America’s colleges and universities and our scientific community have become so risible that three university professors were able to get academic journals to publish 20 hoax “studies” as if they were real, worthy works.
These three professors proved that academia is focused on inventing fields of study out of nothing and pretending they are serious, academic pursuits (such as “black studies,” or “women’s studies,” or “LGBTQ studies,” etc., etc.) by the fact that their fake articles were so easily accepted and nearly without question.
The three professors — medieval religious scholar Helen Pluckrose, author and mathematician James Lindsay, and philosopher Peter Boghossian — admitted that over the last two years they wrote 20 academic papers in the field of “grievance studies” — it’s a field that doesn’t exist and that they made up out of whole cloth. Of the 20 papers presented as serious studies in this fake field, seven were approved. Four were actually published, and three more were scheduled for publication. Indeed, the hoax was so complete that the hoaxers were actually asked to peer review other people’s work! That is how seriously their fake filed was treated in the world of academia.
As Ben Shapiro wrote:
So, what were the papers? Well, first there was “Going In Through The Back Door: Challenging The Straight Male Homohysteria, Transhysteria and Transphobia Through Receptive Penetrative Sex Toy Use.” This masterpiece appeared in Sexuality and Culture. Its thesis: straight men should be anally penetrated by sex toys in order to become more receptive of feminism and transgenderism, and to fight rape culture.
Then there was “Human Reactions To Rape Culture And Queer Performativity At Urban Dog Parks In Portland, Oregon,” as published in Gender, Place and Culture. This article theorized that heteronormativity was underscored by watching dogs have sex with each other. This piece received an award for excellence.
Perhaps more to your taste would be the paper, “Who Are They To Judge?: Overcoming Anthropometry and a Framework for Fat,” published in Fat Studies, in which the authors argued that fat bodybuilding should be pursued.
Or how about “An Ethnography of Breastaurant Masculinity: Themes of Objectification, Sexual Conquest, Male Control, and Masculine Toughness in a Sexually Objectifying Restaurant,” published in Sex Roles, in which the authors investigated why men visit Hooters restaurants.
The list goes on. And it’s spectacular.
The hoaxers have finally explained what their motivations were with their elaborate hoax. They intended to show how the concept of “constructivism” has infested the world of academia and how it is destroying real education.
The three hoaxers defined constructivism as “an overarching (almost or fully sacralized) belief that many common features of experience and society are socially constructed. These constructions are seen as being nearly entirely dependent upon power dynamics between groups of people, often dictated by sex, race, or sexual or gender identification.”
Shapiro goes on:
Universities are dominated by this philosophy. It is the philosophy that undergirds intersectionality and identity politics. It is the philosophy that undergirds postmodernism. It is the philosophy that undermines science in the name of subjectivism. It is, in short, the death of education, and more specifically, the liberal arts.
The liberal arts have always been prized in Western society because of their aim: truth. Ancient philosophers prized the liberal arts as gateways to wisdom; Christian scholars codified the so-called educational categories of the quadrivariam (music, arithmetic, geometry and astronomy) and trivium (grammar, rhetoric, and logic) on the same basis. The goal of the liberal arts was always the search for meaning and truth.
Constructivism turns all of that on its head. In the view of constructivists, meaning is assigned by the powerful; there is no such thing as truth to be discovered. That means that all language is malleable, all realities mere social constructions. And that means that education is all about tearing away at reality rather than learning about it.
The whole hoax proves that our universities have become places for absurd, foolish people to puff themselves up as “smart” instead of places where serious subjects are taught and studied and that our system of (mis)education has become nothing but an arm of the left-wing political machine.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.
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