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RFD: Psychiatry

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6/2/2016 1:48:30 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
This is a vote on behave of the VU for this debate.

1: Summary of Debate

Round 1

Con argues two basic contentions; First that psychiatry does not know the cause of any mental illness and second that psychiatry has never cured a mental illness. With a quote from Dr. Rex Cowdry, the first contention is warranted. Likewise with the second contention Con quotes a psychiatrist Dr. Johnson and warrants this contention.

Pro starts off giving an indication of how she will argue. Defining psychiatry, she emphasizes that both of con"s contentions don"t negate what psychiatry claims to do, or what it in reality does. She states that if she can demonstrate the utility of psychiatry that is enough to vote for her. Like Con, Pro makes two basic arguments. First, she argues that studying metal orders is useful, and second that treating mental disorders is also useful. Both arguments are sufficiently warranted and linked to the resolution.

Round 2

Con claims that as pro has not contended with either of his contention and makes 3 rebuttals. Con argues that you can"t "prevent" or "study" something that you don"t know its cause. Next, it is argued that to treat implies cure, and finally con argues that psychiatry is a fraudulent medical field. Included in these rebuttals is the claim that pro"s arguments are red herrings.

Pro demonstrates that she could both accept con"s arguments and still win the debate. She addresses each contention made. First she disconnects the idea that you have to know something to study it. Similarly she disconnects the concepts of "treatment" from "curing." Treatment, she claims treatment can mean minimizing effects and suffering. Next, she highlights all of the dropped arguments. Pro easily demonstrates con"s syllogism faulty and containing of a massive straw man. Pro also makes mention that her arguments are not red herrings. She provides her analysis of the resolution that it is not the same as con"s contentions and demonstrates how her arguments are on topic. We then arrive at perhaps the most interesting part of this debate, pro quotes con"s source about the word "cure."

Round 3

Finally we reach the last round. Con begins by arguing that the resolution is his two contentions and that the utility of psychiatry is off topic. He goes thru pro"s rebuttals one by one and seemingly dismisses them off hand. Pro demonstrates again that there is a difference between con"s contentions and the resolution then responds to con"s final round.

2: Analysis

The Resolution Issue

I agree with pro that the resolution is not the same as con"s contentions. Furthermore, if con wanted to just debate those, they could have entitled the debate with one of those contentions. All I see the resolution says is "Psychiatry" and there is a pro and con side. Thus I agree with pro"s interpretation of the resolution.


While both of Con"s contentions are supported they are not linked properly to the Resolution. It may have been helpful to have a real resolution as opposed to just being pro or con to "Psychiatry" as a whole. That stated, Con did well supporting his two main contentions. Pro does sufficient to support and link her arguments to the resolution. So now we see which wins out.

On the con side, I am left with psychiatry does not "cure" mental disorders and does not know the cause of mental disorders. From pro, I am lead to believe that despite not fulling understanding the cause, psychiatry does treat mental disorders in positive ways. While the concept of cure is still debated by the end, we do see that treatment is often positive. We also are given sufficient reason to study psychiatry as mental disorders are so prevalent. Because of this, I vote Pro.
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