Skip to comments.Truth vs. Social Justice: Academic recognition shouldn’t hinge on a scholar’s moral character.
Posted on 11/02/2018 12:02:01 PM PDT by C19fan
What is the telosthe purpose, end, or goalof the university? In a thought-provoking 2016 lecture, the social psychologist Jonathan Haidt argued that the answer ought to be truth, but that lately, more of Americas top universities are embracing social justice as a second or alternative telos. While acknowledging that those goals are not always at odds, he argued that the conflict between truth and social justice is likely to become unmanageable, and he urged academia to affirm the primacy of truth-seeking.
A recent essay in The Chronicle of Higher Education recognizes the same conflict, but implies that it sometimes ought to be resolved in the other direction.
Its author, Nikki Usher, asks, Should we still cite the scholarship of serial harassers and sexists? It is a bind that we have yet to account for, she argues, how the process of building on academic work itself burnishes the reputations of people whose scholarship is good and sometimes even foundational, but whose characters are awful. In the case of a sexist jerk, you are often left without recourse: Cite him, or look like you dont know what youre talking about to reviewers and readers.
(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...
Ha! Knew he was going to quote Haidt. Never heard anyone else use “telos”.
Or, phrases differently, can a “social justice “ academic actually have ANY morals or ethics? Can ANY “social justice “ academic be quoted as “a true source” on ANY subject?
To a Leftist, ALL those who are “insufficiently pure” in their dedication to Social Justice are to be destroyed, by whatever means necessary.
Social Justice = Lysenkoism
So you're saying it's more important to virtue signal than be actually factually correct on an issue? What if someone you consider a sexist makes a discovery that would save tens of thousand of vehicle accident deaths? PC is more important? If it saves even one life, don't we have to do whatever it takes?
The second problem is that in academia, the roster of sexists and serial abusers will be compiled by stupid leftists, so 80% of it will be politically motivated and the other 20% imaginary bullshit. That's not the kind of incentive we can afford.
Or is it like Ebola, where you’re willing to use (confiscate) the value, and just want to redistribute the credit? You didn’t research that!
Oh good grief. That issue was already taken up by Plato and Aristotle. Universities promote philosophy and the end of philosophy is the Good. We can endlessly debate what constitutes the good, but that is still the end. Truth is part of the good, but truth is the logic value, 0 or 1, of a proposition. It isn't the Good. And the entire discussion mixes apples and oranges. The classification of the star Rigel on the Herzprung Russell diagram is not determined by whether the astronomer studying it was a privileged sexist. And getting the coordinates right doesn't mean the astronomer is a Good man, but merely a competent technician.
And here we have the ultimate problem, which is the arcane business of university research and research universities. Now the revolution in the university brought about such folks as Conant and Gilman to turn them from stodgy places that dryly lectured on old facts to places actively engaged in seeking out new knowledge was very positive. But at a certain point the purpose got lost and they became business chasing federal research grants.
Arguing about citations in academic research is third order boring nonsense. When he billed you did he footnote the repair manual as acknowledgment that his fix was not original with him? Was the citation socailly just. Does your refrigerator repair manual author have a stash of porno mags in his desk? This all leads to madness. You aren't asking your refrigerator mechanic to fix your soul, just your Frigidaire. And maybe if he can do that he contributes far more to society than a lot of SJWs who earn their keep outraging themselves over his choice in lunch-time reading material.
The whole citation business has gotten out of hand. One looks to citations in research articles to provide further elucidation of a point that is tangentially treated in the article. The whole business of using for academic point gathering is way overwrought. There are no genuine original ideas.
The famous physicist Richard Feynman developed the habit, every time he presented an idea, which probably was very original with him, of stating that the idea came up in a conversation with Einstein or Bohr or some such. That way, not only did he make it clear he wasn't taking credit for originality, whatever that means, but no one else could, unless your name was PAM Dirac. And PAM already had lots of credit and already knew that Feynman was an original genius.
Gulliver found similar academic merit on his third voyage, but his chronicler was attempting to satirize the Ms. Ushers back in Great Britain.
All very well, but it ain’t Social Justice. It’s Social Injustice.
“Liberty” and what the Leftists refer to as “social justice” are existentially incompatible.
Essential Liberty requires a great many “rights” end where someone’s else same, similar, or other “rights” begin. Essential Liberty is on its own an ultimate moral value system that acknowledges the essential right of inidividuals to come on their own to the essential values they seek to portray or uphold, and their living out of those values acknowledges the essential Liberty of someone else to disagree, in their own life.
“Social justice” as the Leftists are teaching it has an already predetermined and myriad set of values that come from special, not general “rights” that some have a “right” to demand others accept as part of their own life and how they live it.
That comes from the Left’s socialism which attempts to draw absolutely everything in life away from Liberty and into the legal realm, where NOTHING is done, said, made, accomplished, conducted, or even agreed to except as delinieated by law. To the socialist EVERYTHING is or ought to be a matter of law, and nothing ought not to be a matter of law.
To many Conservatives a wrong is a moral wrong because our moral value system says it is wrong, no matter what the law says. It may be ignored by the law, but to us it may still be wrong, and in most cases, where the lives and properties of others are not affected, that is enough, we seldom need the law to impose it everyone. We have come to those values in our Liberty to do so, and we realize other’s Liberty may have resulted in them disagreeing.
To Conservatives Liberty, the Liberty out nations founders understood, and social justice are incompatible.
For instance, if merely someone being a “transgender” person was not illegal, and when that person came before the law, in court, or with the police, or in their own personal legal affairs was treated like anyone else, and that was the end of it, then essential Liberty would not be offended.
But “social justice” from the Leftists requires laws and mandates that demand all persons accept the concept of “transgenderism” the Left inisists it be understood as, and as the abolute truth requiring adherance to it by everyone. Liberty is destroyed and replaced with mere political correctness to a Leftist agenda.
Jonathan Haidt (see the keyword for pretty much every FR topic where he’s mentioned) in the TED echo chamber, talking to a bunch of like-minded leftist drones:
The moral roots of liberals and conservatives - Jonathan Haidt
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