I gather -- from what I think is pretty strong anecdotal experience -- that a lot of philosophers refrain from divulging their views from students in the classroom. I'm not entirely sure what the supposed rationale for this is, but I expect it has something to do with attempting to appear "unbiased."
For much of my career, both in grad school and during my first couple of years as an Assistant Professor, I (rather uncritically) adopted this practice just on account of what seemed to me to be the general belief that "it's what you're supposed to do." Unfortunately, I felt it was stultifying. First, attempting to "hide" my views in the classroom not only struck me as fundamentally dishonest (you wouldn't expect a particle physicist to hide their views in the classroom). Second, it seemed to me to sap the classroom of "realness." Philosophy became -- and looked to my students -- more and more like a rote process of summarizing arguments and raising objections. How boring. Not only that: how unlike what philosophy really is! When we do philosophy "for real" as philosophers -- in writing papers, giving talks, having discussions, etc. -- we don't approach it this way. We push as hard as we can for arguments we think are good and as hard as we can against arguments we think are bad.
Because it just felt wrong to me (and didn't seem to inspire my students), a couple of years ago I replaced my policy of "hiding" my views with quite a different one: I wrote in my syllabus that (A) I would not aim to be unbiased, (B) I would push as hard as I can in favor of arguments I think are good and as hard as I can against arguments I think are bad, and last but not least, (C) that I expect and encourage students to argue with me if they think I'm wrong. And the entire feeling of my classes -- and the energy of my students -- changed in the best kind of way. I feel inspired in the classroom. I get passionate. I really push things I feel strongly about. It feels real. My students get excited. They argue with me. They argue with each other. We are doing philosophy, not merely "studying" it.
I expect, as is usually the case with philosophers, that those of you out there who believe in "hiding" one's views in the classroom might be skeptical of my practice. For what it is worth, I expect there are some very bad ways of divulging one's views (i.e. coming across as dogmatic, etc.) -- but I don't think I make these mistakes. I'm not dogmatic in the classroom, in part because I don't think I'm a dogmatic philosopher (my philosophical views have changed dramatically over the years). I should probably also add that I always try to render all arguments and views in as charitable of a light as possible, and indeed, that I push a lot of arguments for a lot of very different views very hard (because, unlike some philosophers, who I've heard think "most arguments suck", I tend to believe that most arguments contain some important grain of truth to teach us!).
Anyway, I'm curious to hear what you all think of this. Am I right that most people "hide" their views? Do any of you have a similar policy to mine? Have you found that it "works" like I have? Looking forward to hear what you all have to say!