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THE BLOG

Three Strategies for Navigating Moral Disagreements

By: Musa Al-Gharbi, research associate at Heterodox Academy We in America and Western Europe, and by now many other places in the world, have this idea of people as fundamentally rational. On this account, our profound cognitive abilities are designed to help us discover objective truths about the world through logical argument and empirical observation...

Nick Phillips: Conservatives are passing laws requiring public universities to protect free speech. It’s probably a bad idea

So what do these bills do? They reinforce the message that when a community is having trouble navigating competing truth claims, you go outside the community and find an authority figure to put their foot down. The social justice set will get the message. They’ll make sure to have bills of their own at the ready for the next time they get control of a state legislature, and they’ll design administrative countermeasures to resist at the campus level. This is a recipe for polarized stalemate in our divided country.

Teaching Heterodoxy: ESL and Viewpoint Diversity

This is the second post in our Teaching Heterodoxy series.

By Dr. Cory Holland, Worcester State University

The following activity occurred in the context of an English as a Second Language (ESL) writing class for international students hoping to matriculate in US universities. This particular class was evenly split between students from China and students from Saudi Arabia, a detail that will become important shortly. Students in this class are at a high-intermediate level of English proficiency and are learning to write short essays in genres common to introductory university classes.

Teaching Heterodoxy: Syllabus Language to Support Viewpoint Diversity

There’s broad agreement that the syllabus is a contract of sorts that spells out expectations, policies, and pathways through the inquiry at hand.  Equally important, I ask my syllabus to set the tone for the entire course. I pick my words carefully, hoping to signal my and my students’ reciprocal roles in the processes of teaching and learning. As students and faculty alike navigate ideological polarization, tribalism, and hostility, it feels especially important to get this tone-setting document right.

An Interview with John McWhorter about Politics and Protest

I interviewed John McWhorter recently. That interview was supposed to be episode 17 of Half Hour of Heterodoxy. I recorded the interview using an app that has worked very well in the past. Unfortunately, it failed me this time; the audio quality of this recording was extremely poor. Instead of releasing the interview as a..

Stigmatizing Legitimate Dissent Threatens Freedom of Speech

By: Dr. Lee Jussim, founding member of Heterodox Academy and Akeela Careem, PhD Candidate in Social Psychology at Rutgers University In this essay, we discuss Spiked’s Unsafe Spaces event, held at our home institution, Rutgers.  It was, at times, a wild and woolly event, complete with a substantial security presence, Black Lives Matter activists, some..

Faculty Responsibility for On-Campus Policy Debates with Diverse Viewpoints

A team of graduate students and I have just completed research on the topics and participants in on-campus debates or forums with divergent viewpoints in 24 policy areas. The issues cover everything from more abstract subjects such as constitutional government, federalism and separation of powers to more specific hot button subjects such as policies about guns, immigration, and abortion. While the focus was on national issues, local policies that were the subject of campus forums with divergent viewpoint were also included.