« What was Dale DuTremble thinking? | Main | Obama, the Jews of Florida, and this Jew in Florida »

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tolerating Intolerance at Civic Events

Brian Leiter has recently become quite over-wrought over my skepticism concerning protests against Washington University’s decision awarding an honorary degree to Phyllis Schlafly. The issue seems not to require quite the indignant tirade to which he treats us – but I confess to being easy-going to a fault about politics. In any case, the spat seems to be a dead horse.

But the Leiter-Hills spat suggests a larger and much more interesting question to which I now turn. To what extent is it boorish to protest intolerance at ordinary civic events? To what extent is it a civic duty to do so?

In any society, there are some issues about which we can agree to disagree. On these issues, we hold our tongues and smile for the cameras at ceremonies celebrating civic unity and institutional loyalty – for instance, graduation ceremonies – even though we might dislike the views of people who receive civic honors or think that they do not deserve the attention. There are other issues, however, that justify our disrupting even apolitical civic events with politicizing protests (for instance, turning one’s back on a degree recipient), even though such conduct is ordinarily unseemly.

Just to clarify this basic distinction (and incidentally advertise a certain filial pride), take the following case. Carla Hills, my mother, is receiving an honorary law degree from Yale University on Monday (She received the real version back in ’58). She is being awarded this degree for her accomplishments as a cabinet officer in two Republican administrations. One of those accomplishments was negotiating the NAFTA treaty – a treaty that many now denounce. They are surely entitled to their opinion about NAFTA, and my mother surely has no legal entitlement to an honorary degree. But if anti-NAFTA protestors were to turn their back on my mother as she received her degree because they disapproved of NAFTA, I would (I think rightly) brand such protestors as immature and intolerant boors. And it would be preposterous for them to respond that their demonstration did not exhibit intolerance on the ground that no one has any right to an honorary degree. Everyone is entitled to civil behavior during public ceremonies absent a good reason for a protest. Contrary to Leiter, it is intolerant to politicize civic occasions without good cause, even if one believes that the honoree does not deserve the honor.

But why exactly is there not any good cause to protest against Carla Hills’ receiving an honorary law degree from Yale, even if one sincerely believes that NAFTA was a travesty? Because NAFTA is surely an issue the merits of which there can be reasonable disagreement. Politicizing apolitical ceremonial occasions because one has strong beliefs about matters of reasonable disagreement is simply a faux pas, a gauche and puerile act of misplaced indignation. Save it for the Saturday morning talk shows, the Senate floor, the campaign trail, etc. Not for a graduation ceremony.

But what if the honoree is a genuine bigot – that is, someone who has offended a basic norm of equality about which there can be no reasonable disagreement? David Duke or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (for instance) would strike me as such a person. Honoring such a one would justify a protest, because the university’s decision to honor such a person would itself be a disruption of an ordinary civic occasion by placing some imprimatur on intolerable – not merely incorrect or even silly – beliefs.

Here’s the rub: Not every form of intolerance can justify the politicization of civic events celebrating unity. After all, politics largely consists of different forms of intolerance. Greenpeace is rude about the officers of many for-profit corporations. The Hemlock Society is scornful about those who oppose physician-assisted suicide. Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) have nasty things to say about many Zionists, who return the compliment. PETA loathes scientists who test drugs on animals; scientists often brand PETA as a bunch of Luddite loonies. Fundamentalist Christians say intolerant things about people who engage in premarital sex; secular types like Christopher Hitchens say nasty things in return about Fundamentalist Christians; and the Pope has been known to say intolerant things about gay and lesbian sexuality.

If there is to be a protest at civic events every time a person is honored who has said intolerant things about his or her political enemies, then the notion of agreeing to disagree will disintegrate. So I ask again: Do we have a good theory about which forms of intolerance are tolerable and which, intolerable bigotry?

I think that the question is especially difficult when social mores are shifting, such that an older generation might adhere to norms now viewed by youngsters like myself as outside the pale. (Recall that the widely admired Justice Harlan listed homosexuality as obviously a form of immoral conduct that states were entitled to ban in his poe v Ullman dissent). Do we give grandfathers’ now-obsolete prejudices the benefit of a social “grandfathers’ clause”? Or are we to protest indignantly every time a university honors an aging Goldwater Conservative, simply because the beliefs of such conservatives (e.g, opposition to the ’64 Civil Rights Act, extreme paranoia about communists in our midst, etc) now strike many today as outside the pale?

Posted by Rick Hills on May 22, 2008 at 08:48 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c6a7953ef00e5528a282a8834

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Tolerating Intolerance at Civic Events:

Comments

Someone just e-mailed me the anonymous smear, which is so unbelievable that it deserves to be corrected in public. Cass Sunstein was one of my biggest supporters at Chicago, and his kindness and collegiality were important reasons for accepting the offer. His reasons for going to Harvard are extremely personal ones (and they do not simply pertain to the gossip about his romantic life that bubble around Cyberspace), and I respect them fully. But he assured me, and his other colleagues, that he would continue to be a presence at Chicago, both in teaching and in our collective intellectual life. I look forward to that.

Maybe the anonymous jackass who posted this smear should e-mail Cass?

Posted by: Brian | May 23, 2008 6:23:35 PM

I really miss how Loyola 2L would enter a thread like this and change the topic.

Posted by: anonymous | May 23, 2008 6:20:32 PM

I don't generally get worked up about anonymous comments, although I know some of my co-bloggers aren't crazy about them; it's the nature of the game. But to leave that last comment so anonymously that you don't even have a tag! Too much. I'm also not crazy about the comment, needless to say -- there doesn't seem much point in having a discussion about civility if we're going to get catty about it.

Posted by: Paul Horwitz | May 23, 2008 6:11:32 PM

Sunstein saw The Leiter Show coming to Hyde Park and ran
for the hills, of Cambridge! I wonder, who'll be next?

Posted by: | May 23, 2008 5:57:54 PM

There is nothing wrong with dealing harshly with really bad arguments; that's precisely what one does if one is serious about ideas and about truth.

Brian, I don't think that's correct, unless you are absolutely certain you are right. If the question is at all difficult or murky, I think it takes an extraordinary amount of certainty in one's own abilities -- and an extraordinary amount of certainty in the lack of ability of others, combined with a lack of empathy for the mistaken -- to be so dismissive. (Either that, or it indicates an attempt to bluff certainty where it is not actually present.) Take this post, for example. Where's the line between vehement disagreement and offensiveness? When should one act based on that distinction? Is there a different standard for ceremonial occasions? Should it matter *when* the statements in question were made? These seem to be pretty murky questions to me, as well as others here, and I have a hard time seeing how it was so very wrong of Rick to raise them, either in this post or his last one, whether or not the Schlafly situation itself is a close case.

Posted by: Bruce Boyden | May 23, 2008 5:41:40 PM

I agree with Orin with respect to at least some of Dan's remarks, and have now blogged to that effect.

I should add that I also find much to admire in Brian's fierce defense of what he believes to be sound argument and against what he believes to be unsound argument -- this should be the cardinal virtue for academics, it is right to take it seriously, and we should be unflinching in making our arguments. I also believe that it is possible to be unflinching and even fierce without being uncivil, and that even those seized of a strong and well-grounded conviction and the drive to express it should write in a spirit of humility and, even, tenderness, and can do so without abandoning those convictions. It's a test that I fail all too often, and almost always to my regret, so I shall refrain from any views on how well anyone else meets that test.

Posted by: Paul Horwitz | May 23, 2008 5:30:16 PM

I'm with Dan Markel at 1:53:13 PM above. Nicely put, I think.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | May 23, 2008 4:33:30 PM

Hey, in this day and age, I'm just glad ol' Brian Leiter didn't attend the event himself, just to hit Schlafly in the face with a pie.

Posted by: Lawyer | May 23, 2008 4:05:21 PM

I'm sure it's a mistake to engage the anonymous on these issues, since it's harder to know what is really behind their comments. Hills's posting was disingenuous, for reasons I set out in some detail. If the wholly apt phrase "debater's trick" pricks your tender sensibilities, I'm sorry. Please don't ever read H.L. Mencken. A minority of bloggers bend over backwards to be "civil," to the point that it's painfully dishonest. To each his own. It's not my style. I'll just have to live with the reduction in my status in your anonymous eyes!

I think this topic has exhausted itself, so I'm checking out for the Memorial Day weekend.

Posted by: Brian | May 23, 2008 2:11:32 PM

Brian, oh please, you were not just "dealing harshly with really bad arguments." You were hurling clearly inappropriate labels like "silly," "disingenuous," and a "sorry display." You characterized one remark as a "debater's trick." It is obvious only to you that his argument was so bad as to deserve this kind of vicious attack. (As just one example, the statement you cast as a "debater's trick" was rather making the point that Matt Brodie had seemed to be referring to the decision to award the honorary degree, whereas Rick was making a point about the decision to protest it. Reasonable people could disagree with the substance of Rick's point. Reasonable people could not think that Rick's point deserved mockery as an attempt to confuse the issue through tickery).

Nor is this an isolated incident. There is a qualitative difference between how you comport yourself in the legal blogosphere and how most others do. Other bloggers are civil, you are gratuitously offensive. Ultimately, the only result is you make yourself look silly and self-important.

Posted by: Anon | May 23, 2008 2:02:43 PM

Dan, Rick made terrible arguments, and I demonstrated that they were, indeed, terrible. There was nothing impolite about it, unless you consider the truth impolite. Was Rick being polite and menschy in calling me "intolerant" and misrepresenting my posts as using only "epithets" and no arguments? I don't know, but, more importantly, I don't care. I do care that his arguments were bad, and that he didn't engage seriously or honestly with the reasons for thinking a university should not honor Schlafly.

Tellingly, in this whole silly discussion, no one (not even Rick) can come to the defense of his original position on the merits. That's because it had no merit. Everything else is just distraction.

Posted by: Brian | May 23, 2008 2:02:09 PM

I'm having trouble understanding why one can't be both serious about ideas and truth and present these concerns in a menschy form. Getting the arguments right is something friends can do with each other. One can put the arguments out there and invite further responses. Saying someone's argument is "without any fucking evidence" or is a "joke" is a conversation-stopper, not starter. The fact that bad behavior exists in other places (law/ec workshops) with smart and serious people is not a reason to replicate it -- whether on a blog or in another workshop or in a paper.

I once wrote Brian that I appreciated his no-bullshit approach to blogging. But having blogged for a few years now, and having watched masters of courageous, pointed and yet overwhelmingly polite blogging like Paul Horwitz or Rick Garnett practice, I'm pretty convinced that one can have a no-bullshit approach that doesn't entail pejorative or demeaning language either to the arguments or to the persons making them, assuming they are making them in good faith.

Posted by: Dan Markel | May 23, 2008 1:53:13 PM

There is nothing wrong with dealing harshly with really bad arguments; that's precisely what one does if one is serious about ideas and about truth. The Fodor and Sterelny quotes are a bit over the top, even by philosophy standards, but they make the geeeral point--and of course I said nothing close in response to Rick's ill-thought-out remarks. There's clearly some kind of disconnect between the culture of philosophy and economics, and that of law--more precisely, between the culture of law as imagined by some folks on blogs. Someone once told me that Frank Easterbrook used to throw a really bad paper over his shoulder at a workshop in disgust. That's over the top too, but it's not that far off the typical law and economics workskop I've attended.

Posted by: Brian | May 23, 2008 12:41:14 PM

Re: philosopher -- it's true that several philosophers are brusque and overly dismissive of opposing arguments. Are you saying that makes it OK?

Posted by: Bruce Boyden | May 23, 2008 12:34:06 PM

As a further comment, Professor Hills, how about you discuss the intolerance conservatives see nowdays at college events? I am referring to the active attempts to silence people like Michelle Malkin or several of the pro-Israel conservative speakers, or the Minuteman speaker. This isn't just an academic discussion over whether they should get an honorary degree, but this is actual charge the stage-shut them up so their messages don't get across style of "discourse", with the full support of the school administrations, apparently, since no consequences for this kind of behavior are ever imposed.

I think the animus towards conservative views goes much further than "we shouldn't give one of them an honorary degree;" it goes to "they shouldn't be allowed to speak at all." Does this concern you ( I believe it does), and do you think Mr. Leiter and those who agree with him are troubled by it at all?

Posted by: Vanceone | May 23, 2008 11:17:05 AM

For those who disagree with inviting Schlafly: would you protest Ward Churchill or William Ayers getting an honorary degree with the same fervor?

My guess is, no you wouldn't. Yet each of those two have done either far worse or said far worse things than Schlafly. But because they are on the same "side" as it were as most law professors, you are willing to give them a pass.

Ergo, isn't this really "I hate her politics, and she's done some things I can pretend are outrageous, so I have a thin veneer of 'neutrality' I can use to cloak my real objection: anything conservative should never be honored." That's the thing, really. I can't think of ANY conservative scholar that would be acceptable to the Leiter's of the world. Sure, they make grand sounds about Buckley, but he's dead. I'm sure they would protest people like Lynn Wardle or Dallin Oaks or Rush Limbaugh, too. If you could get away with it, I don't believe Scalia would receive your approval. Isn't this really a "they expose views we don't like" complaint at heart?

Posted by: Vanceone | May 23, 2008 11:11:29 AM

Let me add that I thought Joe and Richard Kuhns have made the right points, above.

Posted by: Brian | May 23, 2008 8:48:18 AM

You people really thought Leiter's reply to Hills's calling him "intolerant" was "uncivil"? You law students must be very sensitive people. In any case, you don't understand philosophers: http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2008/04/funny--on-acade.html

Posted by: philosopher | May 23, 2008 8:44:54 AM

I fail to see the relevant distinction between David Duke, who Rick Hills is willing to make a whipping boy, and Phyllis Schlafly. Schlafly, despite her degrees and her writings, is an avowed anti-intellectual (I don't know if that's a fair characterization of Duke) and a bigot (which is certainly a fair characterization of both Schlafly and Duke). Brian Leiter and numerous individuals at Washington University have made this abundantly clear; and nobody has offered a reasoned refutation.

Rick Hills says that he has no difficulty "distinguishing between [his] mom and Phyllis" - for the purposes, I presume, of awarding or protesting the award of an honorary degree. If he's making the distinction for some other reason, what's the point? Indeed, what is the point of his commentary in the first place? No one disputes the importance of civility in general and particularly at commencements, which should be moments of celebration.

In the letter from law professors at Wash. U. to Chancellor Mark Wrighton we stressed the very point that commencements should be a time of celebration, not discord. Ironically, it was Chancellor Wrighton who invited the protest: "I am sorry that this controversy may detract from Commencement. However, the Trustees, the University administration and I fully support the rights of our students and others within this community to express their concerns on this issue."

Rather than trying to parse fine distinctions between procedure and substance, we as academics should be concerned with the messages we are sending to our students about the real world. Whatever one may think about the niceties of when and how protest, Phyllis Schlafly (as even Rick Hills apparently concedes), is an easy case. Her unscientific, bigoted views are antithetical to the principles of equality and open and reasoned discourse, for which Washington University purports to stand. For faculty members quietly to acquiesce in her receipt of an honorary degree would be to dishonor our students and the underling principles of openness and inquiry to which we all (hopefully) are committed.

As many have pointed out, this is not an issue of free speech. Schlafly has been welcomed to the University to present her viewpoints; her writings are studied in appropriate classes at Washington University; and she was not offered (or denied) an opportunity to speak at commencement. She was awarded an honorary degree. Chancellor Wrighton claimed that awarding the degree was not "endorsing Mrs. Schlafly's views or opinions," but it was undeniably an endorsement of principles for which she stands. (Granted, she was an astute, effective political advocate; but surely being more effective than David Duke ever was shouldn't be an occasion for celebration!)

We tried unsuccessfully to persuade the University to revoke its initial, flawed decision. That effort and our subsequent protest were not merely matters of disagreeing with an occasional rhetorical flourish or even a strongly held political opinion. Rather, they were a principled stand against the promotion of hatred, bigotry, and anti-intellectualism that, I am sad to say, my University chose to honor.

Posted by: Richard Kuhns | May 23, 2008 2:26:23 AM

Oh, and on a really really tangential note -- indeed, a rather comic one -- here's me sitting next to Phyllis Schlafly and moderating a Federalist Society panel with her as one of the panelists. Why I was moderating a panel on morality and the First Amendment is a bit of a mystery -- I think the only reason was that I was being awarded a prize at that conference and they figured they needed to give me some role to justify my presence there.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | May 23, 2008 1:12:29 AM

On a tangential note, Rick, congrats to your Mom on getting an honorary degree from Yale. Well deserved, in my view.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | May 23, 2008 1:04:50 AM

Rick,

Why are you so convinced that she is one of the tolerable bigots? She derides the idea of "marital rape" because she thinks it a contradiction in terms. She thinks homosexuals are morally inferior human beings simply because they exist. And these are the things that she is famous for -- she has no accomplishments, nothing cutting in the other direction.

What on earth for you puts her in the tolerable bigotry camp instead of the intolerable bigotry camp? And why are you so opposed to students politely expressing their disdain for this speaker and choice of the administration, at an event celebrating their accomplishments where the keynote speaker and honorary degree recipient is overtly hateful toward them?

Posted by: joe | May 23, 2008 1:03:45 AM

I share Orin's vision of this being an ongoing and evolving process by which a community figures out the terms of its public debate and, relatedly, participants in that debate figure out the best, most effective, most convincing ways to get their ideas across. I am not sure I would describe a protest of Secretary Hills as boorish. But I would call it foolish, because it is unlikely to convince anyone and, in fact, likely would have the opposite effect, because of some shared (although still-undefined) notions of tolerance and of agreeing to disagree.

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | May 23, 2008 12:21:30 AM

Bob's comment above is right on. Leiter seems to delight in publicly ridiculing those with whom he disagrees. His recent branding of Alan Wolfe as "ignorant about philosophy" is typical Leiter, as is the pretentious (if bizarre) "leave it to a law professor" swipe that he takes, presumably with his philosopher's hat on. It is amusing to watch someone take himself so ridiculously seriously, but when the indignance drives incivility it looks plain ugly.

Posted by: cslade | May 23, 2008 12:05:39 AM

Given that Leiter exhibits no civility in his blog posts to those he disagrees with, why would you expect him to even consider the notion of civility at graduation and other civic ceremonies to those he disagrees with?

Posted by: ST | May 22, 2008 11:55:16 PM

Well, you won't get any come-back from me on the ease of distinguishing between Mom and Phyllis!

Posted by: Rick Hills | May 22, 2008 11:07:32 PM

As Orin noted, this is a line-drawing exercise, and I'm not confident that one could come up with a generally acceptable theory on how to draw the line. But briefly, back to the dead horse, because I think you fail to grasp Schlafly's political and symbolic position.

I would say that you slur the term "Goldwater conservative" by dismissing her politics as such. Two recently deceased canonical Goldwater conservatives would I suspect without controversy have received honorary degrees from a university like Wash. U.: Sen. Goldwater himself, whose libertarian tendencies came more to the fore in his post-Cold War old age, and William F. Buckley, who clearly did not share Schlafly's knee-jerk anti-intellectualism. Indeed, look at a recent blogpost from Rick Perlstein, a leftist who wrote a magisterial political biography of Goldwater and his 1960 campaign. Perlstein draws a line between Goldwater's principled political stance (with which Perstein disagreed but which he appeared to respect) and Schlafly, whose political activism work is antithetical to the basic principles of a liberal arts university. (Perlstein also eulogized Buckley quite eloquently.) To be sure, Schlafly's no David Duke, and I suppose if that's where you draw the line, then you won't be convinced otherwise. But it's unfair to Goldwater conservatism, and to good-faith protesters of her honorary degree, to describe her as a generic example of that tradition.

I would agree that public protests at graduation regarding your mother's honorary degree would be boorish and foolish. But even without a theory, I have no trouble drawing a line between the two, given Schlafly's life's work, her longstanding positions regarding the intellectual work of a liberal arts university, and what I assume is your mother's lack of same.

Posted by: Mark Fenster | May 22, 2008 10:58:42 PM

Interesting thread.

You ask, "Do we have a good theory about which forms of intolerance are tolerable and which, intolerable bigotry?" I think the answer is no, we don't. These are questions of group identity and group values, and the lines shift as our values and identities shift. Everyone has his or her own sense of where the line is, shaped largely although not exclusively by where we think others draw that line.

Part of the way these lines get drawn is by collective reactions and counterreactions to an event. So in this case, Schlafly gets invited; students protest; some people protest the protest; and we all get a chance to debate where the line is and what is acceptable. From those discussions, those who are paying attention get a sense of where the line is, which helps shape where the line will be. That's my sense, at least.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | May 22, 2008 10:20:03 PM

"First, Rick, I'd be interested to hear your take on the distinction introduced by Matt Bodie and picked up by Brian that honorary degrees are a distinctive form of exercise of academic institutions' freedom because they are an overt embrace of a public figure rather than a mere tolerance of that figure's existence."

Isn't the better description that it's a real mixed bag in terms of who gets them and why universities give them? Sometimes it's just to claim a little credit for an alum who succeeded. Sometimes it's as aspect of fund raising. Sometimes it's to honor true scholars. Sometimes it's to honor humanitarians. Sometimes it's a way of expressing political or social solidarity with the views of a famous person. Sometimes it's to get an interesting speaker to campus or to the graduation.

It's just one guy's opinion, but Schlafly's easily over the bar, unless her conservative politics disqualify her.

Posted by: never got an honorary degree | May 22, 2008 10:17:41 PM

On Matt Bodie's very well-taken point, I'd agree that Washington University screwed up in awarding the degree to Ms. Schlafly -- if for no other reason than the student body really did not want her at their graduation. But, having made the decision to honor her, however unwisely, the question arises whether one should protest the decision through some sort of gesture that changes the nature of the event from an apolitical civic event to a piece of political theater.

I tend to want to reserve the impromptu political theater for the really bad 'uns -- the David Dukes -- and I look askance at the politicization of moments of civic unity except in extreme circumstances. That's what I meant when I wrote earlier that there is a distinction between objecting to a decision and protesting it at a commencement ceremony with back-turning, signs, etc. The latter should be reserved for truly egregiously immoral decisions by the university and not merely silly ones.

But that's just me: I tend to dislike the over-heated, hyperventilated rhetoric of university political theater, where every disagreement is blown up into a breathless referendum on Equality and Liberty. I freely admit that this attitude might very well be the result of my incipient -- okay, my full-fledged -- entry into middle age (I turn 44 in September). But it might also be the result of a desire to recover some few spaces where we can all just give it a rest.

Posted by: Rick Hills | May 22, 2008 9:50:57 PM

This is all really interesting. A couple points, one quick and one not so quick. First, Rick, I'd be interested to hear your take on the distinction introduced by Matt Bodie and picked up by Brian that honorary degrees are a distinctive form of exercise of academic institutions' freedom because they are an overt embrace of a public figure rather than a mere tolerance of that figure's existence. This seems to suggest one reason that universities should show more of a justification for honoring a marginal or possibly objectionable recipient.

Second: I think you put your finger on the core issue when you ask whether there is a theory that can distinguish "intolerable bigots" (David Duke, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) from public figures who have taken reasonable positions with which one disagrees. Here's a rough attempt to take a stab at this: David Duke (for example) seems to fall into the "intolerable bigot" category because his political positions are primarily inspired by and play to visceral distaste for non-white people. By contrast, Charles Murray may espouse some similar policies to someone like Duke, but he got to that point through what appears to be honest intellectual reasoning. However much I may not agree with Murray's writing or feel enthusiasm if my alma mater were to grant him an honorary degree, I think the decision to do so would be of a different order than an honorary embrace of David Duke. I wouldn't be terribly enthusiastic about protests of a Murray honorary degree, but would think protests of Duke or his ilk were warranted disruptions of an event like commencement.

So (and again, this is simply a tentative attempt to figure out a theory that could explain the distinction Rick gestures at above) perhaps the dividing line is between actors whose opinions derive primarily from visceral prejudice versus those who have made honest attempts to develop a theory or conduct a study that has results we find objectionable. (Hence Rick's mom's support of NAFTA would clearly fall into the latter category and would not justify protest no matter how strongly one thought the treaty was a disaster.)

How does this distinction apply to Schafly? Here, I have to confess ignorance. I know she represents a strong version of social conservatism--especially on gender and domestic life issues--but whether this is the product of a life devoted to studying those issues or merely a reflection of her heartfelt beliefs about homosexuality or the appropriate role of women, I can't say. If someone can speak more to this point, I'd be interested to hear their thoughts.

Posted by: Dave | May 22, 2008 9:41:32 PM

There is one take away from all this: the way Brian Leiter engages his peers in debate on his blogs is something less than becoming of a top legal academic. I peruse these law professor blogs frequently, and no one else seems to engage in the sort of juvenile, belittling behavior he does. On his philosophy blog, he gets down right mean:

http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2008/05/leave-it-to-a-l.html

Get ready Chicago, the circus is comin' to town!

Posted by: Bob | May 22, 2008 9:40:13 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.