Rational Disagreement: An Examination

This event was part of Baylor in Washington's Robert P. George Initiative on Faith, Ethics, and Public Policy

On social media, university campuses, the campaign trail, and even in congressional hearings, Americans seem increasingly incapable of rational disagreement. Instead, we practice the arts of emotive and often hysterical condemnation. Surveys reveal that an increasingly large percentage of Americans readily admit to hating fellow citizens who are members of the political party they oppose.

What are the sources of this decline in civility? What has led us to take such absolutist stances toward those with whom we disagree? Why do universities so often seem to encourage students in the worst habits of civic engagement? Could universities do a better job modeling rational disagreement?

On April 9, 2019, Baylor in Washington hosted the renowned social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, philosopher Robert P. George, and other intellectual leaders as they engaged these questions and proposed a way forward.


Panel Conversation I:

Dr. David D. Corey, Professor of Political Science in the Honors Program & Assistant Director of Baylor in Washington, Baylor University

Dr. Allison StangerRussell J. Leng '60 Professor of International Politics and Economics, Middlebury College

Dr. Chad C. PecknoldAssociate Professor of Systematic Theology, The Catholic University of America


Dr. Joseph CapizziOrdinary Professor of Moral Theology and Ethics & Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, The Catholic University of America; Executive Director, The Institute for Human Ecology

Panel Conversation II:

Dr. Robert P. GeorgeMcCormick Professor of Jurisprudence & Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University; Distinguished Senior Fellow, Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion

Dr. Jonathan HaidtThomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership, New York University Stern School of Business

Dr. Candace VoglerDavid B. and Clara E. Stern Professor of Philosophy, University of Chicago


Dr. Thomas Hibbs, Dean of the Honors College & Director of Baylor in Washington, Baylor University

Meet Our Distinguished Panelists

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