To the Editors:
“Who Cares About Character?” by Professor of Ancient Background Nadya Williams is amazing in its tendentiousness.
In her zeal to join Princeton University’s marketing campaign to sully the name of Joshua Katz, one particular of the most distinguished scholars the Princeton Department of Classics has at any time experienced, she even tortures the out there proof regarding Socrates. For anyone keeping a doctorate in Classics, this demonstrates terribly on her—and her instructors.
In accordance to Professor Williams, Socrates sexually exploited the handsome but dissolute aristocrat Alcibiades. It is genuine that there were rumors in antiquity that there may well have been a actual physical partnership, but only an ideologue on a mission would twist this into a conviction and damnation of the philosopher. In Alcibiades’s personal text, as advised in the famous Platonic dialogue, The Symposium (216c–222b), try out as the younger sensualist may possibly, he could not tempt Socrates into a sexual marriage. Classicists should give because of pounds to out there textual proof, and in this she egregiously fails. Presented her sloppy scholarship, it is not astonishing that Dr. Williams dismisses the defense of Professor Katz as basically a conservative initiative.
Does she deem Pen The united states to be aspect of that large, ideal-wing conspiracy? Pen The usa excoriates Princeton’s firing of Professor Katz and properly identifies the genuine difficulty as Princeton’s disregard for tutorial liberty and flexibility of speech.
It is unhappy to see how Nadya Williams’s ideology triumphs more than the specialist self-control her matter really should instill. An essay titled “Who Cares About Character” should alone pay out a lot more attention each to character and scholarly process.
–Michael B. Poliakoff
President, American Council of Trustees and Alumni
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