“Letter to a Young Social Justice Warrior…”

“… RE: Your Request for a Formal Apology.” Seth Barrett Tillman, who teaches law at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth, points out that the specifically lawyerly skills of “learning to see the world as others see it” and adopting “arguments and conduct that are proportionate to the facts” are also valuable when expressing disagreement with others in legal academia. “If mere hurt feelings were a recognized injury, then no one could possibly disagree with anyone else, and all intellectual inquiry, in law and in other fields, would be at an end. You do see that, right?” Whole thing here.

As I’ve noted elsewhere, I too have decided the time has come to demand a formal public apology. After I give thought to what might achieve the most virality on social media, I will settle on from whom and to whom over what.


  • In the mid-90s I had the pleasure of living and working in Ireland for 2 years. Frankly, I was overwhelmed by the hospitality of the Irish people. In Ireland I found the closest thing to a classless society that I have ever experienced. I observed that the Irish people were quick to invite just about all others to participate in their activities, and were also very quick, usually politely, to bring back to earth anybody who put on airs. Professor Tillman’s response to the student is a sterling example of this.

  • To Play The King (1993) (by Michael Dobbs)

    Francis Ewan Urquhart: “Remember that frightfully nice man who talked a lot about the classless society? He had to go, of course, in the end. Everything changes.”

    Seth Barrett Tillman

    Maynooth University Department of Law