June 26, 2018

“THE IGNORANT DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO AN AUDIENCE:” It’s possible that this op-ed by philosophy professor Bryan W. Van Norden in today’s New York Times is a parody. If it’s not, we have to assume that he thinks Herbert Marcuse’s infamous essay “Repressive Tolerance” represents a credible authority to which to appeal when discussing free speech, that readers won’t notice that he assumes his own totally unwarranted infallibility while criticizing J.S. Mill for pointing out the problems in doing just that, and that as “a professor of philosophy at Wuhan University” and therefore an employee of the Chinese Communist government, he and those like him would certainly be among those most likely to be denied a platform if the U.S. government had the power to do so.

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