About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Wednesday, February 09, 2022

Faculty letter in support of Stephen Kershnar

I have signed this letter, published by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, in support of Professor Stephen Kershnar. Professor Kershnar has come under attack as a result of a video that you can listen to here (it seems to have been removed from YouTube after much back and forth with appeals and counterappeals). He is interviewed on the Brain in a Vat podcast about his philosophical work scrutinizing various sexual and other taboos and shibboleths. Although his work deals with emotionally inflammatory topics, I have looked into the issue and concluded that his research is properly rigorous, scholarly, and philosophical. He is not a mere provocateur trying to upset people.

In this particular case, the attack on an academic seems to have come mainly from the political Right. However, I have a principled stand on these issues, irrespective of the political direction where the attempts come from to ruin people's careers over their legitimate opinions and their public discussions of them. Compare my support in the past for Rebecca Tuvel, Kathleen Stock, and others.