Friday, September 4, 2015

More delusional College students: Occupy the syllabus

I follow Brian Leiter's superb Blog, the Leiter Reports, where he alerts us to more mindless identity Politics.

You have got to read this nonsense:

We are calling for an occupation of syllabi in the social sciences and humanities. This call to action was instigated by our experience last semester as students in an upper-division course on classical social theory. Grades were based primarily on multiple-choice quizzes on assigned readings. The course syllabus employed a standardized canon of theory that began with Plato and Aristotle, then jumped to modern philosophers: Hobbes, Locke, Hegel, Marx, Weber and Foucault, all of whom are white men. The syllabus did not include a single woman or person of color.


And one of the comments by a Caleb50 was brilliant:

"The standardized canon is obsolete: Any introduction to social theory that aims to be relevant to today’s problems must, at the very least, address gender and racial oppression."
I'm sorry, but this is just lazy thinking. The canon can't, by definition, be obsolete, because it provides the bedrock onto which much else was built, including modern social theory. Are the modern social theorists you want included influenced in any way by the classical theorists? Or do they think in a historical vacuum? How can you possibly understand modern social theory without first probing the roots? To claim that the canon is obsolete is like claiming WWI and WWII are irrelevant to understanding global politics in the early 21st century. And finally, do you think that you are actually "teachable" or have you already decided what is truth and are university students...just out to find safe spaces where your particular view of reality is affirmed?

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