Defying Political Correctness

Mission Statement for Defying Political Correctness

I’ve been employed in Higher Education for over 30 years. Simply put, I love higher education and I hold sacred these institutions as a source of higher learning, increased knowledge, and greater wisdom. I’ve served many constituencies of the University community: as a faculty member, a Department Head, a Faculty Senator, a member of the Faculty Grievance Review Board, as Faculty Senate Chair, as an ex-officio Member of our Board of Regents, as Director of the Office of National Scholarships and International Education, as an Academic Integrity Officer, and as the Associate Dean and Dean (interim) of our Honors College.

In 2015 I received the Board of Regents “Above and Beyond” award which cited my “focus on the positive during times of great challenge.“  I created this website because now is one of those times of great challenge. For the past several decades I’ve witnessed a small, but growing sense of intolerance for civil discourse on college campuses. Much of this intolerance, in my opinion, stems from an increasing sense of dogmatic belief in the Political Correctness of certain points of view.

I offer this website as a resource for members of the university community who wish to defy Political Correctness and confront Dogma.

When “Wokeness” and Social Justice become Dogma:

The Social Science of Dogma: Political Correctness as Folk Religion:

Dogmatic thinking is often characterized by the steadfast assumption that one’s own argument is correct (and that all contrarian arguments are wrong) without recourse to clear evidence or valid reasons to support your conclusion.

In his 1941 essay “Bulverism” C.S. Lewis coined the term “bulverism” to describe a variety of logical fallacy in which one accuses an argument of being wrong on the basis of the arguer’s identity or motive, rather than considering the argument’s validity or truth.

Where can I find others who value Viewpoint Diversity and Civil Discourse?

HETERODOX ACADEMY is a group of nearly 4,000 educators, administrators, & graduate students who believe diverse viewpoints & open inquiry are critical to research & learning. https://heterodoxacademy.org

In 2015, Jonathon Haidt co-founded Heterodox Academy a non profit organization that works to increase viewpoint diversity, mutual understanding, and productive disagreement. Listen to Haidt discuss the importance of tolerance and viewpoint diversity.

How is Social Science related to Social Justice? (a brief video)

This video is offered to help you appreciate two different points of view:  Social Justice and Social Science 

A thoughtful presentation of several challenges facing College Campuses today

Professor Jonathan Haidt discusses the Mental Health crisis and increasing Political Polarization affecting College Campuses.

Two different points of view regarding the purpose of the University

Professor Jonathan Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business and co-Founder of Heterodox Academy. In this lecture Haidt describes two distinct purposes of the University: truth-seeking and justice-seeking.

A thoughtful discussion of Multiculturalism and Diversity (Social Justice)

Munira Mirza served as Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture under former London Mayor Boris Johnson. In this interview she discusses Multiculturalism, Institutional Racism, “White Privilege” and Diversity.

A thoughtful Social Science-informed discussion of Discrimination and Disparities

Thomas Sowell is an American economist and social theorist who is currently a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.  In this video Dr. Sowell discusses the social science of discrimination and disparities.

A thoughtful Social Scienceinformed discussion of Racism and Anti-Racism

An Oxford-style debate between John McWhorter, an associate professor at Columbia University, and Nikhil Singh, who teaches at NYU. Recorded in New York City on November 14, 2018. The substance of the discussion begins at approximately 17 minutes.

A thoughtful Social Scienceinformed discussion of Diversity and Inequality (Social Justice)

Glenn C. Loury is the Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences and Professor of Economics at Brown University. In this video Dr. Loury presents the 10th Annual Kenneth Arrow Lecture at Columbia University.
The actual lecture begins at 20:00 minutes into the video.
Should University Professors be fired if they insist on including Social Science arguments into campus discussions of Social Justice? Professor Glenn Loury discusses these issues with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

A thoughtful Social Scienceinformed Essay on Race and Inequality (the Racial Wealth Gap)

A thoughtful discussion of the role of reasoning in moral progress

In this 15 minute TED psychologist Steven Pinker and philosopher Rebecca Newberger Goldstein argue that reason is a key driver of human moral progress.

An example of the power of free and open dialogue with those with whom we disagree

Daryl Davis addresses the 2017 FIRE Student Network Conference.

Motivated Reasoning: Why is it so easy to create arguments in favor of conclusions we want to believe? (and how does this impede sound reasoning?)

A 2 minute video of Yale Professor Dan Kahan on “motivated reasoning”

Why is it so hard to reach consensus? Can Motivated Reasoning lead us to draw inappropriate conclusions from data?

Can Motivated Reasoning sometimes lead you to the Wrong Conclusions? In this 13 Minute TED talk Professor Dan Kahan discusses this question.
How does motivated reasoning impact reasoning about science?
For one answer, watch this 20 minute video by Dan Kahan on “Science Literacy, Numeracy and Climate Change Risk Perceptions”

Can strong emotions bias our perceptions of Social Justice?

Examples of Social Science research literature on emotions and justice.

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