Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Persecution of Dr. Anthony Esolen

From The Catholic World Report:
Anthony Esolen, professor of literature at Providence College, who is likely known to many CWR readers as his writing appears frequently on nearly every Catholic web site known to mankind, has written several columns critical of some of the decisions made by the administration of his institution. 

Engaging in lively argumentation and debate is one of the longest standing traditions of the academy, from its ancient roots in Plato’s Academy, hearkening back to the practice of Plato’s greatest teacher, Socrates of Athens, to the medieval origins of the modern university at places such as Paris and Oxford, where the manner of teaching was often in the manner of the “disputed question.”  In the twentieth century, professors frequently authored articles decrying the policies of their universities, whether it was involvement in Vietnam, support of the military-industrial complex, or disinvestment in South Africa because of its support of apartheid.  The ability to speak openly in this way has long been considered one of the proudest traditions of American universities. “I might not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Thus when Prof. Esolen authored an article arguing, in his own inimitable style with his usual exuberant and evocative prose, that his institution had adopted a wrong-headed attitude toward “diversity,” one might have hoped that anyone who disagreed with his position would respond in a way worthy of the deepest traditions of any academic community: a thoughtful written response, laying out evidence, supplying facts, adducing arguments, contesting premises, disputing inferences, or perhaps merely appealing for a different set of perspectives. (Read more.)
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