Argumentation (Copyright: 2001)

Spring 2002 Professor Evergreen Keefer

Links:Go to Jihad vs McWorld:Whose Paradise is Lost? for optional reading list

Collaborative Research Site for John Walker Lindh and Zacarias Moussaoui
Trial Strategies
Basic Argumentation
More Notes on Argumentation and Fallacies

Excerpts and Synopses of Classical and Contemporary Argumentation

Required Texts:

Critical Thinking and Communication as a weekly textbook
Machiavelli's The Prince
Eric Hoffer's The True Believer
Benjamin Barber's Jihad vs McWorld
Aristotle's Rhetoric
Class lectures from Keefer website:
All current events related to the War on Terror and its aftermath

Structure: The first half of the semester will deal with argumentation theory--Aristotelian, Toulmin, and Keefer's Cyberargumentation/Global theories-- and the analyses of arguments in required texts and current events; the second half will be strictly performative as students engage in three major debates of fact, (criminal trials of infamous persons), policy (UN Call to Arms), and value (mock presidential and mayoral debates.) We will work with both competitive/classical and collaborative/invitational styles, even touching on Nash's economic theories of equilibrium in negotiation. Some of the volatility of argumentative debate can be mitigated by role playing where objectivity and a sense of humor will hopefully prevent you from taking the verbal conflicts personally. For the last class, we will create a cyberargumentation webfolio for the Journal on Education and Terrorism.


To get an A: You must come to every class (only one unexcused absence) on time and stay until the end, prepared to debate, with copies of at least two pages of writing on the weekly assignment, addressing the questions under debate for the first part of the semester, and then at least four pages on each of the three projects in the second half of the semester. You must write an excellent midterm on the five texts and class lectures. You must participate in a weekly listserv with two other classes. You must develop a creative webfolio of argumentative writing (at least 8 pages) in your voice or the voice of your alter ego to be uploaded to the Journal of Online Education's issue on Terrorism and Education and submit work for this webfolio EVERY week. You must participate in the final debates, which will be audio-recorded.


To develop and refine critical and argumentative faculties
To establish credibility through research, audience analysis, (beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors), critical thinking, decision making and persuasive tactics
To learn the constructs of classical (Aristotle) and contemporary (Toulmin, Roger, Monroe, Boolean, Cyber) argumentation
To constructively question and defend a claim or syllogism, identifying logical fallacies
To practice debates in workshop (cooperative and adverarial) and improve oral communication skills
To understand advocacy through role playing and argumentative writing in the voice of alter ego
To analyse media, politics, law, current events, philosophy, history in terms of controversy, conflict and conversion

Office Hours:

Wednesday and Thursday Evenings: 8:20 to 9:20 p.m. CSB 34.
If you have to be absent, do NOT contact me. Email listserv and ask other students what happened. Office hours are only to help you with your creative projects, readings, careers. But since the class is a workshop, you should ask as many questions as possible in class and on the listserv. The professor is not in a position to evaluate excuses for lateness or absence, so do not give me any excuses. If at the end of the semester, you qualify for a medical Incomplete, bring the appropriate papers from physicians.

(Read selections from Critical Thinking and Communication every week)

Jan 23: Introductory lecture. Overview of five texts, website, course theme, Journal of Online Education and listserv. Impromptu debates. For next week bring at least 2 pages of writing on THE PRINCE and the textbook, Chapters 1 and 2. Be prepared to debate on the thesis, "The End Justifies the Means,"comparing Machiavelli to the ethics dilemmas presented in CRITICAL THINKING and COMMUNICATION.

Jan 30: Lecture, debates and discussion. For next week, study Chapters 6 and 7 on kinds of arguments and research, write at least 2 pages on THE TRUE BELIEVER, and be prepared to debate on these propositions: "A mass movement attracts and holds a following not because it can satisfy the desire for self-advancement, but because it can satisfy the passion for self-renunciation....We join a mass movement to be free from freedom. Those who see their lives as spoiled and wasted crave equality and fraternity more than they do freedom. If they clamor for freedom, it is but freedom to establish equality and uniformity. The passion for equality is partly a passion for anonymity: to be one thread of the many which make up a tunic; one thread not distinguishable from the others. No one can then point us out, measure us against others and expose our inferiority....Where freedom is real, equality is the passion of the masses. Where equality is real, freedom is the passion of a small minority. Equality without freedom creates a more stable social pattern than freedom without equality."Discuss them during the week in the listserv.

Feb 6: Lecture, debates and discussion. For next week, write at least 2 pages on JIHAD VS MCWORLD, analysing the use of evidence and the main thesis and its development. Analyse the following propositions: "Can it be that what Jihad and McWorld have in common is anarchy: the absence of common will and that conscious and collective human control under the guidance of law we call democracy? ...Jihad and McWorld operate with equal strength in opposite directions, the one driven by parochial hatreds, the other by universalizing markets, the one re-creating ancient subnational and ethnic borders from within, the other making national borders porous from without. Yet Jihad and McWorld have this in common: they both make war on the nation-state and thus undermine the nation-state's democratic institutions. Each eschews civil society and belittles democratic citizenship, neither seeks alternative democratic institutions. Their common thread is indifference to civil liberty. Jihad forges communities of blood rooted in exclusion and hatred, communities that slight democracy in favor of tyrannical paternalism or consensual tribalism. McWorld forges global markets rooted in consumption and profit, leaving to an untrustworthy, if not altogether fictitious, invisible hand issues of public interest and common good that once might have been nurtured by democratic citizenries and their watchful governments. ...the new temples to liberty will be McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Chicken. ...Impartial judiciaries and deliberative assemblies play no role in the roving killer bands that speak on behalf of newly liberated 'peoples,' and such democratic institutions have at best marginal influence on the roving multinational corporations that speak on behalf of newly liberated markets. Jihad pursues a bloody politics of identity, McWorld a bloodless economics of profit. Belonging by default to McWorld, everyone is a consumer; seeking a repository for identity, everyone belongs to some tribe. But no one is a citizen. Without citizens, how can there be democracy?"

Feb 13: Lecture, debates and discussion. For next week, write at least 2 pages on JIHAD VS MCWORLD, and be prepared to debate on questions related to course theme.

Feb 20: Lecture on orchestrating style in argumentation, making logical fallacies work for you. Debates and discussion. For next week, write at least 2 pages on ARISTOTLE'S RHETORIC, and how it differs from Chapter 8 in the text, which is more of a Toulmin model.

Feb 27: Viewing of the film DEBATE MADE EASY. Careful review of argumentation so far-- Toulmin, Aristotle and Keefer's theories on Cyberargumentation. Study all five texts, class notes, website and current events for midterm exam.

March 6: Lecture on egregious problems. Development of alter egos. Draw up a list of potential topics for debates for 2 main projects-- mock criminal trials and campaign debates. Cast people and issues for the rest of the semester. Organize research teams.

March 13: Midterm in Graphics Lab CSB building. 3 hour exam on five required texts, lectures and current events at computer terminals. No makeups or excuses. There will be no multiple choice questions, only essays applying Aristotelian, Toulmin and Cyberargumentation structures to the 3 content books and the creative projects as well as your own examples. This is not an open book exam as you must have some recall in order to debate quickly and effectively. You may also make up one question of your own. You are graded on the intelligence of the question as well as your answer.
March 20: Spring Break

Writing assignments must be at least four pages on each of the two major debates.

March 27: Dress rehearsal for Campaign debates in Lincoln/Douglas format, modified for a television town hall, (90-60-30) balancing persuasion and presentation with audience analysis. Presidential and Mayoral debates over a number of issues.

April 3: Campaign town hall debates-- 4 page papers due, with speeches on your values and policies, before and after, showing how you prepared and how you analysed.

April 10: Organize, compile and discuss proceedings for criminal trial, cross technique. Bring research. Discussion of famous trials. Lecture on Professor Keefer's experiences with Court TV as a mock juror in the Menendez case and commentator on NBC Dateline. Cast as Prosecuting and Defending Attorneys, Judge, Witnesses, Defendants and Victims. Discuss conspiracy dilemma between Walker and Zacarias Moussaoui, 20th hijacker, fair treatment and the conflict between France and the U.S. over capital punishment and sharing of intelligence.

April 17: Mock court debates in competitive mock trial format of John Walker Lindh. 4 page research papers due.

April 24: Dress rehearsal of debates.

May 1: Audio tapes of mock court debates.

May 8: Meet in CSB24 for Cyberargumentation "final exam" class.
Submit argumentative paper webfolios for the Journal of Online Education Issue on Terrorism. Design your websites including research, alter ego monologues, and critiques of trials. Upload audio tapes of debates to internet.

Role Playing: You must play 2 major roles, 1)a President or Mayor in the Town Hall Debates. 2) an Attorney, Judge, Victim, or Defendant etc in the Mock Criminal Trials

Argumentative Webfolios can include monologues in the voices of above alter egos, critical writing from the first half of the semester, and/or personal histories of 9/11 as well as original photos of terrorism, if you have them. You get extra credit for actually submitting a scholarly article to Terrorism journal.

Debate Formats:

We will engage in Lincoln/Douglas style modified into a town hall format where each student will do a TV debate with an opposing candidate for NYC Mayor or U.S. President. We will read sections of the Clinton/Dole debates to get a feel for the rhythm. We will try to follow these rules: members of the class will devise general questions that only they know. The moderator will call on questioners at random, alternating the questions between the candidates. There will be 90-second answers, 60-second rebuttals, 30-second responses for each question. The candidates are not allowed to question each other directly. There will be two-minute opening and closing statements, determined by coin toss. This style tests general knowledge, and the ability to debate extemporaneously on specific subjects related to current events and national or municipal policies and budgets. It is more about establishing claims of value rather than hard facts or really specific policies, although facts and policies are useful to bolster the platform.

Finally we will end with a mock trial of John Walker Lindh and Zacarias Moussaoui. This requires the most amount of research in the preparation of the defense and prosecution. The format is as follows:
Judge gives background and outlines procedure. 3 minutes
Prosecutor outlines case. 3 minutes
Defense attorney outlines defense. 3 minutes
Prosecuting attorney calls 3 witnesses and questions each one for 4 minutes.
Defense attorney may cross-examine witnesses, asking each a maximum of 3 questions.
Defense attorney calls 3 witnesses and questions each one for 4 minutes.
Prosecuting attorney may cross-examine witnesses, asking each a maximum of 3 questions.
Defense attorney sums up and makes final plea. 3 minutes
Prosecuting attorney sums up and makes final plea. 3 minutes
The judge instructs the jury. 3 minutes. The jury votes.
We may also have a sentencing or penalty phase where the defendant is forced to make a statement, so that everyone gets a chance to talk.

We will try to upload these 3 debates as audio files to the Journal on Terrorism. At least 4 pages of preparatory writing must accompany each of your 3 projects.
Based on the critical work for the first half of the semester and the performative/creative work in the second half, you should have compiled at least 8 pages of your best argumentative writing for the webfolio, saved in a Word document on a disc, in MLA format with proper bibliography. These webfolios are to be submitted the last day instead of a final exam and uploaded to the internet. The last class will also take place in CSB24 where we had the midterm on March 13.

For the first half of the semester, we will occasionally have you debate your theses as prima facie cases to help you strengthen your argument and detect logical fallacies in refutation.

Think of the basic responsibilities needed to establish a first affirmative constructive:
I. Definitions
II. Criteria
III. Value
IV. Significance
V. Uniqueness
VI. Application
VII. Solvency (if a quasi-policy)

The basic responsibilites of the second affirmative speaker are to refute the negative off-case and on-case attacks, to reestablish the initial affirmative claims, and to extend affirmative case arguments.
1. Address the negative’s off-case attacks, which may include topicality, countercriteria, and value objections or, in the case of a quasi-policy debate may include counter-plan and disadvantages.
2. Answer the negative’s on-case attacks in first affirmative constructive order, and defend and extend the case proper:
a. Refute the first negative constructive’s attacks on each point.
b. Reestablish the first affirmative constructive’s claims and evidence on each point.
c. Extend or magnify the initial claims with additional evidence and arguments.

It is the responsibility of the first negative constructive speaker to present the negative arguments to be developed throughout the debate. On-case attacks are presented on-point in exactly the same order as the issues are prsented by the first affirmative constructive, with clear references to the affirmative claims. The actual order has to be adapted to the affirmative case. This speaker should:
1. Give an overview of the negative position or philosophy for the debate.
2. Present the negative topicality argument, if vulnerable.
3. Present shells of off-case arguments (value objections, disadvantages, counterplan arguments, kritics).
4. Attack vulnerable portions of the case, on-point, in affirmative order.

The second negative constructive must respond to the second affirmative’s answers to the argument, reestablish the initial first negative claims, and add to or magnify, if possible, the negative argument.
As you develop rebuttals consider the following:
1. Overthrow the opposition’s evidence by demonstrating that it is invalid, erroneous, or irrelevant.
2. Introduce other evidence that contradicts it, casts doubt on it, minimizes its effect, or shows that it fails to meet the tests of reasoning.
3. Demonstrate that opponent’s reasoning is faulty by introducing other reasoning that turns it to the opposition’s disadvantage, etc.
4. Rebuild evidence by introducing new and additional evidence to further substantiate it.
5. Rebuild reasoning through the above methods.
6. Present exploratory refutation, offered for the purpose of probing the opponent’s position and designed to clarify the opponent’s position or to force the opponent to take a more definite position.

To simplify theories of logic review the fallacies of presumption, relevance and ambiguity and be ready to give examples, comparing this with the CT division into fallacies of faulty reasoning, fallacies of evidence, fallacies related to the audience, or fallacies of language use; understand the six forms of reasoning outlined in Chapter 8 of the CT text such as quasilogical arguments—transitivity, incompatibilities and reciprocity--, analogy, generalization and reasoning from example, causal reasoning, coexistential arguments and dissociation-- (and how they relate to those fallacies as well as Aristotelian syllogisms and Toulmin claims. Understand how you can apply syllogistic thinking to strengthen a prima facie case, as well as where and why the limitations of this type of thinking occur. Apply Keefer’s cyberargumentation theories to your final webfolio.

Public Speaking for a Hostile Audience and Rhetorical Analysis: I suggest you combine Classical with Rogerian to understand and manipulate opponent, Toulmin for specificity and relativity and Monroe's motivated sequence for energizing your visualization and proposal. Always start with a clear, specific, important problem. Classical: Exordium, Narratio, Partitio, Confirmatio, Refutatio, Peroratio. This methodology is good to strengthen your position stance. The thesis should come from an inductive and/or deductive syllogism. Carl Rogers, the psychotherapist, developed a procedure to placate, manipulate and empathize with "the other:" Intro. Summary of Opposing Views, Statement of Understanding, Statement of Your Position, Statement of Contexts, Statement of Benefits. The British philosopher Toulmin adapted formal logic to twentieth century relativity with the following system: enthymeme, claim, qualifier, grounds, warrant, backing. This system anticipates audience reactions and forces one to qualify to avoid logical fallacies. Warrant, grounds and claim are the same as major and minor premise and conclusion. There is room for more probability. Diplomacy is the art of understanding, refuting and manipulating logical fallacies, good manners, clear but sometimes hidden agenda, and excellent persuasive oratory. The WAR ON TERRORISM has featured some of the best oratory of the twentieth century. Are you collecting it in alter egos speeches and analysing it in terms of above structure and syllogisms found in /brain/argue.html?

Terrorism and Education 2001-2002

Table of Contents

I. Reasons for Terrorism

A. Clash of Cultures

1) Sub- and Supranational Surges against the United Nations
2) Balancing the Seesaw: Disenfranchised against Oppressors, Annan: Free/Fettered, Powerful/Powerless, Privileged/Humiliated
a) Hector and Achilles by Feisal G. Mohamed
b) Chile, Your Waters Run Red to the Hudson by George White, jr.
3) Multicultural Imperfection vs. A Single Inhuman Verity
a) Religious Totalitarianism b) Political Totalitarianism
4) The Explosion of Militant Factions within a State: Censorship or Democracy or Suppression?
5) Jihad vs McWorld: Indigenous Frustration with American-Sponsored Globalization
a) TheyHaveWeHave by Jane Schreck

B. Clash of Interests: Money, Land, Oil, Control of Religious Sites
1) A Historical Analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
2) How Important is this Oil Anyway?

C. Basic Needs: Psychophysiology of Terrorism
1) Testosterone
a) Gender and Terrorism: Where are the Female Suicide Bombers?
b) Islamic Jihad: The Last Cry for Male Supremacy
c) The Thrill of Secret Battles: Man's Eternal Need for War
2) Psychoanalysis of Terrorists
a) Osama's Narcissism and Oedipal Transfers to Bush et al
b) Mohammed Atta's Sadism and its Effect on his Behavior and Leadership for 9/11

D. Just Plain "Evil"
1) Evil-Doing Criminals against Civilised Legitimacy: The Reality or the Rhetoric of the Bush Administration

II. Methods of Terrorism and Counter Terrorism

A. Propaganda

1) Semiotics
A Comparison of Peking Revolutionary Opera with Post 9/11 Propaganda: A Call to Arms by Sherida Bryan-Davis
2) Rhetoric
a) A Media Analysis of the Osama bin Laden tapes

B. Training Camps and Cells

C. Conspiracy

D. Early Childhood Education
1) "I Want to Be Just Like Daddy When I BLOW UP: Indoctrination in the Hamas Schools
2) Assessing the Role of Religious Education in Saudi Arabia and Egypt

III. Goals and Results of Terrorism

A. Fear, Panic and Paralysis:
1) Writing a Good Thriller: How to Paralyse a Nation without Loss of Blood

B. Impaired Function and Loss of Life

C. Revolution
1) Are Terrorists Nihilists or True Revolutionaries? What is THEIR plan?

D. Apocalypse
1) Assessing the Dangers of Mass Destruction by Terrorists

E. Reversing the Goals: How Terrorism can Strengthen a Nation through Empathy and Retaliation

IV. Coping with Terrorism

A. The Cult of Heroism and/or Martyrdom, Volunteer Work and Service

B. Understanding Media Coverage
1) McNews Junkies: Balancing Addiction with Useful Information
2) "Objective" Reporting vs The Clash of Strong Dialectics: Where is the Real Truth?
a) The Destructive Power of Myth by William A. Cook

C. Pedagogy and Terrorism
1) Jihad vs McWorld: Whose Paradise is Lost?
a) Integrating Current Events with Twentieth Century Literature and Rhetoric: Keefer's Course Syllabus Fall 2001
i. Afghan Woman's Imaginary Journal by Jane Schreck
ii. An Imaginary Journal of Einstein's Dreams through 9/11 and Twentieth Century Literature by John Marropodi
iii. Literary Journey of Sherida Bryan-Davis as Madame Mao
b) Osama Comes to New Paltz. Cameraman: Kleber. Post-Production: Douglas Short.
c) Memoirs of Student Refugees of 9/11 near Ground Zero
i. Einstein's Best Dream by Jane Schreck
ii. Andre Alliance's Journal
iii. Avril Oliver's Journal of Post 9/11 Trauma

D. Comic Perspectives on Terrorism
i. Comedy after 9/11 by Deborah Drucker

E. Transcendence
1) Beauty of Art, Literature, Music
a) Inspiration for Great Apocalyptic Literature and Film
b) Poem by David Alan Sapp
c) September Sung by Larry Davies
d) Apocalypse by Jane Schreck
2) Religious and Spiritual Transcendence

F. Psychotherapy
1) Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
a) Therapeutic Barfing by Tracy Pirtle
2) Future Threats: The Effects of Horrorization and Terrorization on the Psyche
3) The Difference between Personal, Mediated and Communal Pain: Guilt and Sharing

V. Reconstruction

A. New Attempts at Globalization
1) The New American Syncretism: Ismailiyya and its Imam as the Unity of Ascetic and Cosmopolitan Social Justice through Capitalist Positivism by Philip Simon
2) The New American Empire
3) Rebuilding McWorld by Andre O. Jordan
4) Afghanistan Before and After 9/11 by Fareed Tokhi, an Afghan studying near Ground Zero
5) Globalization: The New Ecospirituality
6) The Palestinian Dilemma
7) The Fate of Kashmir

B. The End of Globalization: New Boundaries
1) The Cold War of the 21st Century

VI. Prevention of Terrorism

A. Intelligence
1) Breaking a Vicious Cycle: Terror, Counter-Terror, Blowback
a)The 2 9/11s by Helen Torres

B. Security
1) Balancing Freedom with Security in a Democratic State
2) The Pros and Cons of Postponing Democracy in "Rogue" States

C. Diplomacy and Balance of Power
1) Strategies, Proposals, Wishes and Sighs for Peace
a) Another Against the Other: Terrorism through Japanese Lenses by Steve McCarty, President of WAOE
b) Conflicts, Society and Chemistry by Roberto Andrea Mueller and Paulo Gontigo Velosa de Almeida
c) The Quiet in the Noise by Anne Collins
2) Continuing the WAR on Terror
a) The War on Terror in Iraq
b) The War on Terror in the Philippines