What is this blog about?

What is this blog about?

I am a political philosopher. My 'political philosophy' is a form of 'liberal egalitarianism.' So in this blog I reflect on various issues in political philosophy and politics (especially Canadian and American politics) from a liberal egalitarian perspective.

If you are curious about what I mean by 'liberal egalitarianism,' my views are strongly influenced by the conception of justice advanced by John Rawls. (So I sometimes refer to myself as a 'Rawlsian,' even though I disagree with Rawls on some matters.)

Astonishingly, I am paid to write and teach moral and political philosophy. I somehow manage to do this despite my akratic nature. Here is my faculty profile.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Wisconsin Republicans' assault on academic freedom continues

This is getting tiresome, I know, but Republican legislators in Wisconsin seem to have a surfeit of enthusiasm when it comes to attacking the University of Wisconsin system, and especially the UW's commitment to academic freedom.

The most recent bit of nonsense is an inchoate proposal to somehow tie public funds for the UW system to more 'adequate' representation of right-wing ideas on UW campuses, irrespective of their intellectual or scientific merit, in the name of an ill-defined desire for greater 'intellectual diversity'. (I doubt that Republicans' concern for 'intellectual diversity' extends to the lack of leftish scholars and ideas at business schools...)

Helpfully, today's New York Times has a piece by Donald P. Moynihan (professor of public affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison) -- "Who’s Really Placing Limits on Free Speech?" -- that does an excellent job in explaining what is happening in Wisconsin. Moynihan discusses the various policies that Republican legislators and Governor Scott Walker have used in the recent past (e.g., the evisceration of tenure), and in the future may use (e.g., the monitoring of course offerings at UW, allowing guns into classrooms), in order to stifle academic freedom. Worries about 'political correctness' (an 'issue' that I never have encountered during my 8+ years at UW-Milwaukee) are manifestly trivial in comparison to these real threats to free scholarship and intellectual liberty.


  1. More on this issue (from Terese Berceau, Representative of Madison, District 77):

  2. UW-Madison Chancellor Blank's statement on academic freedom:

  3. The disease spreads. More GOP threats to academic freedom (tenure) in Missouri and Iowa: