The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same?

In today's New York Times, Stanley Fish writes about Andrew Delbanco's new book College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be. As something of both a traditionalist and an innovator, I appreciate what Fish has to say, and will likely be reading Delbanco's book soon.Fish describes the book as one that:seeks to persuade not by … Continue reading The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same?

Take It On Faith

Thank goodness for Stanley Fish. Not 'thank God,' 'thank goodness.'I never thought I'd say that. Fish has made me uneasy since the day I first saw him on a panel at a Modern Language Association convention some thirty years ago. He demolished an opponent--not by force of reason but by mere stage presence, by cockiness … Continue reading Take It On Faith

Tony Kushner, Honorary Degrees, and CUNY

Writing in The Times, Stanley Fish concludes about the flap over the Trustees of the City University of New York's refusal to confirm the decision of John Jay College to give playwright Tony Kushner an honorary doctorate that:this is not an academic, a moral, a philosophical or an educational moment; it is a moment of ceremony and … Continue reading Tony Kushner, Honorary Degrees, and CUNY

Fish and Green Cheese

Stanley Fish believes that academic work's value lies in the process, not in its connection with the validity of its content.  Or so it seems.He attended a conference recently:The subject was originalism — that brand of interpretation that demands fidelity to original meaning, identified either with the standard definition of words at the time of … Continue reading Fish and Green Cheese

Don’t Include Me in Your We, Stanley Fish

Stanley Fish has noticed that both David Horowitz and Ward Churchill (and Norman Finkelstein and Cornell West, among others) are conservatives when it comes to education.Well, yes. This has been one of the sources of my anger at the faculty of American institutions of higher education for years—and one of my sources of respect for … Continue reading Don’t Include Me in Your We, Stanley Fish

The Marketplace of Ideas?

One of the best discussions of the role of the classroom that I have seen in quite some time appeared yesterday on the Free Exchange on Campus blog. Kurt Smith, a professor of Philosophy at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania makes the point that the "marketplace of ideas" concept of the classroom (as used by the … Continue reading The Marketplace of Ideas?