There’s a must-read piece at the NYT site. Prof. Justin P. McBrayer is a philosopher at Colorado’s Ft. Lewis College, and he takes a look at lower ed’s concepts of “fact” and “opinion.” And then he looks at the consequences:
[…A]t the outset of the school year, my son brought home a list of student rights and responsibilities. Had he already read the lesson on fact vs. opinion, he might have noted that the supposed rights of other students were based on no more than opinions. According to the school’s curriculum, it certainly wasn’t true that his classmates deserved to be treated a particular way — that would make it a fact. Similarly, it wasn’t really true that he had any responsibilities — that would be to make a value claim a truth. It should not be a surprise that there is rampant cheating on college campuses: If we’ve taught our students for 12 years that there is no fact of the matter as to whether cheating is wrong, we can’t very well blame them for doing so later on.
And that’s how the road to relativism gets paved.
Go read the article.