Saturday, November 26, 2016

"Watch List" Of Liberal Professors

This is odd.
I'm not sure what to think about it.
On the one hand, it seems kinda creepy and Big Brotherish. OTOH, it's not an enterprise of the state, of course. Liberals don't seem too happy about it, predictably.
   But suppose it were very accurate. If a professor really is biased in whatever way--as many profs apparently are--I don't see anything wrong with making that known. Of course I'd predict that it wouldn't be notably accurate... But maybe.
   I'm put in mind of a standard PC argument. Let's call it the Freedom From Criticism argument. People often complain about PC efforts to shout down views with which they disagree. These critics point out the PC is notably hostile to free expression. PCs often respond like so: we're not against free expression; you can say what you want, but you must be prepared to experience criticism / disapproval of your views. (Of course that's BS. Anti-PC folk aren't asking for freedom from criticism. Rather, they're pointing out that typical PC tactics don't include rational criticism, but, instead, involve efforts to simply shout down, intimidate, and "shame" opposition. But anyway...) The Freedom From Criticism argument would seem to be applicable here. Even if you think it's permissible to exhibit significant bias in class, surely no one can think that you should expect to be protected from criticism for it. In fact I don't understand how anyone can have any reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to what they do in class. Why is there anything wrong with students talking about what you teach and how you teach it? And if you exhibit bias of one kind or another, it's surely not impermissible for students to discuss that. So--again, putting aside questions of accuracy--I suppose I'm not clear what the grounds are for complaint.
   But I haven't thought about this much. It's pretty shoot-from-the-hippy at this point.
   And I'm not saying I'm wild about the idea of such a watch list. I'm just not immediately outraged about it or anything.


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