The Phi Kappa Literary Society is a debate society at the University of Georgia. We meet every academic Thursday at Phi Kappa Hall on North Campus at 7 p.m.

All with an insatiable appetite for knowledge and oratory are welcome.



Fallacy Friday: Tu Quoque

The tu quoque fallacy is a form of ad hominem attack that is committed when a person’s claim is addressed as hypocritical because of past words or actions. The argument form follows that person A makes a claim X, person B asserts that A’s past claims are inconsistent, and therefore claim X is false. In debates, addressing hypocrisy often sidesteps the essential question. The rightness of a policy or a stance is separate from the consistency of any actor. For instance, cigarette smoking is a major cause of lung cancer; if a cigarette smoker suggests to a child that smoking is unhealthy, the truth stands despite his personal history. The tu quoque fallacy is admittedly tempting because humans attach a negative value to hypocrisy, but in argumentation its use borders on tangential. In Phi Kappa Hall, speakers need to stick to the essential question and avoid taking moral high ground when it means resorting to tangents or personal attacks. Hypocrisy is trenchant enough without its own appeal.


Freshman Improptu

Good luck to all new Phi Kappans participating in Freshman Impromptu at this evening’s meeting. We are so proud of each and every one of you, and you all will shine!


Happy Birthday Sister Singh!

The Phi Kappa Literary Society would like to extend the most joyous of birthday wishes to our own beautiful Chief Justice, Sister Shreya Singh. We hope you have the day you deserve (especially after all the hard work you put into ISD!).


please join the Phi Kappa Literary Society at Avid Bookshop for Creative Cafe!


It's time for Fallacy Friday! Appeal to Tradition:

An appeal to tradition, or argumentum ad antiquitatem, is an informal logical fallacy that people often used to justify the status quo, but falsely insists that historical preference is correct without evidence. The line of reasoning includes a premise that X is traditional or common practice to conclude that X is therefore better. For example, bloodletting was a primary treatment to cure illness or disease for thousands of years before being discredited as harmful. Of course, an appeal to novelty – new things are better than old – is equally fallacious. To avoid committing both fallacies, age must be pertinent to the claim such would be the case with wine. If arguing that claim X has stood the test of time, you need to successfully prove it has stood up to tests and challenges in which the weight of evidence makes the claim reasonable. Often, in negating a resolution, an appeal to tradition is used to defend a position as defensible, but in doing so critical analysis is replaced with slackness. Remember, as Phi Kappans, we seek to question history, not affirm it.