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Etudes

1. Prior Position: Before I watch this debate, all I know about debating is a tic-tac-toe game. We can only win on horizontal lines. Each team has to make arguments and response all of arguments that the other has made on-case, then they can create their own arguments on the off-case, by presenting as much information as humanly possible in the allotted time to back your argument. In the introduction, the podcast is discussing a Ryan Wash’s story debating debate, who is a black inner-city student in Kansas City. As a word “Black” I guess that they are going to talk about racism, but the topic debates about “the merits of an American energy policy”, which does not relate at all.
2. Summary of Proponent: Starting a student debate career in an inner-city high school, Ryan Wash and his team African-American students really stick out in the debate community, this experience help Ryan when he entered at a collegiate level. At the beginning he learns all of the basic argumentation like impact analysis, Toulmin model of argumentation, start to be ethos, pathos, logos and he does very well. But after he met a senior student from University Academy, her name is “Marshauna”, he joined the fold of the Louisville Project’s strategy. He and his teammates used competitive debates against other universities in an unorthodox fashion. They always ignored the debate topic or allowed the topic to flavor the side they used while putting forth their sole true argument such as attacking the entire concept of competitive debate, condemning it as a racist and exclusionary practice, which they presented at every match, without fail.
3. Summary of Opponent: There is never really any voice to the opposition on the subject and I feel like it was sorely missed.
4. The proponent side won: The judge had decided the proponent won because there was no voice from the opponent. In the podcast they mention Aristotle’s modes of persuasion: ethos, logos, and pathos. It seems like in the debates, the proponent has been won on logos alone. What Ryan has done is introduce other aspects into the debate and in some instances has totally abandoned logic by disregarding the topic.
5. My fact-based opinion: Whether this new perspective is useful or not, from the art of debate is up for discussion. But we can’t deny that real-world debates, whether they are formal political ones or those among our friends, are not won solely on logic. The problem with using logos as sole means of persuasion is that it has many opportunities for you to mess up and make errors in reasoning, which are called logical fallacies.