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Pete Wolfendale

A fantastic post. You may be interested in this post I recently put up on the general state of academia and how the culture of fear plays into it: http://deontologistics.wordpress.com/2014/07/06/the-systemic-problems-of-contemporary-academia/

Marcus Arvan

Thanks for the kind words, Pete. I look forward to reading your post!

BLS Nelson

Great post, though I find myself in the awkward position of having to bicker a little bit about the coda.

On the one hand, I would be happy to acknowledge that there is a universal duty to *try* to be kind. On the other hand, it is hard for me to know how to actually be kind to my interlocutor when my interlocutor passionately believes in propositions that I passionately disbelieve. It is not even possible to respectfully refute the views of an interlocutor when they passionately identify with those views (if by 'respect' we mean something like 'validate').

That said, I would not infer that the inevitability of disrespect is reason for anyone to be risk-averse. A disciplined sense of intellectual good faith will mitigate (but not eliminate) the harms, and there are significant numbers of people out there who have got it. And there's really no other way to find out who those people are except by telling them what you think as best you can, and seeing what they're able to do with that.

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