…at which academic thought and indeed higher education have ceased to exist

Higher Education’s Deeper Sickness

The overall campus figures include professional schools and science, technology, business and mathematics departments. In most humanities and social-science departments—especially those central to a liberal education, such as history, English and political science—the share of left-of-center faculty already approaches 100%.

The imbalance is not only a question of numbers. Well-balanced opposing views act as a corrective for each other: The weaker arguments of one side are pounced on and picked off by the other. Both remain consequently healthier and more intellectually viable. But intellectual dominance promotes stupidity. As one side becomes numerically stronger, its discipline weakens. The greater the imbalance between the two sides, the more incoherent and irrational the majority will become.

What we are now seeing on the campuses illustrates this general principle perfectly. The nearly complete exclusion of one side has led to complete irrationality on the other. With almost no intellectual opponents remaining, campus radicals have lost the ability to engage with arguments and resort instead to the lazy alternative of name-calling: Opponents are all “fascists,” “racists” or “white supremacists.”

In a state of balance between the two sides, leadership flows naturally to those better able to make the case for their side against the other. That takes knowledge and skill. But when one side has the field to itself, leadership flows instead to those who make the most uncompromising and therefore intellectually least defensible case, one that rouses followers to enthusiasm but can’t stand up to scrutiny. Extremism and demagoguery win out. Physical violence is the endpoint of this intellectual decay—the stage at which academic thought and indeed higher education have ceased to exist.

Anúncios

7 thoughts on “…at which academic thought and indeed higher education have ceased to exist

  1. Euro2cent

    Meh, nunca percebi esta preocupação com as universidades.

    Mais uma treta irrelevante no século XXI.

    (Cf. eleições presidenciais EUA 2016)

  2. A questão é saber se é tempo de evitar a violência quando a pestilência já infectou a política e a opinão mediática.
    E tudo indica que tendo nascido na Universidade não será aí que se originará a correição de um corretês imbecil, infestador e como tal obscurecedor do pensamento científico.

  3. nunca estranhou que todas as universidades, os media, as corporações e os politicos “mainstream” hoje em dia remam todos na mesma direcção?

  4. numa situação natural de competição o normal seria estas entidades divergirem e terem conflitos entre si e umas com as outras – mas tal não acontece – o que me leva a crer que estamos a viver numa espécie de simulação (ok podem começar as piadas sobre o matrix) onde não temo líderes mas sim “caretakers”, de vez em quando, se olhar mesmo para a coisas, consegue ver as costuras e as falhas.

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