victorybriefs

Open full view…

Effective Topical Limits

Tue, 28 Jan 2014 02:39:13 GMT

Jake Nebel
Tue, 28 Jan 2014 21:20:55 GMT

Ryan, in response to your [article](http://victorybriefs.com/vbd/2014/1/effective-topical-limits. ). I don't see how these plans are even effects topical. Banning the mining of some mineral because of its environmental harm would not likely result in a world in which developing countries prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction. I think the animal rights example you give is closer, but I still would categorize it as being non-topical, rather than effects topical. If the U.S. government offered financial incentives to companies that treat animals better, I guess that might result in a world in which animals have the same rights as humans. But almost certainly not. If you change the resolution to, "The U.S.. government ought to significantly reduce the suffering of animals," I can see how this plan would be effects topical, because one of its effects might be a significant reduction in the suffering of animals. Also, I think my problem with effects topicality is that it steals the best ground for negative CPs. If some action would result in something very much like the resolution

Ryan Fink
Tue, 28 Jan 2014 23:33:26 GMT

Hey Jake, So I think you have a kind of weird understanding of what constitutes a topical affirmative. It seems like you are conflating "whole rez" with "topical". Obviously banning the mining of a particular mineral doesn't affirm the entire resolution but that doesn't make it non-topical. Topicality just means that a position is a relevant part of the resolution, that it doesn't go beyond what the text of the resolution or topic literature discusses. The plan examples in the article are instances in which the affirmative claims the resolution is true. If I'm understanding your argument correctly, your interpretation of topicality would ban all plans on every topic ever. That doesn't sound like a good interpretation of topicality to me. The same logic applies to your concern about the animal rights example. If the resolution is "give animals the same rights as humans" a plan that says treat animals better is a topical affirmative (since freedom from suffering is probably a right humans have), even though it doesn't prove the entire resolution true. But, becaus e the plan is give incentives to get companies to treat animals better, the plan itself is not-topical, only the effect is; hence why it is effects topical. And I agree with you. Effects topical positions are bad for neg CP ground.

Ryan Fink
Tue, 28 Jan 2014 23:33:37 GMT

Hey Jake, So I think you have a kind of weird understanding of what constitutes a topical affirmative. It seems like you are conflating "whole rez" with "topical". Obviously banning the mining of a particular mineral doesn't affirm the entire resolution but that doesn't make it non-topical. Topicality just means that a position is a relevant part of the resolution, that it doesn't go beyond what the text of the resolution or topic literature discusses. The plan examples in the article are instances in which the affirmative claims the resolution is true. If I'm understanding your argument correctly, your interpretation of topicality would ban all plans on every topic ever. That doesn't sound like a good interpretation of topicality to me. The same logic applies to your concern about the animal rights example. If the resolution is "give animals the same rights as humans" a plan that says treat animals better is a topical affirmative (since freedom from suffering is probably a right humans have), even though it doesn't prove the entire resolution true. But, becaus e the plan is give incentives to get companies to treat animals better, the plan itself is not-topical, only the effect is; hence why it is effects topical. And I agree with you. Effects topical positions are bad for neg CP ground.

Jake Nebel
Wed, 29 Jan 2014 00:01:14 GMT

I don't think my view implies that no plans are topical on any resolution. I think lots of plans on lots of topics are topical, because doing the plan is often a sufficient way of doing what the resolution says ought to be done. Examples: single-payer system on the healthcare topic, ways of doing 'one of the following' on 'one of the following' topics in policy, and Supreme Court or constitutional amendment plans that shift the values of the U.S. criminal justice system on Jan/Feb 2013. I don't know much (i.e., anything) about this topic, but a plan in which some multinational organization of developing countries required ratification of some environmental convention would probably be topical. (I'm not assuming that such an organization or convention exists, or that this plan would be a good idea; I just think that if these things did exist, then that plan would be topical.) What these topical plans have in common is that the agent's doing them would be sufficient to do the action that the resolution says the agent ought to do. Not so for the plans I've heard about on t his topic. I'm not assuming plans bad, because I think plans are good; they just need to be topical, and my conception of T is just what I've said. I'm also not assuming what some call 'res focus,' because once a topical plan is proposed, I believe that the aff should stand or fall with the plan (e.g., no counter-warrants).

Ryan Fink
Wed, 29 Jan 2014 00:34:03 GMT

So is your argument that the plans you've heard of on this topic are not topical because they don't prove the resolution true from a scope perspective i.e. they arent proving all developing countries should prioritize" or is your argument that none of those plans, including the examples in this article, are topical because of your conception of what "prioritize" means as per your recently posted article?

Jake Nebel
Wed, 29 Jan 2014 10:08:38 GMT

Both, although I would resist your characterization of my first argument. I don't think I'm assuming that the aff must prove the resolution true, and my interpretation might not require action by _all_ developing countries. I currently understand the resolution as a generic generalization, which is stronger than 'some,' weaker than 'all,' but not reducible to anything like a majority or a typical case. You might think such a generalization is totally obscure and hard to debate, but there's decent evidence from psychologists and linguists that generics are fundamental and what we understand best.

Ryan Fink
Wed, 29 Jan 2014 19:02:07 GMT

I can understand that you have a different view of what prioritization entails, I'll let Bob continue to argue with you about that issue. My article assumes the implementation based understanding of prioritization since that's what the overwhelming majority of the community thinks. But, I don't agree with your generic generalization claim. You seem to think that plans that are specific to 1 or 2 countries aren't describing the action of the generic category "developing countries". But empirically on topics without definitive actors, like the sanctions topic, no one ever claimed Iran sanctions were non-topical because they didn't deal with the generic category of sanctions. Of course, it's possible that you think those types of plans shouldn't have been read on the sanctions topic either and that specific plans only make sense on a topic like the ICC topic where the number of actions is clear in the resolution. But regardless, that doesn't seem like a topicality question. It's a question of whether plans are permissible on a given topic (since topicality isn't a qu estion of proving the entire resolution true but rather just proving the affirmative is a part of the topic). And of course I'm sure generics are both useful and easy to understand, but that doesn't necessitate that we exclude all specific plans for educational reasons. I'm certain there are plenty of educational benefits to specifics as well and my view of the topic allows for both generics and specifics so your view might be over limiting. BUT, most importantly my article is designed for individuals who assume that specific plans are okay on this resolution, which is a norm I suspect the community will maintain (hence the creation of this article). So obviously if we take your approach then sure these types of affirmatives would be neither topical or effects topical.

ihaveaquestion
Wed, 29 Jan 2014 23:33:52 GMT

jake, you said: "You might think such a generalization is totally obscure and hard to debate, but there's decent evidence from psychologists and linguists that generics are fundamental and what we understand best." could you please tell me/anyone else interested what specific authors make those claims? thanks!

Jake Nebel
Thu, 30 Jan 2014 09:43:32 GMT

Sure. Check out Mark Johnston and Sarah-Jane Leslie's, "Concepts, Analysis, Generics, and the Canberra Plan" (especially pp. 124-132). Here is [a link to the article](https://www.dropbox.com/s/q6xgp7xwlrv25yd/Johnston%202012%20CONCEPTS%20ANALYSIS%20GENERICS%20AND%20THE%20CANBERRA%20PLAN1.pdf), which I've uploaded the article to the VB Resources Dropbox. Part of that paper contains summaries and references of studies that support the hypothesis that generics are cognitively fundamental. If you have trouble finding some of the papers referenced there, let me know and I'll add some of those to the Dropbox too.