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What I find worrying about the Middlebury case, and much less so about Milo-esque cases, is that there seems a marginalizing of the "scholar" part of scholar-activism.

I'm happy to be wrong about this, but I'm guessing that very few of the protesters had read "The Bell Curve", and fewer still, something like Glymour's reply (if memory serves, during my grad school years, Glymour gave a talk in our department on the book's failings - I was convinced).

I doubt many have looked at Murray's current book (I haven't either). Yet, the protesters seemed to be confident enough to stop others from hearing a discussion about it. Why bother after all, since the empirical claims in "The Bell Curve" are a priori false, and thus the (unseen) claims in this book are too - and hate speech as well!

Milo doesn't appear to have any meaningful claims to put forward. And even if he does, he's no apparent interest in holding them up for scrutiny. Murray on the other hand does seem so inclined. If "The Bell Curve" were written today, I'd like to think there would be Glymour-like critiques of it. A campus environment that considers such critiques superfluous doesn't strike me as especially scholarly.

None of this is to say that there is no place for campus protests.

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.


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