All posts tagged: post-modernism

Objectivity Has a Poor Reputation in the Humanities, and Universities are Paying for it

A lot of the so-called ‘social justice warrior’ rhetoric that alienates people on both the left and right (concepts like cultural appropriation, microaggressions, etc.) comes directly from academia. News stories about hypersensitive students acting ridiculous are typically interpreted as a reflection of millennial attitudes. However, the type of students who show up in these news stories are taught these concepts in a matter-of-fact manner by the same departments who publish papers on topics of social justice. That’s fine, that’s how university works, but the issue is that the academic quality of a lot of humanities papers is incredibly poor. It’s natural that there is a lesser standard of proof in academic writing about social issues (i.e. not every claim can be supported by statistically significant data), but under normal circumstances the ideological diversity of the field would keep everyone from making claims that are too outlandish. However, there is no longer any ideological diversity present in humanities departments across the US and Canada. In history, for example, democrats outnumber Republicans by a factor of 34 …

The Humanities Have Gone Insane

At a now-infamous TA meeting at Wilfred Laurier University, an assistant professor of communications asserted that that Nicolas Matte’s comment “…it is not correct that there is such a thing as biological sex” is not something that’s up for debate, in that Matte’s statement is unequivocally true. The other professor in the meeting echoed this sentiment, claiming that one side of the TVO debate in question (Jordan Peterson’s side) had zero academic credibility. But how is it possible that there is zero academic credibility in something as simple as “there’s biological differences between males and females in animals and human beings”? The answer lies in certain subsections of academic journals in the humanities, which have been at odds with reality for a long time.   A Brief Introduction to Academic Publishing Scandals In 1996, a physics and math professor named Alan Sokal published an article in Social Text, an academic journal of cultural studies. His goal was to see if they would “…publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if (a) it sounded good and …