Universities

"This furor is about nothing intellectual."

Robert Pippin in The Point"There is no new intellectual argument that one can cite that is responsible for the diminution in the enterprise of teaching people what it is to mean and to value. I’m in philosophy -- I can tell you, there’s plenty of materialist, reductionist, eliminitivist philosophy of mind out there, but there’s nobody who’s taken on the canon of classical texts or French literature in the nineteenth century and demonstrated that the attempt by methods of rigorous analysis, textual analysis, interpretive finesse, that those methods have been discredited by a discovery. This furor is about nothing intellectual. The people who are attacking are not really presenting a principled position for which they have arguments; they're presenting small case studies, which they purport to be exciting because they're new and they use new [methods] ... But it also plugs into this anxiety about the legitimacy of autonomous disciplines within the humanities, like art history, or music, or philosophy, or literature, or classics. So I think that we shouldn't be confused by the nature of the dispute. It's a financial dispute fueled by panic—and coming right at the wrong time in the history of the university."