The Crisis of Epistemology, Con't 4/24
FAIR on epistemology
Last year, I suggested that we face a crisis of epistemology, as shown by the number of books appearing about it. In a recent post, the folks at FAIR offer a number of links to essays that illustrate this continuing crisis:
higher education must create campuses rooted in trust and courage—trust that we are willing to hear each other out and courage to risk our assumptions and ideas. Students are certainly not blameless here, giving in to groupthink and pressuring one another into empty activism. Yet, they are also starved for models of courageous engagement with the uncomfortable. Numerous cases record campus administrators caving to students who demand more than they offer. Faculty too are often too quick to apologize when students perceive a racist or sexist comment, rather than respond with their intentions and pedagogical beliefs.
Why display public messages that everyone knows are lies, and that are easily verifiable as lies?
. . .Propaganda is intended to instill fear in people, not brainwash them. The message is: You might not hold pro-regime values or attitudes. But we will make sure you are too frightened to do anything about it.
I would say that the “regime” could be the Chinese government, or it could be the Woke mob. If you want to demonstrate your power, sticking to the truth is not sufficient. Forcing people to accept lies is much more intimidating.
Finally, Jacob Nazroo writes,
A privileged conclusion is any belief that it is relatively easy to have—whether because it suits us emotionally or because it takes less cognitive effort, or because it fits in with a pattern that is familiar to us. And this suggests that open-mindedness might be defined as the capacity to reject a privileged conclusion in favour of a more reasonable one.
I would suggest that there is a theme that links these essays. That theme is that in a world where people are trying to intimidate you into holding false beliefs, it takes courage and effort to try to maintain the search for truth.