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Friday, November 13, 2015

Campus Insanity? Blame The Philosophers

Photo: Robert Tracinski
"If you want to know why philosophers have fallen into disrepute, look at the wave of campus turmoil spreading out from Yale and Mizzou." summarizes Robert Tracinski, Senior Writer.

Photo: The Federalist

After this week’s debate, Marco Rubio unveiled his newest attack ad.

Kant Attack Ad


This video is, of course, an old philosophy joke that’s been floating around the Web for years. But it just may have a point. It turns out that the nineteenth-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant really is wrong for America (and wrong on all those other things, too). If you want the proof, look to the new wave of campus turmoil spreading out from Yale and the University of Missouri.

I say this, by the way, as someone with a degree in philosophy who has a firm belief in its value (although I can also attest that it has less economic value, at least at first, than learning how to weld). We desperately need a discipline that teaches people to understand big ideas and to subject those ideas to rigorous rational evaluation. If only somebody would do that.

We can tell they’re not doing it from this week’s growing campus race hysteria, which is notable for the total absence of critical evaluation and the suppression of rational discourse.

Where the Facts Don’t Matter, and You Will Confess 
All of these cases begin with anecdotes, rumors, and innuendo, like the alleged “whites only” comment at Yale, where Emily Shire notes that “the lack of consistent, corroborated evidence of the party has not quelled Yale students’ outrage.” Or consider Mizzou’s “poop swastika,” where it took about two weeks to get any kind of independent verification, by which point the university’s president had already been forced to resign.

But once the mob gets going, facts don’t matter, and you will be made to confess. No, really. The guy at Yale who was denounced because his wife wrote an e-mail telling everyone to lighten up about Halloween costumes? He eventually appeared, flanked by his superiors, to deliver a groveling apology.
‘I mean, it just broke my heart,’ Christakis said. ‘I thought that I had some credibility with you, you know? I care so much about the same issues you care about. I’ve spent my life taking care of these issues of injustice, of poverty, of racism. I have the same beliefs that you do…. I’m genuinely sorry, and to have disappointed you. I’ve disappointed myself.’
It is also reported that Christakis has won the victory over himself and loves Big Brother.

The hysteria is spreading to other campuses, with students eager to get in on the revolution whether they have anything to rebel against or not. The newest chapter in the Halloween Costume Inquisition comes from Claremont McKenna college, where a student was forced to resign from the exalted position of junior class president because she appeared in a photograph alongside two girls wearing mustachioed Mexican peasant costumes. As usual, the show trial ends with a confession of one’s counter-revolutionary crimes.
Brackmann wrote, in part, ‘As a bystander I did not assertively speak out against the costumes, despite knowing that they were disrespectful. Even worse, I associated myself with the offensive message by willingly standing in a photo with the costumes. My actions poorly represented me as someone who is supposed to represent all students. I am regretfully sorry to have been associated with this harmful incident, and after thoughtful consideration I have decided to leave my position as the Junior Class President.’ In her email, she also asked those who have come to her defense for the photo to ‘stop blaming discrimination on ignorance. Please learn from my mistakes in order to best help me create a safe environment for everyone.’
In an e-mail, the president of Claremont McKenna announced “I’m holding a sit-in in my office,” to which students were invited to bring their grievances. This is what happens when old ’60s radicals become faculty and administrators and set the whole tone for campus culture. 
Read more... 

Related link 
What Marco Rubio Actually Got Wrong About Philosophers - The Federalist.

Source: The Federalist 


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