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Philosophy Prof Explains Why She Left Higher Education Behind

Philosophy Prof Explains Why She Left Higher Education Behind

“after the election, many students and faculty flipped out”

Carrie-Ann Biondi was a philosophy professor for over two decades. In a recent interview, she explained that the 2016 election politicized the campus environment unlike anything she had ever seen before.

From the Objective Standard:

Why I Left America’s Failing Universities: An Interview with Carrie-Ann Biondi

Hersey: I know you worked hard to get there. What soured your love for the job and convinced you to give all that up?

Biondi: I think there were two causes that ultimately led me out of higher ed. One was epistemological, and the other was political.

So, first the epistemological point: I came to realize that I was spending at least 50 percent of my time helping students unlearn all their bad habits from before college. Many of them didn’t know how to learn. Many were terrified to think independently, and they really didn’t know why they were in college…

But after the 2016 election, things became highly politicized at Marymount Manhattan, where I was then teaching. Throughout my career, there had always been a small percentage of faculty and students who wanted to politicize the classroom, to make it less about learning and more about political activism. But after the election, many students and faculty flipped out. That’s the only way I can think to describe it; they became deranged, politically, and wanted to push to a much wider agenda.

I’m not merely talking about some of the more radical Marxist-oriented professors. A lot more students wanted other professors—who were not seeking to politicize their classrooms—to make political activism part of their projects. And that’s something I resisted. They thought that they weren’t really learning something unless they could use it for social or political activism. They wanted course credit for activism-related projects in lieu of actual academic projects related to courses. A question I started hearing increasingly was, “How is this course relevant to what’s going on today?” If we were studying ancient Greek philosophy, and we were learning about the pre-Socratics, students would want to know, “How is this relevant to fighting for social justice?” In essence, they wanted to be fed what to say to win a particular political debate, to learn talking points that would help them take down opponents. And many students thought that pushing back on course material with questions like that would get me to change the course.

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Comments

It’s a shame her students will never understand what they lost with her leaving.

This is a very important articulation of the basic problem. The students were surprised when they ran into a teacher who said “no” to them.

Imagine if Prof. Bondi was teaching in China during the cultural revolution. All of her students would be expecting quotations from the Little Red Book instead of thinking for themselves.

. A question I started hearing increasingly was, “How is this course relevant to what’s going on today?”

Any competent philosopher could answer that question.

    GatorGuy in reply to tbonesays. | October 6, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    “A good question to title your next term paper,” such a teacher might have adaptively replied. “You can hold the negative perspective, as you’re so inclined. Just 1) use the skills you’ve learned thus far in the course; 2) provide at least 3 instances of empirical evidence to support your thesis; and 3) reason in standard, proper, logical form to reach your conclusion.

    “Be sincere and honest, and even more importantly, be serious about your sense of the course material. Finally, do your best to persuade the reader — and speak to a unitary ‘everyone’ in your argument, not to me personally; my opinion shouldn’t matter. Objectivity is your paramount guiderail.”

    Still, being overwhelmed by the Woke Regime is understandable, especially if Marx simply can’t be integrated into, or teased out substantially from, say, Heraclitean metaphysics. Too bad, then, for Marx, and all the rest of the ignorant Woke mob.
    Learn to struggle intellectually, dude, and grow up.

A most relevant and explanatory synopsis of our totalitarian American times, led in spirit by the “WokeComms”:

https://freedomist.com/noted-american-academic-calls-out-woke-communists-and-weak-gop-leaders/

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