The motivation behind hosting the Oxbridge debates is to introduce a monthly ‘Oxbridge style’ debate in the Czech Republic. These debates are interactive and dynamic, and originate in Great Britain. They were first practiced in this form at the Cambridge Union Society and later as well at Oxford; British politicians have been honing their rhetorical and argumentative skills through this form of debate for over 200 years.
These debates are serious, but entertaining, while allowing participants to objectively assess the strengths and weaknesses of the presenter’s opinions. For each debate a theme is prepared, typically one that is controversial and polarizing. Well – known individuals are sought to be debaters, ideally those that hold opposing views from one another. Compared to the typical debates held in the Czech Republic, Oxbridge debates are fast-paced, speakers only have a short time in which to express themselves, within which time they must make clear the logic of their arguments, position themselves in the debate, and hold their own when other participants jump into their speech, and provide often emotional appeals to listeners. Opening and closing remarks are made, during which time the speakers must be cognizant of the fact that their opponents are using this time to improve their own statements.
Oxbridge Debate Goals:
- Promote the participation of citizens in a sincere debate on the most important issues affecting our society
- Support development of pluralistic discourse in the Czech Republic grounded in facts and not merely emotionally driven arguments without any factual basis
- Provide citizens a better perspective on the issues that are affecting our society
- Host lively, entertaining and informative debates
- Promote public discourse
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