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.