Nigel Warburton

Universities are supposed to encourage debate, not strangle it

Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay find postmodernism ultimately to blame for the new illiberalism dominating the academic world

An aerial view of Oxford colleges. Credit: Alamy

Liberal values are under attack on two flanks. Those of us who think extensive freedom of expression, universal human rights and respect for science and evidence-based policies are vital for a healthy society are getting worried. We foresaw the rise of a dogmatic right-wing populism that is as sceptical about truth as Pontius Pilate, but were caught napping by a new illiberalism that emerged from the left, one that has found fertile ground in universities and beyond.

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