What is Heterodox’s position on x issue, debate, or policy?
HxA’s members have all endorsed the member statement. Beyond our shared commitment to open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement, our membership is extraordinarily viewpoint diverse. As such, we never attempt to speak for our members.
Our leadership team may make statements from time to time in response to specific incidents that impact our membership. While all statements undergo a rigorous internal process, we do not purport to represent the views of our membership as a whole.
We welcome blog posts from our members on specific topics, but they speak for themselves, not for other members or for HxA.
Is Heterodox a political organization?
Our mission–to improve the quality of research and education in universities–is apolitical. This is not a “left” issue or “right” issue; it is a learning issue. As far as we know, Heterodox is the most politically diverse and politically balanced large group or society of professors to be found in the academy: according to our members who choose to self-identify, 16% of our members self-identify as conservative, 17% as progressive, 29% as centrist, and 26% as libertarian. We see these political differences as an opportunity for constructive disagreement, characterized by humility, curiosity, and a good faith effort to deepen understanding.
What viewpoints should be “off limits” in the academy?
Heterodox believes that scholars must have broad latitude to explore ideas, even controversial and unpopular ones. However, we also believe that scholars have a responsibility to think about the contexts in which their scholarship, teaching, and public engagement unfold.
We also recognize that colleges and universities are not “public squares” in the traditional sense, but rather, sites for the production and dissemination of knowledge. Consequently, we do not encourage free expression or viewpoint diversity as absolute goods, as ends in themselves, but rather as instrumental goods to help us gain a better understanding of the world, with sufficient depth, nuance, and complexity. For these reasons, we endorse a set of values governing constructive discourse, which we have taken to calling “The HxA Way.”
The lines of what discourse is constructive, what is not, which views are valuable, and which are not — these are few difficult questions. It is not for Heterodox Academy to set the lines for what is acceptable and valuable to say, study, and teach. There is no single, enduring, correct answer to these questions, and the positions we each forge will have to be revisited and reworked regularly. What HxA aspires to do is identify values and provide frameworks, resources, and communities to assist each of us in working through these complicated questions.