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A Tale of Two Columbia Classes

Of the seven philosophy courses I’ve taken at Columbia so far, not a single one has operated even close to this way––philosophy professors are always the first to point out logical weaknesses, strong counterarguments, and alternative points of view, even when they fundamentally agree with the course material. In this class, I got the sense that the professor was wedded to the material, such that a critique of the material would have been synonymous with a critique of her. As hyperbolic as this might sound, voicing a strong pushback against any idea that the Professor favored was nearly unthinkable.

On Rebecca Tuvel: Consequences of Orthodoxies in Academia

As polarization has increased in recent years, political clashes within the academy have tended to play out along predictable lines, with progressive students and professors challenging the views of their conservative and moderate peers. However, the current controversy surrounding an article on “transracialism” shows that as academic orthodoxy becomes more rigid and particular, even those..