Make quodlibets quotidian again! as scientific debates

Quodlibet is an obscure word that originally referred to a medieval event that included a debate. I haven’t been able to find much information about it, but here is a brief description from Graham (2007):

Beginning in the thirteenth century, quodlibets were a part of the academic program of the theology and philosophy faculties of universities… The first of the two days of the quodlibet was a day of debate presided over by a master who proposed a question of his own for discussion.

I’m interested in this because I rue the lack of debates in modern science. Perhaps it’s only an accident of history that real debates aren’t happening much nowadays.

Also during the quodlibet, according to Graham, the presiding master “accepted questions from anyone present on any subject and answers were suggested by the master and others.” Sounds like a blend of the unconference (1,2) and what we think of as a traditional debate.

We’ve created as a way debating might be revived in a compact online form. However, we’re still working on the adversarial form of evidence charts designed especially for debating. Let me know if you’re interested in participating.

Graham, BFH (2007). Review of Magistri Johannis Hus: Quodlibet, Disputationis de Quolibet Pragae in Facultate Artium Mense Ianuario anni 1411 habitae Enchiridion. The Catholic Historical Review, Volume 93, Number 3, pp. 639-640.


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