Monday, March 21, 2005

Recommended Reading: John Plecnik's Recent Work Exposing Leftist Bias in Academia

John Plecnik, home schooled 21-year-old law student at Duke University, is becoming a leading voice in defense of conservatism on college campuses and critic of politically correct biases. A recent column draws on the evidence from studies to show how the majority of academics are well to the left of their students and the public generally. They see genuine intellectual diversity as a disease instead of as evidence of a healthy intellectual environment where a plurality of views can flourish on issues where there are genuine points of contention, and where the only consensus is therefore a coerced one. Students who reject politically correct points of view in this environment are attacked with blatantly fallacious arguments (ad hominem abusive is the most common).

A more recent column adds to this, noting how as a rule, academic leftists cannot handle criticism. Plecnik reports how he was told in an angry email to "get a life." Others were doubtless far more abusive.

I am hoping that courses in basic logic can be used to inure students against politically correct arguments. There are sure no lack of examples, including embarrassing ones such as when the chair of the Department of Philosophy at Duke University commits an illicit conversion by implying that since "stupid people are generally conservative," "conservatives are generally stupid people" (see my article on this case).

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