Stasis Theory and Unit Three

When presenting a prolonged argument, it is important to take a systematic approach.  Stasis allows a speaker to better understand the argument that he or she is trying to make, and thereby the best methods for convincing others to agree.  When considering a paradigm shift, stasis can narrow an argument from generalities and broad concepts, getting a speaker to the heart of the matter.  Making a convincing argument is simply a matter of asking the right questions.

Stasis first raises the notion of the theoretical versus the practical.  A paradigm shift is, by its nature, not finite.  However, a strictly theoretical argument can never be definitively settled.  Therefore, it is best to argue any ambiguous concepts in terms of those things that are explicitly defined.  Using concrete evidence, such as statistics that have clearly changed over time, allows one to make a convincing argument about something abstract in terms of tangible, even quantifiable qualities.

This concept is closely tied to the questions of Conjecture and Definition, as it helps make the topic more specific and reveals more of its nature than a general claim can.  Arguments should, generally speaking, work toward increasing specificity in order to draw an audience along a thorough line of logic in favor of the speaker’s point.

The question of Quality, whether something is right or wrong, can be more difficult to maneuver.  Quality is often a subjective matter, and even more so when considering broad or undefined arguments.  However, it can often be determined without bias by examining an issue in terms of natural or widely accepted laws and moral standards.  By evaluating the issue on grounds that the audience is (almost) certain to share, a speaker can avoid alienating or offending his or her audience with unfounded opinions.

Finally, when it comes to Policy, or which actions should be taken in light of the argument made, a conclusion may not be necessary.  A course of action may be suggested or argued for, but none should be considered as definite for the same reason that opinion must be avoided in determining Quality.  Arguing too ardently for anything subjective risks losing the support garnered by the core of a speaker’s argument.


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  1. cafe racer bmw,

    Stasis Theory and Unit Three | Cultures and Customs

  2. I agree with you that the policy portion of stasis theory isn’t necessarily as important to our paradigm shift papers as the rest of the theory is. We’re not arguing for a specific course of action, just identifying and explaining the implications of a cultural change that we’ve observed in society. Very nice!

  3. Dominique Ricciardi

    You did a good job at describing the stasis theory. I particularly like how you said that, “A paradigm shift is, by its nature, not finite.” This is so true and it makes me wonder if in 10, 15, 20 years, someone will be using are papers as research for their own. We may think we’ve come to the breakthrough in some aspects of life but it will be interesting to see how those things we think are so great will be topped and out done.

  4. It’s definitely going to be important to address out paradigm shifts broadly at first and then narrow them down to settle on a specific issue. I think you will do a great job of discussing your shift if you follows all the questions and guidelines you discussed!

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