The Meaning of Middlebury

Flagg Taylor:

The protest and subsequent riot at Middlebury College during Charles Murray’s recent visit has prompted a great deal of commentary, facing left and right, about ever-increasing intolerance on college campuses. Much of this commentary is reassuring insofar as people from different sides of the political spectrum seem to agree that many colleges and universities are now reaching the point where they are betraying a core element of their mission: to foster atmospheres of rigorous and reasoned debate and discussion. Further, it is finally dawning on many interested observers that the lack of political and ideological diversity on too many campuses (both among faculty and students) might have something to do with this intolerance. The social psychologist Jonathan Haidt founded the Heterodox Academy precisely to increase awareness of this problem and to advocate for viewpoint diversity.