A journal’s editorial team conditioned the acceptance of an article on the removal of two footnotes they said were “distracting,” its author reports. Distracting how? The author thinks the editors judged the footnotes to be salacious, and thus inappropriate for the journal, though it’s not clear that was their reasoning. (more…)
Gerald Lang (Leeds) has a thoughtful discussion of academic freedom, prompted by the UK government’s appointment of a “free speech tsar” (who happens to be Cambridge philosopher Arif Ahmed), over at the PEA Soup Blog. (more…)
If I wanted to plan a newsworthy cancellation, I’d invite Robert George to a small liberal arts college to talk about the value of free speech. (more…)
A group of professors, including two philosophy professors, along with the Idaho Federation of Teachers and the University of Idaho Faculty Federation, have filed a lawsuit challenging a 2021 state law that prevents state funds from being used to “procure, counsel in favor, refer to or perform an abortion”. (more…)
“Over 70% of our students… reported being more likely than before to listen to someone who held an opposing viewpoint…” (more…)
“Should we double down on generating controversy, or should we watch what we say? And if the latter, can we still participate in an open inquiry?”. . .
“Philosophers who ‘just raise the tough questions’ should reflect the discipline’s tradition of open inquiry back on themselves and consider the purpose that specific ‘tough questions,’ or even the call for philosop..
The Linguistic Society of America (LSA), the main professional organization in the U.S. for academic linguists, is considering adopting a version of the “Chicago Principles on Freedom of Expression.” (more…)
Philosophers have a long history of being misunderstood by others. The risk of dangerous misunderstandings have led some philosophers in previous eras to take a variety of strategies—careful phrasings, flattery, literary devices, understatement, pseudonyms, running away—to avoid getting in trouble with the masses or their rulers. (more…)
“Most readers will find what happened to this professor horrifying and wrong…” (more…)
A new university is being created by a group of academics and media personalities who, unlike you and your university, care about the truth: (more…)
The University of Nebraska, Lincoln chapter of the evangelical Christian student group Ratio Christi is suing the university, claiming it was discriminated against when it was denied funding for a talk by philosopher Robert Audi (Notre Dame). (more…)
Nine philosophers explore the various issues and questions raised by the newly released language model, GPT-3, in this edition of Philosophers On, guest edited by Annette Zimmermann. (more…)
A good number of very smart, interesting, and creative people signed onto an open letter, published in Harper’s this week, applauding “wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society” while lamenting “the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides.” (more…)
Flying around social media yesterday were cheers that Oxford University had issued a “Statement on the Importance of Free Speech” in response to a motion from the Oxford Student Union allegedly to “ban ‘ableist, classist and misogynist’ reading lists”. (more…)
In March, 2016, a student at the University of Cape Town publicly announced that she was facing a disciplinary proceeding at her school because she called her philosophy professor a racist. I reported on the story here. (more…)
The University of Georgia (UGA) has determined that Irami Osei-Frimpong, a philosophy graduate student and teaching assistant at the school, did not violate the school’s code of conduct.
Suppose that instead of one shepherd boy, there are a few dozen. They are tired of the villagers dismissing their complaints about less threatening creatures like stray dogs and coyotes. One of them proposes a plan: they will start using the word “wolf” to refer to all menacing animals. They agree and the new usage catches on. For a while, the villagers are indeed m..
A University of Georgia (UGA) alumnus’s expression of bafflement at his alma mater’s failure to condemn remarks made by a philosophy graduate student at the school and his call for other alumni to withhold donations has apparently prompted the university to consider action against the graduate student. (more…)
What is the difference between those accused of being whiny, coddled, politically correct snowflakes and those who are considered brave champions of free speech? (more…)
“Fascist politics seeks to undermine the credibility of institutions that harbor independent voices of dissent,” says Jason Stanley (Yale), and chief among such institutions are universities, which for the past 50 years have been “the epicenter of protest against injustice and authoritarian overreach.” (more…)
People get awfully solemn in the United States about the civic function of our institutions of higher education. They talk about college as the nursery of democracy and the care that we must take with our young people. As educators, the future is in our hands. I believe it is worth puncturing this solemnity with some awkward questions. (more…)
93 percent of faculty agree with the statement that, “niversity life requires that people with diverse viewpoints and perspectives encounter each other in an environment where they feel free to speak up and challenge each other.” There is almost universal support for the exchange of ideas and open discourse. (more…)
“The press accounts of widespread suppression of free speech are clearly out of kilter with reality,” says a new report on free speech at universities by the UK Parliament. “Any inhibition on lawful free speech is serious, and there have been such incursions, but we did not find the wholesale censorship of debate in universities which media coverage has suggested.” ..
Overall public support for free speech is rising over time, not falling. People on the political right are less supportive of free speech than people on the left. College graduates are more supportive than non-graduates.
A University of Victoria event last week featuring philosopher Peter Singer (Princeton), organized by the university’s Effective Altruism club, was disrupted by protestors objecting to Singer’s views about disability. (more…)
Wednesday afternoon, Gordon Hull, associate professor of philosophy at University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and director of the school’s Center for Professional and Applied Ethics, put up a post on the Center’s webpage about the recent police shooting of an unarmed black man, Keith L. Scott (see the bottom of this post for that text). (more…)