Freedom of Expression and Ulrich Baer: A Case Study in Leftist Mendacity

May 2, 2017 Jan Sobieski IV 31

On Monday, The New York Times published an editorial entitled “What ‘Snowflakes’ Get Right About Free Speech” from Ulrich Baer, a “vice provost for faculty, arts, humanities, and diversity” and professor at New York University. Within it, Baer not only defends the students who wail, gnash their teeth and or riot to prevent controversial figures from speaking on university campuses, he argues they’re the true advocates for real free speech. It should be read in [Continue reading]

Je suis Jordan Peterson!

December 4, 2016 Jan Sobieski IV 18

I don’t like virtue signaling. The moral narcissism of having the French or Rainbow flag silhouette behind your Facebook profile picture is off-putting. Tweeting insipid hashtags like #Notmypresident or #LoveTrumpsHate aren’t courageous stands. Costing nothing, they’re easy and seemingly done in self-aggrandizement instead of selflessness. If you like displaying how righteous you are, I have it on good authority that you aren’t. Jesus had a choice word for those who would make a spectacle by [Continue reading]

The Futile ‘Beyond the Pale’ Strategy

October 11, 2016 Ideal Observer 38

Liberal academics often prefer to dismiss arguments in favor of socially conservative views rather than engage them. This is done, in part, on a principled basis: Since conservative views are (supposedly) excessively harmful to minorities, treating arguments in their favor as worthy of consideration contributes to the perception of conservative views as at least somewhat reasonable. But we cannot have that; and so we must exclude conservative arguments from the realm of polite discourse and as entirely unworthy [Continue reading]

In Defense of Posting Screenshots: A Reply to Jon Cogburn

October 5, 2016 Touchstone 38

Rightly Considered (RC) has received a lot of attention in the wake of the SCP debacle. It was never our intention, really, to keep blogging about this controversy. But our original story on that has now been picked up by several national media outlets and widely read blogs (see here, here, and here for a few examples). In that story, we posted several screenshots of very hateful comments by philosophers that were directed at Prof. [Continue reading]

An Open Letter to Michael Rea and the SCP, from a Worried Gay Philosopher

September 28, 2016 Natural Lawyer 26

(Editor’s note: A philosopher who is not associated with this blog asked if we would publish his thoughts about the recent SCP controversy. They are produced below). If you’re reading this, you’re surely aware of the commotion caused by Richard Swinburne’s recent address to the Society of Christian Philosophers (SCP). I wasn’t there, but as I understand it, Swinburne’s jarring conclusion was that homosexual sex is immoral, for reasons independent of those typically offered by [Continue reading]

Did Swinburne get Swindled?

September 26, 2016 Conservatrarian 37

Update: Rod Dreher provides more evidence of the vile hatred directed toward Swinburne here. In case you haven’t already heard, the philosophy gossip blogs are buzzing about the controversy that ensued when an orthodox Christian philosopher defended orthodox Christian ethics at a Society of Christian Philosophers (SCP) meeting. To be more specific: at the latest Midwest meeting of the SCP, Richard Swinburne presented a paper in which he argued for the view that homosexual acts are immoral and [Continue reading]

Would Socrates Issue a Trigger Warning?

September 7, 2016 Federal Philosopher 3

No, he wouldn’t. Trigger warnings and safe spaces, we argued in an earlier post, stifle the honest and open pursuit of truth. That, after all, was the purpose of Plato’s Academy, and was later adopted as the original purpose of the university, too (on which see John Henry Newman’s The Idea of the University). But more than that, the university also used to be a place to learn to experience what John Stuart Mill called [Continue reading]

Trigger Warning: Trigger Warnings and Safe Spaces are Dumb

September 1, 2016 Charles Martel 5

A friend of ours who studied philosophy at a top university once told us an amusing anecdote. Prefacing a course on classical philosophy, the professor explained that he would not be reading the ancient philosophers through the lens of modern values and so, for example, would not impose on them gender-neutral pronouns and would not censor any perceived “misogynistic” or “bigoted” language. This didn’t sit well with some of the students, who rudely began to protest [Continue reading]