The Moral Dimensions of Academic Philosophy

“Courting controversy is instrumentally valuable towards the production of knowledge and other goods philosophy might bring about, but other things are valuable, too… People’s well-being is valuable… being able to get along personally and professionally with other people… making sure that you’re maintaining your status as an effective communicator both to your peers and your students… So while I want to say, ‘yes, go for controversy,’ and ‘yes, have institutions protect the academic freedom and ability of philosophers to discuss controversial matters,’… there are ways to do this responsibly and ways to do it better and ways that do it that demonstrate understanding, that convey a recognition to your interlocutor that you understand why what you’re saying is controversial… It’s part of being a responsible conversational agent…”

Discussing controversial matters is just one of the topics John Danaher and I covered in an episode of his podcast, The Ethics of Academia, that focused on ethical issues in teaching and researching philosophy. You can listen to the whole conversation here, as well as on SpotifyAppleGoogle, and other podcast platforms.

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