkegaard (I don't see this topic much and it saddens me)

Because Hegel is impossible and almost no one reads him if they aren't prompted by formal education. This is a super niche topic. I'd love to read it if you ever find an opponent though.


Leibniz v Derrida (given the time period difference this could be wonky, but maybe...)

Obviously the idea could be expanded to beyond philosophy, but I'm much more interested in philosophy so of course I came up with those. But my point is really that this is more than just block quoting to excess. I really want to replicate debate between two philosophers.