The Pyramid Rule: More general or abstract considerations should appear higher in the argument tree, and considerations at the same level of the tree should be at roughly the same level of generality or abstraction.
A group of considerations is all reasons and objections bearing directly upon the main contention or any other reason or objection.
The MECE Rule: Considerations in a group should be mutually exclusive (no overlaps) and collectively exhaustive (no gaps).
Mutually exclusive (ME): Within a group, considerations should be genuinely distinct from each other. ME is the first aspect of the MECE rule.
Collectively exhaustive (CE): Within a group, considerations should cover all the relevant, serious arguments; they should leave no gaps. CE is the second aspect of the MECE rule.
A debate is a dispute in which the first-level reasons and objections are themselves disputed.
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Last updated 28-Nov-2006