“…fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words; they are perspectives.” —V for Vendetta
So I was chatting with a student who was new to value at practice and she reported that the debate camp had decreed that framework arguments in value debates are dead. This is unfortunate, since the framework is literally what the debate is really about. So why do they think the framework debate is dead? Because high schoolers don’t know how to do it, and then they get a couple of years older and become debate camp coaches that still don’t know how to do it, so they tell their students to not bother.
The irony of the position is that value debate is all about drawing on the deep abstract motivations that can compel people to bother. To “not bother” is to miss the whole point.
So let’s step back and take a quick primer on the cognitive style of value-based argumentation.
- Handout (PDF): a 2-page primer with a worksheet to help structure your arguments.
- Lecture (Powerpoint): a 5-minute lecture featuring Alice in Wonderland.
These resources explain and demonstrate the rhetorical practice more extensively: