"Universities are always easy targets," philosophy professor Mark Kingwell writes in the Globe and Mail (photo by Ken Jones)
No, universities are not brainwashing students so they become “stooges of social justice.” On the contrary, universities teach critical thinking, says Professor Mark Kingwell in the department of philosophy.
All the talk about universities indoctrinating students by teaching “postmodernism” is based on a misunderstanding of the term as “meaning something more like the infinite malleability of facts,” Kingwell (pictured left) writes in a Globe and Mail op-ed. In reality, when someone says something wrong in his class, “somebody will call you on it,” he writes.
“Postmodernism” has become a bad word in some circles because of a popular misconception. Kingwell writes that the term was, in fact, coined in the 1960s to describe a style of architecture. In the 1970s, French philosopher Jean-François Lyotard took it to mean that economic progress and prosperity were not evenly distributed.
“Universities are always easy targets,” Kingwell writes. “You can target this so-called useless course or that apparently trendy professor. You can mock new pronouns and novel ways of thinking.
“But here’s what we mostly do: We insist that when people utter falsehoods and nonsense or behave intolerably, they will be challenged, on the facts, with reasons and arguments.”