Conditional Argumentation
Part of the Series: The Art of Debate

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The Art of Debate
THE ART OF DEBATE offers you the ultimate how-to guide for hashing out differences of opinion and making stronger arguments based on reason and compromise. In 24 stimulating lectures, Professor Jarrod Atchison of Wake Forest University helps you develop your command of logic, construct clear arguments, recognize the fallacies in…
The Hidden Value of Debate
Part of the Series: The Art of Debate
Find out what we mean when we talk about "debates," and how immersing yourself in the techniques of formal debate can have a dramatic impact on how you make decisions in every aspect of your life. From the business world to the bar room, the process of exchanging ideas will…
When and How to Use Debate
Part of the Series: The Art of Debate
Debate gives you an honest assessment of an idea, and is therefore a powerful decision-making tool. Here, Professor Atchison walks you through the structure of a formal debate and explores when debate can help you the most. As you will learn, big and future-oriented decisions are ripe for formal discussion.
The Proposition: Choosing What to Debate
Part of the Series: The Art of Debate
Now that you know when to debate, shift your attention to what to debate. The "proposition" - the idea up for debate - is one of the most important concepts to understand, and in this lecture, you will survey how to structure the proposition most effectively - and consider who…
The Structure of Argument
Part of the Series: The Art of Debate
The claim, the evidence, and the warrant: these three elements provide the structure of a strong argument. Unpack each of these elements by studying what they are, how they work, and how they come together to produce an argument. Then home in on the warrant, which is often the most…
Using Evidence in Debate
Part of the Series: The Art of Debate
Examine the strengths and weaknesses of three primary types of evidence: narrative evidence, empirical evidence, and evidence based on authority. As you review each type of evidence, you will see them in action as Professor Atchison applies them to debates about gun control, climate change, and physician-assisted suicide.
Fallacies in Your Opponent's Research
Part of the Series: The Art of Debate
To be a great debater, you must not only learn to recognize argument fallacies, but you must also learn to combat them during the debate. This first in a two-part lecture series offers insight to help you identify fallacies that stem from flaws in your opponent's research, including the post…
Fallacies in Your Opponent's Arguments
Part of the Series: The Art of Debate
Continue your study of fallacies with a survey of fallacies that stem from the actual debate itself. To make their case, debaters often resort to false analogies, straw men, and ad hominem attacks. Fortunately, once you learn to recognize them, you will be well prepared to combat them and score…
Elements of a Good Case
Part of the Series: The Art of Debate
No debate is won without consideration of the audience - of the ultimate decider or the judge. If you can't connect with this audience, you won't be able to win them over. After considering how to make such a connection, you'll then sharpen your skills in creating a well-researched case…
Arguing for the Affirmative
Part of the Series: The Art of Debate
The affirmative side of a debate must do three things: stay relevant to the resolution, indict the status quo, and offer a proposal designed to solve the problems you have identified with the status quo. Discover how to meet these obligations and build a winning affirmative argument.
Building Affirmative Cases
Part of the Series: The Art of Debate
Now that you know how to develop a strong affirmative argument, apply your skills to a specific debate. Taking a resolution about campus carry laws as an example, Professor Atchison walks you through each of the steps to indict the status quo and offer a tenable solution to the problem.
Arguing for the Negative
Part of the Series: The Art of Debate
A good critique is a necessary way of testing out an idea, but developing a good negative case requires immense creativity to disprove the affirmative argument. Delve into the key arguments available to the negative: the disadvantages of the affirmative case, counterproposals, and critiques of the affirmative's assumptions.