Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Coddling of the American Mind

The cover story in the September issue of The Atlantic is titled "The Coddling of the American Mind." The opening sentences:

"Something strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense."

The article explains microaggressions and trigger warnings – two concepts now common on campus.

Here is another article on this topic from The Atlantic, by a different author:

The Rise of Victimhood Culture

Here are some thoughts on this topic by Megan McArdle, whom I've quoted on this blog before:

How Grown-Ups Deal With 'Microaggressions'

And here is a local Vermont story about trigger warnings on campus:

Public reading of a fictional description of a rape sparks debate over freedom of expression at arts college

Our world is changing. I'm not sure for the better.

UPDATE: Although the Atlantic article does not mention this, the title of the article must be a reference to this 1987 book by Allan Bloom: The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students.