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Weekly Roundup of Heterodoxy—February 2, 2018 Edition

At Heterodox Academy  Conservatives are passing laws requiring public universities to protect free speech. It’s probably a bad idea by Nick Phillips, HxA Research Associate Research Summary: Intellectual Humility and Openness to the Opposing View by Sean Stevens, HxA Research Director A Tale of Two Columbia Classes by Coleman Hughes, undergraduate at Columbia University Elsewhere..

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.

Research Summary: Intellectual Humility and Openness to the Opposing View

The results of Porter and Schumann (2017) have direct relevance for Heterodox Academy and the OpenMind Platform.  One of our hypotheses regarding the OpenMind Platform is that it can increase intellectual humility and openness, and that these increases will then have downstream effects on communication between individuals who have opposing views on an issue.  By demonstrating one way to, at least temporarily, increase intellectual humility, Porter and Schumann (2017) have provided a valuable first test of one of OpenMind’s main hypotheses.

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.

Weekly Roundup of Heterodoxy—January 26, 2018 Edition

At Heterodox Academy Jennifer Earl on Internet Activism and Fake News: Half Hour of Heterodoxy #18, hosted by Chris Martin Research Summary: Caught in the Nexus: A Comparative and Longitudinal Analysis of Public Trust in the Press by Sean Stevens, HxA Research Director Elsewhere on the Web The End of Academe: Free Speech and the..

Research Summary: Caught in the Nexus: A Comparative and Longitudinal Analysis of Public Trust in the Press

These findings suggest political systems that lack ideological diversity are at risk for widespread declines in trust of long-standing societal institutions, including, but not limited to, the press.  At first blush, these findings do not seem directly relevant to Heterodox Academy and its core issue of viewpoint diversity in the academy.  Yet, like the press, American universities comprise a long-standing social institution which has also experienced a decline in public trust and confidence (see also here and here).  The overall decline in political trust evident at the societal level may also have an impact on trust in universities.  Increasing ideological homogeneity among the professorate (Bonica, Chilton, Rozema, & Sen, 2017; Duarte, Crawford, Stern, Haidt, Jussim, & Tetlock, 2015; Honeycutt & Freberg, 2016; Langbert, Quain, & Klein, 2016) may contribute to societal level declines in political trust and, thus, fuel the anti-elite sentiment hinted at by Hanitzsch et al.

Weekly Roundup of Heterodoxy—January 19, 2018 Edition

At Heterodox Academy Teaching Heterodoxy: ESL and Viewpoint Diversity by *Dr. Cory Holland Research Summary: The Polarizing Effects of Online Partisan Criticism: Evidence from Two Experiments by Sean Stevens, HxA Research Director Elsewhere on the Web Higher Education is Drowning in BS by Christian Smith*, Chronicle of Higher Education Values, Virtues and Challenges of a..