Grave consequence for education and the university await those who elevate the unreasoned perspective of aggrievement. Little imagination is required to see that giving equal weight to knowledge and untutored feeling undermines the possibility of education itself. The standard of feeling presumes that human beings do not require perfecting. Feelings have the appearance of purity. They purport to be sincere and authentic; as such, they need not be clarified or contradicted by reason. Feelings appear to be self-contained, incontrovertible revelations. But education presumes that minds are imperfect—that they are distorted by various admixtures of opinions, passions, and images and in need of correction.
Genuine education aims to destroy false feelings of self-importance, while creating doubt about ideas and doctrines that distort the mind. Feelings tell us that there is nothing to learn. Intellectual authorities worthy of reverence and imitation don’t exist. For philosophers like John Locke, education was liberation from prejudice. The modern university, by contrast, too often flatters and protects prejudice. Gaining and preserving wisdom takes a back seat to the creation of safe-spaces—shelters, in other words, for prejudice, not from it.My kid is a libertarian who debates SJWs online. I think he may be in for a bit of a rough ride if and when he lands in a place that esteems feelings--and the coddling thereof--above all else.