Today in The Atlantic, FIRE President and CEO Greg Lukianoff and best-selling author, New York University professor, and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt forcefully respond to the increasingly popular argument that speech can sometimes be a form of violence.
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) July 18, 2017
Co-authors of the award-winning “The Coddling of the American Mind,” Lukianoff and Haidt join forces again in a rejoinder to prominent psychologist and emotion researcher Lisa Feldman Barrett’s recent New York Times essay “When Is Speech Violence?”
Lukianoff and Haidt argue that equating stress-causing speech with “violence,” as Feldman Barrett does, isn’t simply an overstatement. Instead, it’s students’ overblown perception of their own fragility — not exposure to the occasional offensive viewpoint — that’s causing widespread mental health problems among today’s college students.
Their prescription is sure to spark discussion in our nation’s college classrooms — and beyond.
“Free speech, properly understood, is not violence. It is a cure for violence.”