“If terms are not correct then statements do not accord with facts. And when statements and facts do not accord, then business cannot be properly executed. When business is not properly executed, order and harmony do not flourish. When order and harmony do not flourish, then justice becomes arbitrary. And when justice becomes arbitrary, then people do not know how to move hand or foot. Hence, whatever a wise man states, he can always define, and what he so defines he can always carry into practice; for the wise man will on no account have anything remiss in his definitions.” —Confucius, Analects, xiii:3
Saying What You Mean Must pay attention to (and control for): 1.Ambiguity: confounding alternate meanings 1.Connotation: emotional impact 1.Reference: “Who is the Prime Minister?”
Controlling Ambiguity Can’t define every word and stay concise Look for key terms: Terms that are critical to your argument Ask :“If this word was read differently, how much would it affect the argument?”
Controlling Connotation “It’s not what you say, it’s what they hear.” – Frank Luntz Estate Tax => Death Tax Global Warming => Climate Change Oil Drilling => Energy Exploration
Controlling Reference Meaning can be either “sense” or “reference” – articulated by Frege. Operational definitions = reference How the phenomena in question is measured Usually an indirect indicator of the phenomena Not always a good indicator Important to justify the operational definition Link the “reference” to the “sense”
Target Article 1-A Find a text extract (≤ 400 words) from a work that contains a misuse of language / poor operationalization to support an argument. (Or write an extract that describes such a study.) Topic: Must be about a research problem / controversy. (No commentaries as target.) Any area in the Arts or Sciences is fine.
Testing An Aphorism Define/operationalize all necessary terms in an aphorism well enough that it can be tested in an experiment. Justify your choices. (But no need to design the experiment.) Alpha:An apple a day keeps the doctor away, Bravo:A stitch in time saves nine. Charlie: The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Delta:Bad news travels fast. Echo: You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Taking each aphorism as literally as you like…
Essay 2-ANext Tuesday: Scope: Any aspect of life. Examples from the readings cannot be used. (Note: each example must be of a different types) Write a short essay (≤ 400 words) on the following topic: Give 3 particular examples of the use of satisficing or “quick and dirty” heuristics in everyday life. (This doesn’t actually have to exist; just that it might be possible.) For each example, explain why it is / isn’t effective.
Debate Teams Team 1: Collin, Piriya, Vanessa Team 2: Amy, Ryan, Simon Team 3: Samson, Aleks, Jozefina Team 4: Daf, Trevor, Thayalini Team 5: Doris, Julia, Kearny Team 6: Pebble, Adelena Team 7: Oana, David, Daniel Team 8: Dakota, Eliza
Potential Debate Topics 1. Consciousness is an inevitable result of evolution. 2. Universities should require students to take a wider variety of courses. 3. Colonization of a second planet (e.g. Mars) is crucial for human long term survival. 4. Watching television makes children more creative than reading books. 5. Anything that exists can be measured in a way that captures it’s essential properties. 6. Getting a degree with good marks is one of the best ways to get a good job. 7. It is better to develop AI systems that compliment human capabilities, rather than replicate them.. 8. The blogosphere provides better news coverage than traditional news media.
Debate I - Basics (see COGS303-debates.pdf) 1. Format Coin toss determines positions (for/against the resolution). Debate starts with the team in favour of the resolution (Team A). -Team A - opening remarks (3 min) -Team B - consideration (1 min) + opening remarks (3 min) -Team A - rebuttal + further constructive points (3 min) -Team B - rebuttal + further constructive points (3 min) -Team A - closing remarks / summary (2 min) -Team B - closing remarks / summary (2 min) -Questions by class Evaluation by class
2. Content 1.Opening remarks state the topic and your team’s position make your case — positive reasons only disambiguate terms as needed—motivate 1.Rebuttal explain why the other team’s arguments are wrong provide additional positive reasons, and/or if need be, explain why their definitions are poor 1.Closing Remarks summarize your position. Take the best points (positive and negative) and build them into a solid case no new constructive points can be introduced
3. General Points of Order 1.No personal attacks -refer only to the “honourable opponents” (or equivalent) -otherwise, anyone can call a point of order, and team could be penalized for style 1.No pens -construed as weapons -anyone can call a point of order, and have it removed 1.No unreasonable definitions -if an unreasonable definition is given, a challenge can be called, and a new definition proposed -if accepted, the offending team can be penalized for style; if defeated, the challenging team can be penalized for style.
Definitions of terms Once a term is defined, both sides must abide by definition. If one side feels that the definition of any term is inappropriate, they may make include this in their rebuttals, arguing that the definition is inappropriate (or unusable), and that it suggests a certain desperation in the arguments of the other side. But it cannot be changed on this basis.
Definitions can only be changed on grounds of unreasonableness: - team can challenge a definition as being unreasonable - must then propose a substitute definition - adjudicated by class (on basis of 4 rules) - if majority agrees that is is unreasonable: - new definition adopted; offending team is penalized - else: - old definition kept; challenging team is penalized
d) be fair. Definition cannot be so narrow that it would restrict debate to topics most participants have little knowledge of. a) have a clear and logical link to the topic– the average person would accept the definition. b) not short-circuit the issue. E.g., cannot define “consciousness” as something that by definition can only exist in humans. c) not be time-set. Definition must allow the debate to take place in the present, and not in the past or future. Unreasonableness Definitions must:
4. Evaluation 1.Content (0-6 marks) Quality of evidence Quality of reasoning Quality of definitions 1.Style (0-6 marks) Clarity, conciseness (punchiness) Effective speaking ability Compliance with debate format 1.Debate winner (1 mark - no fractions) Which team made the most convincing case
Team mark for each debate = 0.5 xP P (out of 6+6) = avg mark assigned by prof and TAs 0.5 xS S (out of 6+6) = avg mark assigned by students +AA (out of 1) = avg score assigned to winning team ---------------- Total mark(out of 12) Note: An outstanding team can get 13/12. 5. Team Marks