Week 3


Monday

Blogs

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Check and add your blog site if needed student_blog_sites

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Fish Discussion

Chapter 1: Living in a world of argument

Orienting Questions?

Overview

  • “There are no general strategies … the ways of argument are context specific” (7)
  • There is no “yardstick outside the arena of argument […] Rhetorically created authorities are all we have…” (12,13)
  • “the desire for a language purged of subjectivity and political bias and the desire for an end to argument go together; each implies the other” (19)
  • “The Impossible Dream” according to Fish, is the possibility of “identifying a baseline of perception and judgement that in and of itself constitues a barrier to the depredations language can bring about” but this “antirhetorical vision” is a “utopian hope” though its “appeal is perennial and undeniable” (20).
  • “The only real antidote to rhetoric [including the deliberate, deceptive sowing of doubt] is rhetoric.” (31)
  • “A merchant of doubt is a merchant of doubt even if he flies your colors” (36)

Homework

  1. Review your classmates' first blog posts. Offer a substantive comment on the writing of two classmates.
  2. Read Fish, Chapters 5 and 6
  3. Write and post your second formal response to you blog, following this prompt Fish-Writing-Prompt-02

Fish-Writing-Prompt-02


Tuesday

Fish DIscussion

Chapter 2 - Political Argument

Can we make “ethos and pathos subservient to logos”? 47

  • “the discourses that are available are all spun, and, what is worse, there is no neutral space …. Spin, the pronouncing on things from an interested angle, is not a regrettable or avoidable form of thinking and judging; it is the very content of thinking and judging. . .. If there's something wrong, as most observers believer there is, it is is with the form spin not usually takes. ” (51)
  • “political conversation has become more stylized . . . the pros and cons are known to everyone in advance . . . When that happens, the various arguments are no longer genuine invitations to a response . . . ; they have become 'talking points'; you have yours and I have mine. . . .”52, 53
  • “The more practiced you become in rehearsing the talking points on your side, the less likely it is that perusasion will occur, that you will change your mind. A change of mind requires that you hear something new and are provked but it to say (if only to yourself), 'I never though of that.'” (55).
  • Foundationalism and Antifoundaitionalism (86 - 90)

Group Synthesis

Fish addresses three other kinds of arguments: domestic, legal, and academic. Each of these takes place in what he calls a “bounded space,” where certain moves are possible, others are impossible (or frowned upon). In your group, discuss the key elements of this context. What does someone participating in this space need to know? What are some risks, mistakes, or ways an argument might mis-fire in this context?

Secretary: Add the names of your group members: type up 2-4 bullet points in paraphrase.

Group A - domestic, Group B - legal, Group C - legal, Group D - academic

Debate

Next week we will be having an in-class debate about Speech on Campus. We'll use a what we have learned from Fish to prepare a line of argument. Two groups of five will “square off” in a pro/con discussion based on common readings. The other half of the class will judge which side is persuasive. I have prepared documents for you to use in your research. No additional sources are required. If your group wants to enter anything else into “evidence,” share it with me so I can make it available to all.

Homework

Study the documents in the Speech on Campus Exhibit. Consider how to “share” this reading homework among your group members. On your blog, post two or three debatable questions you infer from your reading.


Thursday

Prepare for Debate

Keep Fish Concepts in Mind

Rhetorical Triangle : ethos, pathos, logos

Contexts : political, academic, legal, domestic

Theories of Knowledge: foundational, anti-foundational

Campus Speech Issues

Small-group discussions about what you learned from the documents you read for homework. What are the basic issues involved?

Issues - (from topic to debate)

Campus speech. Debatable propositions (pro/con).

What are some interesting, debatable propositions?

Topic example:

Economics of college, rising tuition costs, student debt load, job placement and earning potential, benefits of an education to individuals and society

Debatable proposition examples:

  1. College education is a public good and should be tuition free for qualified students
  2. Public colleges should managed and funded to produce graduates in fields needed by industry.
  3. Public colleges should charge differential tuition based on the estimated earnings of their majors.

Choice and Assignment of Debate Topics


Free speech is not under attack on campus, since protest and objection are extensions of the right to free speech.

GROUP A - PRO

GROUP B -CON

Emotion has a place in formal debate and classroom discussion; schools should not seek to regulate it.

GROUP C -PRO

GROUP D-CON

Debate topic poll

Final Propositions

Groups A and B:

Groups C and D:

Debate Format

Review the Debate Format and offer some possible propositions for debate.

Homework

Continue to read materials and make individual notes on your blog about argument strategies your group might take.


Friday

Groups - Debate Preparation

Work on your presentation notes. Make plans for further work needed. Your wiki page should provide a secure, group work space:

Additional Sources

IUP Free Speech Project videos

Constitution Center Tinker v DesMoines

Free speech is not under attack on campus, since protest and objection are extensions of the right to free speech.
GROUP A - PRO, GROUP B -CON .

Emotion has a place in formal debate and classroom discussion; schools should not seek to regulate it. GROUP D -PRO GROUP C-CON

Introduction to Thoreau

Homework for Monday

Read Chapters 2-5 in Walden. Continue your debate preparation. Meet with your group if necessary.

Calendar

We begin to talk about Thoreau on Monday. Tuesday will be our class debate (since it's a longer period).