Culture

Professor to Students: Think Don’t “Feel”

Well, this is refreshing.

A law professor at Faulkner University’s Jones School of Law is combating the scourge of young people “feeling” instead of thinking. Professor Adam MacLeod told his students to stop emoting and relying on labels that connote virtue or vice. From the Daily Wire story:

Before I can teach you how to reason, I must first teach you how to rid yourself of unreason. For many of you have not yet been educated. You have been dis-educated. To put it bluntly, you have been indoctrinated. Before you learn how to think you must first learn how to stop unthinking. Reasoning requires you to understand truth claims, even truth claims that you think are false or bad or just icky.

Most of you have been taught to label things with various “isms” which prevent you from understanding claims you find uncomfortable or difficult. Reasoning requires correct judgment. Judgment involves making distinctions, discriminating. Most of you have been taught how to avoid critical, evaluative judgments by appealing to simplistic terms such as “diversity” and “equality.”

MacLeod told them that he isn’t interested in their emotions, i.e., no more “feeling” about subjects, but rather, what they think: (Yes!)

You should not bother to tell us how you feel about a topic. Tell us what you think about it. If you can’t think yet, that’s O.K.. Tell us what Aristotle thinks, or Hammurabi thinks, or H.L.A. Hart thinks. Borrow opinions from those whose opinions are worth considering.

He then laid down a few rules:

1. The only “ism” I ever want to come out your mouth is a syllogism. If I catch you using an “ism” or its analogous “ist” — racist, classist, etc. — then you will not be permitted to continue speaking until you have first identified which “ism” you are guilty of at that very moment. You are not allowed to fault others for being biased or privileged until you have first identified and examined your own biases and privileges.

2. If I catch you this semester using the words “fair,” “diversity,” or “equality,” or a variation on those terms, and you do not stop immediately to explain what you mean, you will lose your privilege to express any further opinions in class until you first demonstrate that you understand three things about the view that you are criticizing.

It’s a good thing MaLeod is teaching in Alabama and not Yale or Harvard, or he would soon find himself selling shoes!

Wesley J. Smith — Lawyer and award winning author, Wesley J. Smith, is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. He is also a consultant to the Patients Rights Council. ...

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