O MacGuffin

segunda-feira, abril 05, 2004

Sigam este link e descubram um dos mais lúcidos e importantes filósofos da actualidade, desta vez denunciando a promiscuidade entre o ensino e a prossecução de um ideal político-ideológico, subordinando aquele a este.

Eis um excerto:

“The professional obligation of professors is to teach their subjects and expand their fund of truths to the best of their knowledge. That is their job and their justification for receiving the benefits they enjoy. But many of them – especially in the social sciences and the humanities – have come to subordinate teaching and research to a political ideal. Their supposed justification is that the ideal is now more important than teaching and research, and this entitles them to violate their professional obligation if it conflicts with their political ideal. The ideal in question happens to be that of the liberal left. It calls for an egalitarian society without hierarchies and authorities that perpetuate significant differences in wealth, status, power, and life prospects. My concern, however, is not with the nature of the ideal, but with the serious consequences of subordinating teaching and research to any political ideal. Higher education is now deeply compromised because the chief preoccupation of many professors is with making universities and colleges, and through them society as a whole, conform more and more closely to their political ideal. This damages higher education regardless of the nature of the political ideal to which the pursuit of the truth is subordinated.
The professors who become self-appointed political activists know that their society funds higher education in the expectation that they will teach the truth and expand its scope. In order to assure that the money supporting their activities will continue to flow, they present a false picture of what they are doing. But they manipulate the truth in good conscience because they feel justified by the ideal they in fact pursue and have no compunction about falsification when it serves their political purpose. I shall argue in what follows that this is an accurate description of the prevailing state of affairs and a major cause of the deplorable state of North American higher education.
There are, of course, great differences among professors in how much of their activities is or should be devoted to teaching and how much to research. It is clear, however, that the primary obligation of professors includes both, although there is legitimate variation in the appropriate ratio between them. But the fact remains that professors fail in their obligation if they do not teach what research indicates there is most reason to believe to be true. Professors also have the secondary obligation to take part in the administration of their institution. This involves allocating resources, designing curriculum, hiring, tenuring, promoting, and terminating faculty members, setting academic standards, as well as coordinating, planning, scheduling, and resolving conflicts; tasks that must be done in any complex organization. Although administration is important, it remains a secondary obligation because it is only a means – albeit necessary – to teaching and research.”

PS: e, já agora, avancem para este outro, sobre “A Absurdidade do Igualitarismo”.

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