After two law professors, one at the University of Pennsylvania and one at the University of San Diego teamed to publish an op-ed on the state of American society for the Philadelphia Enquirer last August, the response by colleagues and students was so intense and surprising to the professors that one of those professors, Amy Wax of Penn Law, wrote a follow-up article detailing her dismay in how we rarely participate in reasoned debate in modern academia. Although the law school learning space is quite different than an independent upper school, the approach to disagreement and debate on a host of issues that our students grapple with in class should be consistent.
Participating in reasoned debate is the attempt to explain, using logic, evidence, facts and substantive arguments, to explain why an opposing view is wrong. This approach requires preparation, reflection, and a deep understanding of the complexities and nuances of a given subject.
MUS is a school dedicated to providing an learning experience so our students will be happy, healthy and engaged members of society well beyond college. I hope engaged debate is but one of the many life skills our students acquire here and hone long after they graduate.