The Corner

Truth vs. Social Justice

I have in these pages sometimes referred to Heterodox Academy, an organization of scholars devoted to intellectual diversity in the social sciences.  Recently Jonathan Haidt — a prominent member of Heterodox  — lectured at Yale University on the ongoing transformation of universities from organizations devoted to Truth to organizations devoted to social justice.

Haidt is a social psychologist who has written extensively on how human beings reach conclusions, especially on issues of morality.  His book The Righteous Mind argued that people reach conclusions not primarily through reason but through moral intuition developed apart from reason; then they use their reason to rationalize the conclusions already reached.

Haidt’s Yale lecture explains what is happening on campuses today as thoroughly as anything I’ve seen. It’s long but moves quickly and covers a lot. Haidt explains why intellectual diversity is necessary to truth, why a “culture of victimhood” has developed on campus, the danger of trigger warnings, the new blasphemy in the higher academy, and why social justice is often so unjust.  I urge readers to watch it.  It will take a lot less time than a Presidential debate, and Haidt and his colleagues at Heterodox are breaking important ground.

Jim Talent — Jim Talent is a former U.S. senator for Missouri and a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

The Second(-Class) Amendment

Editor’s Note: The following is the fourth in a series of articles in which Mr. Yoo and Mr. Phillips will lay out a course of constitutional restoration, pointing out areas where the Supreme Court has driven the Constitution off its rails and the ways the current Court can put it back on track. The first entry ... Read More
World

The Brexit Crisis

After what seem like years of a phony war, British and European Union negotiators finally agreed on the terms of Britain’s departure from the EU earlier this week, and Theresa May announced it in the House of Commons. The deal covers more than 500 pages of legal and bureaucratic prose, and few but the ... Read More
U.S.

Friends of Elmer

Do you know what scares an American outdoorsman more than a grizzly bear? Twitter. In the late summer and early autumn, the hunting world had its eyes on the courts: The Trump administration had issued new guidance that would permit the hunting of brown bears (popularly known as grizzly bears), including in ... Read More