Originally posted at A Don’s Life
This is a bit of a long one, apologies… but useful think to set the record straight.
About a week ago, I was sent the text of a letter about the problem of “no platforming” in universities, specifically in relation to divergent, unpopular, and may well be wrong, feminist views, especially in relation to sex workers and the trans community. In fact I had one from the organiser of the letter, and another from an academic colleague.
I have a very clear, long held view on this (which may not of course be right): that ‘no platforming’ unpopular views is counter productive, discourages debate and the due dissection of error, and pushes views one would like to contest openly underground, where they may well flourish better than if exposed to the clear light of argument (which is one of the things that universities are for).