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THE BLOG

Free Inquiry on Campus: A Statement of Principles by a Collection of Middlebury Faculty

The statement below has been signed by 53 professors at Middlebury College (UPDATE 3/9: the total is now 89 professors, one emeritus college mental health professional, and one writer-in-residence) and it will be updated with new signatures through March 11. The signatories come from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. I agree with all of the..

Introducing the Heterodox Holiday Placemat

Have a Happy Heterodox Holiday!   Heterodox Academy is consistently looking to produce resources that can help people understand others with whom they disagree politically. After a divisive election season, we are proud to offer a new tool to encourage empathy and facilitate conversation this holiday season, or any other season. The Heterodox Holiday Placemat..

The False Promise of a “Conversation” About Race

HXA member John McWhorter published a thought provoking (and provocative) piece in The Chronicle of Higher Education this week. It is behind a paywall, but we wanted to convey some of the key ideas to our audience. The article posits that the ongoing call for a conversation about race is more about the need for..

Free Inquiry vs. Social Justice at Brown University

By John Tomasi, Romeo Elton Professor of Natural Philosophy, Professor of Political Science and Director, Political Theory Project at Brown University I am a professor at Brown University. The WeTheInternet (WTI) video describes events at that will alarm anyone who cares about higher education and, especially, those of us who care deeply about Brown. The central conflict presented..

How Marcuse made today’s students less tolerant than their parents

When Samuel Stouffer first wrote on political tolerance during the McCarthy era, he concluded that Americans were generally an intolerant bunch. Yet, finding that younger people were more tolerant than their parents, he also concluded that Americans would become more and more tolerant over time, due to generational replacement and increases in education. However, Stouffer did not predict the rise of the New Left, which I argue has reframed our collective notions about free expression, resulting in a significant decline in political tolerance among America’s youth. I develop this argument in a chapter I wrote for Stanley Rothman’s last book, The End of the Experiment, (Rothman, Nagai, Maranto, and Woessner, 2015) My findings are outlined below.