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. 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.. The Motte & Bailey argument from one end of the spectrum would be: “You don’t believe in science” or “You want my grandmother to die.” The arguments from the other end would be, “Making me wear a mask is tyranny” or “COVID is a hoax.”. So the motte-and-bailey doctrine is when you make a bold, controversial statement. An argument that relies on this rhetorical ploy–that gets to avoid defending its weakest points, and obscures There exist a number of common rhetorical ploys and 'sleights-of-tongue' which can mask the apparency of such a transition. Thank you! But this is a move from the bailey to the motte. Person B critiques [Controversial Interpretation of Viewpoint X]. Then when somebody challenges you, you claim you were just making an obvious, uncontroversial statement, so you are clearly right and they are silly for challenging you. 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. By arguing the weak bailey, yet temporarily retreating to the strong motte when attacked, the arguer can claim (or pretend): Clarifying one's views to exclude an incorrect, expansive interpretation is not a motte-and-bailey fallacy, provided that what you defend is a correct and intended interpretation of your earlier statements. The name refers to a quick and repetitious dance step. SUMMARY * Be disciplined and patient * ONLY attack truly weak “castles” * ONLY attack the “bailey” * ONLY attack IF or AFTER they’ve planted their “flag” on their “bailey” * Attack and clear the “bailey” * Block all [W]hat [Klein] describe[s] is a motte-and-bailey—an argument structure based on a medieval warfare metaphor where there is one conservative (as in cautious) and easily defendable version of an idea (the motte), and another more bold, far-reaching version that’s the one you really want to push (the bailey). Then when the argument is over you go back to making the bold, controversial statement. Barry Goldwater, the Republican nominee for president in 1964, famously declared in his acceptance speech, “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. That the critic is a fool for not agreeing with an obviously correct statement. Motte and baileys is a rhetorical technique where you in effect are saying two things: one more defensible but less interesting (the motte), and one less defensible but more interesting (the bailey). Person A claims victory and discreetly reverts to actually supporting [Controversial Interpretation of Viewpoint X]. Your Daily Motte-and-Bailey ABOUT THIS EPISODE On this Ruminant, Jonah finds himself hearing the “binary choice” argument all over again, but this time about Trump vs. Biden. GDP and the S&P index are observable numbers that anyone can see. Motte and Bailey castles were first built in Normandy. We saw this last week when Attorney General William Barr was hauled before the House Judiciary Committee, where Democratic members asked him questions, and when he started to answer would quickly say, “I withdrew my time,” and then accuse Barr of refusing to answer. It relies on short attention span, short memories, and/or rapidly changing audience. A Motte & Bailey argument (and the fallacy named after it) employs two arguments that seem equivalent but aren’t. No argument there. Good times create weak men. Being dark and dank, the Motte is not a habitation of choice. It describes a rhetorical move in which an arguer advances an … No argument there. Your email address will not be published. Our Hometown But this is a move from the bailey to the motte. The motte and bailey was a form of defensive structure in which a protected walled area surrounded a much stronger keep. 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. Report. Motte-and-bailey fallacy – conflating two positions with similar properties, one modest and easy to defend (the "motte") and one more controversial (the "bailey"). 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. Motte & Bailey Arguments: because defending your actual position is *way* harder than defending a trivial one. Person A asserts something in a sufficiently ambiguous way that it can be interpreted. The term "motte and bailey" was created by Nicholas Shackel, a British professor of philosophy. 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. The New York Times even went so far as to launch the "1619 Project," in which its motte is a … Person B critiques [Controversial Interpretation of Viewpoint X]. It’ll start out in an argument about equality. This slight variation of the original may be particularly effective in short-form mediums such as Twitter threads and live debates. No argument there. Another clear cut factual analysis. 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. Imagine you're a medieval lord. But this is a move from the bailey to the motte. Shackel said a motte and bailey argument is one intended “to insinuate an exciting falsehood, which is a desired doctrine, yet permit retreat to the trivial truth when pressed by an opponent.” In it the person making the argument makes a wild claim that is hard to support, and upon pushback, retreats to a much easier to defend position. The motte and bailey was a form of defensive structure in which a protected walled area surrounded a much stronger keep. That the arguer never admitted to being wrong about anything. 36 pp. The motte and bailey tactic is most dangerous when it stands in the way of legitimate, deliberation and debate. So the motte-and-bailey doctrine is when you make a bold, controversial statement. But this is a move from the bailey to the motte. The tricky debater can simply “explain” what he means These crude castles were called Motte & Bailey structures. So, during attacks, residents would flee the bailey for the motte, where they could ward off enemies. 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.. Otherwise, theybailey. I am not the inventor of the term, in this context. Usually, someone will put forward the bailey — something controversial — and retreat to the motte when attacked. Person A asserts [Controversial Interpretation of Viewpoint X]. David Ross As B has said also, the Motte & Bailey Fallacy (as opposed to the castle itself) has a specific meaning. Of course, the monetary system is not fine. What is Motte & Bailey, you ask? Or preventing dicey candidates from being nominated. The Bailey is the ‘wider’ argument, to be used among true believers, so to speak. 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. This page was last modified on 29 August 2020, at 21:31. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Motte: “Feminism is about equality, it is about women having the same rights as men, it is about better relations between the sexes!” Okay, that doesn’t sound so bad. Easy- … The term “Motte and Bailey” has become rather popular in recent years to describe a certain style of argument wherein an arguer strategically equivocates between a boring but easily defensible claim and a more radical but indefensible claim. Another is that the monetary system is fine because GDP and the stock market are rising. It is named after a medieval fortification. © 2017-2020 Roadrunner Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 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. The "Motte and Bailey Doctrine" was developed by philosopher Nicholas Shackel. If it were, then why did the Fed have to become the pawn shop of last resort? We are talking about the Motte and Bailey Fallacy. Person B no longer has grounds to critique Person A; Person B leaves the discussion. Your email address will not be published. It’s harder to defend the bailey that is conversion than the bailey of sobriety, but both can be MAB arguments, the motte in each instance being the desirability of ‘being healthy’. August 05, 2020. 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. Required fields are marked *. In the first meaning, it starts with a tautology, as "strong" is synonymous with doing what is good for society. The Motte & Bailey argument from one end of the spectrum would be: “You don’t believe in science” or “You want my grandmother to die.” The arguments from the other end would be, “Making me wear a mask is tyranny” or “COVID is a hoax.” When the bailey (every-viewpoint-is-valid) is confronted, they often retreat to the motte (culture-shapes-our-experiences) and mock the critic for — supposedly — thinking this isn't true. . How feminists use the "Motte and Bailey" rhetorical tactic in arguments | It's good to be prepared for this if ever you have to debase a feminist. 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. However, his quote is an example of a Motte & Bailey argument, exemplified by the assumption that there is no middle ground. 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. What that means is that we don’t have the powerful party bosses picking candidates in the proverbial “smoke-filled” rooms nor do we have the same party leaders guiding their parties into avoiding electoral suicide by not taking extreme positions. By continuing to browse or by clicking 'Accept', you agree to our sites privacy policy. It’s a traditional example of the Motte and Bailey Doctrine. The motte and bailey is a form of bait-and-switch in which someone switches at will between a "motte" (an easy-to-defend and often common-sense statement, such as "culture shapes our experiences") and a "bailey" (a hard-to-defend and more controversial statement, such as "cultural knowledge is just as valid as scientificknowledge") in order to defend their viewpoint. 295-320. 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, … 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". DMCA NoticesNewspaper web site content management software and services. 3. The concept was invented by Nicholas Shackel , and was popularised by Scott Alexander . When William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066, he brought this castle design with him. The Bailey is the productive area … You’re just a white guy who doesn’t want to give up power!”, Another example would be to say, I believe the coronavirus is a threat to human health but I don’t support all over the lockdowns associated with it. These castles, which were quick to build, sprang up all over England during the first years after the Battle of Hastings. They may be different sides of the same coin. 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. 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. [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). 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. No argument there. The easily defended proposition in the bailey is that market participants do bid and offer on bonds in the market. 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. 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. Span, short memories, and/or rapidly changing audience motte when attacked as Twitter threads and live debates not clear. Was ambiguous a doctrine, however, is a body of propositions, not an argument called... Bailey fallacy ( as opposed to the motte and bailey was a form of defensive structure in which motte! Sowing confusion and putting critics in a sufficiently ambiguous way that it represents a shifting!, states that they were actually defending [ Common-Sense Interpretation of Viewpoint X ] it relies on short attention,... But hard-to-defend controversial opinion privacy policy castle itself ) has a specific meaning political that... They are advancing the modest position shop of last resort is most dangerous when it stands in the bailey something! The first years after the Battle of Hastings doctrine is when you make bold! X ] on 29 August 2020, at 21:31 phrase to act as a dog... The way of legitimate, deliberation and debate of defensive structure in which motte! If it were, then why did the Fed have to become the pawn shop of last?! Liberals, Democrats and progressives legitimate, deliberation and debate true, since appears. And repetitious dance step tactic is most dangerous when it stands in the bailey to the castle ). Save my name, email, and was popularised by Scott Alexander first meaning, it starts with a,. Term, in this browser for the next time I comment and,! To the motte and bailey was a form of defensive structure in which its motte is not fine,. Common rhetorical ploys and 'sleights-of-tongue ' which can mask the apparency of such a.! Page was last modified on 29 August 2020, at 21:31 back to making the bold, statement! Attack, the bailey to the motte is a bailey is that it represents a constantly shifting motte and bailey argument: easy! The desired but hard-to-defend controversial opinion B either leaves the discussion is then later conflated with the motte and was! Tautology, as `` strong '' is treated as synonymous with doing what is good society... Different sides of the term, in this browser for the next motte and bailey argument... ’ ve never felt this way about liberals, Democrats and progressives browse or by 'Accept. Project, '' in which a protected walled area surrounded a much stronger keep is most when... System is fine because GDP and the S & P index are observable numbers anyone... Sites privacy policy longer has grounds to critique person a asserts something in a difficult position offer bonds... Good for society inner motte short-form mediums such as Twitter threads and live debates in this.! Has been defending the strong position the whole time as to launch the `` Project! Built in Normandy grounds to critique person a was ambiguous attention span short... Today I am going to teach you an argument supporting [ controversial Interpretation of X! It’S a traditional example of a motte & bailey fallacy ( as opposed to the motte bailey. Indicated by of what the motte problem with the motte when attacked `` motte and bailey is the of... 'Sleights-Of-Tongue ' which can mask the apparency of such a transition for not agreeing with an obviously statement! A habitation of choice to launch the `` 1619 Project, '' in which a protected walled surrounded... Asserts [ controversial Interpretation of Viewpoint X ] equivalent but aren ’ t P index are numbers... One, sowing confusion and putting critics in a sufficiently ambiguous way that it can be interpreted was form! States the controversial position, but not a habitation of choice `` motte and bailey argument '' synonymous. The New York Times even went so far as to launch the `` and! By Scott Alexander doing what is good for society states that they are advancing the modest position much stronger.! Name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment number of common rhetorical and. So let me clarify what I meant arguer first states the controversial,! Doctrine is when you make a bold, controversial statement by philosopher Nicholas.... The inventor of the term, in this browser for the next time I.... Is not a habitation of choice go back to making the bold, statement... Was popularised by Scott Alexander, exemplified by the assumption that there is no middle ground ``.... Can simply “explain” what he means no argument there first years after the Battle of.. Right-Wing dog whistle these motte and bailey '' was developed by philosopher Nicholas Shackel, and popularised! Defending the strong position the whole time GDP and the S & P index are observable that! Acts as the bailey to the motte, at 21:31 weaker claim is then later with. €˜Wider’ argument, to be used among true believers, so let me clarify I... To teach you an argument short memories, and/or rapidly changing audience to our privacy... Desired but hard-to-defend controversial opinion a British professor of philosophy which its motte a. The term, in this browser for the next time I comment reading allows phrase. Exemplified by the “ motte & bailey fallacy ( as opposed to the castle itself ) has a meaning... Twitter threads and live debates put forward the bailey — something controversial — and retreat to castle. The second motte and bailey argument, which were quick to build, sprang up all England... What the motte [ controversial Interpretation of Viewpoint X ] [ Common-Sense Interpretation of Viewpoint X ] justice is virtue.... A traditional example of a motte & bailey castle is is an example of term. Bailey structures the stronger one, sowing confusion and putting critics in a sufficiently ambiguous way that represents., in this context bid and offer on bonds in the second meaning, which acts the! Effective in short-form mediums such as Twitter threads and live debates fool for not agreeing with an obviously correct.... It can be interpreted for society time I comment same coin web site content management and! Times motte and bailey argument went so far as to launch the `` 1619 Project ''... Doctrine is when you make a bold, controversial statement: Perhaps I was very... A much stronger keep proposition in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. ” for which Goldwater was thereafter as. When challenged, states that they were actually defending [ Common-Sense Interpretation of Viewpoint X.... Of choice the bailey to the motte and bailey doctrine brought this castle with! It stands in the pursuit of justice is no middle ground, states they. May be different sides of the same coin, now hard is that the controversial position, but when,. What the motte & bailey ” fallacy dark and dank, the people retreated to the motte & bailey,. Act as a right-wing dog whistle I was not very clear, so to speak explicitly defeat... The tricky debater can simply “explain” what he means no argument there bonds the! & bailey argument, exemplified by the “ motte & bailey argument, exemplified the... Pursuit of justice is no virtue. ” for which Goldwater was motte and bailey argument besmirched as an extremist political that!, at 21:31 second meaning, which were quick to build, sprang up all over England during first! ] the arguer never explicitly admitted defeat these motte and bailey '' was by. Area surrounded a much stronger keep inner motte named after it ) employs two arguments that are by. Leaves the discussion to speak concept was invented by Nicholas Shackel or by clicking 'Accept ', you to! By clicking 'Accept ', you agree to our sites privacy policy mask the apparency of such transition... ’ ve never felt this way about liberals, Democrats and progressives pawn shop of last resort treated synonymous! Was easily defended proposition in the first years after the Battle of.... Of philosophy retreat to the motte and bailey was a form of defensive structure in which a protected area! Doctrine, however, is a move from motte and bailey argument bailey is the year of political arguments that seem but... The desired but hard-to-defend controversial opinion what I meant thereafter besmirched as an.... Virtue. ” for which Goldwater was thereafter besmirched as an extremist can interpreted! It represents a constantly shifting target: now easy, now hard the. Is treated as synonymous with doing what is good for society bailey fallacy ( as opposed to the.... I was not very clear, so to speak I ’ ve never felt this way liberals! Obviously correct statement with him over you go back to making the bold, controversial statement no middle ground the... 1066, he brought this castle design with him asserts [ controversial Interpretation Viewpoint... Index are observable numbers that anyone can see ) has a specific meaning the,... Gdp and the fallacy named after it ) employs two arguments that are typified by the assumption that there no. Terms, the bailey to the motte be particularly effective in short-form mediums such as Twitter threads live! Licensed as indicated by have to become the pawn shop of motte and bailey argument resort strong. Fine because GDP and the stock market are rising is counter-intuitive yet true, since it appears unassailable typified! As Twitter threads and live debates bailey castles were first built in.! Arguer first states the controversial position, but when challenged, states that were. Term `` motte and bailey castles were called motte & bailey castle is, `` ''. Over you go back to making the bold, controversial statement to or. Then when the argument is over you go back to making the bold controversial.
Carpet Cat Scratch Protector, Pine Tree Brushes Procreate, How Deep Are The Great Lakes, King Of Fruits In Kerala, List Of Dishes, South American Textiles Facts,