David Randall Replies to Stanley Fish in The Chronicle

National Association of Scholars

Stanley Fish wrote an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education on Making Citizens, partly agreeing with it and partly critiquing it. David Randall responded with a letter, which has now been published in The Chronicle.

The letter reads in part:

But let us put matters at the most practical level. Setting aside the gross politicization of the New Civics movement, which Professor Fish states he joins us in opposing, the National Association of Scholars thinks that in a properly run university, a young Stanley Fish gunning for tenure ought to teach about Milton, the law, or any other humanistic study; shouldn’t have to change his courses a jot or tittle so as to prove that he is "civically engaged"; and shouldn’t have to include "civic engagement" in his tenure portfolio. We think that this young Stanley Fish is already promoting civic virtue, by dint of his disengaged inquiry into truth. Contrariwise, the New Civics advocates want to force this young Stanley Fish to make a tithe of his time toward "civic engagement" — not least because they don’t think there is such a thing as disengaged inquiry into truth, and so they don’t think it has any value in itself.

To read the rest of David Randall's letter, please click here to connect to The Chronicle.

Image Credit: Wikimedia.

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