Irrationalism on Campus?

byHalMorris4y20th Nov 201443 comments


Since many LRers are fairly recent college graduates, it seems worthwhile to ask to what extent would people here agree with reports of rampant irrationalism such as this one: from a right-leaning journalist known for her book The Burden of Bad Ideas (which I'm certainly not promoting).

Some other sources like Massimo Pigliucci (see who seem more alarmed by creationism or the idea that all climatology is one big conspiracy, are also quite bothered by extreme relativism in some camps of epistemology, and sociologists of technology and science.

To what extent, if any, do you think PC suppresses free speech or thinking?  While sociology and epistemological branches of philosophy have partisans who to me seem to advocate various kinds of muddled thinking (while others are doing admirable work), in your experience, is that the trend that is "taking over"?

To what extent if any do you think any of that is leaking into more practical or scientific fields?  If you've taken economics courses, where do you think they rank on a left to right spectrum?

Also, have you observed much in the way of push-back from conservative and/or libertarian sources endowing chairs or building counter-establishments like the Mercatus Center at George Mason University?  And I wonder the same about any movement strictly concerned with rationality, empiricism, or just clear thinking.

My mind is open on this -- so open that it's painful to be around all the hot tempers that it can stir up.


Thanks,  Hal