philosophy meta-forum

Jonathan Haidt says there is hope

Prodicus

29 day(s) ago

https://www.city-journal.org/html/age-outrage-15608.html

"And if you want more hope, let me tell you why I think things are going to start to improve on university campuses, beginning in the fall of 2018: because as things get worse on campus, more people are beginning to stand up, and more people are searching for solutions. Some college presidents are starting to stand up. They all know they are sitting on a powder keg, and they want to defuse it. Also, they are generally liberal scholars, deeply opposed to illiberalism. Carol Christ, the new chancellor of U.C. Berkeley, is clearly mortified by what happened to her school’s reputation last spring, and she has taken a very strong and public stand, saying that U.C. Berkeley supports freedom of speech and will pay to protect speakers. Robert Zimmer, the president of the University of Chicago, has been consistently excellent. I have spoken with several other college presidents who would like to stand up publicly but still feel that the illiberal factions on their campuses are too strong. But if a few more presidents stand up, and if applications to schools like the University of Chicago surge this year, then I think we’ll see the floodgates open, possibly next fall.

Professors are starting to stand up, too. At Heterodox Academy, we started with 25 members two years ago; now we have over 1,400, evenly balanced between left and right. We got a big surge of members after the violence at Middlebury because that was a tipping point. Professors are overwhelmingly on the left, but they are mostly liberal Left, not illiberal. My field—social psychology—for example, is quite sane. I have been raising the alarm about political imbalance and orthodoxy since 2011, and so far nothing bad has happened to me. I have not been ostracized. The problem on campus—the intense illiberalism—is concentrated in a few departments that are committed to political activism. When you look at who signs the petitions denouncing professors for what they’ve written, or demanding that journal articles be retracted, it is mostly professors from about seven departments in the humanities and identity studies. Few professors dared risk the ire of this illiberal Left back in 2015, but with each new witch hunt, each aggressive shout-down, more members of the liberal Left are willing to stand up and say: enough is enough. This is contrary to my values.

And most importantly, some students are beginning to stand up. At Reed College, one of the most politically orthodox schools in the country, social-justice activists had been protesting and disrupting the first-year humanities course for more than a year. They called the course an act of white supremacy because it focused on dead white authors. They said the course was traumatizing to non-white students. They brought their signs and chants into the classroom every day, making it hard for professors to teach or for students to learn. Many Reed students and professors objected, but none dared to do so publicly, lest they be called racist themselves. Finally, this fall, several Asian students stood up, criticized the protesters, and asked them to stop interfering with their education. Once these students stood up, support for the protesters collapsed. Many people had been going along out of fear, rather than conviction.

At Heterodox Academy, we’re tracking these trends very closely, and we are putting out ideas and tools that help people stand up for viewpoint diversity and open inquiry. We’ve created a guide to colleges to steer applicants toward the schools that offer more viewpoint diversity. We’ve created an online survey that schools can use to assess the level of orthodoxy and fear on campus, or in any classroom. And most importantly, we’ve created the OpenMind app. It’s a self-guided app that teaches students about the value of viewpoint diversity and then trains them to engage with people who don’t share their values. We have many more initiatives planned for 2018."

Kojin

29 day(s) ago

he says there is hope because he is selling hope.

I don't think there is any hope.

R.R.

29 day(s) ago

As usual it takes foreigners to do the jobs Americans won't do.

Say what you will about the creeping Chinese hegemony, they don't have much patience for sjw shrieking. I look forward to their cruel and efficient crackdowns on effete western liberals.

Onora

29 day(s) ago

I am for a counter movement. Identify those protesters and kill them. Trannies, gays and others of LBGTQWERTZ get a free ticket to Saudi Arabia, Black protesters can choose between being a slave in the Middle East or a beggar in South Africa. Ta-Nehisi Coates will be chopped up and processed into sausage.

Am I not merciful?

Gerbert

29 day(s) ago

Kojin, what are you talking about? How is he 'selling' hope? What does he have to gain?

Germaine

29 day(s) ago

Ta-Nehisi Coates vindicates everything Nietzsche ever wrote about sacrificing excellence for mediocrity in the name of equality and diversity. A conspicuous grievance hustler masquerading as an entirely unremarkable thinker peddling shopworn deconstructionist cliches dressed up for America's unique brand of racial strife, while lauded for it by the chattering classes who pat themselves on the back for their love of diversity before going home to their gated communities.

Coates is your future, philosophy department. You're better off praying to China.

Ernest

28 day(s) ago

https://sessions.studentlife.umich.edu/track/event/session/6045

Ernest

28 day(s) ago

https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ899385.pdf

"There are six assumptions to the PIE model 1). The exploration of privileged identity is an on-going socialization process. 2). There

is no ultimate level of consciousness that can be reached regarding one's privileged identity. 3). Engaging in difficult dialogue is a necessary part of unlearning social oppression (i.e. racism, sexism/heterosexism/homophobia, and ableism). 4). Defense modes are normal human reactions to the uncertainty that one feels when exploring their privileged identities in more depth. 5). Defense modes are expressed in identifiable behaviors. 6). Expressions of defense modes may vary by situation. "

Sounds like a never ending re-education camp.

Roger

28 day(s) ago

Diversity makes everything better, doesn't it?

Lynne

28 day(s) ago

Germaine's comment garnered 160 upvotes in one day, when the other comments here garnered 12, 3, 7, 3, and 8 upvotes respectively? Why even have the button there if you're going to let it be bot-gamed so shamelessly?

Roger

28 day(s) ago

Germaine's comment garnered 160 upvotes in one day, when the other comments here garnered 12, 3, 7, 3, and 8 upvotes respectively? Why even have the button there if you're going to let it be bot-gamed so shamelessly?

Lynne

Downvoted for being a goddamn nerd.

Javad

18 day(s) ago

Kojin, what are you talking about? How is he 'selling' hope? What does he have to gain?

Gerbert

I think Kojin's half-right, and came to basically the same conclusion when I read the Haidt piece when it came out.

I think he's encouraging hope because despair (or whatever the opposite of hope is) is irrational. For one thing, it's more-or-less a self-fulfilling prophecy of defeat. Look, it's extremely unlikely that the political correctification of academia is inevitable. But if you believe that it is, then it becomes more difficult to justify incurring the personal and professional costs you'll incur by fighting it. It's instrumentally rational, at least in one familiar and obvious way, to inspire hope in such a case. I suspect that it's more than merely instrumentally rational, too, but am not too sure what to say about that part.

Baruch

18 day(s) ago

The horrible thing is that some of the worst of the SJW offenses are just now making their way to smaller colleges. My school adopted the most ridiculous Obama era Title IX processes (copied word for word from Brown), despite the new DoE letter. My college has opened itself up to huge lawsuits. The first kid who gets convicted for an offense via a process that the government has explicitly deemed unjust will most certainly lawyer up (if informed). I plan to tell all my students that they should do so. I'll make sure to do this on the first day with my freshmen next semester.

And we just got a new office of equity, diversity, and inclusion or something like that. They want anyone on a search committee to undergo implicit bias training. Nuts.

Here's another good article against this nonsense, this time from Heather MacDonald:

https://www.city-journal.org/html/are-we-all-unconscious-racists-15487.html

Peterson has a pretty good take down of this so called training:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-7YGGCE9es

Javad

17 day(s) ago

Yeah, my experience is similar, Baruch. My institution, farther down the pecking order, seemed to stay relatively rational...until the last year-ish. Suddenly it seems to have decided that, since all the cool schools have been trying to destroy the Western intellectual tradition and the very ideas of rational inquiry and intellectual autonomy...that, well, hell, we need to be on that bandwagon!

(None of this changes the fact that the only rational thing to do is fight this insanity. And hope is important in such an endeavor. Not that you were necessarily suggesting otherwise.)

Wolfgang

17 day(s) ago

Implicit bias training is also mandatory at my school for search committees. I’m tenured so I objected to the

flimsy science, loudly. I’m still standing and encourage others to do the same.

Dagfinn

17 day(s) ago

Implicit bias training is also mandatory at my school for search committees. I’m tenured so I objected to the

flimsy science, loudly. I’m still standing and encourage others to do the same.

Wolfgang

I thank you for your integrity.


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