Our Hometown Shackel 2005 'The Vacuity of Postmodernist Methodology.' Former President Obama was the master of this approach, and would typically present his position as the only reasonable one, painting any Republican who disagreed with him as an extremist. Note that the MAB works only if the motte and the bailey are sufficiently similar (at least superficially) that one can switch between them while pretending that they are equivalent. I’ve been around enough and been friends with enough that I know how their minds work and while it’s not how my mind works, I respect their opinions. The New York Times even went so far as to launch the "1619 Project," in which its motte is a … The motte and bailey was a form of defensive structure in which a protected walled area surrounded a much stronger keep. [22] The arguer first states the controversial position, but when challenged, states that they are advancing the modest position. [1][2] Shackel used the phrase to criticize postmodernists who switch between arguing for uncontroversial statements, such as stating that culture influences a person's interpretation of the world (an easy-to-defend motte), and promoting highly controversial positions, e.g., that interpretations of the world based on religious mythology are as valid as scientific interpretations (an indefensible bailey). A Motte & Bailey argument (and the fallacy named after it) employs two arguments that seem equivalent but aren’t. When party bosses lose control, you get someone like Trump being nominated by a national party when he had no history as a Republican before announcing his candidacy in 2015. In short: instead of defending a weak position (the "bailey"), the arguer retreats to a strong position (the "motte"), while acting as though the positions are equivalent. When William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066, he brought this castle design with him. But this is a move from the bailey to the motte. But this is a move from the bailey to the motte. This second reading allows the phrase to act as a right-wing dog whistle. Someone will argue the easy-to-defend position (motte) temporarily, to ward off critics, while the less-defensible position (bailey) remains the desired belief, yet is never actually defended. Person A asserts that they were actually defending [Common-Sense Interpretation of Viewpoint X]. 36 pp. In the “motte and bailey” style of argument, a proponent argues for a strong claim but then retreats to a much weaker claim under pressure form counterarguments. Person A asserts [Controversial Interpretation of Viewpoint X]. Person B critiques [Controversial Interpretation of Viewpoint X]. No Active Emergency or Evacuation Alerts, By The "Motte and Bailey Doctrine" was developed by philosopher Nicholas Shackel. Required fields are marked *. The motte is the less desired yet defensible opinion that nearly everyone agrees with, and which the arguer retreats to if unable to defend the bailey. Person B no longer has grounds to critique Person A; Person B leaves the discussion. The motte-and-bailey doctrine - 07-08-2014, 06:33 PM Today I am going to teach you an argument tactic called "the motte-and-bailey doctrine". So, during attacks, residents would flee the bailey for the motte, where they could ward off enemies. Or, conversely, the near Marxist Bernie Sanders nearly clinches the nomination as a Democrat earlier this year when, he too, had no history as a Democrat. What I want to call “motte-building” is the linguistic leg-work necessary to make a kind of motte and bailey argument without having to change ones’ wording when confronted. The Motte and Bailey formulation derives from the Norman French words for a high mound and an enclosed area -- common features in hundreds of medieval English castles.The pairing, which sounds like the name of a law firm or description of a chess move, describes the castle’s defense fortification, making it easy to conceptualize and to remember.. No argument there. Then when somebody challenges you, you retreat to an obvious, uncontroversial statement, and say that was what you meant all along, so you’re clearly right and they’re silly for challenging you. That the arguer has been defending the strong position the whole time. Of course, the monetary system is not fine. No argument there. However, his quote is an example of a Motte & Bailey argument, exemplified by the assumption that there is no middle ground. That is, the argument is that hard times lead to a strong military, this well-defended country experiences prosperity, and then those darned pacifists come out and ruin everything. The tricky debater can simply “explain” what he means | Then when the argument is over you go back to making the bold, controversial statement. Or preventing dicey candidates from being nominated. That the critic is a fool for not agreeing with an obviously correct statement. 5. The motte and bailey fallacy is an informal fallacy in which two separate forms of an argument are given and are switched between as necessary in an attempt to confuse or frustrate counterarguments. So a Motte and Bailey Doctrine cannot be a fallacy and shifting from asserting the Bailey propositions to the Motte propositions is not in general effected by giving different meanings to the same words or statements. Barry Goldwater, the Republican nominee for president in 1964, famously declared in his acceptance speech, “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. So the motte-and-bailey doctrine is when you make a bold, controversial statement. 3. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. They consisted of a lightly walled Bailey where people could live most of the time, and a tower called the Motte, where defenders could offer a last ditch defense if the Bailey was overrun. The second part, that good times create people who are selfish and lazy, is pessimistic and non-obvious, but easy enough to defend by using unfalsifiable tactics to argue that "your counterexample just hasn't been experiencing Good Times for long enough yet.". It consisted of a highly defensible keep situated on a small hill or mound (the motte) with a surrounding courtyard (bailey) that was more sparsely protected by fence and a ditch. I am not the inventor of the term, in this context. 4. The name refers to a quick and repetitious dance step. The motte and bailey was a form of defensive structure in which a protected walled area surrounded a much stronger keep.Hopefully, the bailey would be enough to keep out attackers, … This is a form of argument in which a person makes a strong, unreasonable, and indefensible claim—the bailey—and then falls back on an uncontroversial claim—the motte—when challenged. Another is that the monetary system is fine because GDP and the stock market are rising. In the years following the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, William the Conqueror erected fortresses to overawe the surrounding countryside and discourage rebellion. This page was last modified on 29 August 2020, at 21:31. 295-320. Hometown Newspaper of Valley Center, Pauma Valley, Pala, Palomar Mountain & North Escondido since 1974, RED FLAG/STRONG WINDS Person A asserts something in a sufficiently ambiguous way that it can be interpreted. You own productive land which is good, but you have enemies, and because they are Powered By Satan, you cannot defend your land from them. Fx wrote: Perhaps I was not very clear, so let me clarify what I meant. It describes a rhetorical move in which an arguer advances an … Strong men create good times. The motte-and-bailey is thus what they are criticizing, not using: whereby one argues “Islam is a broken ideology” (motte) therefore “we should protest the building of mosques in the U.S. and profile all Arabs at airports” (bailey) and The easily defended proposition in the bailey is that market participants do bid and offer on bonds in the market. Motte-and-bailey fallacy – conflating two positions with similar properties, one modest and easy to defend (the "motte") and one more controversial (the "bailey"). Being dark and dank, the Motte is not a habitation of choice. Another is that the monetary system is fine because GDP and the stock market are rising. The motte and bailey fallacy is an informal fallacy in which two separate forms of an argument are given and are switched between as necessary in an attempt to confuse or frustrate counterarguments. You also get members of each party who so focus on what they personally dislike about each other that they can’t negotiate compromises, even if they might be for the good of the country. “Hard times create strong men. The columnist and pundit Jonah Goldberg, author of “Liberal Fascism” and other excellent books, has attributed this atmosphere to two factors: the decline of the power of the political party and the rise of hyper partisanship. Michael Drew in reply to Will Truman says: November 13, 2014 at 12:09 pm the card is not necessarily granted and taken away by the same people. A doctrine, however, is a body of propositions, not an argument. Person B critiques [Controversial Interpretation of Viewpoint X]. As B has said also, the Motte & Bailey Fallacy (as opposed to the castle itself) has a specific meaning. I’ve never felt this way about liberals, Democrats and progressives. It is named after a medieval fortification. If it were, then why did the Fed have to become the pawn shop of last resort? It’s a traditional example of the Motte and Bailey Doctrine. In rhetorical terms, the bailey is the desired but hard-to-defend controversial opinion. Motte & Bailey Arguments: because defending your actual position is *way* harder than defending a trivial one. No argument there. Of course, the monetary system is not fine. Motte and Bailey castles were first built in Normandy. When under attack, the people retreated to the inner motte. . Strictly, this is true — the arguer never explicitly admitted defeat. It was easily defended, but not a pleasant place to live. It relies on short attention span, short memories, and/or rapidly changing audience. The weaker claim is then later conflated with the stronger one This is the year of political arguments that are typified by the “Motte & Bailey” fallacy. With "believe victims," the bailey position was something like what Biden and Clinton said: Presume that each and every alleged victim is telling the truth. It is also clearly falsifiable by looking at all the popularity of pacifism, which is usually created not by peace, but in response to the impression of unending and futile war. Easy- … The Bailey is the productive area … That’s why I don’t think it’s as much of a motte-and-bailey as the culture war arguments the doctrine was originally written to describe. 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