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A motte is a stone keep on a raised earthwork common in early medieval fortifications. More pertinently,
it's an element in a rhetorical move called a "
Motte-and-Bailey", originally identified by
philosopher Nicholas Shackel. It describes the tendency in discourse for people to move from a controversial
but high value claim to a defensible but less exciting one upon any resistance to the former. He likens
this to the medieval fortification, where a desirable land (the bailey) is abandoned when in danger for
the more easily defended motte. In Shackel's words, "The Motte represents the defensible but undesired
propositions to which one retreats when hard pressed."
On The Motte, always attempt to remain inside your defensible territory, even if you are not being pressed.
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User ID: 122
We don't have the bot, so let me step in: this thread is not for serious in depth discussion of weighty topics, this thread is not for anything Culture War related. This thread is for Fun. You got jokes? Share 'em. You got silly questions? Ask 'em.