Addressed to the George Mason University (GMU) community and the public at large
Why didn’t Tyler Cowen sign it? How many others didn’t sign?
What's this? Your bubble not quite thick enough Professor Caplan?
Social Justice Warriors are not the least bit embarrassed about canceling academic freedom or about punishing intellectual merit, as they fundamentally do not value the traditional core functions of academic institutions. As they see it, a university degree is a mere passport to privilege and a faculty appointment is a juicy sinecure with even more privileges, and they believe that all these privileges have not been doled out equitably. Likewise, they hold that teaching and research doesn't exist to pursue objective truths, but rather to _construct_ the "master narratives" that govern society. In other words, they see academia as little more than public relations spin writ large and a means for bilking the public.
It is not enough to affirm that academic freedom and intellectual merit are our ideals. What is urgently needed in this debate is a reminder of why universities exist in the first place. The purpose of education and research is to endow people with a greater capacity to think and act for themselves as autonomous individuals and to collaborate with each other in pursuit of truth.
The promotion of open, reasoned discourse and judgements of performance based on intellectual merit optimizes the personal growth of students and the quality of the scholarship produced by the faculty. It is our ideals that best equip those seeking to acquire and exercise intellectual skills, which in turn is indispensable to any struggle to improve the lot of mankind. It makes no sense to claim to fight privilege, etc. by turning faculty into privileged drones feasting on taxpayers while not having to produce anything of intellectual merit, nor to whine about unconscious cultural biases or misinformation corrupting society while leaving students unable to detect or address whatever falsehoods they encounter. Education and research only serve a useful purpose in the context of advancing the intellectual and moral autonomy of individuals.
Perhaps a congratulations on this statement is in order and we can trust that Mr. Cowen has good reasons for signing and not signing whatever he wants?
Thank you for this. Keep fighting the good fight!
>the right of faculty and students to speak and write whatever they wish
There is no such right of the non-owners of private schools. They are there by permission, exactly like a guest in your home. The school owners may permit, require or forbid anything, rational or irrational, and then must face the judgments of faculty and students who may stay or leave.
Public schools have only conflicting and mindlessly changing privileges depending on which gang of mobocrats temporarily hold political power.
Full support for freedom! <3
Imagine that - members of the white patriarchy defending the system that benefits them.