When ‘Heterodoxy’ is orthodox (color)

Usually in a salvo published with equal hands Inside higher ed“The statement of diversity is the statement of new faith,” an emerging threat to academic freedom and intellectual integrity. Justin P., professor of philosophy at Fort Louis College, a small, high-local liberal art in Durango, Colorado. MacBrayer is a “writing colleague” at Hetterdox Academy (HXA). In this statement, he opposes well-known philosophers and honest advocates of academic freedom and freedom of speech.

Since it brands itself on its website, HxA is not Heterodox or Academy. It is an orthodoxy fighting for the rise of traditional conservatism. It is the university-based equivalent of FIRE (Foundation for Unique Rights in Education), the only “freedom” defender for those with whom it agrees. It is not a free speech as the First Amendment to the US Constitution, the AAUP, ACLU or most universities and colleges define it. (I refer readers to HxA’s website and scan its blog posts. They don’t read like a scholarly group. They also evade the size of its membership, many of whom are not faculty whose rights they are clearly concerned about.)

While working as HxA’s “writing colleague,” according to his personal website, McBrayer is also a Dean of Liberal Arts and an instructor of philosophy, including logic, ethics, and epistemology. Her “new book” seems to be her only book. It is not a work of philosophy.

Despite his critical remarks about the religious institution’s “statement of faith”, his time at Fort Louis College was inseparable from personal and professional religious activity, including the service of the Executive Committee of the Society of Christian Philosophers. The college website lists him as an associate dean, not a dean.

As a “writing colleague”, McBreyer acts as an official representative of the HxA, a preacher who violates philosophical procedures, logical interpretation and analysis, rules of rhetorical practice, use of evidence, and accepted practices of scholarly honesty. In it, he speaks in favor of HXA’s radical and anti-intellectual orthodoxy.

From the wording of his title, McBreyer violated the basic principles of responsible intellectual life. The wide variety of different forms of “statement of diversity” is not only a single or general generalizable unit, but they are not synonymous with “statement of faith”. This claim can be advanced by ignoring all reliable evidence, engaging in false equivalence and irrationality, and making a list of unacceptable rhetorical tactics. For all intents and purposes, that is MacBrayer and HXA Operation, A redefinition of philosophy: from logic, scientific method and epistemology to radical metaphysics and a new old orthodoxy is seldom heard in the halls of respected higher education. It has nothing to do with academic freedom or the accepted practice of freedom of speech.

Returning to HxA’s platform for the politics of lies, one undefined generalization follows another, never with systematic evidence or analysis. Rhetoric Range “When I was in graduate school and applying …. my application fell into two piles …” He falsely distinguished “religious” from “secular” institutions without defining or noticing their many variations. He then completely erased all distinctions. These are not rhetorical games but philosophical arguments.

MacBrears offers four short snippets from job descriptions with only highly selective, very short bit quotations, from two private and two government organizations. This is not the basis of generalization. Evidence and snippets repeatedly contradict each other. This is not a philosophy to be practiced as acceptable academic conduct.

In the end, McBrear points out that readers should accept his irrational, undocumented orthodox “statement of faith” as nothing more than faith. This is a reference to the American Enterprise Institute’s “Report on DEI Statement” for only half the consent for procedural data. By itself, That Cannot be taken as evidence about trust or DEI.

Justin McBreyer, where is the lens of your logician, methodologist or plain text reader? “Diversity Statement” Don’t “Functions like statements of faith … they” do not work the same way and have the same effect structurally. “Even the AEI” report “does not make that argument.

You fill a full page with self-contradictory and evidence-free statements about “all kinds of claims” that have no anecdotes or more necessary systematic evidence, clear discourse of reasoning and awareness of the basic rules of scholarship and academic discourse.

Or am I misunderstanding you? Are you trying to be a bad executioner? To draw on your own ornaments, can I borrow your “dog whistle” to ask the answer to this semi-serious question “distinctly”?

–Harvey J. Graf
Emeritus Professor of English and History and a prominent Ohio scholar
Ohio State University

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