Debates tend to work best when both sides have a clear understanding of all terms in the resolution. If your definitions are questioned, or you don't agree with your opponents definitions, you should defend your position with authoritative reference sources. Many debates focus on the words explicitly stated in the resolution. However, understanding philosophical theories behind various abstract concepts, such as "justice," "freedom" and "fairness," is crucial to winning a debate. Below you will find reference sources with authoritative definitions and introductory guides to popular debate subjects. For systematic study of debate vocabulary, read a number of introductory guides on this page.
It's essential to compare definitions of all terms in a couple of different resources. For example, your can look at the definition of utilitarianism in Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy and compare it to the one found in Gale Encyclopedia of Philosophy. For a more substantial overview of Utilitarianism, read Utilitarianism: A Very Short Introduction. To see how utilitarianism compares to other ethical theories, read Ethics by Peter Cave or Ethics 101 by Brian Boone.To figure out how Utilitarianism compares to Utopianism, read Utopianism: A Very Short Introduction. Still wondering if utilitarianism is a good framework for your case? Read Utilitarianism as a Criterion for State Action in Oxford Handbook of Public Choice, Vol 1.
To further advance your understanding of utilitarianism, utopianism, or any other complex concept, use Online Journals, Newspapers,Periodicals and Scholarly E-Books.
The Find E-Journals and E-Books by Title Page is the best place to locate journals in electronic format and scholarly e-books.