Letter to the Editor: Philosophy’s role in preventing sexual assault

On the 21st of October this year, we had the 2nd annual Joseph Thompson Memorial Lecture with the topic “Are we just animals?” The panel of professors answered questions with the kind of wisdom and poise one could expect from people who specialize in critical thinking. One of the moments that stuck with me was at the end when we were reminded that UA decided it didn’t need philosophy.

All around the country, Philosophy is being discarded as outdated and useless, but it is more necessary now than ever before. We live in a society where rape victims are asked all the wrong questions and blamed when they report their assailant. How can this be if we live in the greatest country on the planet?

It is because we live in a society where gym is required but critical thinking is an elective. We have decided that philosophy is worthless metaphysics touted by the pretentious in cafés; but time and progress do not mean that we have shed the need for critical thinking.

It is through critical thinking that we can understand the poor reasoning behind blaming the victim, that dancing in a short skirt is not an invitation, and that “No” is not a gray area.

Philosophy at its core teaches us to challenge every preconceived notion we have and disassemble bad arguments. As UAF tackles its sexual assault problem, we all ought to remember that they have deprived us all of a vital weapon: critical thinking. – Jonathan Quiñones

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