Segments in this Video

Framing the Debate: Intelligence Squared U.S. (04:08)


Moderator John Donvan and Intelligence Squared U.S. founder Robert Rosenkranz discuss the context giving rise to debate over campus intellectual diversity, noting the dis-invitation of several speakers.

Debate "Housekeeping" (04:06)

Donvan introduces the panelists and explains the format of the debate over the proposition "Liberals are stifling intellectual diversity on campus."

For the Motion: Greg Lukianoff (05:44)

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education president Greg Lukianoff says the campus administration is responsible for most campus censorship. He cites instances of censorship or punishment of expression.

Against the Motion: Jeremy Mayer (06:29)

George Mason University associate professor Jeremy Mayer says college professors are disproportionately liberal because conservatives gravitate toward higher paying jobs, professors rely on government funding, and conservatives are anti-science.

For the Motion: Kirsten Powers (06:46)

Kirsten Powers of Fox News and USA Today cites cases of students and professors punished for politically incorrect speech. Examples include: Jonathan Haidt's argument on political diversity and psychology, and colleges punishing campus groups with religious requirements for leadership positions.

Against the Motion: Angus Johnston (06:13)

City University of New York history professor Angus Johnston argues it is not students or campus liberals who stifle debate, but administrators opposed to the disruptiveness of robust debate. He states free speech includes the right to demonize opponents; supporters of free speech should reject the motion.

Summary of Arguments: Intellectual Diversity (01:41)

Donvan summarizes the arguments. The proposition argues that campus censorship affects conservative and Evangelical groups. The opposition holds that criticism is not censorship.

QA: Are Liberals Responsible for Speech Codes? (09:10)

Johnston argues that speech codes are non-ideological and designed to keep trustees, alumni and parents happy. Lukianoff blames speech codes on liberals. Powers says liberal censorship can victimize liberal students.

QA: Is FIRE Consistent on Intellectual Diversity? (02:56)

The two sides debate whether the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has a double standard on freedom of speech and refrains from criticism of conservative colleges.

QA: Role for Speech Codes? (05:24)

Panelists reject any campus speech codes, agreeing that requirements of civility are suspect. Lukianoff cites John Stuart Mill. Johnston cites an example of uncivil criticism of speech; the proposition argues it was a case of censorship.

QA: Who Causes Clamor Over Speech (05:31)

A questioner states that fear of controversy motivates administrators to implement censorship. Johnston concedes this but argues that they are victimizing fellow liberals. Both sides debate whether accusations of racism stifle free speech.

QA: Religious Groups on Campus (03:37)

At some colleges, Christian groups want bylaws requiring that leaders be Christian. Anti-discrimination rules intended to prevent hate groups hurt them. Lukianoff discusses cases of colleges trying to compel students to support certain political causes.

QA: Trigger Warnings (05:08)

Johnston supports trigger warnings; the other panelists are opposed. Powers notes Eric Posner's argument supporting speech codes on the grounds that students today are children.

QA: Students Suppressing Speech (01:12)

A questioner notes a case where Berkley students forced Peter Thiel to flee, preventing his speech. Johnston says this is wrong, but so was the case where hecklers of an Israeli ambassador were arrested.

QA: Are Trigger Warnings Liberal Censorship? (02:45)

The proposition team argues that trigger warnings are an instance of liberal suppression of free speech, and cite instances of rape law courses whose existence is threatened.

Concluding Statement For: Greg Lukianoff (02:10)

Lukianoff cites a poll of social scientists who admitted prejudice against conservative candidates for professor positions. He argues that liberal homogeneity creates tribalism which views outsiders as stupid or malevolent.

Concluding Statement Against: Jeremy Mayer (02:16)

Mayer argues that the proposition relied on anecdotes and says fears about campus censorship come from parents' fears that colleges move children left.

Concluding Statement For: Kirsten Powers (02:20)

Powers says becoming a Fox News contributor took her out of her liberal bubble, and talks about the liberal bubble on campuses. She says conservatives and Evangelicals fear for their careers.

Concluding Statement Against: Angus Johnston (02:17)

Johnston argues that it is a good thing when college students think seriously about what they are going to say, and whether it might offend someone.

Results of Audience Vote (01:21)

Predebate - For: 33% - Against: 21% - Undecided: 46% Post-debate - For: 59% - Against: 32% - Undecided: 9%

Additional Resources & Credits: Liberals Are Stifling Intellectual Diversity on Campus: A Debate (01:06)

Additional Resources & Credits: Liberals Are Stifling Intellectual Diversity on Campus: A Debate

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Liberals Are Stifling Intellectual Diversity on Campus: A Debate

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What is college for? To many, it’s a place for personal and intellectual growth, a setting that provides students the opportunity to explore new ideas and philosophies that challenge their beliefs. But is it really? Recent cancellations of politically controversial speakers, rescinded honorary degrees, and scrutiny of certain university groups have raised concerns that liberal intolerance pervades the nation's campuses. Are liberals shutting down speech and stifling intellectual diversity on campus? Or is this simply a myth propagated by conservatives, based on the preponderance of liberals at universities rather than intentionally discriminatory actions?

Length: 83 minutes

Item#: BVL93837

ISBN: 978-1-60057-893-9

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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