Thursday, April 27, 2017

Koch, Kant and Cant

Blessed be schools with endowments. They don't have to mouth propaganda.

When I worked in grad school as a teacher's assistant, I taught two semesters of Philosophy 101, a course every undergraduate was required to take. My students were freshmen in the nursing and business schools.

The course covered writers like Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Hume and Kant, and gave the uneager students a taste for the three major periods of Western thought.

That was 40 years ago. Universities had dough and bell bottoms rocked.

Today, the University of Arizona offers another brand of Philosophy 101, thanks to a gift from billionaire libertarian Charles Koch.

Instead of mind, matter, meaning and morals, the course covers money, markets, margins and monopoly.

Students learn that reality is the free market; that evil's source is regulation; and that life's purpose is threefold: deal-making, tax-dodging and self-reward.

Writer and former philosophy professor David Johnson calls the course "a peculiar mixture of the utterly banal and the frighteningly ideological" and "propaganda, plain and simple."

I call it pure cant.

Things don't go better with Koch.
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