QED

My University’s Betrayal of Truth

As an 18-year-old studying both history and education at the University of Sydney, I’ve quickly come to realise the greatest intellectual challenge my generation faces is the barrage of cultural revisionism, left-wing indoctrination, post-modernism and the fabrication of history. All this and worse at what is supposedly the most prestigious university in the southern hemisphere. What my experience so far has brought to mind is the slow indoctrination, generation by generation, that truth is a matter of the relativity. I am now in a position to confirm that there is indeed a crisis in liberal education, as Allen Bloom observed in The Closing of the American Mind:

The crisis of liberal education is a reflection of a crisis at the peaks of learning, an incoherence and incompatibility among the first principles with which we interpret the world, an intellectual crisis of the greatest magnitude, which consists of the crisis of our civilisation

Our postmodern age has rejected reason, and we must return to the discipline of scholarship founded in truth. Thomas Sowell in his book Intellectuals and Society brings clarity to this issue.

The rejection of such education in schools has led to the redefining of morals and virtues passed down by parents as teachers seek to enact ‘social reform’. Like so much from the optimist vision, or vision of the anointed, this view of education is exalted by those who believe in it. This takes form in education programs such as ‘values clarification’ ‘sex education’ and ‘decision making’, which conveniently mask the quest to voyage into social experimentation and the reshaping of beliefs and attitudes

Let me illustrate with an examination of my own two areas of study, education and history.

Education

It has only taken a single semester for me to realise just how tertiary education is saturated with the relativist rhetoric of Marxism, Foucault, Freud and others. In my education course, the leftist trifecta of knowledge, truth and sexuality — all taught from a decidedly “progressive” perspective — has dominated my readings. In the first two weeks, we were told to reflect, re-read and then discuss the major themes of an extract from Peter McLaren’s ‘Critical Pedagogy: A look at the major concepts‘. Well McLaren writes,

The dialectal nature of critical theory enables the educational researcher to see the school…as an arena of indoctrination or socialisation

What, then, do they say about knowledge? Well I was soon to find out that knowledge is a social construction rooted in a nexus of power relations. Keith Windschuttle deals with such cantwrites in his The Killing of History

relative hermeneutics turns out to be nothing but a futile exercise in political correctness, an attempt to write a euphemistic version of history that offends nobody’s racial sensitivity, at the expense of telling what really happened

This is the current cultural zeitgeist of my degree in education. Championing political correctness without the courage to see knowledge as the disciplined act of seeking truth.

Eurocentrism

The next week’s reading on Sheelagh Daniels-Mayes’  “Repurposing schooling for the benefit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, families and communities” blamed a Eurocentric focus as the reason for many indigenous students’ poor academic success. Thomas Sowell is quick to point out how this fallacy springs from Left ideology, noting “statistical disparities in outcomes between groups are presumptive evidence of differential treatment by others.” He then presents examples of social disparities — Scottish highlanders were not as prosperous as Scottish lowlanders, even as emigrants outside Scotland; Gaelic-speaking children in the Hebrides recorded lower IQ scores than their English-speaking classmates; rates of alcoholism among Irish-Americans were at one time multiples higher than that of Jews and Italian-Americans; in Malaysia during the Sixties, students from the Chinese minority earned more than 400 degrees in engineering, while students from Malay majority earned just four. Sowell rightly concludes, “It is not institutions and the government that cause these disparities, but a myriad of social variables.”

Before anyone accuses me of being blithely dismissive of social disparities, my greatest ambition as a teacher is too see all my students succeed, including Aborigines. This can only be achieved by first teaching literacy and numeracy and doing so effectively, even if that may be — please excuse me — a Eurocentric way of teaching. Mark Latham, points out how we must direct our education system:

Policy-makers have lost focus on the core purpose of school education: to maximise the knowledge, skills and future prospects of every student, consistent with the hopes and values of their family and the guiding principles of their nation

 

Sexuality

Where the course in education reaches peak politicisation, though, is in the area of sexuality. Another reading we were given was by Anthony R. Welch from  Education, change and Society. Just note the following quotations from the article:

Denying children knowledge about sex and sexuality is done in the name of ‘protecting children’, but Robinson argues that in fact it makes them more vulnerable, undermining ‘their development as competent, well-informed, critical thinking and ethical young citizens

It has also denied young people an understanding of themselves as sexual beings by insisting sexuality is irrelevant to their lives.

An unhealthy obsession with sexuality and identity politics is being thrust upon our future teachers and their students and encouraging sexually aware children from the time they enter kindergarten. It is no coincidence that we have seen a rise in child hormone therapy and children seeking to transition from their biological gender. As Nancy Pearcy puts it in her book Love Thy Body,

The implication is that the body does not matter. It is not the site of the authentic self. Matter does not matter. All that matters is a person’s feelings or sense of self

 

History

I had consoled myself with the naïve hope that the academic discipline of objective inquiry would be safeguarded in the study of history. Well, I was wrong. The historical revisionism started on day one. The course was called “Age of Empires”. A simple topic, looking at the themes and aspects of significant civilisations spanning the course of time. But I was completely unprepared for the bombardment of environmentalism, attacks on the evils of Christendom in the Americas, plus a course entirely devoted to showing the atrocities of Western civilization, compared with the civil and equal nature of Islamic empires and their purportedly peaceful “expansionism”.

The attack on traditional Western values today has seeped into the way historians now view the past. Once again, Thomas Sowell provides a more accurate picture

European and Western society is often attacked as the oppressor who disproportionately told a story of brutal Europeans concerning innocent native peoples who were ‘living in harmony with nature’

 

Environmentalism

My very first lecture began with a 15-minute diatribe from a climate-change activist, who introduced the harangue with a title on the screen, “Nature’s Dominion”. What followed was, in effect, an attack on our current age. The lecturer began with an attack on the Morrison government, claiming that they were not doing enough to stop bushfires, reduce coal use and emissions, and fully comprehend the ethical impacts of destroying nature. Quite an odd way, I thought, to begin an introductory course on historical empires.

As in education, the search for truth has clearly been replaced by ideology — history as viewed only through the monocular lens of politically progressive thought.

The cultures of indigenous tribes discussed in the course suggested that traditional Aboriginals lived in some Edenic environment entirely devoid of the corruption that animated white European ‘invaders”. Nowhere was this more apparent than in my lecture on Christopher Columbus and the fall of the Aztecs. I had assumed I would learn about the great expanse of the Spanish empire that spanned across the Atlantic. What followed was an immersion in the forced conversation of Aztecs in Mani. After describing the horrific torture inflicted on natives, my lecturer than used such an example to point out the evil of Europeans and moral inferiority of  the Spanish in comparison with the natives they subjugated. Tearing the beating hearts out of human sacrifices must represent the nobler ideal, I quietly concluded, once again thinking of  Windschuttle’s take on such cultural relativism in The Killing of History, where he notes children were offered to the agricultural god Tlaloc as human sacrifices.

The children who knew their fate, also wept. The priests welcome this because the tears were thought to augur rain

Yet academics see the ‘invasion’ of the Americas as an “American Holocaust”, and the violence perpetuated by the Aztecs as the “other side of the coin”. The first side of the coin being European violence perpetrated by the Spanish. 

Cultural relativism has made its mark on the tertiary education scene. Such an unwillingness to focus on the truths of brutality and evils within the Aztec culture by academia is obvious and galling

 

A rejection of the West

Overall, my first university course in historical empires dedicated itself to discussing the evils and misconceptions of European empires. Niall Ferguson in his preface to Civilization puts this crisis of history at the forefront, as the importance of needing to know the benefits of Western empires,

For it is by identifying the true causes of Western ascendency that we can hope to estimate with any degree of accuracy the imminence of our decline and fall.

Likewise, Tom Holland in Dominion and Rodney Stark in The Victory of Reason, note that the investigation of Christianity’s roots within society have shaped the mindset of our current day, and that such historical inquiry is, and should be, “the greatest story ever told”. Yet universities consistently and intentionally choose to discredit our cultural debt to Europe in general and to Christianity in particular. It’s as if we should be ashamed of the Protestant work ethic, the foundation of capitalism and of science and, ultimately, of our search for reason and truth. The need for disciplined historical investigation devoid of postmodern tendencies is put best by Keith Windschuttle, again from The Killing of History

Western historical method is available to the people of any culture to understand their past and their relations with other people. It is by facing the truth of both our separate and our common histories that we can best learn to live with one another

 

The Effects

Thankfully there are glimmers of hope, with some professors and teachers who do not inject their personal values into history and avoid political correctness for the sake of knowledge and their pursuit of truth. But conclusively, history has lost its discipline, and it shows.  A quote from leading feminist Judith Butler shows the current level of academia. Keep in mind the passage below is one sentence…

The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power.

It seems all you need now to attain a PhD in the social sciences is a mastery of gibberish, as Douglas Murray’s puts it pithily in The Madness of Crowds, “Prose this bad can only occur when the author is trying to hide something.”

Ultimately, our rejection of disciplined learning that is able to actually communicate social issues means we fail to live with each other, as social media continually fosters vitriolic debate and intense hatred across political camps. Children are being taught in the educational curriculum that Australia was founded on genocides, identity is found in sexualisation, and the world is going to end because of old, white capitalist, patriarchy and Christian men. This feeds into the tribalism, culture wars and cultural relativism through courses that reject truth as an absolute.

But this is ultimately because the university has lost what Allen Bloom sees as the necessary “love of wisdom.” Sadly, my university experience only confirms such a pessimistic conclusion. What we need to do is to regain the disciplines of history and proper education that allow us breathe life into the morbid scene of learning. To which Thucydides gives us the antidote in the preface to his history of the Peloponnesian War:

to understand clearly the events which happened in the past and which (human nature being what it is) will, at some time or other and in much the same ways, be repeated in the future. My work is not a piece of writing designed to meet the taste of an immediate public, but was done to last forever.

 

22 comments
  • Stephen Due

    Dear Anon. Many thanks for sharing your experience, and for exposing in detail an aspect of contemporary university life that many Quadrant readers will have suspected but not experienced themselves.
    On the subject of sexuality, I wonder why this is taught in schools at all? In my day, sex education was purely a matter between parent and child. Surely teachers, who are strangers in the child’s world, have no business delving into this area? My advice to teachers would be that this is strictly off limits: you are interfering directly in matters that ought to be private within the family. The thought of my own children being confronted in the classroom with the unsolicited views of strange adults on sexual matters is positively horrendous. Believe me, I’ve worked in a school. The sexual proclivities of some teachers are sufficiently weird to make this an absolute no-go area for all. In any case, my children’s sexuality is none of their business. But I guess this opinion would not be popular at Sydney University!

  • Michael

    Elizabeth Beare, Michael’s Wife.
    I finished teaching at universities in 2002. It was bad then in the way you outline above, and seems to have only become worse. Glimmers of hope arise though through students who refuse to submit to nonsense, who read more widely and think more constructively than those lecturing them. Some lecturers will always stay honest to their subject’s history and potential and behave in a rational manner, but they are becoming fewer I suspect. Engage with these better lecturers and tutors as much as you can, and let other students know who provides you with the best value. Complain at Faculty level if you are demonstrably marked down for your political views.

    Good luck, anon. Join with other like-minded students and form resistance groups within strident leftists’ lectures and tutorials, where you back each other up in critiquing garbage when you are offered it. Complain concerning the narrowness of your reading lists and suggest alternatives. Ask awkward questions about matters that the lectures have ignored. The IPA are offering online materials that will provide you with some solid intellectual bases from which to develop alternative perspectives and hone your skills at fighting back against the current intellectual vandalism of the academy.

  • pgang

    Anon, something that has become patently clear to me from lived experience is that truth resides only in God and The Bible. Without that foundation of truth in and of itself, human thinking inevitably dissolves into vanity and obscurity. Truth has become so degraded since the humanist ‘enlightenment’ that the Christian church is now regarded as even less ‘essential’ than a pub. And that from a prime minister who claims to be a member of the Christian community itself.
    I hope you will keep that in mind as you face the enormous challenge of entering a culture in terminal decline. It might just save your life.

  • Michael

    Elizabeth Beare, Michael’s Wife
    As anon notes, anonymity is valuable on a blog site comment, for very good reasons. I value it too.
    Readers of Catallaxy might like to consider that my husband has been doxed on that site, and that doxing is still up, only partially removed by the site owner (an oversight I trust). No prizes for guessing who has done this: Madam Sweetness and Light, currently offering kindly advice to the distressed. What a fraud she is.

    I have voluntarily removed myself from that site due to the untenable behaviour of some.

  • Lacebug

    Another problem with the universities, apart from the PC culture is the fact they are treated like a business. I taught creative writing at UTS. It was made unofficially clear that I as not to fail any student, even if they couldn’t write. I did make the mistake of asking a Jewish student about her faith, after she had handed in an assignment all about the Jewish youth group she was a member of. Another – non-Jewish – student complained to my supervisor that I must be anti-semitic for asking questions.

  • Michael

    Anon, I commenced at the University of Sydney in 1964 as a Commonwealth Scholar for both undergraduate and then post-graduate work. I completed an undergraduate degree and a masters degree there, illness preventing my completion of a PhD. In those day Sydney was a powerful place of genuine research, scholarship and learning in the humanities. I went as a mature age student following matriculation by private study and completion of a public Leaving Certificate examination that awarded u/g scholarships. After that, my post grad Commonwealth Scholarship was awarded on the basis of my Honours u/g degree. Awarding such scholarships helped to maintain competitive high standards, something that a universal award for university study has diminished.
    Anon, you are obviously bright. Keep holding that torch for valuable scholarship and standards.

    University for many in my time, often like me the first in their family history to attend, was a privilege and a delight. I received at Sydney University an education for which I will always be grateful and I am so sorry that is not happening for you, Anon. We were encouraged to read widely from well-chosen lists of scholarly works. Our lecturers and tutors had a genuine belief that their role was to guide our intellectual development without inserting their own preferences into that guidance unopposed. They encouraged intellectual disagreement contesting any orthodoxies of the day as long as one’s position was well-argued and backed by research evidence. Informative debate and freedom of speech were the winners in some lively conversations, often seeding new thoughts and new search directions.

    I went on to then to teach at Sydney University myself, and attempted to carry on this tradition of intellectual debate and sceptical positioning, By the mid 1970’s however, as Marxist doctrines and the politics of ‘diversity’ via post-modernist philosophy were coming to dominate, I found myself increasingly a maverick in the academic tea-room, maintaining a ‘social democratic’ vision (so hardly a right-winger of the day) which was increasingly under challenge. I struggled with this through the 80’s in a tenured position elsewhere, and by the 90’s I was feeling increasingly out on a limb, holding a tenured position in a far-left faculty in another major university, and seeing in one faculty the starting of the closed-mindedness that you are now experiencing through a whole university as the Gramsci doctrine of intellectual leftist infiltration has spread like the cancer that it is, infecting staff hiring practices in particular. It also created a particularly aggressive culture towards dissenters.
    Anon, it is your generation who now suffer. I should perhaps have tried to do more rather than trying to teach in areas of less contention, but I had made myself suspect enough already on some memorable occasions and one is easily beaten down by a mob. The Madness of Crowds, is, as Douglas Murray writes, something humans do to each (I have just been subject to it again in another form). Looking back on my time as a Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer, I wish I had been bolder in my resistance and more insightful about the end result of some of the things I implicitly agreed to simply by keeping my head mostly under the parapet and keeping my job.
    I applaud your bravery now, and suggest too that you take great care to watch your back.
    Sometimes though, you can win. On one occasion in 1972 I stood up a lone disagreeing female against a baying mob of the left (including many leftist well-heeled male academics) who resented some of the things I was saying about feminist authoritarianism offering women little choice in life. In 1992 one of these men stopped me in the Sydney Uni Quad as I walked through and apologised heartily, saying that events were now proving how much I was right about where that sort of authoritarianism was heading, and not just about feminism.
    It was (and still is) hard to ‘leave the left’, for the punishments are vicious, but more and more of us were doing it from then on. My heroine in this regard is now is Bettina Arndt, so disgracefully treated recently by the Australian Senate.

  • Michael

    Lacebug, teaching creative writing must inherently be like walking on eggshells, given the sensitivities people have about their efforts there, without it being made worse by ‘diversity’ snarks.
    At Sydney University in the 1960’s, as a Teaching Fellow, I once failed approximately one third of students in one area of a subject; the senior lecturer in charge had done the same with her bundle of papers in this area. We discussed our results and let them stand, with a slight revision of the least worst of the fails before signing off as examiners. Most students would pick up sufficient marks for a pass or better in other areas of the same subject. We decided for the next semester in this course to devote more time to teaching the complexities of this area and to rely less on the students own reading of the materials, which only the diligent or clever students had succeeded in doing well. What we did not do was lower the standard that we thought necessary for this essential part of the subject.

  • Michael

    oops again. Last two comments as ‘Michael’ are really from me, Elizabeth Beare, Michael’s Wife.
    I do seem to be getting rather carried away here. Old academics merely fade away! 🙂

    Note to self – do something about getting your own moniker, but Q admin is very busy right now.

  • Michael

    Elizabeth Beare, Michael’s Wife
    How quickly we forget the way it was. Reading over what I wrote (oh, the typos!) in the 1960’s and early 70’s as I recall we were still teaching ‘terms’ at Syd Uni, not in the American ‘semesters’.
    Lent Term, Trinity Term and Michaelmas Term. Few term papers, mostly the focus was on exams.
    Tutorial groups of six or eight students, but pressure to increase these numbers. Lab work in white coats.
    ‘Fisher’ – the Library – the centre of the universe. The ‘old stacks’ where as a p/g you went for privacy and a wander amongst the works of the ages and an occasional flirtation. Days of wine and roses, as Frank Morehouse once wrote. Drinking at the old Forest Lodge pub, where Omar Khayyam’s great poem was depicted on a sketched fibro wall painting being read by a crashed aviator whose plane rested in the bough as he gulped wine under it beside a new love. Life in all its glory, going out by that same drunken door as you came in. Anon, do not waste your youth on too much seriousness. Although being young is a very serious business, you may wonder at that as you grow old. You need to engage in the fun of it all as you find you own way through. Fitzgerald’s version is well worth a read now and then.

  • DG

    My biggest bug-bear with the current obsession with sex on the part of the cool crowd is its obsession with sex; as though the deployment of genitals is the be all and end all of life. It reduces humanity to rabbits. I am not interested in your bedroom diversions, and don’t want to know about them.

  • pgang

    Elizabeth, yes being young should be fun as well as serious. Making stupid mistakes and laughing at them with your friends. I wonder if the young know what fun is now, in a world intimately connected by radio waves and internet cabling. Honestly, where is the fun in that? How do you lose yourself when you’re surrounded at every moment by this electronic otherness? All of my best memories of youth were the result of having very little in my pockets and going out into the world to have a few adventures. Is that still possible?
    .
    Speaking of not having fun, I’ve had to give up on The Last Kingdom. I tried, but it has descended into pure soap aimed at a much younger (and I’m guessing female) audience. Nudity, sex, endless emotionalised jibber-jabber… and in last night’s ep’ Uhtred cried three times. Three times! He hasn’t cried once in every series up until now, and why would he? Hallooo – viking warrior… It was truly awful.

  • RB

    Anon. I have two sons trying to forge their way one doing bio-med the other mechatronics. In both cases, they live many miles from home and as such, the nighttime habit of discussing current events over dinner has gone and with it any hope of ameliorating the more distressing aspects of uni indoctrination. So I rely on parenting history to give them the basis on which to function.
    I have hope and so should you.
    Take from them what you can, know that you cannot fight an enemy unless you understand them.

  • rosross

    Yes, yes, and yes, such important and relevant words with the tragic reality that you must remain anonymous.

  • gareththomassport

    Great article anon, and do have hope.
    My 2 sons battled left wing ideology for 5 and 6 years at university respectively. Life was not easy for them, and at times it was difficult to pass subjects due to the lack of tolerance from radical left wing ideologue lecturers.
    Both survived and probably became stronger as a result.
    They emerged as independent, free thinking individuals, self-confidant and successful in their budding careers.
    You are not alone!

  • Stephen Due

    Anon. I guess on reading the above comments you might be feeling a little depressed! Nevertheless I think they are enlightening. What is useful in all this? I think it is important to accept as a broad fact of life that education is an ideological battleground. Then move on. Take your stand, and look for ways to defend and promote what you think is valuable.
    This is the harder part. One must educate oneself- a personal responsibility. Look for what is best in the mighty civilisation that has nurtured you. As a good example of this process I would strongly recommend the autobiography “A Thinking Reed” by Barry Jones – not for its ideology, which I think is flawed – but as a fine example of an intellectual journey that we all must make, one way or another.
    Seek out the best. Rich cultural treasures are at your disposal. Some examples: in art, Rembrandt; in music Bach; in literature, Homer; in ethics, the King James Bible. Do not read what you like, but what is good. Do not read what you already understand, but read what will enlarge your understanding. Submit yourself to be taught about life by the great masters of the past. What a privilege it is to have them as the familiar companions of one’s everyday life!
    Some commenters above have lamented their lost youth, and certainly most of us are old and look back on wasted opportunities for experiencing the sheer joy of life. This is only natural. But to me what is worse to recall is the time wasted on activities that were directionless and led nowhere. You have recognised a massive problem with the prevailing ideology in your university that you cannot change. It is important not to let this be a roadblock in your life. Rather, use this valuable information to help plan your way forward. Do not be swayed from seeking to equip yourself for a career that will fulfill your objectives in life, that will make you eminently useful to other people. Make sure you are in the right place, going in the right direction, and have a strong support group of loyal family and friends. Then stand firm. Best wishes!

  • Michael

    Elizabeth Beare, Michael’s Wife
    pgang, yes as I said previously, “The Last Kingdom” series has all of the flaws that come with continuing a popular series simply because the demand for it is high – a lowest common denominator effect occurs and most descend into soapies at the end – viz the excellent “Mad Men” series where this happened too.
    But to be fair, if Uhtred cried a bit more, recognise that in the books too he was more reflective of his past history as a killer of men. The ultimate story is of the creation of England and the civilising effect of removal of a warrior religion that depended on killing for its ultimate reward in Valhalla, replacing it with a literate religion that had a much stronger humanitarian and philosophical grounding.

    Anon, I think you are currently best advised to immerse yourself in history, to read a lot of history, about different times, empires, and people, good historical studies that examine the times and the philosophies and intentions that drove historical actors to do what they did and which study the way in which individuals can have a personal effect on what happens. Social history can also show you how the lives of the general population, or sections of it, also were expressions of their times. Good history, like great literature, can be an uplifting experience about humanity and its possibilities as well as its foibles. Avoid recent histories of the black armband type that lament imperialism and colonialism unless you temper these with other good studies of both of these things that do not go down the track of blaming the West for its very existence. Again, the Institute for Public Affairs can provide useful references.

    If you’d like to read a story of what it was like to be a mover and shaker in early modern times, you can do no better than to read Hillary Mantel’s novel of Cromwell, adviser to Henry VIII. It is called “Wolf Hall’ and there is a sequel ‘Bring up the Bodies’. ‘Wolf Hall’ provides an excellent interior sense of the man, his dilemmas and attachments, and it is an easy read once you get over her disconcerting use of the pronoun ‘he’ in a sentence to have an unclear referent; mostly in these paragraphs it is referring to Cromwell. This little flaw is not apparent in the sequel, by the way,

    Another excellent book, which I reviewed on Quadrant Online (check my name for the link), is Amor Towels’ very readable ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’, the best account I know of for any young student to come to terms with just how personally devastating it must have been to live daily under the disintegrating inhuman system of Soviet Communism. It is a sort of fable, but you will love the hero and as the novel picks up from its initial leisurely pace you will find it becomes a page turner at the end. Obviously, Solzhenitsyn is also required reading for the Gulags, and the classic Russian greats are also well worth a read.

    Then you can move on to reading the great C19th novels of Britain. 🙂

    Imbue yourself with some classic works, as advised by others here, and you will see that the world is far less the black and white presentation you get in left-wing lectures. You will then be alert to other black and white presentations of the world, such as in the flawed ‘science’ of statistical modelling that is thrust upon us by the left with regard to both climate change and epidemics, seeking to destroy our inherited world in order to save it. There are so many failed examples of why we should never wish to do that.

  • Karnjirrwala

    The University of Sydney following Professor John Anderson had been a free market of contending ideas, unsentimental enquiry, democratic metaphysics, anti-essentialism, clarity and earnest criticism. What a travesty it has become!

  • Fraser321

    I also “attend” a tertiary institution, albeit on-line, and routinely encounter the lefties sprouting their subjective drivel. I feel for the young students as they are rightly unsure where they should stand. Is it with the WOFTAM’s, or do I risk castigation and worse by questioning them? I choose to question as I am a stubborn, pragmatic 66-year-old realist. Unsurprisingly there is little love, although as the young fellow mentions there are some smart, unblinkered tutors, who carefully ply their educational profession whilst watching out for the “woke folk” that surround them. If the young student is to read this…question the tutor and if he/she/? parrots the answer launch in with OBJECTIVE references, and gauge who far left the WOFTAM has drifted, and adjust your next question accordingly!!

  • [email protected]

    Karnjirrwala,
    John Anderson, and his chimerical, idealist philosophy, would relish the well-disciplined anarchy of vast areas of today’s sad USYD. His forte was any area where bombast, loud voices or sleighs of hand and bluffing could easily triumph. If here today he would likely be a front-runner to replace the happily departing vice-chancellor, the Rev. Dr Michael Spence — Gregory Haines

  • xav.power

    Anon,
    Look into Campion College – a small liberal arts college in Sydney’s west – that right there is a real, worthwhile, honest education.
    XP – Campion College alumnus.

  • Farel

    I had Anderson’s “Studies in Empirical Philosophy” recommended to read by one of his former Sydney students from the 60s,, (later to become a Professor himself), when I was at UofN back in the 90s. I learned to appreciate and understand the subtleties of Anderson’s rhetorical power and influence over any formative personality entering the empire of Philosophy for the first time. But, assertion, equivocation and fervour are not the foundation of wisdom. He certainly had a huge impact on many minds that later became influential academics in Australia. However, Anderson simply ignored the epistemological weaknesses of empiricism and the categorical failure of philosophy to give us “knowledge”. That his shallow and unsatisfactory theory of knowledge became so influential and undermined the love of and pursuit of Truth is unfortunate in many ways. The best quick remedy for exposure to Anderson is a thorough-going read of G.H. Clark’s “Thales to Dewey”. That cure will be permanent. Fortunately, I had digested Clark long before I had Anderson slopped onto my plate at UofN.

  • Farel

    My Linkedin pointer to this article
    “Death Notice: University of Sydney has sadly passed away. The Institution was found unconscious, floating face down in Lake Northam this morning and could not be revived. Cause of death has been provisionally identified as Weltschmerz induced semantic dementia of the distinctly post-modern type. “

Post a comment