17 May 2010

The Marketplace of Ideas Is Imperfect

Markets fail--all markets, not just economic markets--because perfect competition never obtains. The failures of the "marketplace of ideas" imposes, I argue, particular obligations on academics, because one central plank in the academic's code of professional ethics is to seek truth above all else. I argue the two obligations it imposes on us are: (1) to encourage and nurture people presenting propositions or worldviews that call our own into question, and (2), where such people are not forthcoming, to take up those contrarian positions ourselves, to the best of our ability.

I make the case here.

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