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: The False Dilemma

The False Dilemma is an informal fallacy that is committed when using an either-or proposition without considering all relevant possibilities. In logical construction, the premise states that either claim A or claim B is false and therefore the other claim must be true. The problem with this reasoning is both claims could be false and another claim could be true. For example, it would be fallacious to assert that the University of Georgia either has to maintain its current test requirement or abolish it entirely. UGA could actually institute a test-optional policy. Of course, the false dilemma can only be committed if there are more than two options so discussing a matter such as life or death is not fallacious. In rhetoric, logic is not irrelevant. It is actually the best weapon. As Phi Kappans, in creating false dilemmas, we invalidate our arguments because we are not properly analyzing the issue only constricting the focus. So before crafting your next argument, take a moment to consider all relevant possibilities.


The Phi Kappa Literary Society is thrilled to announce its victory in the 2015 Inter-Society Debate!

Excellent work to team members Br. Grant, Sis. Owens, Sis. Henry, Br. Banton, and Sis. Hammond! Thank you to the members of the Judicial Council as well as all Phi Kappa siblings and alumni who made our victory possible. To Order! 


The Phi Kappa Book Drive is Complete!

ATHENS -  March 25, 2015 - The Phi Kappa Literary Society is excited to announce that is has exceeded its original goal for the 100 Books campaign. Donations exceeded 160 books over the course of four weeks. 

In honor of Read Across Georgia month, Phi Kappa decided to launch its new volunteer initiative with a book drive to benefit the local Clarke County middle and high schools. The drive began February 17 and lasted through March 12.  

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, only one-third of ninth graders entering high school are proficient in reading. In Clarke County, low graduation rates are a persistent problem. Given the presence of this problem, Phi Kappa decided to address the local need present for assistance one book at a time. 

“As president, I couldn’t be more proud of how the Society came together for the children in the Athens community. We even had members ask us to extend the dates so they had time to bring more books from their homes and an alumna who made a point to bring at least 560 books from her childhood. It’s really indicative of how campus organizations can contribute to the community beyond their own expectations when people come together, and I hope it remains a tradition,” senior Kristin Henry said. 

Donations are approved based on the decision of media specialists. Any remaining donations will be forwarded to another local organization or library. 


Alumni Spotlight: Br. Dean William Tate

Born on September 21, 1903, Brother Dean William Tate would become an essential part of campus life at the University of Georgia for more than forty years after his days spent Phi Kappa Hall. Raised in Calhoun, Georgia, a seventeen year-old Brother Tate enrolled at the University of Georgia in the fall of 1920. During his time as a student, he studied English and History and became involved in several student activities including serving as the president of both Phi Kappa and student council. 

During his tenure at UGA, Brother Tate served as Dean of Students before being named Dean of Men, a position he would hold from 1946 until 1971. He garnered a reputation as compassionate, devoting most of his time to personally helping students with financial and academic struggles. But he could also inspire fear. 

Once speaking on Brother Tate, Honorable Sister McPhee said, “He had a way with students even though they were scared to death of him. They respected him. He knew their daddies and their grand-daddies and if a student was about to get in trouble, he would ask them their name, and it would scare them to death and when they told him, he would say, “Oh yeah!”, and tell them their daddy’s name.”

Following the integration of campus in 1961, his compassion extended to Charlayne Hunter, the first black female student, who faced the threat of injury or death after a mob formed outside of Myers Hall. While being pelted with rocks, he managed to assist a cop who had been knocked down before seizing student ID cards. 

After his retirement he remained active in campus life up until his death in 1980. In the last thirty five years, traces of his legacy are still present on campus and not only in the name of the Tate Student Center. It lives on in two of our own, Brother Hunter Smith and Brother Clark Veazey, who were selected as a 2015 inductee into the exclusive Dean William Tate Society. Moreover, it lives on in the displays of fearlessness and compassion each week in Phi Kappa Hall. 


It's Fallacy Friday: Ecological Fallacy.

Ecological Fallacy 

The ecological fallacy is a logical error of interpretation that involves deriving conclusions about the nature of individuals solely on an analysis of group data. Often this slip in logic comes from a clear misunderstanding of distribution which specifically assumes it is equal across individuals in a group. For example, a study of the last US election will find that states with higher median household incomes voted less often for Republican candidate Mitt Romney, but an assumption that individuals with higher incomes vote Democratic would be false. Higher income on the individual level is actually associated with voting Republican. During debates in Phi Kappa Hall, presenting empirical evidence such as statistics is vital, but speakers first need to understand what a particular statistic means. Reading an author’s explanation of his or her data method and familiarizing yourself with basic concepts in statistics will help eliminate making  false assumptions on the floor and give your argument te logic fitting of a Phi Kappan. 


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