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 Post subject: Topical counterplans
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:59 am 
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Halogen wrote:
If anyone runs this case and replaces the EC with a national popular plurality election (meaning the candidate receiving the most votes from the people wins), how would you respond to a counterplan that replaces the EC with a Condorcet election instead?

In a Condorcet election, a voter ranks candidates from best to worst instead of just voting for one candidate. Candidate x wins if you could compare him to any candidate y and see that x is ranked higher than y on most ballots.

If no candidate meets that criterion, there are alternative ways to determine the winner, for example ranked pairs.


I'm new to debate, so please correct me if I am wrong, but I have been told that a counterplan should not affirm the resolution. The judge is voting to either affirm or negate the resolution. If the judge is convinced that federal election law should be significantly reformed in the United States, he/she should vote affirmative, which means voting for the resolution--regardless of which team/plan convinced him/her. I would simply explain that to the judge.

Is it true that counterplans should not affirm the resolution?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:25 am 
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marinadelayne wrote:
I'm new to debate, so please correct me if I am wrong, but I have been told that a counterplan should not affirm the resolution. The judge is voting to either affirm or negate the resolution. If the judge is convinced that federal election law should be significantly reformed in the United States, he/she should vote affirmative, which means voting for the resolution--regardless of which team/plan convinced him/her. I would simply explain that to the judge.

Is it true that counterplans should not affirm the resolution?

When it comes to this issue, there are two camps. At risk of over-simplifying or misrepresenting, I'll try to explain them to you.

Rez-centrism is what you are describing. Under a rez-centrist framework, the affirmative team's role is to affirm the resolution, and the negative team needs to negate the resolution. If you subscribe to this theory, then topical counterplans are a no-no, for the reasons you described. This is the more traditional approach.

Parametrics holds that when the affirmative team chooses a case in the 1AC, they automatically shrink the resolution to encompass only their plan (for the purposes of that round). In other words, the negative team's job is to negate the affirmative team, but not necessarily the entire resolution (only the parts that the affirmative team upholds). Under this theory, the resolution serves less as a mechanism for selecting the winner of the round and more as a limiter on the case that the affirmative can choose. And obviously, topical counterplans can be legitimized with parametrics, as long as the CP is competitive. This is a newer approach.

The debate between these two camps is never-ending, and it happens every so often here on HSD. In fact, I think we're about due for another parametrics thread :P (jk), but if you look in the theory section or theory archives, or search for "parametrics", you should find a thread (or several) discussing this in a very in-depth fashion.

Personally, I tend to agree with you, but I'd like to run a topical CP and argue for parametrics sometime this year, just for fun. :P Maybe I'll run Halogen's CP!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:55 am 
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Parametrics defy logic like Superman defies gravity. I'm with kingwill on this one. But in addition, if you do decide to use parametrics then you'd better have a very well thought out argument for them because there are many judges who will look at the ballot and say: "At the end of the round, I saw two Affirmative teams, so I voted for the real one." Almost all the time they just aren't worth the risk. I've only ran two CPs before in my life and they both failed. In general I find them not to work well, but when you add in the parametrics debate, Topical CPs just aren't a good idea.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:03 am 
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kingwill wrote:
When it comes to this issue, there are two camps. At risk of over-simplifying or misrepresenting, I'll try to explain them to you.

Rez-centrism is what you are describing. Under a rez-centrist framework, the affirmative team's role is to affirm the resolution, and the negative team needs to negate the resolution. If you subscribe to this theory, then topical counterplans are a no-no, for the reasons you described. This is the more traditional approach.

Parametrics holds that when the affirmative team chooses a case in the 1AC, they automatically shrink the resolution to encompass only their plan (for the purposes of that round). In other words, the negative team's job is to negate the affirmative team, but not necessarily the entire resolution (only the parts that the affirmative team upholds). Under this theory, the resolution serves less as a mechanism for selecting the winner of the round and more as a limiter on the case that the affirmative can choose. And obviously, topical counterplans can be legitimized with parametrics, as long as the CP is competitive. This is a newer approach.

The debate between these two camps is never-ending, and it happens every so often here on HSD. In fact, I think we're about due for another parametrics thread :P (jk), but if you look in the theory section or theory archives, or search for "parametrics", you should find a thread (or several) discussing this in a very in-depth fashion.

Personally, I tend to agree with you, but I'd like to run a topical CP and argue for parametrics sometime this year, just for fun. :P Maybe I'll run Halogen's CP!


Thanks so much for explaining that! Your explanation makes a lot of sense!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:30 am 
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kingwill wrote:
marinadelayne wrote:
I'm new to debate, so please correct me if I am wrong, but I have been told that a counterplan should not affirm the resolution. The judge is voting to either affirm or negate the resolution. If the judge is convinced that federal election law should be significantly reformed in the United States, he/she should vote affirmative, which means voting for the resolution--regardless of which team/plan convinced him/her. I would simply explain that to the judge.

Is it true that counterplans should not affirm the resolution?

When it comes to this issue, there are two camps. At risk of over-simplifying or misrepresenting, I'll try to explain them to you.

Rez-centrism is what you are describing. Under a rez-centrist framework, the affirmative team's role is to affirm the resolution, and the negative team needs to negate the resolution. If you subscribe to this theory, then topical counterplans are a no-no, for the reasons you described. This is the more traditional approach.

Parametrics holds that when the affirmative team chooses a case in the 1AC, they automatically shrink the resolution to encompass only their plan (for the purposes of that round). In other words, the negative team's job is to negate the affirmative team, but not necessarily the entire resolution (only the parts that the affirmative team upholds). Under this theory, the resolution serves less as a mechanism for selecting the winner of the round and more as a limiter on the case that the affirmative can choose. And obviously, topical counterplans can be legitimized with parametrics, as long as the CP is competitive. This is a newer approach.

The debate between these two camps is never-ending, and it happens every so often here on HSD. In fact, I think we're about due for another parametrics thread :P (jk), but if you look in the theory section or theory archives, or search for "parametrics", you should find a thread (or several) discussing this in a very in-depth fashion.

Personally, I tend to agree with you, but I'd like to run a topical CP and argue for parametrics sometime this year, just for fun. :P Maybe I'll run Halogen's CP!


Those are the only two options, unless you want to throw parameter theory into the mix.
And I just realized I probably sparked another counterplan theory discussion. http://i.imgur.com/NvfCGSX.gif

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 Post subject: Re: Topical counterplans
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:49 am 
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Technically, there are three options:

Rezcentrism = judge votes on the resolution.
Plancentrism = judge votes on the plan.
Parametrics = mixture of the two (judge votes on the resolution, but we're basically going to act like the resolution is the plan.)

The articles linked above have a pretty good summary of the arguments for and against each framework.

(Trevor's concept of "parameter theory" is basically just plancentrism, phrased differently. You can also get funky and argue something like hypothesis testing, but that's not practically much different from rezcentrism.)

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 Post subject: Re: Topical counterplans
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:07 am 
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Which makes more sense:

The judge votes aff iff the judge is persuaded that the resolution is true. The plan (or topical CP) implies the resolution; therefore, the judge votes aff if the judge is persuaded that the plan (or topical CP) should happen. If judge is not persuaded that the plan should happen, then the judge has no reason to be persuaded that the resolution is true and so votes neg on presumption.

The judge votes aff if the judge is persuaded that the plan should happen. Some ways to persuade the judge to vote neg:
- Persuade the judge that the plan is not topical. Voting aff would justify tactics that would make debate unsustainable and unenjoyable.
- Perusade the judge that there is a superior alternative to the plan. The judge is persuaded that the plan should not happen because something else should happen instead. Tangential note: it's better for the CP to be topical for the same reasons a plan should be topical: aff is going up against something they could just as reliably prepare against by doing neg preparations, rather than something they might never have heard of.

Is neg supposed to persuade the judge that the status quo is perfect, or that the plan should not happen?

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 Post subject: Re: Topical counterplans
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:10 pm 
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Neg is supposed to negate the resolution.

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 Post subject: Re: Topical counterplans
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:05 pm 
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I started debating just a few years after the heretics first experimented with topical counterplans. Back then, plan focus and resolution focus were like draw poker and stud poker; we all showed up to play poker, but we knew multiple sets of rules we could choose from. Back then, the debates over which set of rules the judge would accept stayed pretty streamlined; with which set of rules will we learn more? Which set is more true to the mission of the universities that gave us our budgets? We didn't try to make sweeping, expansive claims about how argumentation worked, or the linguistic entailments that came with the speech act of affirming/negating a proposition, because those debates were tail-chasing and unproductive. (Of course, that's generally true of a whole lot of theory debates, so I can't say why it stopped us in this case.)

All of that to say, a negative isn't "supposed" to negate the resolution at all, any more than someone playing draw poker is "supposed" to have upcards. Both sets of rules are defensible; how good are you at making the case for yours?


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 Post subject: Re: Topical counterplans
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:14 pm 
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I honestly think counterplans are stupid.

Because logically you have to be either topical or nontopical.
If you are topical then you are saying (for this year) that “yes, federal election law should be significantly reformed in the United States" (and you would be a second aff.)
If you are being nontopical then you aren't saying that but who knows what you are saying, (sure you may half be addressing the resolution but if you do a nontopical counterplan I would soooooo kritik your theory (not necessarily your case) and say that it is abusive to the aff to run a nontopical counterplan.) And you would still be neg but you aren't really debating election law so you aren't really a neg...

Now, I am kinda half Rez-centrism half Parametrics (probably more Rez-centrism than Peramentrics) because I still believe that you have to affirm/negate the resolution but the resolution isn’t limited by the affs case (because the rez says “Resolved: that federal election law should be significantly reformed in the United States” not “Resolved: the United States should enact a national voter ID for federal elections” (as an example…)). Also as the Neg you don't have to say that the whole system is good because of the law of "perfection-by-silence" (I think I just made that name up). Basically the affirmative says "federal election law should be significantly reformed in the united states by doing this, because of this" and they don't say anything else which automatically sets the president that the rest of the federal election laws are good and don't need to be reformed. So the neg if then can show that that certain part is not bad then because of silence and evidence they show that the whole FEL is good (and thus are negating the rez). But if they bring up a topical counterplan then they are saying "what you (the aff) are saying is not a problem, this is a problem in the status quo" and are thereby affirming the rez.

This is just my personal take on it so don't feel that this is 100% how it should be.

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 Post subject: Re: Topical counterplans
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:35 pm 
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JBWilson wrote:
I honestly think counterplans are stupid.

Because logically you have to be either topical or nontopical.

If you are topical then you are saying (for this year) that “yes, federal election law should be significantly reformed in the United States" (and you would be a second aff.)

If you are being nontopical then you aren't saying that but who knows what you are saying
You're saying "doing the Affirmative plan prevents us from doing something better, so it's a bad idea." That's a perfectly logical way to disprove the Affirmative. For example, suppose the resolution is "Resolved: That we should throw away the leftover spaghetti":

Affirmative: We're not going to eat it, so we should put it in the garbage.
Negative: No, Joe hasn't had lunch yet, we should give it to him.

The Negative counterplan is nontopical, but it's a totally legitimate argument against the Affirmative's plan. The Negative is right - giving the spaghetti to Joe is a better idea. But you can't both give the spaghetti to Joe and put it in the garbage, so if the Negative is right, the Affirmative must be wrong. Ta-da! A nontopical counterplan just disproved the resolution.

JBWilson wrote:
(sure you may half be addressing the resolution but if you do a nontopical counterplan I would soooooo kritik your theory (not necessarily your case) and say that it is abusive to the aff to run a nontopical counterplan.)
Do explain. How is it abusive to the Aff?

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 Post subject: Re: Topical counterplans
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:09 am 
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Masked Midnight wrote:
Quote:
Is neg supposed to persuade the judge that the status quo is perfect, or that the plan should not happen?

The NEG should negate the AFF's plan/case as proposed; once the AFF presents the case, the resolution narrows to fit that proposal. #parametricist

The resolution is set before the round starts and there is no reason that it would disolve to the affirmative plan otherwise CPs wouldn't be aloud because they're different from the case. Narrowing it down is dangerous territory.

Also, what is the role of the Aff? To affirm the resolution. Why would it make any sense for the neg to negate the affirmative case. If that was true then it would be Aff's job to affirm the negs case. Aff and Neg are flip sides of the same coin, not different coins.

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 Post subject: Re: Topical counterplans
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:36 am 
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MSD wrote:
JBWilson wrote:
(sure you may half be addressing the resolution but if you do a nontopical counterplan I would soooooo kritik your theory (not necessarily your case) and say that it is abusive to the aff to run a nontopical counterplan.)
Do explain. How is it abusive to the Aff?

Not to speak for JBWilson, but

A while ago, I came up with this theory based on the assumption that negating the resolution is logically equivalent to affirming the negative of the resolution (e.g. "FEL should not be significantly reformed in the US"). If topicality and extra-topicality apply to the affirmative team, then they ought to apply to the negative team. Thus, if neg proposes a counterplan of any type, it is either non-topical or extra-topical.

Now, there is probably some hole in that, and it may not be where JBWilson is coming from, but it's one possible framework that would render CPs abusive (or at the least, not legitimate).

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 Post subject: Re: Topical counterplans
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:03 am 
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Masked Midnight wrote:
The AFF would still be justifying the resolution, just not the whole resolution. If the case justifies a part of the resolution, I'd say that's fine; most cases do anyways.

But why does the Neg have to negate the Aff case, whereas the Aff gets to affirm the resolution? They're affecting two very different things which isn't what a debate round is about.

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 Post subject: Re: Topical counterplans
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:23 am 
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Masked Midnight wrote:
Hammy wrote:
Masked Midnight wrote:
The AFF would still be justifying the resolution, just not the whole resolution. If the case justifies a part of the resolution, I'd say that's fine; most cases do anyways.

But why does the Neg have to negate the Aff case, whereas the Aff gets to affirm the resolution? They're affecting two very different things which isn't what a debate round is about.

Basically the AFF doesn't get to affirm the resolution...it has to: The AFF first must fall under the resolution (that's a Topicality contention, not a parametrics one); once that has been established, the NEG's job is to refute that area of the resolution specifically. Therefore, the NEG is asked to debate only that area of the resolution -- this makes for a more focused round. One can also argue reverse parametrics and say that the AFF has limited the debate's scope too much and are being abusive.

Essentially, both the AFF and NEG are debating the same thing; the AFF's selected area under the resolutional umbrella.

I agree with that, but what when the Neg runs a topical CP they go completely against their job to focus in on the Aff's plan because the are affirming the resolution of the debate round. To a certain degree you're right, the round starts out before any speeches basic affirming and negating resolution. The Aff focuses the round to their plan, and then it's time for Neg to negate that plan. But if they run a topical CP, then they are going against what they already started with at the beginning of the round which was to negate the resolution. So yes, they do have to negate the Aff plan, but they also have to stick with their original job of negating the resolution, not just the aff plan.

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 Post subject: Re: Topical counterplans
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:29 am 
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Masked Midnight wrote:
I see more danger with rez-centrism, where the AFF has to run a whole rez to be legitimate -- that's the only way that the entire resolution can be effectively affirmed.

I don't think so. Affirming the resolution is a "do or do not" type ot thing. Affirming one case affirms the resolution, and it's impossible to affirm it "better" or "more effectively."

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 Post subject: Re: Topical counterplans
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:30 am 
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kingwill wrote:
Masked Midnight wrote:
I see more danger with rez-centrism, where the AFF has to run a whole rez to be legitimate -- that's the only way that the entire resolution can be effectively affirmed.

I don't think so. Affirming the resolution is a "do or do not" type ot thing. Affirming one case affirms the resolution, and it's impossible to affirm it "better" or "more effectively."


Well, some cases are better than others, meaning that they're upholding the res more effectively.
I look at it this way: Say the resolution is that Razi should run for political office. To uphold that rez, AFF doesn't need to prove that Razi should run for political office in general-- for one thing, he couldn't run for most offices because of age and residency requirements. AFF can just prove that Razi should run for one particular political office, and the resolution has been effectively proven.
I the resolution is that John Smith should eat lunch, the AFF doesn't need to prove that he should eat every lunch possible-- they can just say he should eat sushi. Boom, resolution upheld.

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 Post subject: Re: Topical counterplans
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:42 pm 
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MSD wrote:
JBWilson wrote:
(sure you may half be addressing the resolution but if you do a nontopical counterplan I would soooooo kritik your theory (not necessarily your case) and say that it is abusive to the aff to run a nontopical counterplan.)
Do explain. How is it abusive to the Aff?
Because the Aff is supposed to be studying FEL not every idea there is in the world that might have some affect on FEL, to be able to refute anything that the Neg brings up. It is totally fine for the negative to research some other real life way to fix the problem in there own time (because no one is making them) but it is abusive to make another team do research outside of the Rez to be able to defend there case inround against who knows what the Negative pulls that might have only a little affect on FEL. So therefore nontop counterplans are abusive.

Masked Midnight wrote:
Quote:
Is neg supposed to persuade the judge that the status quo is perfect, or that the plan should not happen?
The NEG should negate the AFF's plan/case as proposed; once the AFF presents the case, the resolution narrows to fit that proposal. #parametricist
... because of the law of perfection-by-silence. But that doesn't mean that they can bring up a topical counterplan because then you are affirming the Rez

Masked Midnight wrote:
Quote:
The resolution is set before the round starts and there is no reason that it would disolve to the affirmative plan otherwise CPs wouldn't be aloud because they're different from the case. Narrowing it down is dangerous territory.
Not quite. If the CP refutes the AFF directly, then it is perfectly legitimate. I see more danger with rez-centrism, where the AFF has to run a whole rez to be legitimate -- that's the only way that the entire resolution can be effectively affirmed.[quote]Lets assume for a moment that the Resolution for the 2013-2014 season is "Resolved: that there is oil under the Rocky Mountains" (yeah, kinda boring rez but it works for this example). Now as the Aff do you have to look under every single mountain to prove the rez true? No. All you have to do is look and find that somewhere un that whole chain of mountains, at least one has oil under it, then you have successfully proved that "Yes there is indeed oil under the Rocky Mountains" (You didn't prove that there is oil under every mountain just that there was oil somewhere under the Rocky Mountains) (I ran this soooooooo many times with my Aff last year (In LD) because my aff was government only have a MO in this certain circumstance.) The same applies to the real rez. It says that FEL should be significantly reformed, and the Aff says "yes it should be because of this problem" (therefore they are saying that it should be reformed).

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 Post subject: Re: Topical counterplans
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:15 pm 
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JBWilson wrote:
MSD wrote:
JBWilson wrote:
(sure you may half be addressing the resolution but if you do a nontopical counterplan I would soooooo kritik your theory (not necessarily your case) and say that it is abusive to the aff to run a nontopical counterplan.)
Do explain. How is it abusive to the Aff?
Because the Aff is supposed to be studying FEL not every idea there is in the world that might have some affect on FEL, to be able to refute anything that the Neg brings up. It is totally fine for the negative to research some other real life way to fix the problem in there own time (because no one is making them) but it is abusive to make another team do research outside of the Rez to be able to defend there case inround against who knows what the Negative pulls that might have only a little affect on FEL. So therefore nontop counterplans are abusive.
That's like saying, "crime rates are a totally different topic from elections, so it's abusive for the Negative to point out how my plan increases crime rates!" If the CP legitimately refutes the Affirmative plan (as it should), then it's relevant to the topic.

You're not forcing the Affirmative to research irrelevant off-topic information - you're forcing them to research arguments directly related to whether their plan should be adopted.

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COG 2016 generics-only sourcebook - NCFCA/Stoa (thread)
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 Post subject: Re: Topical counterplans
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:59 pm 
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Masked Midnight wrote:
JBWilson wrote:
Lets assume for a moment that the Resolution for the 2013-2014 season is "Resolved: that there is oil under the Rocky Mountains" (yeah, kinda boring rez but it works for this example). Now as the Aff do you have to look under every single mountain to prove the rez true? No. All you have to do is look and find that somewhere un that whole chain of mountains, at least one has oil under it, then you have successfully proved that "Yes there is indeed oil under the Rocky Mountains" (You didn't prove that there is oil under every mountain just that there was oil somewhere under the Rocky Mountains)
So, in essence you're agreeing with me. Using your example, rez-centrists advocate searching under every mountain for oil in order to justify the full (or whole) resolution. Parametricists argue that finding one mountain with oil under it fulfills the resolution and then the debate narrows to that mountain. At this point the debate focuses on that mountain and not the others.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding your point, but rezcentrists don't say you have to search under every mountain. The same logic applies to both frameworks - one example proves the resolution true.

_________________
Abe bimuí bithúo dousí abe - "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free"

COG 2016 generics-only sourcebook - NCFCA/Stoa (thread)
Factsmith research software - v1.4 currently available (thread)
Loose Nukes debate blog - stuff to read with your eyes.


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