Stanley Fish Gets It Right on Barrett
He comes to the same conclusion
on Barrett that I did:Is the fact of this group’s growing presence on the Internet a reason for studying it in a course on 9/11? Sure. Is the instructor who discusses the group’s arguments thereby endorsing them? Not at all. It is perfectly possible to teach a viewpoint without embracing it and urging it. But the moment a professor does embrace and urge it, academic study has ceased and been replaced by partisan advocacy. And that is a moment no college administration should allow to occur.
A commenter at Ann Althouse brings up an interesting point
:This goes along with something Ben Wallace and I have been writing in the comments here. Ben says:
Under Fish's rule, a faculty member in the South in the 1950s could not embrace and urge the idea that segregation is wrong and that students should act to remedy the situation. The only thing that would be available to a faculty member in that situation [w]ould be dispassionate analysis of the benefits and costs of segregation and a discussion of the different arguments behind segregation. Allowing advocacy and urging students to engage all ideas has demonstrated more effective than efforts to create speech codes, which is essentially what Fish has come up with.