A counterplan is a component of debate theory commonly employed in the activity of parliamentary and policy debate. While some conceptions of debate theory require the negative position in a debate to defend the status quo against an affirmative position or plan, a counterplan allows the negative to defend a separate plan or an advocacy. It also allows the aff. to run disadvantages against the neg.
Most forms of debate begin from some resolution or statement of advocacy. As the affirmative plan affirms the resolution in theory or at least within the sphere of its distinct existence, it is reasonable to assume that the negative team must advocate the negation of the resolution, usually either through the defense of the status quo or a counterplan distinct from the resolutional advocacy. However, in many circles, the affirmative ability to select their specific plan gives the negative justification to select another topical plan, so long it is 'competitive' with the plan. Advocates of this view, which has become increasingly popular in national circuit high school debate, believe that once the affirmative selects its specific plan so long as it is topical, it abandons any further tie to the resolution and cedes the remaining ground of advocacy to the negative. Moreover, they argue that if topical ground is exclusively affirmative, then the negative could be allowed to attack other potential examples of the resolution that might not be as advantageous as the affirmative plan. This conception is related to the debate paradigm and argumentation theory concept of hypothesis testing.
There is also a small subset of debate theory that asserts that ''only'' topical counterplans should be allowed. This theory is often called ''Plan-Plan'' and argues that the affirmative should have the burden to prove that its policy is the best example of the resolution. The negative should be restricted to offering ''topical'' counterplans that provide greater benefits than the plan. This theory rejects traditional formulations of ''competition'' and argues that the affirmative should be prepared to attack the counterplan alone in comparison to the plan because it falls within the accepted and predictable wording of the resolution. While this view has some aggressive adherents, it has not been exceptionally popular in most circles.
抄文引用元・出典: フリー百科事典『 ウィキペディア（Wikipedia）』
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