The Philosophy Bootcamp

An overview of key philosophical arguments used in Lincoln Douglas debate and a primer on how to use and refute them effectively. Emphasizes strategic framework debate. 

Topics Covered:

  • The function of philosophical frameworks in Lincoln Douglas debate
  • The Classics: Utilitarianism and Deontology
  • Strategic framework writing and refutation
  • Framework weighing and contention-level interactions
  • Beyond the Classics: Rawls, Scanlon, Gauthier, and others
  • Advanced topics: Meta-ethics, preclusion, and argument analysis



  • July 3-7 at 7:30-9:30pm EST (4:30-6:30pm PST)
  • July 17-21 at 7:30-9:30pm EST (4:30-6:30pm PST)

Tuition: $395, includes class webinars, materials and assignments, written assignments feedback, and significant program and file discount opportunities. Or $545 with additional 3 x 40-minute one-on-one drill sessions (flexibly scheduled). Seats limited.

Philosophy Bootcamp Registration

For our most committed students, we’d also love to offer some significant discounts! All offers are combinable.

1. Bootcamper Discount: For those interested in multiple topics...

  • Sign up for 2 bootcamps and get 10% off everything
  • Sign up for 3 bootcamps and get 15% off everything
  • Sign up for 4 or more and get 20% off everything

2. Referral Discount: If you think our Academy is a great way to learn about debate, refer your friends and teammates! For each program one signs up for, we’ll kick another 10% off one of your bootcamps, up to 100%. All program discounts applied after checkout.

3. Master Toolbox Discount: When you sign up for any program, grab our popular Theory and Philosophy Master Toolbox files with up to 40% off! Just add it to your registration and files will be delivered shortly.

Questions about our programs? Please don't hesitate to get in touch with us! Please also review our cancellation policy. Date/time availability dependent on demand; will reach out in advance if needed.

Drill Package:
Theory Master Toolbox:
Philosophy Master Toolbox:
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Philosophy Bootcamp Overview

The function of philosophical frameworks in Lincoln Douglas debate

How does the value criterion work in Lincoln Douglas? How do you decide what framework to use? While framework is sometimes treated as an afterthought, it can and should have enormous strategic value. Learn how to use framework effectively to set up winning rebuttals.

The Classics: Utilitarianism and Deontology

Utilitarianism and Deontology are often considered the bread and butter of framework debate, but even advanced students often fail to understand these theories and how to apply them effectively. Learn to understand the arguments for and against utilitarianism and deontology. Emphasis on application in standard as well as in unusual scenarios.

Strategic framework writing and refutation

How do you write an effective framework? How do you use your framework to beat your opponent’s framework? How do you respond to different kinds of framework arguments? Learn to undermine and preclude opposing philosophies to ensure a dominant position going into rebuttals.  

Framework weighing and contention-level interactions

How do you weigh between frameworks? How do you weigh contention-level arguments under them? Learn how to implement advanced contention-level weighing, including what we call “strength of link analysis” as well as framework-specific link arguments. These are tactics that can win you the round even against unfamiliar framework arguments.

Beyond the Classics: Rawls, Scanlon, Gauthier, and others

How do you move beyond Utilitarianism and Deontology? Master a number of more advanced frameworks, including theories of justice and fairness, contractarianism, contractualism, the philosophy of risk, and more. Useful both to understand opponent’s arguments and to expand your own framework repertoire.

Advanced topics: Meta-ethics, preclusion, and argument analysis

A flexible lecture that covers framework topics requested by students. If desired by participants, can include a discussion of“meta-ethics” in framework debate, advanced preclusion strategies, and advanced refutation strategies through the use of what are called “argument analyses.”

Need these skills? Reserve your spot today!

About Our Programs

Our programs are intensive, focused courses designed to help you master a specific and essential debate skill. We're a group of experienced instructors who believe that by carefully designing classes and making them available online, we can guarantee better instruction at a lower cost. To ensure this, all our programs feature interactive webinars with premier instructors, specially designed course materials and metrics, individualized and in-depth feedback, and one-on-one personal coaching.

How exactly does it work?

You'll begin with one of your regular classes with a premier instructor, who will answer your and your peers' questions about an essential topic and tell you what you need to know, all from the comfort of your own home. These'll be group classes so that we can guarantee you will learn from the very best instructor to be teaching the topic. Each class is then followed with homework assignments, designed especially for your course to guide you through the material. You'll receive individualized feedback on each piece of your work. Instructors will be reachable before, during, and after class should you have a question about the material or about your feedback. Finally, if you opt for a drill package, you'll schedule one-on-one sessions throughout the program to practice your new skills with targeted drills. The class is fast-paced but tells you exactly what you need to know – in just a short amount of time, you'll have mastered a new debate skill!

Have to miss a class? Not to worry! All our classes are also recorded should you need it. Seats are always limited to ensure highest-quality instruction. Get the training you need – sign up now!

VC Academy Scholarship

Consistent with our mission, we want to make our programs accessible to all students, regardless of background. Both need-based and merit-based scholarships are available, especially for small schools. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you are interested in our scholarship program!