The Shibboleths of Academic Freedom

By Uhlmann, Michael M. | The Human Life Review, Summer 1999 | Go to article overview

The Shibboleths of Academic Freedom


Uhlmann, Michael M., The Human Life Review


Utilitarian philosopher Peter Singer has for many years contemplated the mysteries of the human condition from his perch at Australia's Monash University. His studied conclusion, articulated in numerous articles and books, is that traditional morality is so much delusional hogwash.

If you look closely at what most men do, as opposed to what they claim they are doing, Singer says, you will see them engaged in an effort to maximize their own pleasure. And Professor Singer wishes to help them along by contriving a set of ethical rules to make them comfy as they pursue their inclinatons.

Lest you get the idea that Dr. Singer is a mere apostle of self-indulgence, it should be said at once that he is as stern as a Victorian schoolmarm when it comes to certain kinds of behavior. We should be scrupulous, for example, to respect the rights of animals. Singer's opinions on this subject have made him into something like the philosopher-king of the animal rights movement. He is also a moving force behind The Great Ape Project, which seeks to secure legal protection for certain higher-order simians.

Some apes, he argues, are entitled to rights of personhood, a status he refuses to grant to all human beings. In Singer's view, human infants are, at best, only presumptively rights-bearing creatures. For at least a couple of months after a child is born, he says, the law should recognize a parental right to kill their offspring.

In so arguing, of course, Singer is doing little more than extending the logic of Roe v. Wade to children already born-a proposition that would perhaps shock the conscience of the late Harry Blackmun, though there is little in his opinion or in subsequent opinions of the Supreme Court to prevent that extension. Singer's razor shreds the pretense of decency that shrouds for many the barbarism of the Court's reasoning.

Dr. Singer's candor, however, is not always appreciated. He is effectively banned from lecturing in Germany, where angry crowds greet his appearance with unpleasant reminders of Nazi eugenics. But what is unacceptable in Germany has apparently become a badge of honor at Princeton University, which recently invested Singer with a professorship in bioethics.

A robust group of Princeton students, showing more moral wisdom and courage than their mentors, staged a protest rally in April, with the promise of more when Singer arrives this fall. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Shibboleths of Academic Freedom
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.