VC Strategy Seminar: Philosophy Debate in LD

This Strategy Seminar gives you a strategic command of philosophical framework debate. Learn a repertoire of useful philosophies to implement in your own cases and how to use them to win.

Program Curriculum

Topic "Function of Philosophical Frameworks in LD"

How does the value criterion (or “framework” or “standard”) work in LD? Why is it important to think of strategy when choosing a framework? Framework is often treated as an afterthought, even though it can have an enormous impact on the contention-level debate. Learn how to use framework to frame your case in a way that immediately preferences your side of the topic and to guide your rebuttal speeches with a strategic view of framework debate in mind.

Topic "Primer 'The Classics': Utilitarianism and Deontology"

A timeless debate that resurfaces in many debates and in many philosophies. Learn to understand the arguments for and against utilitarianism and deontology so that you can implement them in your own debates. Learn also not just to understand these specific philosophies, but also important meta-ethical concepts that are used to distinguish all philosophical frameworks. 

Topic "Framework Refutation Tactics"

How do you beat your opponent’s framework? Learn to use arguments to attack opposing philosophies or preclude them altogether. Done correctly, it should be a big advantage to win your framework; learn how to leverage it in order to do so. Understanding framework refutation helps you strengthen your own cases and is especially important for rebuttals.

Topic "Framework Weighing and Contention-level Interaction"

How do you weigh between frameworks? How do you weigh contention-level arguments under them? Learn how to compare philosophies in order to win your framework. Use LD’s framework context to implement advanced contention-level weighing, e.g. strength of link analysis and framework-specific link arguments. These are tactics to ensure a tight fit between your contentions and your framework, making sure if and when you when your framework, you likely win the round.

Topic "Primer 'Beyond the Basics': Rawls, Scanlon, Gauthier, and others"

Master a number of more advanced but popular value criteria frameworks, including distributive theory, contractarianism, contractualism, the philosophy of risk, and more. Useful not only for understanding concepts you will encounter, so that you can apply framework refutation and weighing tactics, but also to expand the repertoire of frameworks you can use for your own cases.

Topic "Case-writing under More Advanced Frameworks"

How should your case-writing be different? Make sure you implement the strategies you’ve learned by preparing several speeches ahead—preempt other frameworks, use frontlining; ready-made weighing, contention fit.

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About the Strategy Seminar Program

Our Strategy Seminars are an intensive, focused courses designed to help you master an essential debate skill. We believe that by carefully designing classes and making them available online, we can guarantee better instruction at a lower cost. To ensure this, our courses use:

- Interactive webinars with premier instructors
- Special course materials and metrics
- Individualized and in-depth feedback
- One-on-one personal coaching

How exactly does it work?

You'll begin with one of several regular sessions with a premier instructor, who will answer your questions about an essential topic and tell you what you need to know, all from the comfort of your own home. Each session is followed with time-efficient, online homework assignments, designed especially for your course to guide you through the material. You'll receive targeted feedback on each piece of your work, also from premier instructors, who are available to answer any other questions you may have. Finally, you'll schedule personal sessions throughout the program to literally drill in your new knowledge with a set of practice drills also tailored to your course. In just a short amount of time, you'll have mastered a new debate skill!

Seats are always limited to ensure highest-quality instruction. Get the training you need – sign up for available seminars now!

Drill Option:
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Date and Time: April 3-7. Class meets daily from 7:00-8:00pmEST.

Topics Covered:

  • Function of Philosophical Frameworks
  • Primer "The Classics": Utilitarianism and Deontology
  • Framework Refutation Tactics
  • Framework Weighing and Contention-level Interaction
  • Primer "Beyond the Basics": Rawls, Scanlon, Gauthier, and others
  • Case-writing under More Advanced Frameworks

Tuition: $245, includes class webinars, materials and assignments, written assignments feedback, and our popular Philosophy Master Toolbox (50% discount). Or $395 with additional 3 x 40-minute one-on-one drill sessions (flexibly scheduled). Seats limited.

Please also review our cancellation policy.

VC Academy Scholarship: Consistent with our mission, we want to guarantee our programs are as affordable as we can possibly make them. Please don't hesitate to get in touch personally if you are interested in our scholarship program!

Questions? Please don't hesitate to get in touch! We are always available.