kurt's nightmare

Generally, I post once a week. Topics are randomly selected and depend mostly upon whether it's baseball season or not. Other topics will include sex, politics, old girlfriends, music, and whatever else pops into my little brain. If you'd like to read, or ignore, my blog about China: http://meidabizi.blogspot.com/

Location: Dayton, OH, Heard & McDonald Islands

I'm an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dayton. I represent no one but myself, and barely do that. I'm here mostly by accident.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Wow. I had a comment. If someone else reads this, my audience will double.

I was asked for a link to the "debate" with David Horowitz, which I'm happy to provide:

However, I'm pretty sure one has to register for the site to gain access to ol' Dave's various bons mots. But you can go to his site at FrontPage to read his insights. OK: "insights."

One of the problems I have with Horowitz is that he is thrilled to cull the worst stories out of the academy--and there are horror stories--and take them as representative, from which he goes on to extrapolate all sorts of nonsense. I teach at the University of Dayton, and one of Dave's minions went to town on some of the professors here. The more you know about a given situation, the more you can see not only why certain claims are laughably false, but how the rhetoric is used to make a ridiculous position appear plausible. If I can find that link, I'll post it, as well; I wrote the author a relatively civil note, but got no response.

I found it:

One of his points was that if a book appears on a teacher's syllabus, the teacher not only agrees with everything in the text, but is indoctrinating the students in that view. How one could possibly think this--especially given that it asserts a priori that the classroom has no critical function--escapes me.

In fact, in my letter to the author, I pointed out that rather than picking on the rather moderate faculty members he chose to attack, he should pick on me. I teach serious hard-ass subversion: Socrates, Plato, Descartes, Hume (not to mention Amartya Sen, Katha Pollitt's critique of standpoint feminism, and Donald Davidson, well-known anarchist).

The vast majority of teachers I know--and I know a whole bunch--spend a lot of time thinking about delivering course material, grading, talking with students, reading to stay up in their field, and writing stuff that few others read (mostly about llamas). They really haven't got the energy or time to proselytize (I hope I spelled that one right.) I make fun of lawyers and politicians in my class, to be sure (What do lawyers use for birth control? Their personalities.)
Sometime W, sometimes Clinton, sometimes someone else: after all, there is no dearth of material.


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