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Dec 29, 2023

In response to Critical Race Theory, Tennessee lawmakers have introduced a list of “divisive concepts,” which, under a law passed last year, are prohibited from being taught on college campuses.  

The banned concepts include ideas that cause an individual to feel discomfort, guilt, or another form of psychological distress because of their race or sex, or the idea that the state of Tennessee or the United States of America is inherently racist or sexist. Students can report professors for corrective action.  

Princeton University’s Robert P. George tweeted in response that the best way to counter bad ideas at the university level is to expose them, not ban them: “The right strategy is creating vibrant, intellectually serious new departments & programs.”  Especially at the college level, we need more discussion and serious debate of ideas, not less.  

Young adults should be taught how to recognize, confront, and critique bad thinking, especially influential bad thinking. As C.S. Lewis said, “Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy must be answered.” 

This Point was originally published on April 21, 2023.