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October 2, 2012 / compassioninpolitics

Answering language critiques, critiques of representation, and so-called dirty word critiques in policy debate

Georgetown had one last year as a part of the Open Evidence Project. Or at least that issue was covered pretty extensively. It was their K toolbox or whatever they called it.

Note: it wasn’t frontlines so much as just reasons why language Ks are flawed.

My guess is there are 5 to 8 key arguments (which may or may not be in the Georgetown file):
1. the 3 reasons card that SDI would put in all their K frontlines
2. Linguistic determinism is a pretty hot argument *** I think bleiker actually alludes to this argument, but I know multiple people have made this argument.
I would leverage this combined with an argument that reps are dynamic versus static–perhaps even that different **intents** have different results. Although I’m not sure how offensive this is–its probably best when leveraged with a perm or something.
3. There were some cards on the college development topic about how Foucault-type criticisms (which about 1/2 of these arguments draw on that literature pretty heavily–perhaps more) objectify & re-ify things that don’t exist.
4. Either a marxist card or just tradeoff arguments around real world versus language focus.
5. Language is always violent. This is leveraged as a way to take out the alternative (aka you’re no better). Tuathail wrote one of these cards–I’m sure there are others.
6. Some other cards that may be helpful–is reading Speaking for Others by Alcoff. She doesn’t like the idea of speaking for others….but answers her own thesis. This later set of arguments can be leveraged as inevitability or almost turns to essentialism arguments.
7. Optional: the eco movement doesn’t like the social constructionists because if we don’t talk about trees–its like they don’t exist. This perhaps signals a larger problem with the nature of the theory–as it applies to all issues.
8. Optional: criticism of Sapir Whorf hypothesis
9. Erasure as a perm. This works decently with terror talk. I don’t read a piece of evidence, just cite the historical precedent of philosophers using it to problematize words effectively.
10. Using the masters tools to take down the masters house. This is a feminist idea. (there are various permutations of this idea in the literature–ideally mechanism or structure specific)
11. Empire. Blow the system up from the inside. (aka the link is good). Zizek has some arguments like this as well.

The feminist literature has some essentialism answers back and forth.

Something I really didn’t think of before….and isn’t a card, but you might be able to get a card. As an extension of an infinite regress argument, talking about the notion that denotation is rather infinite in possibility. Note: this is a massively cheezy argument IMHO. But I think it gets to the idea of the massive oversimplification of life and language by the K-ing team.


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