KritikLecture-Galloway

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Introduction to Kritiks
Ryan Galloway
Samford University
K Lecture Overview

Introduction to Kritiks

Answering Kritiks

Kritik Tricks

Kritiks specific/likely on the topic
Kritik

Kritik comes from the German meaning to criticize

It is an argument that challenges the
philosophical or linguistic assumptions of the
Affirmative case

Example: Why would it be wrong to say mankind
when referring to human beings?
Structure of the Kritik
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Kritiks usually start with a framework debate or a
question regarding what the debate is about
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Kritiks often say the debate is not about a
utilitarian framework

The debate might be about educating people or
about how to best use language
Link Debate

Kritiks, just like disads, have links

The difference is the link is not always to the plan

It might be to any language or assumption made
in your evidence

Example: If you assume that the environment
should be protected because of benefits to
humans—that is a link to a kritik
Impact
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Just like disads, Kritiks have impacts

Unlike disads, Kritiks often have deontological
impacts—or something you should reject no
matter what.

Can someone think of a deontological
argument?
Impact
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Kritiks often also have systemic impacts—meaning
the continuation of a system causes oppression or
even makes extinction inevitable

The textbook example of this is the Capitalism
Kritik—it will argue

Capitalism is unethical

Capitalism is the root cause of environmental
destruction

Can someone think of a reason why this might be
true?
Alternative

Kritiks usually have an alternative.

The best way to think about the Kritik alternative is
to think of it like a counterplan

An alternative is often to withdraw from an
oppressive system or to rethink the oppressive
structure

What is an alternative to the capitalism Kritik?
Kritik Example

A) Framework: The judge is not a policy maker—
the judge is a critical intellectual assessing the
assumptions of the affirmative
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B) Link: The plan upholds the profit motive of
capitalism—aquaculture merely makes capitalism
look sustainable and environmentally friendly

C) Impact: Capitalism is the root cause of
environmental destruction—extinction is inevitable
unless we challenge capitalism.

D) Alternative: The judge should intellectually
withdraw support from the system of capitalism
Answering the K
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Solvency: Alt doesn’t solve

Theory: Defend your framework
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Offense: Prove why your affirmative is a good
idea, and their theory is a bad one

Perms: Combine the affirmative and the
alternative
Alt doesn’t solve the case

Primary way to beat the K is to prove the alt
doesn’t solve the case

Then win the case outweighs
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Pragmatism: You should assess what can
pragmatically be done
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Specificity: Prove that the alternative won’t solve
the specifics of the case

Why does challenging capitalism solve for
aquaculture?
Theory
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Framework is usually the #1 theory argument
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Debate should only be policy
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AFF choice
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Resolution is a policy resolution
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Fairness: infinite # of philosophies & discursive arguments

Weigh our AFF

Vague alts can get you somewhere as well—usually as a
solvency deficit to the kritik
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Cross-X can the alternative ever do the AFF? If so, why is
the alternative inconsistent with the AFF?
Offense

Best way to generate offense is to indict the
theory
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Argue capitalism is good, argue neo-liberalism is
good
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Also author theory arguments like Heidegger’s
theory leads to Nazism etc.
Perms
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Always, always permute a kritik
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Argue “do both” and “do the plan and all nonmutually exclusive parts of the alt.”
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What is the difference?
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If the alternative can do the plan, then “do the
alternative” also works.
Example of a Kritik FrontLine
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1) The Kritik doesn’t solve the case:
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A) The Kritik doesn’t solve for specific species of fish
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B) The Kritik doesn’t solve our specific scenario of
environmental destruction
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2) The debate should be about is the plan better than a
policy alternative or the status quo
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A) AFF choice makes us flexible to be both a policy and a
kritik debater
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B) The resolution is a policy resolution—it asks what should
be done
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C) The implication is to reject the kritik or allow us to weigh
our AFF
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3) Capitalism is good—it solves for the environment
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4) Permute: do the plan and all non-mutually exclusive
parts of the alternative
K-Bombs

K-bombs is my nickname for the argument that
certain Kritik arguments if you drop, you almost
automatically lose
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If debating the K team, you must answer these
arguments

If you are the K team—drop K-bombs
K-Bomb 1:
Unpredictability
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“We can’t evaluate consequences” usually the
experts are as accurate as “monkeys throwing
darts at a dartboard.”
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Why is it important not to drop this?

Usually you answer this by saying that while there
are no absolute truths, there can be limited truths.
K-Bomb 2: Ethics are all
that matter
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This is the second side of the consequences
debate—that they don’t matter.
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Deontology—we have certain principles we
should not violate—no matter what.
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To answer this, you have to win that
consequences are key to ethics
K-Bomb 3: Ontology
Comes First
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Ontology is the theory of being
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It is the “I” in the “I think”
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Are we corrupted people, are we evil?
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Famous card from Zimmerman that ontological
damnation o/ws nuclear war.
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Answer this by saying we will never get to a
discussion of consequences, because we can think
about ontology forever.
K-Bomb 4: Epistemology
Comes First
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Epistemology is how we know what we know.
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How do you know that capitalism saves the
environment?
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Perhaps our sources are corrupted or biased or
have incentives to create war
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The best answer is to say that even if we don’t
know everything, we can know some things.
K-Bomb 5: Fiat is an
illusion
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Fiat is the assumption that the plan should
happen
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This argument says that the plan will never
actually happen
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Argues that because the plan never happens,
you can claim no impacts from the plan
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Frequently run with the “representations are all
that matter” K-bomb
K-Bomb 6: Representations
are all that matter
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This is the “discourse is all that matters” argument.
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They say that all we are doing is talking
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They say that representations create reality
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Can you give an example of representations
creating reality?

Best answer is to say that an over focus on
representations distracts from policy
K-Bomb 7: “x” is the root
cause of everything
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“x” is something like capitalism, patriarchy, statism,
etc.

Challenge that anything is the root cause of
everything else.
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There are proximate causes, but no root causes
K-Bomb 8: There is no value
to life in your framework
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Usually this is because you justify “killing to save”
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How could the affirmative justify killing to save?

Challenge this by saying that life always has
meaning
K-Bomb 9: Your impact is
inevitable
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They will say that a certain system makes
extinction inevitable
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This means you should “try or die” you should try
to fight capitalism, patriarchy, etc or we all die

Prove that extinction is not inevitable—life is
getting better—the environment is getting better

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