Just when we thought Windschuttle had been blogged to death, the issue has been taken up on the other side of the Pacific. First, Erin O’Connor posted a long piece derived from an uncritically pro-Windschuttle source, taking at face value his claims to be a critic, rather than a practioner, of cultural relativism. Then Henry Farrell at Gallowglass responded with some of the many critical links including mine, and O’Connor posted an update (Thanks to Ehud Rostoker for the alert).
There’s a lot of other interesting stuff on O’Connor’s blog, Critical Mass. In the same post, there’s a link to Eugene Volokh, who links to and slams this (nearly six months old) press release from Gun Control Australia attacking the University of Adelaide for “supporting” pro-gun academic John Whitley. As Volokh points out
the group is essentially trying to pressure a university to shut up a faculty member who is making law reform proposals with which it disagrees.
(Obligatory Voltaire (mis)quote and allusion to JS Mill On Liberty here). I haven’t heard anything about this and Whitley is still at Adelaide and still involved in the debate. Still, statements of the kind made by Gun Control Australia have a chilling effect on debate and are always to be deplored.
Back at Critical Mass, O’Connor gives a personal account of how she came to be so down on academic relativism, after spending eight years becoming a “resident Body Critic” (every top English department must have one, she informs us). Great reading.
Finally, a little quibble. I know the spelling of my name is not obvious from its pronunciation, and I always take care to spell it out when I’m talking to someone. But how can people get it so consistently wrong when they’re taking it from a printed source? O’Connor has it right in one sentence and wrong in the very next one, and she’s not alone in this.