An argumentation and debate text book for not debaters: Understanding Argument: the journey from consumer to critic, critic to advocate, Korry Harvey and Paul Bingham, Western Washington University, USA
Although there are already several fine argumentation and debate texts in print, in writing this text we hope to address argumentation from more of a practical perspective than solely an academic or theoretical approach. In our experience, argumentation makes the most sense when we can see the application it has to our everyday lives. While recognizing that there is undoubtedly an important purpose for the more highly specialized debate handbooks available, most people will never actually participate in a school’s competitive debate program, therefore this effort is directed less toward the argument theorist or experienced academic debate student than toward a more general audience. Indeed, everyone faces conflict and challenge in their lives. Everyone is subject to a myriad of political and social messages on a daily basis. Everyone is regularly tasked with making a wide range of difficult decisions. It is our hope that this text can assist the reader in understanding the intricacies of argumentation, and in so doing act as a guide along the journey from being simply a consumer of argument to becoming a critic of argument, and then acting as an advocate for the ideals and positions they hold. Rather than passively being bombarded by arguments (via the media, religious institutions, the government, political campaigns, social movements, peers, etc.), our intention is to help people develop the skills necessary to recognize when argument is being directed at them, to critically assess it for validity, and then to respond appropriately. In a world that is changing as rapidly as ours currently is, such skills are of great value to everyone.
3rd International Conference on Argumentation, Rhetoric, Debate and the Pedagogy of Empowerment, October 2010, Maribor, Slovenia.
Further details can be found at the conference websites:
Basic information at debate.uvm.edu/debateblog/better/Welcome.html
News blog at betterworldconference.blogspot.com/
The conference was organized by the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, University of Maribor in Slovenia uni-mb.si/ , ZIP, Za in proti, zavod za kulturo dialoga/Pro et contra, institute for culture of dialogue zainproti.com/ , and the World Debate Institute of the University of Vermont debate.uvm.edu/debateblog/wdi/Welcome.html .
The organizers are grateful for the support of our sponsor QatarDebate qatardebate.org/ .
Thanks to organizers Boris Vezjak, Alfred Snider and Bojana Skrt. Special thanks to Peter Mesarec, Monica Sobocan and Aljoša Polšak.