an in-between move

Cool kids read The Bellman.


Don't read this blog!

I mean, thanks for dropping by my little corner of the blogospheric backwaters, but the blog you should be reading is The Bellman. The stuff I post there is much, much less likely to be imbued with dormitive powers.


[German, from zwischen, intermediate + zug, move

Literally an "in-between move". A move in a tactical sequence is called a zwischenzug* when it does not relate directly to the tactical motif in operation. |source|

image copyright TWIC

From this position, black played a zwischenzug: 19…d5
(Linares 2002, 1-0)


about your blogger

David Rowland studies philosophy at the University of Illinois - Urbana / Champaign, where he's an active member of the Graduate Employees Organization. He used to play a lot of chess, but wasn't all that good. He has a blog. And email.



more deliberation day
Deliberation Day run-down
He made a porch for the throne where he might judg...
Blogger zwichenzug sells out, loses three punk poi...
He made a porch for the throne where he might judg...
Morbid, hell-bound empty woe*
Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words withou...
Zwichenzug Culture Watch, blogosphere edition
That'll be three Hail Marys
All the news that's fit to print


error log

January 2004  
February 2004  
March 2004  
April 2004  
May 2004  
June 2004  
July 2004  
August 2004  
September 2004  
October 2004  
November 2004  
December 2004  
January 2005  
February 2005  
March 2005  
April 2005  
May 2005  
June 2005  
July 2005  
August 2005  
September 2005  
October 2005  
November 2005  
December 2005  


$zwichenzug$ sell-out zone





Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under
a Creative Commons License.

Union Label

Direct Action
Gets the Goods!


some folks I know

Mark Dilley
a daily dose of architecture
Safety Neal
January Girl
mimi jingcha
Hop, Skip, Jump
ambivalent imbroglio
Brooke & Lian


some blogs I read

strip mining for whimsy
It's Matt's World
School of Blog
Fall of the State
Dru Blood
Echidne of the Snakes
Colossal Waste of Bandwidth
Running from the Thought Police
Bionic Octopus


some philosoblogs

Fake Barn Country
Freiheit und Wissen


some labor blogs

Confined Space
Working Life
Dispatches From the Trenches
Labor Blog
Eric Lee


some A-list blogs

This Modern World
Matthew Yglesias
Andrew Sullivan
Political Animal
The Volokh Conspiracy


some other links

Rule 33
This Week in Chess
War Nerd
National Priorities Project
Bible Gateway
Internet Archive
A Weekly Dose of Architecture
Orsinal: Morning Sunshine
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Safety Sign Builder
Get Your War On


some philosoblogging

Six views about reasons
Seidman on reflection and rationality
And another thing
Tiffany's argument for strong internalism
Internalism v. Externalism
What do internalists believe anyway?
Rationalism and internalism
The experimental method in philosophy
Advertising to children
On moral skepticism
A linguistic argument
More on Williams
Williams on reasons
General and particular
Normativity and morality
Political intuitions
What it is, what it was, and what it shall be
Objectivity and morality
Thinking revolution
Abortion and coercion
Moore on torture
On the phenomenology of deliberation
Even more Deliberation Day
more Deliberation Day
Deliberation Day run-down
He made a porch for the throne where he might judge, cont.
He made a porch for the throne where he might judge
Every shepherd is an abomination
Droppin' H-bombs
ad hominem

Saturday, April 03, 2004


Even more deliberation day

Today: Lupia

Lupia is writing in Legal Affairs (the same issue that has articles by Posner and A&F).

Lupia argues: (1) The goal of Deliberation Day is to increase civic competence; (2) what we know about cognition gives us no reason to expect that Deliberation Day would accomplish this goal; Hence, (3) Deliberation day fails on its own terms.

For the most part, Lupia focuses on 2. He doesn't give an argument which establishes his point definitively, but proceeds in three steps. First, he goes through some empirical research which seems to indicate that the procedures of Deliberation Day could have consequences other than those predicted by A&F. Second, he points out the limitations of the empirical research A&F conducted in support of their proposal. Lastly, he asks why A&F would be inclined to expect deliberation to have the expected results.

Here is part of what Lupia has to say about the third point:
Deliberation advocates who insist that citizens learn a specific set of facts or engage in a particular set of practices may not really understand how these actions affect the target audience. In many cases, advocates presume that the practices they prefer are better for others. In other words, elitism fills the void left by advocates' inattention to basic facts about how people think. The result is that advocates who are overconfident in their ability to change human beliefs and behavior end up imposing on others values and programs that favor elite worldviews yet make the target audience worse off and that fail to improve civic competence. Outcomes like these are tragic, wasting resources that could have been used for activities that would more accurately diagnose and remedy problems caused by a lack of civic competence.
This is a sophisticated version of the elitism argument. It says, basically, that elites make a serious mistake when they assume that the method which they employ to obtain civic competence, deliberation, also works for most other citizens. What interests me is that this way of looking at things understands deliberation (and for that matter, civic competence) as having only instrumental value. This marks, I think, a fundamental divide in the way deliberative democracy is understood in Political Science as opposed to Philosophy departments. (I'm not entirely sure where A&F fall on this point) And what this suggests is that the problem with Lupia's argument, if there is one, is in the first premise rather than the second.

What is meant by civic competence? Lupia writes:
By civic competence, I mean a citizen's ability to accomplish well-defined tasks in her role as voter, juror, or legislator. If deliberation is to increase civic competence, it must cause people to think about politics in very specific ways; not just any change will do. Suppose that we can define a competent vote as the one that a person would cast if she knew where a specific set of candidates stood with respect to a well-defined list of major policy debates. For deliberation to increase her competence, she must not be voting competently initially. Deliberating must cause her to do so. If knowing a candidate's political party leads her to draw the correct conclusion about which candidate takes the positions she prefers, then deliberation cannot increase the competence of her vote.
On this account, an entirely disengaged citizen who would, if fully engaged, vote Republican has full competence if she knows this fact and so, votes Republican.

Now if this is what democracy were about then voting doesn't make very much sense. Instead, we should develop sophisticated polling devices and manage affairs accordingly.

I think it's pretty clear that this isn't what A&F have in mind. They think, I believe, that political participation is good for its own sake. It's not clear whether this is because it is, somehow, supposed to complete the individual (a la civic republicanism) or because the exercise of state power is only justifiable if that exercise is, in some sense, the expression of a collective will, or for some other reason.

So the point of their proposal is, at least in part, to make political participation individually rational. Lupia's version of civic competence isn't irrelevant to this, but it isn't the whole story. On A&F's view, as I understand it, competence and participation aren't fully seperable.

+ - + - + main + - + - +