The university becomes a vehicle for the suppression of ideas

The Canadian psychology professor, best-selling author and intellectual celebrity Jordan Peterson has had his offer of a two-month visiting fellowship at Cambridge University’s school of divinity withdrawn. To explain why it disinvited him, the university first said cryptically that it was “an inclusive environment and we expect all our staff and visitors to uphold our principles. There is no place here for anyone who cannot.”

The university is increasingly turning from the crucible of ideas, argument and debate into a vehicle for the suppression of ideas, the enforcement of dogma and witch-hunts against dissenters.

The real culprits are the university teachers and administrators who fail adequately to challenge such behaviour. They are generally either too timid to discipline those who seek to suppress ideas or, worse, actually agree with the sentiments behind such activities.

The university was the embodiment of the liberal ideal of a society based on reason. Jordan Peterson is but the latest victim of a cowardly university culture which is selling its soul to ideological power, and has thus turned into a hate space instead.

To read my whole Times column (£), please click here.

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