Choosing Higher Educational Institutions:

A few loose thoughts, in response to the recent posts about this:

1. Most students, especially undergraduates -- even most smart and politically engaged ones -- generally know a little of the thinking in their own political camp, and less in the opposite camp. A few know a decent amount of the thinking in their own political camp, and a small amount in the opposite camp. All of them would therefore most benefit intellectually (all else being equal) from going to a place where they can hear important views from both sides, both formally in class and informally in interactions with classmates.

2. Entering undergraduates and law students should thus seek a place that is not only respectful of conservatives and libertarians, but (a) has a real mix of opinion among professors and students, and (b) has an intellectual and social climate that makes students and professors willing to speak out whether they are liberal, conservative, or libertarian. I suppose this puts me closest to Ilya, though I doubt that David or Orin would disagree with Ilya and me much on this.

3. I'm not sure about this, but I suspect that when people are entering a Ph.D. program, the matter is quite different. Here their work is likely to be much more closely and aggressively evaluated; and while in undergrad and law school you can just, if necessary, give the professor what he wants on the exam, doing that with your Ph.D. work is much more burdensome. I suspect that you would therefore want to go to a program where many on the faculty really respect the school of thought to which you belong (in the sense of thinking that it has a great deal of merit, even if they don't agree with many of its bottom-line conclusions), where some actually adhere to this school of thought, and where some strongly disagree with it and can thus help you improve your arguments.