Sunday, 28 August 2005

Campus bias

Matt Stinson has a lengthy post on how conservatives and libertarians should attack bias in the academy. He starts out, however, with a point lost on many outside academe:

The notion that conservatives are inherently opposed to the scientific method seems targeted at ID proponents, but in my discipline, political science, the loudest “anti-scientific” voices come from the left. The “perestroika” movement, a group that rejects the behavioralist turn in the social sciences, is primarily the vehicle of postmodern leftists who deny the existence of objective truth and a scientifically verifiable reality. They have some conservatives on their side, mostly classicists who prefer historical analysis to number-crunching, but it is more generally an outgrowth of the rebellion against “reality” that has been a preoccupation of far left academics since the end of World War II. While the postmodernists are a grumpy minority at research schools, they utterly dominate and thus render “un-scientific” the entire discipline of liberal arts at the top colleges and universities in the United States. Would the Pitt professors similarly scorn left-wing academics for un-scientific views?

For further evidence of Matt’s point, see Jeff Goldstein. Or that Edward Said disciple Rashid Khalidi has a plenary speaking spot on the APSA program—the only plenary awarded to an organized section of the association (the Not New Political Science section).

That’s just a small snippet of Matt’s post; go forth and RTWT. And, while you’re at it, see Jim Lindgren and Stephen Bainbridge; note that a similar sort of the “file-flagging” Bainbridge refers to goes on in other academic fields as well, not just law.

Tuesday, 30 August 2005

Reinforcing stereotypes

Hot on the heels of recent discussions of academic bias, Jeff Goldstein lays the smackdown on a guy who teaches English at Northwestern who should know better. You’d almost think he wants Horowitz’s merry band of nitwits poking around campus.