Notes on Academic Responsibility

Richard Walton
University of Montana-Missoula

Note: This paper was presented at the Third Annual Conference on Intellectual Freedom, Montana State University-Northern, April 1997.


There is a widely held notion that freedoms must always be accompanied by complementary obligations. The basis of this assumption is not entirely clear, however. Certainly it does not derive from the character of freedom as a right. Under the standard analysis of rights, a right is taken to be a liberty, or a privilege, together with some set of duties assigned to persons other than the right-holder (1). Hence, if I have the right of academic freedom it is someone else, not I, who has the necessary corresponding duties.

When we speak of rights we may mean any of three different things. We may have in mind a natural right, now more commonly called a human right; we may have in mind a civil right, a right which one acquires as a consequence of citizenship; or we may refer to a contractual right, a right assigned us under the terms of an agreement. Human rights are not found paired, Siamese twin-like, with duties for the right-holder. One has trouble imagining Jefferson as having intended his assertion that "...all men...are...endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..." to have an understood "and these rights' associated responsibilities, of course" appended to it (2). Contract rights do ordinarily come to us with duties attached, but that is not due to their being rights, but to the fact that contracts are mutual commitments. Each party accepts duties toward the other in exchange for duties toward himself. We do not ordinarily give something for nothing, but we are not, in principle, prevented from doing so. Civil rights are a mixed case. They are sometimes understood on the model of natural rights, and sometimes on the model of contractual ones. Thus, while most Americans think of at least some of the rights in the Bill of Rights as simply the government's acknowledgment of natural rights, some civil rights are forfeited upon conviction of a some felonious crimes (3). Still, there are no duties for the right-holder attached to civil rights, as such.

It would be a serious mistake to infer from this analysis that there are no essential academic responsibilities, however. In part we do not find responsibilities for the right-holder coupled with natural rights because these in their pure, Jeffersonian form are abstract and without context. As soon as we narrow freedom's domain to the intellectual realm, for example, we provide it with elemental context and give it substance. If we take that substance seriously, so that we do not mean by intellectual freedom the mere liberty to believe or "think" what one wishes, responsibilities begin to take shape for us. Intellectual liberty must be understood to be a definitive aspect of an intellectual life, a life devoted to the fruitful exercise of the intellect--to thought. One cannot then think in just any old way, listing whither the wind of ideas bloweth. One must submit to the demands of logic, acknowledge the innate structure of concepts and bow to the facts, as best as one can make them out.

I deliberately do not speak of duties now, but of responsibilities. While the two terms are often used interchangeably, there are important differences. Duties may be imposed, but responsibilities, properly so-called, must be evoked (4). Under the terms of my employment contract, I have duties toward my employer, to my wife, my children, my parents, I have responsibilities. These arise for me in the context of those persons' special relationships to me, varying with their particular circumstances and needs, as I respond to them. In leading the intellectual life, focusing my attention upon some particular subject matter, I respond to the requirements that thinking fruitfully about that subject matter brings upon me. To the extent that I do this successfully, I attain the goods peculiar to the intellectual life; the delight in learning, the joy of discovering connections, patterns and implications, the awe inspired by contemplation of a great idea, an ingenious argument, etc. These goods are not obtainable in any other way; hence, they are internal to the practice which is the intellectual life with respect to some subject matter (5). Thus, my responsibilities define a discipline according to which I pursue the internals goods of this practice.

One could list and describe these responsibilities, but they are best grasped through illustration, both in their being properly and faithfully acknowledged and in their being breached. One glimpses the evocative character of the responsibilities in the old notion that the learned professions, and their like, are callings. One sees it more concretely in what some intellectuals say about their vocations (6). For the standards and procedures of the discipline we need only look to our own mentors, supposing that we were fortunate enough to have had one (7). I think of Philip Merlan among my own teachers, more than any other. He was a great scholar and a remarkable teacher, one from whom I learned much about these practices.

Examples of the pathologies of the intellectual practices abound. Paul Johnson tells us of the astonishing extent to which Marx falsified or misrepresented the data upon which he claimed to rely in writing Capital (8), a deception discovered and proven not long after the book's publication. A more recent case is that of S.L.A. Marshall, an historian employed by the U.S. Army in W.W.II to study the performance of men in combat. The result of this research assignment was a very influential book, Men Against Fire, in which Marshall argued that his analysis of actual combat engagements, based on extensive interviews of participants shortly after the engagements occurred, both in Europe and the Pacific, showed that no more than 20% of the men involved in an engagement actually fired their weapons (9). The proportion of genuinely active fighters was much lower, he claimed. On the basis of Marshall's work the Army revised its training procedures, adopted a much smaller caliber standard weapon, and made other changes. Numerous historians have accepted and reported Marshall's figures, including such highly respected scholars as John Keegan (10). But Marshall's official records include no data that would support the conclusions he published (11). Moreover, his reports are contradicted by men with similar combat experience, and not corroborated by accounts of battle in the numerous combat diaries that the war produced (12).

I take it as established, then, that there are intellectual responsibilities, responsibilities which are intrinsic and essential to the intellectual life in its various forms. I believe, further, that most of us who are scholars and teachers know what those responsibilities are. Beneath these particular responsibilities, however, there lies a general principle to which I now turn.


A practice typically also generates external goods, goods which accrue to the practitioner because the practice produces objects or services of value to others. These goods are external because they can be obtained by the practitioner by means other than the practice itself; i.e., they are external with respect to the practice, but they are goods for the practitioner. For the practices we call crafts or professions the most common external good is money, though there are, of course, many others. The product goods of the practice are mediational; they are the point of coincidence of the practice's internal and external goods, binding the two types of goods together. Thus, they also mediate between the practice's goods for the practitioner and its goods for others. For the craft of violin-making, for example, the mediational good is the violin, the object from the creation of which the luthier derives his internal goods.

Now there are craftsmen who exhibit a trait generally regarded as an amusing eccentricity: they do not like to part with their creations. A luthier with whom I am acquainted, now quite an elderly man, is famous for his reluctance to sell his violins and violas: if one wished to buy one of his instruments it was necessary to catch him in the right mood. A friend of mine told me once of a man who had cajoled the old luthier into selling him a viola the maker held particularly dear, but found that he could not enjoy his hard won purchase because he knew the sorrow he had caused. After a few days, he took the viola back.

This disinterest in the practice's external goods is more than a mere eccentricity, however, because it typically bespeaks an extraordinary complementary devotion to the practice's internal goods and its discipline, and it is the practice's internal responsibilities, those which arise in the pursuit of its internal goods, which are fundamental. Upon these internal responsibilities depends the value of the practice's mediational goods and the consequent benefits of the practice to others. When the practitioner neglects internal responsibilities in favor of pursuing external goods the integrity of the practice is destroyed. Socrates makes this quite clear in the course of his argument with the nihilist Thrasymachus in Republic I (341c-342e, 345b-347a). But the motives for this displacement of attention need not be selfish or base, as they are in Socrates' examples. One may genuinely aim at benefiting others, but through impatience or loss of nerve seek to provide benefits more directly than what confining oneself strictly to one's practice may permit. In that case the practice's integrity is compromised and its benefits to others must suffer accordingly (13).

The characteristics of a practice in which integrity is fully maintained may be well illustrated by musical performance. Recently I had the great privilege of playing in the Missoula Symphony Orchestra for two performances of Brahms' violin concerto by the American virtuoso violinist James Buswell (14). Mr. Buswell also gave two lectures in which he talked about musical performance, and I was, of course, privy to his discussions with the orchestra during rehearsals (15). Mr. Buswell had studied Brahms' score diligently; he knew as well as anyone could what Brahms' musical intentions were. He understood his task as performer to be to reveal Brahms' music as the composer created it; no more, and no less. In performance we saw Buswell withdraw into the music, inhabiting it, rather than the stage, exploring the music's profound beauty. One small indication of his devoted absorption was apparent in the fact that he seldom opened his eyes. During the enthusiastic applause after the first movement he seemed particularly concerned to keep his eyes closed, even while acknowledging the audience, lest their presence draw him away from the music and its requirements.

In part, that applause was due to the stupendous cadenza which he played mid-way through the movement. A cadenza offers a performer the opportunity to be inventive; for a moment the composer's text becomes but provocation for the performer, providing a point of departure, some sketchy musical ideas, and a point of return. It also provides an opportunity to attend directly to the interests of the audience, to strive to delight and amaze them with one's virtuosity. When the cadenza is over, however, the performer must once again become a close reader of the composer's text, and the audience must be largely forgotten.

The example of virtuoso musical performance having integrity demonstrates that the relationship between a practice's internal goods, and their associated responsibilities, and the practice's external goods, including that of the mediational goods from the perspective of other persons, must be one of coincidence. Paradoxically, a compelling, powerful musical performance for the audience usually occurs only when the performer ignores the audience and attends exclusively to the music's demands. It is quite as if the performer sets out to play the music, and the audience merely happens, by sheer force of good fortune, to be present to hear it. To be sure, the performer does aim at delighting the audience, but this can only be a secondary purpose, one aimed at indirectly.

The crucial dependence of external benefits upon a practitioner's integrity in pursuing the practice is illustrated in the Republic in an interesting way. Justice in the ideal city-whose whole purpose is to be just-requires that each of the groups within the city sticks to its role; this is, in essence, Plato's very definition of justice. That requires that the members of the three groups be fully faithful to their own natures and the practices to which these natures suit them-still another way to understand what Plato means by justice. Now this would appear to be quite possible for the artisan-farmer-merchant citizens, and for the guardians proper; but it is not possible for the philosopher-rulers. Among the essential characteristics of these rare citizens is an absolute devotion to the truth. "They must be without falsehood," Socrates says, "they must refuse to accept what is false, hate it, and have a love for the truth" (VI 485c). But justice in the city ostensibly depends upon the rulers' willingness to lie, and their ability to do it successfully; for example, they must lie in arranging marriages for eugenic purposes (458e-460a). This is a very serious flaw in Plato's political scheme-perhaps even a fatal one. It is one upon which scholars unsympathetic to Plato, like Karl Popper, seize with glee and which those fond of Plato attempt to explain away, or, more often, pass over in embarrassed silence (16). But it would appear to imply that under Plato's account justice must depend to some extent upon injustice.

I believe that this analysis of practices shows that the fundamental obligation we in the intellectual disciplines have is to acknowledge fully the responsibilites internal to our particular practices, making those our primary professional responsibilities--in short, to protect and preserve the practice's integrity.


When we look at the state of academic responsibility in higher education today, I think we notice two particularly important and interesting sources of pressure upon this principle. On the one hand, there are the transformationists, found largely within the faculties, and on the other there are the managerialists, found largely in the administrations. The transformationists believe their function as scholar-teachers to be to aid in the reform of a society they regard as morally and politically corrupt (17). By managerialism I mean a certain ideology emphasizing the importance of management technique in the administration of organizations (18).

The goal of scholarship and teaching, according to Duke's Frank Lentricchia, once a prominent transformationist, is "...not to find the foundation and conditions of truth but to exercise power for the purpose of social change" (19). The transformationists build their primary responsibilities upon their practices' supposed goods for others. In this regard they remind us of no one so much as the philosopher kings and queens of the Republic, who have seen Justice-Itself at the culmination of four or more decades of devotion to the practice of learning, and whose political duties require them thereafter to attend to the task of actualizing justice in the ideal city--at the expense of their own integrity and that of the practice which has qualitfied them for their position.

For at least some of the transformationists, neglect of the internal goods and responsibilities of intellectual practices is entailed by another aspect of their position. The theoretical basis upon which they rely is a set of doctrines belonging to the ideology usually referred to as "post-modernism." For present purposes we may note but one major implication of these doctrines in their stronger forms: if the post-modernists are right, there are neither internal goods nor associated internal responsibilities for the intellectual life, particularly that species of it we expect faculty members to lead. There is no truth to which to respond, no characteristics of truth requiring one form of response rather than another. Under such assumptions one cannot have intellectual practices; one must have in their place, only pseudo-practices (20).

It will also be the case that under such assumptions the sole feature which might distinguish authentic from fraudulent performance will be the sincerity of the performer. A performance in which the performer believes in what he, or she, creates will be authentic; one in which the performer does not believe will be fraudulent. It is exceedingly hard to test for sincerity, however. Thus, we were not surprised to learn that a leading post-modernist journal's editors were recently the victims of a major hoax. Alan D. Sokal, a physicist at NYU, submitted an elaborate article entitled "Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity" to the editors of Social Text, who published it (21), whereupon Sokal revealed that the article was a parody of post-modernist treatments of science (22). The article's absurd principal thesis is "that physical 'reality,' no less than social 'reality,' is at bottom a social and linguistic construct..." (23). To anyone with some knowledge of mathematics or contemporary physics, the piece is full of howlers: for example, "Einstein's equations are highly non-linear, which is why traditionally-trained mathematicians find them so difficult to solve" (24). But the article also contains a plethora of quotations from, and citations of, post-modernist writing making very similar assertions. To the sentence just quoted, for example, Sokal attaches a note quoting a work whose author says that equations in classical mechanics are linear, while those of quantum mechanics often are not. This is simply silly, a falsehood anyone with only a high school-level knowledge of science and mathematics should recognize. It hardly needs to be said that making public pronouncements about the nature of science out of such ignorance is irresponsible.

Transformationist scholars' putative mediational goods can be of little value to the general public if the scholars themselves are unable to discriminate counterfeit from authentic coin of the realm. Yet the transformationists see providing a certain public benefit as their primary professional responsibility.

On that general point they agree with the managers. Managerialism has become the dominant ideology of educational administration, from mid-level functionaries through deans, provosts, presidents, chancellors, commissioners and governing boards (25). According to the managerialists, a college or university is a device for producing a certain species of public goods. In its essence, it does not differ from a factory manufacturing, say, automobiles, or shoes. Hence, administrators speak of their educational institutions in language redolent of the factory setting: they talk of "input," "output," "throughput," "product," "productivity," "efficiency," and dealing with the faculty in terms of "labor relations" (26).

Alasdair MacIntyre tells us that the defining characteristic of the manager is that he is unable to distinguish manipulative from non-manipulative behavior (27). The basis for this blindness, according to MacIntyre, is a variety of moral theory called emotivism (28). In Kantian terms, the manager's peculiar blindness amounts to an inability to treat persons consistently as ends, rather than as mere means, or instruments.

Everywhere in higher education we now see signs of this failing, some rather subtle, others not. Those of us who have held our faculty appointments for more than a decade or so can remember arriving at campus one day to find that what had previously been the personnel office had become the office of "human resources." Along with all the other employees of the institution, we had been transmogrified into resources, tools by means of which the institution attains its ends (in conjunction with its material and financial resources, of course). The University of Montana at Missoula is currently making a formal effort to improve employees' job satisfaction. The program is being led by a committee operating under the auspices of the Human Resource Services Office. In the course of making an initial report on its work to the Faculty Senate recently, a member of the committee proudly announced that it had already discovered that employees liked to be called by their first names by those with whom they regularly worked. It was one of those remarkable moments like the Sokal hoax when parody and reality had become one (29).

By far the most important manifestation of managerialism's blindness lies at the institution's very soul: the managerialists reduce education to training, the production of human instruments. The college or university, as a factory, takes in the raw material of untrained students and turns out certified workers prepared to fulfill functions in industry and government. It must therefore be responsive to demand, we are told, able to close down training programs whose products are no longer needed and establish new ones as demand dictates. Courses which do not belong to a program of training aiming at some category of employment can only be understood meaningfully under the managerialist conception as propaedeutic; they provide training in basic knowledge or skills, or are merely "general." Hence, the managerialists strive to minimize the requirements for such courses in the curriculum.

Here we see that it is equally revealing to understand managerialism in terms of the requirements of authentic intellectual practices, for the educational manager does not adequately understand the nature of internal goods and responsibilities nor does he understand their relationship to the institution's ends. The relationship between practices and institutions built around them, like colleges and universities, is a delicate one. To some extent the practitioners need the institution, for it ties internal to external goods. But the institution exists solely for the sake of the practices' goods for others: hence, it tends to exert pressure upon the practitioners within it to invert the relationship between internal and external goods (30). Managerialism greatly multiplies that pressure through its model of the university as a device and through its inability to distinguish human beings from objects. Only human beings can engage in practices, intellectual ones, especially. The same blindness which permits the blithe equation of persons and resources, especially when coupled with the notion that an institution of higher education is a kind of device, must therefore ultimately result in the destruction of the integrity of the intellectual practices represented in the faculty, thereby destroying the value of their mediational goods and their goods for others. The practitioner who permits his, or her, craft to suffer such corruption becomes a sycophant. But that is what managerialism, by its nature, seeks to accomplish.

We are not surprised then to find the managers, whose primary standard is efficiency, issuing "white papers" describing schemes for producing what they think are higher education's goods by "non-traditional," or "innovative" means. Students are envisioned earning "credit hours", certificates and even degrees without direct contact with the life of the mind in its flesh and blood presence at all. In this grand vision we traditionalists see clearly the meaninglessness that these efficiently produced academic abstractions shall have, and take some small comfort in the fact that we shall have had no hand in their "delivery" (31).

  1. Cf., e.g., Joel Feinberg, Social Philosophy (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1973) pp. 61-64. Feinberg distinguishes the logical correlation of rights and duties from the moral correlation of the two. The logical correlation exists as a matter of conceptual structure; the (widely held) moral correlation does not.

  2. Philosophers of the classical liberal tradition in political philosophy do assume that citizens have fundamental obligations, as well as rights, but this derives from their republican principles, not their liberal ones, per se, including their assumption that there are natural rights.

  3. Now in the case of one right, conviction of a certain misdemeanor.

  4. I believe that I am indebted to my revered former colleague Henry G. Bugbee, Jr., for the germ of the idea of responsibility I have in mind. Cf. his The Inward Morning; A Philosophical Exploration in Journal Form (New York: Harper Colophon Books, 1958, 1976), the entries for Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27, pp. 198-202.

  5. The concept of a practice, and the associated concepts of internal and external goods, I have drawn from Alasdair MacIntyre's, After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, 2nd Ed. (Notre Dame: Notre Dame University Press, 1984), pp. 187 ff. Readers familiar with MacIntyre's work will recognize the debt I owe to it in this paper, but will also see that I have augmented MacIntyre's account somewhat.

  6. Cf., for example, Flannery O'Connor, "The Nature and Aim of Fiction," in her Mystery and Manners, ed. Sally and Robert Fitzgerald, (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1961), pp. 63-86.

  7. It may in fact be that the only way to learn the discipline of a scholarly practice is through apprenticeship.

    Since an art cannot be precisely defined, it can be transmitted only by examples of the practice which embodies it. He who would learn from a master by watching him must trust his example. He must recognize as authoritative the art which he wishes to learn and those of whom he would learn it. Unless he presumes that the substance and method of science are fundamentally sound, he will never develop a sense of scientific value and acquire the skill of scientific enquiry. This is the way of acquiring knowledge, which the Christian Church Fathers described as fides quaerens intellectum, "to believe in order to know." --Michael Polanyi, Science, Faith and Society (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1964), p. 15; also see pp. 43-44.
    MacIntyre's analysis of practices implies a similar point. Cf. op. cit., pp. 190-191.

  8. Paul Johnson, Intellectuals (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., 1988), pp. 62-69.

  9. S.L.A. Marshall, Men Against Fire (New York: William Morrow, 1947). Marshall's figure varies from 15% to 25% in the book.

  10. John Keegan, The Face of Battle (New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1976), p. 73. The mention of the famous "ratio of fire" occurs in the midst of a laudatory exposition of Marshall's methods.

  11. Frederic Smoler, "The Secret of the Soldiers Who Didn't Shoot," American Heritage, March 1989, Vol. 40, No. 2, pp. 36-45, p. 43. According to Marshall's own official account of the battle for Makin Island in the Pacific, where he allegedly developed the post-battle interview technique, excessive and indiscriminate fire was a problem.--p. 44.

  12. It was Harold P. Leinbaugh, the coauthor of one such memoir, whose suspicions were aroused by the discrepancy between Marshall's claims and his own observations, and who therefore investigated Marshall's research. Leinbaugh thought Marshall's claims an outrageous insult to the American infantryman, as did many other American officers. The memoir is John D. Campbell and Harold P. Leinbaugh, The Men of Company K: The Autobiography of a World War II Rifle Company (New York: William Morrow, 1985).

  13. Journalism may offer examples of this beneficent corruption of a practice. Journalists are now often heard to explain the purpose of their craft in terms of a maxim usually attributed to James Reston, viz., "To comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable." Accomplishing those ends requires neither truth nor accuracy in reporting; these may, in fact, be impediments in particular cases. S.L.A. Marshall was a journalist between the two world wars, and scholars have speculated that this experience may have led to his playing fast and loose with the facts of combat performance. --Smoler, op. cit., pp. 43-44.

  14. These concerts took place April 5th and 6th, 1997.

  15. I owe a particular debt of gratitude to Mr. Buswell for his faculty seminar of April 3rd, 1997, which set the thinking I was doing about academic responsibility off on a new path. I do not mean to imply, of course, that Mr. Buswell would endorse anything I say in this paper.

  16. Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950), pp. 136-141. Among those who attempt to defend Plato we may mention John Wild, who is responding to Popper in his Plato's Modern Enemies and the Theory of Natural Law (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1953), pp. 51-53. More recently, C.D.C. Reeve, Philosopher-Kings: The Argument of Plato's Republic (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988), pp. 208-213, and Jacob Howland, The Republic: The Odyssey of Philosophy (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1993), pp. 104-107, offer exculpatory accounts, but they are unconvincing. A recent book which I find perplexing for its lack of treatment of the topic is Terence Irwin's important Plato's Ethics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995). Plato, of course, attempts to distinguish harmful from helpful lies at II 382a-d. The former he calls, "true," or "authentic" lies, and the latter "verbal." Verbal lies are sometimes useful, Socrates says, in illustration of which he refers to the situation he describes in his criticism of Kephalos' definition of justice as "telling the truth and paying back what one owes" at I 331b-c. The lies told by the philosopher-archons will be verbal ones, apparently.

  17. I adopt the term "transformationist" from Jerry L. Martin, "The Postmodern Argument Considered," Partisan Review, Vol. LX, No. 4, 1993, pp. 638-654.

  18. I am aware, of course, of other important problems in maintaining the integrity of our intellectual practices, such as attempts by sponsoring organizations to control faculty research or publication of its results.

  19. Quoted in Martin, p. 639. Prof. Lentricchia recently revealed that he has renounced this position in a passionate, eloquent and deeply revealing article in Lingua Franca, "Last Will and Testament of an Ex-Literary Critic," Sept./Oct. 1996.

  20. This situation is anticipated by Plato. As a species of relativism, post-modernism's ancient forebear is Protagoras, a fact noted by Richard Rorty, among other post-modern writers. Socrates confronts Protagoras' doctrine in the Theaetetus, subjecting it to devastating criticism. He argues, in effect, that under the Protagorean principle that "Man is the measure of all things; of those that are, that they are, and of those that are not, that they are not" there can be no authentic practices.

  21. Social Text #46/47, Spring/Summer 1996, pp. 217-252. This was a special issue devoted to "Science Wars." The article has generated a great deal of response in a wide variety of publications, including major newspapers, journals on both sides of the political spectrum (e.g., The Nation and The New Criterion), and scientific journals, including two pieces in Nature. The only credible charge Sokal's critics make is that he acted in bad faith. See especially Stanley Fish's op-ed piece "Professor Sokal's Bad Joke," New York Times, May 21, 1996, p. A23. Much of this material can be found on the Internet, beginning with Sokal's own home page at <>.

  22. Alan D. Sokal, "A Physicist Experiments With Cultural Studies," Lingua Franca, May/June, pp. 62-64. As if anticipating the critics' major point, Sokal here says, "Now it's true that the author doesn't believe his own argument. But why should that matter? The editors' duty as scholars is to judge the validity and interest of ideas, without regard for (sic) their provenance."

  23. Sokal, "Transgressing."

  24. Sokal, "Transgressing."

  25. This is not to say, of course, that all such persons are managerialists. There are many exceptions, and the ideology appears significantly less conspicuous in institutions with long-established academic reputations and traditions than in most public institutions. Documents which have recently come into my hands indicate that managerialism may be particularly prominent within the administration of the California State University system.

  26. Managerialism intersects with the ideology of consumerism, so that the two idioms are often found together. Hence, students are often referred to as "customers" or "consumers," with all the attendant implications. Students surely do sometimes behave as consumers: few of us faculty members have been spared the experience of being told by a student that something is owed him-a certain grade, for example-because he is paying our salary, or paying for the course. Responsibility for such outrageous behavior must in part be placed in the laps of our administrations.

  27. MacIntyre, op. cit., p. 30.

  28. Ibid., p. 23.

  29. No less irony may be seen in the fact that administrations now typically make a great show of their concern for "sensitivity" in their academic communities, where "sensitivity" and "diversity" are necessarily conjoined. Students are commonly subjected to sensitivity training as part of the orientation process, if not elsewhere in their campus experience, and miscreant employees, including faculty members, may be compelled to undergo training in "sensitivity" and "diversity" as punishment. Often, such training for employees occurs under the auspices of the "human resource" office. (I am pleased to be able to say that to the best of my knowledge no faculty member has yet been punished this way at UM-Missoula.)

  30. MacIntyre, op. cit., p. 194.

  31. I am grateful to my colleagues Hayden Ausland and Paul Dietrich, and to Taryn Stampfl, graduate student in Philosophy, for comments on an earlier draft of this paper. They do not necessarily share the views I have expressed, of course, and any errors in the paper are my own.

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