Ethics: February 2005 Archives

The Le Moyne incident I blogged about over two weeks ago has finally caught the attention of blogosphere heavy hitters. I guess that shows how little influence with the top bloggers comes from being in the top 100 (something I've known for a long time).

See Instapundit and Volokh for links. I have only two things to say beyond what I already said and what's in those two posts. First, some of the facts I'd been presented with originally seem not to be the case, though I'm not willing to spend the time right now investigating those in detail. Second, Volokh quotes from Le Moyne's faculty handbook to show how what they've done is at odds with what they state for themselves about faculty:

"A college or university is a marketplace of ideas, and it cannot fulfill its purposes of transmitting, evaluating, and extending knowledge if it requires conformity with any orthodoxy of content and method. In the words of the United States Supreme Court, "Teachers and students must always remain free to inquire, to study and to evaluate, to gain new maturity and understanding; otherwise our civilization will stagnate and die."

Normally I'd read something like that and feel encouraged that the administration officials won't take issue with what I choose to teach, as it seems to me the philosophy department doesn't, but these events show that I could be fired simply for presenting an argument that, e.g., Plato might have been right about something that's currently illegal and against Le Moyne policy. Of course, in my case it would be more likely that they just don't hire me again for the next semester, given how easy that is to do with adjuncts. I'm glad the hiring decisions for teaching aren't in the hands of whatever administration officials were responsible for this.



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