Link to Archive of Issues Moot Court: Readings and Suggested Measures of Learning

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Weekly Readings

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
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Created: June 6, 2001
Latest update: February 28, 2002
E-Mailjeannecurran@habermas.org

Moot Court
Week of March 4, 2002: Week 6, Spring 2002

  • Online Readings:

  • Concepts for Conceptual Linking:

    • agency - the ability to make decisions on things that affect you
    • structural context - the lifeworld of social group, family, institutions, and the environmental and architectural patterns that permeate that lifeworld.
    • interdependence - an inextricable mixture of factors of both individual agency and group and structural context out of which our reality is constructed
    • advocacy - taking a position as forcefully as you can within legal and ethical limits

  • Vocabulary for discourse:

    • fact pattern - the set of facts, determined by the court to be legally true, meaning that the trier of facts believed that these were the actual facts, that make up the significant elements of the case.
    • dualistic - an adjective expressing an either/or quality: good or bad, rich or poor, sinner or saint (I know, I know. Sinner and saint aren't adjectives. Glad you noticed.) The problem with the dualistic perspective is one of categorical thinking, that is, thinking which assumes that you must belong in one of the available categories, when, in fact, we, as humans, rarely do that. For example, male or female. We've grown used to thinking of ourselves as either male or female, when in fact, we share many of the traits . See Minow on categorical thinking, and/or verstehen on the dilemma of trying to quantify and categorize in the social sciences.

  • Some Suggested Measures of Learning:

    1. Discuss the objective of public discourse when the substantive issue is one religious group's refusal to accept another's belief system.

      Consider the conundrum of how we shall decide who is right or wrong. Is that our objective? See Advocacy in Public Discourse.

    2. How does my training as a lawyer affect my responsibility to aid Agnes in her presentation of a validity claim for women on welfare?

      Consider the requisite training for skilled argument. Consider the accessibility of such training to women on welfare. And then consider good faith and what we mean by that. See Advocacy in Public Discourse.

    3. Where is the social injustice of saying that if someone would work and study hard then they could speak standard and persuasive English and make their validity claims heard in good faith?

      Consider the cost in invested time, money, and effort to polish the skills of public persuasion. Consider the cognitive dissonance aspect of dividing one's attention, and consider the loss of humility and the arrogance that can set in as one acquires such professional skills. See Advocacy in Public Discourse.

    4. Would it be accurate to call our traditional media "corporate capitalist media"? Does the term suggest that socialist media would be more open, more truthful?

      Consider what the term "capitalist" tells you about the economic structure of the media. See Advocacy and Dominant Discourse.