January Open Thread

New year, new thread. Enjoy.


256 thoughts on “January Open Thread

  1. While we’re all laughing at Jason Stanley, I think there’s a few important things that must be said.

    Stanley is a noisy decoy. He’s not doing it on purpose, but his only role in the end is to draw attention from the more influential members of the New Consensus: Sally Haslanger, Jennifer Saul, Marke Lance, Rebecca Kukla, John Protevi, Janice Dowell, David Sobel, Eric Schliesser, Berit Brogaard, Jeniffer Lackey, etc. While we’re laughing at Stanley, the rest of them are consolidating their power grab.

    Stop looking at Stanley. He ‘suffers’ from Histrionic Personality Disorder and he almost literally feeds on your attention. Pay no attention to him, no matter how increasingly dumb his behavior gets in response to your ignoring him.

    Pay attention to the Haslangers and the Brogaards instead.

    1. I am not sure what kind of power the people on your list are supposed to have grabbed.

      Jason Stanley does have power, but mostly on account of his very good work in the Philosophy of Language. Here’s an instance of his power: a very strong letter of reference from Jason Stanley for a job candidate in the Philosophy of Language will (and should) make a strong impression a search committee. But the same cannot be said for most of the other people on your list.

      The power to influence hiring decisions — power appropriately held by Stanley — is very important, since it helps determine he future of the profession. Of course, it’s not the only kind of power in the profession: there’s the power to set research agendas; there’s access to and control over large research funds; there’s the editorship of important journals, etc. Other than Haslanger, the people on your list aremid-career mid-range professors working at mid-level institutions. Some of them even edit journals from time to time (though so do many many many other people). Nothing wrong with that. But I do not see how they’re particularly powerful.

      I’m not denying that some of these folks have accumulated more power in the profession than they might otherwise have had, precisely by being vocal on blogs and on facebook. Nobody in Philosophy would have heard or Protevi or Matthew Drabek (now out of the profession) if it weren’t for this. But I still hardly see it has a serious power-grab. You wanna know who’s powerful? Think about who gets cited all the time. Think about who runs an empire in some subdiscipline. Think about whose students get jobs at top places. Timothy Williamson. John Hawthorne. Ernie Lepore. David Chalmers. Christine Koorsgaard. Think about whose papers are read in grad courses in top departments. This is where the power is: not on the blogs.

      1. Excuse me, but your remarks are paranoid delusions. The individuals mentioned in the prior comment are a network that determines the overall ideological stance of those perceived to be great and good; they
        – control the APA, its committees and other associations,
        – control the influential blogs,
        – distribute their “New Consensus” ideology, every single day,
        – silence any dissent
        – threaten, vilify and insult others.

        No one is permitted to speak out. They are silenced. Silencing people is power. That is what power means. The suggestion otherwise is delusional.

        1. I thought Anon.Anon’s comment was pretty accurate. But even if you don’t, it’s just bizarre to call it ‘paranoid’. The 11:02 comment to which Anon.Anon was responding is the one that was paranoid.

        2. lol “Excuse me, but your remarks are paranoid delusions…. There is actually a massive conspiracy CONTROLLING EVERYTHING”

      2. Thank you for this injection of sanity, Anon.Anon. Now can we please please please get back to the important issues… please? For example,

        – Why is Jazz Tranley so adored by graduate students?
        – In what ways is Jazz Tranley marginalized and therefore in an epistemically privileged position?
        – Why does Jazz Tranley write such good books?
        – Is it true that “every single professor at [Gale University] with three or more books has a named chair”?

      1. They control the APA.

        They decide what we may and what we may not say.

        They can ruin people (Ludlow) and entire departments (Colorado).

        They can influence large parts of the job market (search ‘feminist’ at PhilJobs).

        1. The APA is worthless. No one cares who controls it.


          Ludlow and Leydon-Hardy ruined themselves. Did you read those text messages? They’re both assholes and deserve whatever professional consequences they got.

          The job market is terrible already.

          1. Do you seriously think ‘whatever’ when certain people can control what we can all say and not say?

            Do you seriously think it’s no big deal they distort the job market because it’s already horrible? That only makes it worse! And how about the future when they will be able to use all their hires to damage philosophy even worse?

          2. ‘The APA is worthless’: it’s our only professional organization.

            ‘Whatever’: Huh? You’re OK if a particular group controls and restricts the speech of the rest of us?

            ‘The job market is terrible already’: So why not also make it unjust, is that what you’re saying?

      2. It seems a particular paranoid character from the old PMMB days has finally found this place. Expect more posts about power grabs and feminist control over the job market… and rants about Jason Stanley’s latest attempts to get attention.

  2. In the interests of inclusivity, I think we should respect this marginalized professor’s self-identification as a black non-man. From now on it’s Jazz Tranley.

    1. Vice magazine is being predictably stupid.

      Here’s hoping that 2016 is the year the SJW ideological house of cards comes down crashing.

  3. The New Consensus managed to bring down Brian Leiter. He’s not editing the PGR any more. Let that sink in before you say they have no power. Yes, they are mostly mediocrities like the Balloon and Whineberg, but don’t underestimate the viciousness of a large crowd of resentful nobodies.

    1. To the contrary — while the attempt was worrisome, they in fact had no effect whatsoever. Leiter was already planning to step down as editor, he picked his own replacement, it looks like there will be virtually no changes in the PGR, and Leiter’s blog seems (to me, anyway) to be as influential as ever. The movement turned out to be a mere flatulence.

  4. Huh? How do we know that he was planning on stepping down, other than from his sour grapes declarations? And the replacement he picked is a firm New Consensus type: a former NudeChapps blogger, dispeller of male grad students who don’t toe the line. He had to pick a replacement who would be acceptable to the friends of Carrie who ousted him with their ridiculous faux-indignation. Leiter’s blog remains popular but it now has a major rival, and prominent people openly call juniors out for posting links to Leiter on FB. He is on the retreat. The only hope is that he will covertly organize some resistance to NC hires and promotions.

    1. FWIW, he told me he would like to get someone to take it over about five years ago, and that at most he would do one more.

      Who have you seen “call out” someone for posting a link to Leiter?

  5. And then there was Stanley’s very public unfriending of Leiter. Young people who want good jobs are best advised to steer clear of Leiter, at least in public.

      1. Yeah, I’m with you. I think friends (and students) of Sir Ranksalot are in better shape than friends of Lance-alot.
        The New Censurians took a big swing and whiffed. They’ve retreated into their Facebook trench, and their threats have all the fearsomeness of a Rachel McKinnon throwdown. They may rise again, but they lost round one.

        1. You’re not comparing like for like. Georgetown ain’t Chicago. And that guy’s other advisor was Martha Nussbaum. What the poster above is saying is that many people don’t want to be seen as voluntarily associating with Leiter.

          1. Here are some of the people who have recently posted comments at Leiter’s blog: Charles Parsons, Ernest Sosa, Jeff McMahan, Brian Skyrms. No Matt Drabek, however. Read the clues people.

            1. Yeah, senior people with nothing to fear. The original comment was about junior people who don’t want to be associated with Leiter’s blog.

              1. I think you missed the point. The point is that the most powerful senior people in the field still comment regularly on the Leiter blog. That means he’s still “in” with them, and they’re the ones with the power in the profession, not Mark Lance or the other New Consensus types. I know from indirect experience that BL definitely still has the ear of those who matter.

                1. I hope you’re right. There’s a hate-fest on Leiter’s PhD programs post on the Balloon’s FB right now. Small fish mostly, but the numbers are alarming. Kukla posted a picture of Leiter with Trump hair. They think they’re dancing on his grave. I hope the sensible people can put an end to the NC’s power grab.

                    1. It says something that the loons have quaranteed themselves on private facebook threads. If they are so powerful why do they need to jerk each other off in the dark?

                2. “The point is that the most powerful senior people in the field still comment regularly on the Leiter blog.”


  6. So it turns out that since the 1990s the percentage of women earning a PhD in philosophy has remained a steady 27-28%. The leak in the pipeline is before the PhD. I don’t see how preferential hiring (as documented by CDJ), gendered conferences and such like are going to do a lot to address that. Role models, sure. But really the problem is in the wider culture since philosophy has a sciency feel in the US.

    1. So you’re saying philosophy should stop being ‘sciency’ so more women will be interested in joining?

      I think that’s both anti-philosophical and condescending toward women.

      1. (Continued – I am the poster above)

        But you are right that gender bias in hiring or in colloquium invitations is only going to hurt both philosophy and the young men who dedicated themselves to it.

        1. No, I’m saying that the problem is with the association between sciency fields and men, and that’s a problem of the wider culture, not of philosophy. This is obvious, and the fems who deny it are just after personal advantage.

          1. The way to go about achieving meaningful change (for both philosophy and the sciences: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/women-earning-greater-share-stem-degrees-doctorates-remain-gender-skewed/) probably involves changing the culture around young girls, so that they grow up without aversions to the sciences and “sciency” things. (So I agree with the above about gendered conferences and such.)

            I also wonder if the data looks much different in countries with better support for parents (paid leave for both parents, maybe better access to childcare, etc.).

            1. Maybe that’s because the sciences have a lot more money to give to women.

              Science grad school: hard work, good pay down the line.

              Philosophy grad school: hard work, poor pay.

              Sociology grad school: easy work, poor pay.

              Philosophy is the least attractive from this perspective. What if women in general are less likely than men to be selfless and to do hard work for the sake of knowledge?

      2. Seems like the poster above is saying that the problem is the culture, not philosophy. I agree with that. The way to go about achieving meaningful change (for both philosophy and the sciences: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/women-earning-greater-share-stem-degrees-doctorates-remain-gender-skewed/) probably involves changing the culture around young girls, so that they grow up without aversions to the sciences and “sciency” things.

        Also I wonder if the data looks much different in countries with better support for parents (paid leave for both parents, maybe better access to childcare, etc.).

    2. What is the evidence that philosophy has a sciency feel or that that’s the reason behind the gender imbalance? I ask as a linguist, and with the little exposure I have to philosophy, it doesn’t feel any more sciency than does linguistics, which doesn’t have the same gender imbalance. I don’t doubt that philosophy’s perception plays a role in the imbalance, but I am sceptical that it has anything to do with a sciency feel.

      1. yeah, let’s talk linguistics. it’s funny that semantics has tons of very high profile women and doesn’t seem to have any gender problem, while phil. lang. definitely has a serious gender issue. but semantics is a lot more techy than phil lang.

        i will say that i have met fewer douche semanticists than i have douche phil langers, but my sample size isn’t exactly huge.

        1. Well, 2:04, that’s curiously relevant to me. I (1:14) am a female semanticist, and douchebaggery figured into my choice between linguistics and phil lang. As an undergrad ling major, I took a grad course in formal semantics and looked on that prof as a mentor. When I talked to him about grad school, he said I should also consider philosophy of language, because he thought I’d be good at it, but I dismissed it out of hand because (a) I was really, really interested in what a few linguists elsewhere were doing, and (b) my philosophy of language prof was a bit of a douche. Not proud of the second reason, but it did figure in. When you imagine yourself in a cohort, you don’t imagine up douche bags for colleagues.

          1. Yup. I have met very few nice (accomplished) phil of langers. Like I can count them on one hand. Again maybe my sample size is bad, or maybe the subfield is toxic…

            1. This is cool, I’m glad we’re comparing experiences.

              Okay, I am a phil of lang, in my first year of a TT job.
              The senior philosophers of language I have met have not been at all douchy, to me or in my presence. I have heard lots of stories, though, so the douche-experiences already conveyed don’t surprise me.

              Possibly relevant information: the senior philosophers of language I know I met either (i) in my PhD program, which has a great climate and discourages douchy behavior, or (ii) at very linguistics-y events, where there were as many linguists as philosophers (approximately).
              I’ve only really met one senior woman in philosophy of language, and she was very nice to me. As someone already said, the gender ratio in linguistics — formal semantics in particular — is pretty much 1:1.

        2. Interesting. I tend to meet douches in philosophy of language, but the women in the field seem as likely to be douchey as the men.

          Since we’re at it, Stanley is probably the loudest douche in the entire subfield. He has been very useful to his own army of female minions, but everyone else would be better off if he stopped yakking all the time already.

              1. I’m not, really. But I’m also tired of the assumption that women don’t do phil of lang because it’s “hard” or technical or mathy, since all those things are doubly true of formal semantics, which has gender parity. I was just trying to brainstorm other differences between the linguistics and phil analogues. In general, as a woman I have felt a lot more welcome on the linguistics half of things, especially because the linguists haven’t been as douchy to me and on the whole don’t suffer from all the weird complexes phil langers do. My semantics teachers haven’t batted an eye at my existence, while some phil langers seem stuck in the “WOMEN EXOTIC” or “WOMEN = WE MUST SUPPORT HER” modes.

                1. Well put. As another woman in the profession, I find the WOMEN = WE MUST SUPPORT HER way more prevalent than any of this sexual harassment we’ve all been hearing so much about. And boy, do I fucking hate it.

                  Also, if someone sexually harassed me, I’d report it. But this constant patronizing attitude and softballing and coddling? Can’t do jack shit about it.

                  1. This goes hand-in-hand with the “get more women in philosophy classrooms!” bit (“don’t scare away the ones we have!”) and yes, it’s fucking annoying. If equality is the goal (it’s what I’d like…), then treat me as an equal, not as some shy forest animal who’s going to run away if you make a wrong move.

                    1. fwiw, the douche-baggery I was referring to above had nothing to do with harassment or gender stuff at all. Just a garden-variety blow-hard. I didn’t see him as typical in any way, just with limited exposure, he did nothing to make the field look better than an already appealing alternative.

  7. Anyone been to the Daily Snoozefest recently?

    Apparently, rebuilding a wall preventing social hanging-out between professors and students, like in the 1800s, isn’t enough: the New Consensus asshats are now agitating for… get this… a stigma against having our students address us by our first names. Yup, we have to unite in solidarity with the helpless, crying invalids by agreeing to have our students, also, call us by our official titles.

    I’m not making this up. Check out the comments section. And check which comment got the most likes.

    1. I don’t see anything about a stigma. I think you’re misreading the thread.
      The comments with the most likes are the ones by young women noting that they might have extra reasons for wanting to be called “professor” or “doctor” by students. This seems reasonable. I’m a man, and a woman my age at my school (in a different discipline) expressed envy that I don’t have to dress formally, while she does (lest she lose respect of students). Same thing, I guess.
      It looks to me like the predominant sentiment is that wanting to be called by a title isn’t pompous or dangerously inegalitarian, but I don’t think anyone is trying to stigmatize those who (like Ichikawa) now prefer that students call them by their first name.

  8. Again, look at the comments in the thread that have the MOST likes: those by Junior Female Prof and Another Junior Female Prof. The latter writes, “If you’re a white dude who teaches, one of the best things you could do to support your colleagues who are not white or not men would be to avoid a “titles are for the pompous! First names, all the way!” attitude.”

    Here’s my response, which Whineberg DELETED: “Junior Female Prof and Another Junior Female Prof, you’re welcome to have your students call you whatever you want them to call you. Like others, I very much doubt that making your students call you by a title will increase their respect for you. Your plan seems doomed to backfire. But I won’t stand in your way.

    But seriously, do not start trying to use social shaming to get the rest of us to go along with your little scheme to get you what you think will help you. If you imagine you can’t get respect without insisting on being called Professor, or Doctor, or Grand Poo-Bah, or whatever, then please don’t try to make that our problem. Your problem will not be solved by making us look and feel ridiculous, nor should we have to pay that price to indulge your whimsy.

    Here’s a tip, and I mean this in earnest. The people who get respect are those who aren’t constantly freaking out about how they are being perceived and treated. They’re too busy being great and respect-worthy. The fact that you have this attitude is surely at least part of what’s standing in the way of your success.

    I know, you’re about to present some statistics that support the view that, as women, you’re slightly less likely to be taken seriously, and then other people will try (perhaps successfully) to show that the situation is just the opposite by getting opposing stats posted here, and then we’ll be off on one of those kicks again. But let’s put that aside and consider some important cases. One is Frederick Douglass. He was black and a former slave at a time when those things were really counted against one far, far, more than being a woman is today. And yet he managed to earn people’s respect quite readily. He was never pompous or demanded any title. He was simply Frederick Douglass. Or take Gandhi, a person of color who felt comfortable walking into a room of well-dressed, and often initially racist, dignitaries who wanted his blood, though he was dressed only in a loincloth. His bearing and manner were worthy of respect, and he never obsessed over getting it. He simply deserved it. Another name: Harriet Tubman. She was female, black, poor, a former slave, very short in stature, and had a significant disability, over a century ago and without the immense benefits you have today. And yet she, too, was able to command respect and lead people. She got there by having and displaying great virtues and character, not by obsessing over how she was perceived. It was largely because she did what she did while REFUSING to obsess over these things that she was perceived as great and given respect. She simply earned it by who she was.

    So, like many others, I refuse to believe that you are incapable of earning respect without my help. I have met people in my own life of all sexes, races, and appearances who have earned respect quite readily, even from strangers. I find this absolutely endless harping on how impossibly hard it is to be a woman and do this or that to be one of the most harmful things to women in the profession, or to women, period. The more you internalize that, and endlessly repeat it, and make it your self-image, the more you swallow and perpetuate an unhealthy and stifling mentality that is doing far more harm to your success than anything the outside world throws at you. If, counterfactually, things WERE so dire for women that they needed everyone to cooperate in helping them be called by special titles in order for them to have a slim chance at being respected by their students and therefore effective teachers, then it would seem to follow that women are just not as effective as men at doing their job. I hope you’re not consciously trying to promote that view, but it would seem a natural consequence of your view. And I for one refuse to abet you in that.”

    1. I think it’s really cool that not only do you fail to *give* any evidence, but you pre-emptively dismiss the evidence that you imagine your interlocutor is going to present.
      No crude empiricism here.

      1. Hey idiot,

        One doesn’t “fail” to give evidence if one is trying to have a conversation but doesn’t have an opportunity to give the evidence because the shitbird who moderates the blog is so dishonest, he doesn’t give you a chance to say your piece.

        The conversational implicature around ‘fail to’ is that there was a reasonable expectation that one was attempting to do the thing. That’s why only a belligerent, smug, self-satisfied retard would say, for instance, that you failed to brush your teeth right now when there was no evidence that you promise, or attempted, or were reasonably expected to, brush your teeth.

        Clearly, you’ve got nothing to contribute to this conversation, or quite possibly to the world, if the best you can do is sit around and make pointless, smug remarks like that. Get a life, and until you get your head out of your ass, shut your mouth. Right now, you’re just farting all over the place with your pointless exhalations, as clever as you think you sound from in there.

        1. ARG:

          The conversational implicature around ‘fail to’ is that there was a reasonable expectation that one was attempting to do the thing.

          Some philosophers learn the phrase “conversational implicature” and then use it as if it meant “shit that what you said made me think”. There is no conversational implicature “around” an infinitive, that doesn’t even make any sense. Real conversational implicature can be calculated from the rules of conversation plus what was said.
          And hey, “retard”? Nice. Kind of says it all.

  9. “the shitbird who moderates the blog is so dishonest, he doesn’t give you a chance to say your piece.”

    Hi. To comment at Daily Nous you need to either login via one of a few popular social media options or with a working and accurate email address. When you submitted your comment, an email was sent to the address you supplied. Either no response or an automated bounce-back message was received, indicating a fake email address. So your comment was not published.

    1. Anon.Anon, -1

      (We already know Weinberg to be a dishonest broker from many other times. This doesn’t exonerate him. Duh! But it does show that he’s reading the PMMMB, which rocks).

      1. Right. There’s something _off_ about trying to track down the real identity of everyone who comments on your blog, especially if the detective work is directed most of all at posters you disagree with. It was creepy when Leiter and Haslanger did this, and it’s no less so in Whineberg’s case.

        1. Yes. Especially when we know, following Brogaard’s public attempt to have a grad student’s career destroyed after she hunted him down for raising critical-but-civil comments on a blog, what these people are capable of doing. The effect that episode, with its clear threat to dissenters, has had on perverting the natural direction of conversations about the profession is hard to fathom. I think it’s the key reason why a minority of the profession’s members have managed to take ideological power over so much of philosophy in just a couple years’s time.

        2. But what’s described above is significantly less moderation than before: a bot checks to see if the email address is valid, and, if it is, the comment is posted. There’s no check on the content prior to posting and no check on the identity of the poster – just that the email address is an actual address.

  10. Here’s a proposal:

    When you say “such and such happened on facebook”, provide a screenshot for those of us who do not have the right friends on facebook. Redact the screenshot, of course, to protect your anonymity. This both gives credence to the report and gives context for those of us curious enough to read a facebook thread.

    1. If you do this and want to stay anonymous, be sure to strip the image you post of metadata and the originating URL. For optimal protection, upload the image to a service like imgur using Tor, and then post the link here using, again using Tor.

  11. http://dailynous.com/2016/01/15/internet-abuse-of-philosophers/

    So, if I understand correctly: George Yancy posted an article on the Stone which basically invited racists to disagree with him, racists (and probably non-racists) disagreed with him, and then he complained about it on the Daily Nous and says philosophers need to talk about what happened with the situation he created? It would help if he were clear what he meant by “threat”. And somehow this turned into another situation to jerk off Jason Stanley.

  12. If you like, ignore the claims of threats. Surely, you don’t think being “called a ‘n*****’ (and so much more)” counts as a reasonable way to accept his invitation to “disagree” with him.

    But of course you know that. You’re taking the piss. And giving a marvelous demonstration of his worry that we don’t listen before we respond: “Make a space for my voice in the deepest part of your psyche. Try to listen, to practice being silent. There are times when you must quiet your own voice to hear from or about those who suffer in ways that you do not.”

    For the record, I don’t agree with Yancy’s view. I think it’s a mistake to conflate the institutional sense of “racism” as defined by social position with the normative and moral sense defined by action and intention. I think both senses are valid, but only the second sense has clear implications of culpability and responsibility, and not keeping those distinct is both unfair and dangerous.

    Yes, we’re all racists to one degree or another (frankly, I think it’s mostly due to nature, though aggravated by nurture), but not necessarily in a sense that implies moral responsibility. I think Yancy might even, if pressed, agree with me on this. But if so he didn’t do enough to make that sufficiently explicit, and surely it’s part of the reason some readers took such offense.

    From a purely rhetorical point of view, it’s a self-defeating way to try to get across the point he wants to make, particularly for the intended audience: namely, those unwilling to admit they’re racist in any way, including non-responsible, positional ways.

    1. George Yancy wanted attention and got it. Fat too much of it. And with him the usual suspects like Jazz Tranley. Let’s stop giving them what they want.

  13. Compare and contrast, folks.

    Feministphilosophers are really, really concerned that we be virtually certain that suspected terrorist targets really are definitely terrorists. Otherwise, the harm we cause by attacking them is morally inexcusable. (I agree, by the way). https://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/2016/01/15/certainty-in-the-war-on-terror/

    And yet, these very same people have repeatedly told us they don’t give a flying fuck if men are falsely accused of sexual harassment or sexual assault.

    Hm. I wonder who the sexists are here. The people the feminists are fighting? You’d think that, wouldn’t you, since the rhetoric around feminism is that they’re the ones trying to stop sexism.

    Or maybe, just maybe, the sexists are the people who are willing to clearly discriminate by undervaluing the life and welfare of one sex in comparison with the other. Isn’t that a radical thought?

    1. Feminist philosophers subject the innocent to public witch hunts, with no concern for the truth or evidence. It’s sexist discrimination, an example of epistemic injustice.

          1. Peter Ludlow brought a shitstorm upon himself by fucking a student. JW Showalter is a made-up person and suffered no real harm. David Barnett agreed to leave philosophy since he is independently wealthy, but could easily have remained at Boulder had he wanted to.

            Your examples are bad. Try again?

            1. That was within his rights.

              Only because they couldn’t find out who he was when they hunted him.

              Only at the price of a year-long lawsuit and of working in a department with fascist rules dictated by the APA (e.g. no email).

    2. I don’t think they’re interested in discriminating against men qua men. They are just flexing their muscles and showing that they can ruin the lives of whoever doesn’t give them what they want.

  14. Jazz “Dolezal” Tranley’s transition into a non-white identity is coming along well, as his new course will be listed as African American Studies.

    1. I love that you people are still pissing your pants over Jason Stanley saying that many people would not consider him white. I grew up in the South, and he is completely right. I know many people who do not consider Jewish people “white.”

      1. I know many people who wouldn’t consider many people “white”, but Stanley lives and works in places where Jews are considered white.

  15. In its constant efforts to become indistinguishable from The Onion, the Daily Noose and the New Puritans bring you the “American Society for the Protection of Philosophers”, courtesy of yet another philosopher nobody would otherwise have heard of. The aim? To give even more publicity to those who set out to attract attention with inflammatory articles in the mass media.

    1. Is anyone else really bothered by the way that philosophers have approached the hate mail problem? I certainly don’t find the hate mail Yancy is reporting acceptable, and I don’t want to minimize the fear and negativity it is probably bringing into his life.

      That said, I find both Yancy and Stanley et al’s attitude toward the internet abuse they have received really troubling. I used to write for a student publication and you would not BELIEVE the kinds of hate mail I received. The fact that they didn’t think that this would happen, and that Yancy at least is stamping his feet and demanding the APA do something is response to this, at best makes them look out of touch. Yes, it’s bad that it happens, but what did you THINK was going to happen?

      People who write for far smaller venues report receiving so much hate mail that they have to stop writing..People who just talk about video games report being stalked over the internet and having to move houses…Women are “doxxed” and have fake porn, with their heads photoshopped onto a naked body, sent to their boss so they get fired….It’s appalling…

      But this is a well known problem that is not exceptional or unique to philosophers, and treating it like it is, or that the APA specifically should do something about it, makes philosophers look out of touch and entitled. No one should receive death threats because they wrote on op ed, but then again, I’m not going to care any MORE that you received death threats because you’re a big shot philosopher…

      1. Whoa, do you mean not all social problems are specific to philosophy? Like, hmm, racism and sexism? Everyone knows that hate mail, racism and sexism are problems specific to philosophy and will disappear from philosophy as soon as the faculty at the Leiterrific departments are perfectly representative of America’s wonderful diversity!

      2. I agree. I am very suspicious of their behavior. Yancy writes an article that will obviously anger people. He then acts shocked and gets a Daily Nous post asking for a “discussion”. A few days post and a follow-up by Yancy says that we “need” action by the APA. And now we have a call for some weird protective organization.

        If you’re going to send Yancy an email like the one he quoted in the lasted Daily Nous update, you aren’t going to care about an APA statement.

        I suspect this is more about getting leverage over other philosophers. A blanket APA statement or committee can then be utilized to exclude people within the profession. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that the two philosophers involved work at schools that Leiter has said should shut down their PhD programs.

        1. Two obscure philosophers at shit programs are now widely known and about to be taken under the APA’s wing, thanks to a badly written op-ed and the NC crowd’s obsession with identity politics. I’m telling ya, things were better during the reign of Sir Ranksalot.

  16. I’m no fan of Blighter but the way they’re trying to smear him is disgusting. Anyone who disagrees with the NC is billed a sexist and racist on the feeblest of grounds.

      1. The author of this smear, Carolyn Dicey Jennings, collected data a couple of years ago on job hiring in two consecutive rounds. This data showed significant preferential treatment for women over men, in philosophy job hiring. From those hired as PhD graduates in 2012/13 from no prior position, men’s publication averages were around double those of women’s (1.5 vs 0.8); for men, the median number of publications was 1, while for women it was 0. Looking only at the Top 15 journals, “27% of men hired had at least one such publication, while only 11% of women hired had at least one. For these journals, the average publication rate for men hired was 0.42 publications, while for women hired it was only 0.14 publications.”


        In philosophy job hiring, women are held to lower standards than men are, and men are systemically discriminated against. There is institutional sexism in philosophy and it is directed against men.

      2. Agreed, but it’s very irritating to find oneself in the position of saying, even if only to oneself, “Oh, come on, that’s completely unfair to Leiter.”

    1. An interesting ranking would be a ranking of those philosophers who get involved in matters involving statistics. Lemoine and Wallace have shown they understand it. Bruya’s attack on Leiter displayed incompetence. Jennings is doing the same, displaying incompetence in handling a tiny sample, and not understanding what statistical significance means.

  17. He’s a Nietzsche scholar, duh.

    “There is an instinct for rank, which more than anything else is already the sign of a high rank; there is a delight in the nuances of reverence which leads one to infer noble origin and habits.” – BGE, IX, §263

    1. Except that for Nietzsche that *instinct for* rank (a “pathos of difference” or a sensitivity to value gradations) is entirely different than a desperate need to rank and be ranked, to reassure yourself of your worth through comparison and external validation, which is much more characteristic of a slavish turn of mind:

      “Whereas all noble morality grows out of a triumphant saying ‘yes’ to itself, slave morality says ‘no’ on principle to everything that is ‘outside’, ‘other’, ‘non-self ’: and
      this ‘no’ is its creative deed. This reversal of the evaluating glance – this essential
      orientation to the outside instead of back onto itself – is a feature of ressentiment
      : in order to come about, slave morality first has to have an opposing, external
      world, it needs, physiologically speaking, external stimuli in order to act at all, – its action is basically a reaction” (GM 1: 10).

      1. Not a Nietzsche scholar, but all this seems like desperate speculation. None of the rankings validate or invalidate Leiter. The response to his polls indicates that lots of people are interested in these rankings. As Leiter says, they are interesting sociologically mainly. I think they are, which is why I participate. Now how about the latest APA grants?

  18. Seen the post about the grants on the Daily Noose? It’s not enough for the APA to have a program on inclusiveness and diversity. No, most of the other grant money has to go to promote ‘diversity’, as understood by a bunch of coastal elites: strict upper class liberal groupthink with ample variation in superficial traits like skin tone and gender.

  19. Racism is a western phenomenon supported by white elites, and the only demographic we need worry about is white people!!!111!!

    It’s a New Year! Let us celebrate DIVERSITY!!11!1





    Racism! It’s all RACISM! We have always been at war with Eastasia!

  20. A lot of people I respect–and whose views on the politics of the discipline I largely agree with–have been approvingly linking to Weinberg’s metapoll.

    In principle, this is fine–the options are kind of funny (albeit in Weinberg’s rather trite Jay Leno sort of way)–but in the context it strikes me as a mean-spirited, sneering sort of social exclusion.

    A lot of folks are better than this; come on, this is middle-school shit.

  21. The Oregon Balloon, promoter of the Society for the Protection of American Philosophers and attention-seeking recipient of a MLK award. Seriously. Two shameless self promotion attempts in two days, proudly sponsored by Justice Whineberg.

  22. What bothers me about Zack’s statement is not the moral posturing, but the claim that what’s needed to rectify the “diversity problem” at Oregon (and perhaps elsewhere) is a “top-down approach.” Any policy change that ends with increased administrative control over hiring, course design, or, really, any aspect of university life is a net loss for the good, the true, and the beautiful. That she would so deliberately advocate for such policy changes suggests ideological blindness of the first order.

    1. Or maybe not blindness. It would be blindness if these people were earnest inquirers after the truth, ready to follow the arguments wherever they lead, and keen to impart that thirst for free inquiry to their students. Talking to many of these characters, I get the conclusion that they’re motivated by something very different – something that works hand in hand with turning over powers of non-compliant faculty members (e.g. gadflies in the Socratic style) to administrators.

      When we talk to them about the erosion of free inquiry and the purposes of the university, their reaction is, “Who the fuck cares? I’m glad to see that gone!”

  23. I’m thrilled that our professional association is funding conferences like the following:

    The Society for LGBTQ Philosophy invites abstracts for an upcoming session at the Pacific Division meeting of the American Philosophical Association on March 30-April 3, 2016.

    Our theme for this session is the connection between decolonial theory and studies of sexuality and gender. We thereby hope to engage questions regarding how colonial conquest, the Atlantic slave trade, the displacement of indigenous communities, and the circulating dynamics of coloniality shape intimate and/or erotic embodied existence.

    Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

    Indigenous, Black, Latina/o, Arab, Asian embodiment and erotic life
    Community identity/kinship/familial dynamics
    Spiritualities/religious practices among communities of color
    Epistemic/ontological features of race, sexuality, and gender
    LGBTQ immigrant and refugee rights
    Womanist, mujerista, feminist, queer, quare, non-binary, and transgender discourses among communities of color
    Sexual and gender dynamics of racism, colonialism, and genocide

    Thank god we finally have a chance to talk about mujerista discourses!

    1. These people are the self-proclaimed leftist version of the anti-‘commie’ morons of the 50s.

      How many dumb slogans can you fit in the least number of words? Ask the APA.

  24. Leiter is an idiot:

    “But I confess I’m at a loss as to the point of an APA statement on the matter: the vile and often sociopathic people who send these hateful messages are not going to be at all affected by an APA statement, if they even learn of it. There are many ways to express solidarity and sympathy with Prof. Yancy’s predicament, quite apart from the APA statement.”

    “The APSA’s letter to the Turkish President is here. Given that a number of philosophers have been targeted, I would hope the APA will come to life on this issue. The Turkish government, I am told, may in fact be very sensitive to adverse international publicity in this case.”

    He really should just stick to being a law professor and bullying.

    1. What 7:56 conveniently neglects to include is the very next sentence of the first quote:

      “Unlike the situation in Turkey, in which the state is the malevolent actor but also sensitive to reputational costs, it’s just not clear to me what will be accomplished by an APA statement in this instance.”

      Moves like this by the partisans of the New Consensus are more and more making these partisans look like ideologues unconcerned with basic standards of intellectual and social good practice.

        1. If the APA and other professional associations join the ASPA in criticzing their actions, Turkish academic leaders will be concerned. In fact, many members of the Ergodan government are themselves academics. You must not know anything about Turkey to not be aware how much it wants to be well-regarded in the West.

  25. http://philosophycommons.typepad.com/disability_and_disadvanta/2016/01/hello-im-shelley-tremain-and-id-like-to-welcome-you-to-the-tenth-installment-of-dialogues-on-disability-a-series-of.html

    Anyone else a little troubled but some of the claims made there? Students saying a professor speaks too quickly could be an indication of their “ableism” or “sanism”? Can’t teach morning classes because sometimes she doesn’t get a good sleep, and then framing this as a sort of health issue? Speaking in a disorganized way is now “creative,” as opposed to just being “unclear”?

    And the claims of hostile reactions among other faculty also seems a bit problematic. One is supposed to not pursue a line of critical thought to a person’s research if doing so could upset the researcher?

    1. Just wow, 6:07. I just followed the link and read that over. Bracing stuff.

      Like any other reasonable person, my reaction upon reading things like that is deep despair at the shithole philosophy and academia in general, not to mention humanity as a whole, are sinking into. But mixed in with that is anger at all of us for allowing the slide to go on so long. Why have we allowed things to get to this point? Why didn’t we draw a line in the sand a couple decades ago when this bullshit started and politely but firmly say, “Sorry, but this crap you’re doing isn’t philosophy, therefore, do it in your spare time or find a job elsewhere”? This is what we as philosophers have to offer: we reason carefully about things. That’s it. If we’re not doing that, and it’s clear that we’re not doing that, then how the fuck are we supposed to argue that we deserve to stay in the university and get paid? What the fuck are these people thinking?

      And why does the profession keep tolerating every further iteration? If you can do philosophical work, great. If you can’t because the world is so hostile, and you’re so fragile, you can’t handle the work, then step aside and let someone else do the job. In no serious profession do you get to stay at your desk and spend your time complaining about not being able to do the work rather than actually doing it.

      Are you an immensely talented and dedicated person who is ready, willing and able to be a philosophy professor? Great, join us and work. Is there something standing between you and getting the work done that we can easily resolve for you but you can’t resolve for yourself? Then tell us what it is and we’ll see what it is. If we can easily and quickly fix that for you, then you’re still welcome to come do the job. Or are you so traumatized or marginalized or obsessed or plagued by doubts that you can’t do the work and there’s no simple way you could handle it? Then if that’s what you’re telling us, it’s been fun, but now it’s time for you to take your problems elsewhere.

      1. > Why didn’t we draw a line in the sand a couple decades ago when this bullshit started and politely but firmly say, “Sorry, but this crap you’re doing isn’t philosophy, therefore, do it in your spare time or find a job elsewhere”?

        Because people didn’t want to put themselves in any danger, not even small danger (at the time). They were all cowards, and because of that, our discipline is now turning into the same kind of pseudo-intellectual gang of charlatans as the rest of the humanities.

    2. Of course I cannot speak to her experience, to ‘what it was like’ for her to go through what she has in the profession, but this strikes me as wrong:

      “Typically, mainstream philosophers regard the application of feminist theory, post-colonial theory, and disability theory to ethical issues as “doing sociology.” Essentially, in the deeply conservative discipline of philosophy, the more that you challenge the status quo and dominant social values, the less that you are regarded as “doing philosophy.” Notably, philosophers doing other kinds of interdisciplinary work—such as philosophers of science and philosophers of psychiatry—are regarded as doing “real” philosophy, so long as their challenges to the status quo are minimal. So, for example, as long as they don’t call for a radical transformation of psychiatry.”

      The problem is not that the feminism she espouses challenges the status quo. The problem is that these challenges too often do not measure up to the standards of rigor in argument and clarity in exposition that we value in philosophy, trading these means for the tools of rhetoric and the ends of political change. See Susan Haack on feminism, for instance.

      1. Agreed, 7:53. We give jobs (and attention) to people who defend: anti-natalism, veganism, idealism, moral skepticism, etc. Indeed, there are strong professional incentives for philosophers to defend conclusions that challenge the status quo in various respects. Perhaps the best way to draw attention to yourself and your work is to produce a prima facie plausible argument for a surprising/challenging/absurd conclusion.

        I mean, it’s been 2500 years and we’re still talking about Zeno’s paradoxes. I find most feminist views more plausible, on balance, than the view that motion is impossible. The problem is, of course, that the feminist views are rarely supported by prima facie plausible arguments, so they’re not worth engaging with.

      2. “in the deeply conservative discipline of philosophy”

        That’s funny because you can’t even get a job if you criticize feminism.

    3. Lol, sanism. The list of isms gets longer and better every week. I cherish the day when one of the older departing big shots will take aim at those people.

  26. Check out the thread at DN about the Synthese thingy for some comedy gold people. Itchy goes bonkers. “Calm down” attempts to reason with the crazies.

    1. Weinberg’s post is idiotic. No evidence is given for his claims. The comments by Beziau are, at worst, a bit weird and weak attempts at humor. The comments at the DN thread show what a bunch of rabid fanatics the philosophy profession has turned into: unprofessional and unhinged.

      1. I agree, 11:58.

        There’s a pattern one comes to recognize when one watches these things long enough. Someone points to a transgression of a norm, shaming the transgressor. If the group thinks the transgression is very shameful, then it’s not enough for them to stand by quietly: they feel the need to actively join in the shaming. Quite often, they accompany this with boasts about their own moral virtues: there’s lots of this throughout the comments on the George Yancy petition.

        The experience of joining in the shaming binds the shamers together more tightly as a group, as they come to feel they are united in something noble and have just discovered the depths of each others’ spirits. But in cases like this where the norms leave the borders of the transgressions very unclear, there’s a real risk of ending up on the wrong side of it. And that can be dangerous, because the basis of cohesion in the group is togetherness in shaming and condemning transgressors. So people are on the lookout for norm transgressions, and doing something on the borderline can get you called out.

        Once you’re called out for a borderline offense, you can meekly apologize and move inside the narrow border, or you can insist that what you did is within the boundaries of safety. But since condemning intransigent transgressors is what gives these shaming-based groups their meaning, and since being one of the first or strongest shamers is the way to earn or maintain your credibility, maintaining your innocence becomes a risky strategy and you risk being cast out.

        Since the boundaries of transgressions are never made very clear, and are said to rely on a moral discernment that only rascals lack, there’s a natural pressure for these norms to cover more and more previously innocent activities. In a normal community, what stops the endless slide into ridiculousness is the presence of other people who say “Look, this is getting stupid”, and bring the shamers back down to earth. But if the shamers have the power to eliminate transgressors (including those who don’t take the accusations seriously enough for the shamers’ taste) from their broader conversational circle, the natural check on the downhill slide is gone, and the process continues on to the wildest extremes.

        This is what’s happening here. If nonacademics knew that this is how we operate, we philosophers could never be taken seriously. The world needs real philosophy as much as ever, and perhaps even more so. But who could think of philosophers without laughing if they knew a significant number of us behave like the buffoons at DN, NudeChaps, Femphils, and BeingAWomanInPhilosophy?

        1. What Weinberg et al are doing to Beziau is online harassment. And, at the same time, Weinberg claims to be against what he and his confreres are actually doing right now to another professional philosopher, on the flimsiest of grounds.

          1. This seems a bit flimsy: Beziau submitted nonsense, Synthese published nonsense. The claims about the moral viciousness of the nonsense are dubious, but both author and venue are fair game for mockery in the context. Insofar as people are pointing and laughing, it’s hardly harassment. I haven’t seen many calls for repercussions to Beziau, and those I have seen for repercussions for the editors of Synthese are arguing from the wrong premise (the failure is in publishing nonsense, not in publishing something that could actually harm women or homosexuals) but to the right conclusion: they didn’t do their jobs and should make way for someone who would.

            To Weinberg’s credit, he deleted the subthread in which some idiot started to speculate that Beziau must be a serial sexual harasser. Although he only did so after not posting the post in which I suggested that course of action. Comment policy over there is mercurial.

            1. Beziau’s remarks are neither “homophobic” nor “sexist”. The claim is pathetic nonsense. If someone says “science is male”, is that “misandrist”? Dumb maybe. But misandrist? No. Please. The accusation itself is vicious and groundless; how Beziau is being treated is itself online harassment, a deliberate attempt to publicly shame him, and an embarrassment to the profession. The editors of Synthese should simply reply to this tantrum against Beziau with a swift, clear, non-negotiable: “Fuck off and grow up”.

      2. Can you point out a claim that Weinberg makes that you think is inadequately supported? I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about. He basically says “this is fucking weird, how did it happen” which is true. At best, it’s a huge failure in editing, “political correctness” aside.

  27. Philosophers these days seem to get more worked up about weird articles and evil comment sections rather than things like the refugee crisis. A discipline that constantly moanes and bitches about its status and relevance needs to get its priorities right. And it has to offer a wide range of opinions. But the loudest voices are all shrill and similar in content.

    It is more and more becoming irrelevant.

    1. There’s a deeper point that really worries me. People say we ‘need’ philosophy. But for me, philosophy’s role only arises when there are real difficulties, when values conflict, when you can’t have everything, when you get torn in two directions and you need a rational solution. And yet none of these SJW will either (1) broach such topics (as was clearly the case after Cologne: no-one would touch that with a barge-pole), or (2) engage in this kind of nuanced push-and-pull that such difficult discussions require (the refugee crisis would be a good example here). Instead, everything is simplistically oh so very black-and-white and to hell with anyone who does see the issues are as patently clearly as we do!

      1. Exactly, Anon. And that bothers me even more. What the Social Justice Warriors want philosophers to talk about all the time are exactly the things that don’t require any philosophical skills to deal with.

        There is absolutely no need for philosophers qua philosophers to weigh in on the issues they want us to weigh in on and in the manner they want us to weigh in on them.

        How did these people get in the door again?

    2. I don’t think this is true. It’s just that all the discussion about discipline specific issues happens in the philosophy blogosphere, and the discussion about the refugee crisis, etc. mostly happens outside of it, as it should. (because *thats* how we would become irrelevant)

  28. “What the Social Justice Warriors want philosophers to talk about all the time are exactly the things that don’t require any philosophical skills to deal with.”

    An excellent observation, one which I have had many occasions to confirm. It doesn’t take any unique intellectual ability, let alone courage, to denounce virulent and explicit racism, particularly if one is behind a computer. It’s like fighting a cartoon villain.

    Moral and political philosophers, I think, should spend more time considering how to productively engage in these areas. But given the tools philosophers rely upon, and given the types of questions we tend to address, our work is unlikely to spur immediate or gratifying change. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Unfortunately I guess for some folks it’s not as satisfying as signing online statements of “solidarity.”

  29. So fucking glad I left this profession last year. reading all the blogs of note makes me laugh/cry and feel like I just jumped off a sinking ship.

    1. You did. What you will see in the future is vast growth of feminist ideology across all philosophical subdisciplines, more favouritism towards undeserving non-minorities and the Gleichschaltung of opinion on philosophical topics/discourses with obvious real world applications.

      1. Hmmm. This attitude is part of the problem, IMO. Both sides, if we want to think in those terms, are terrible. But I don’t think thinking in terms of sides or ideology makes sense in philosophy. It mostly seems like a bunch of self-important assholes. Anyway.

    1. > a mentoring relationship between older and younger men remains one of the most accepted and effective ways of transmitting knowledge and power in a patriarchal society such as ours.

      She thinks she lives in a patriarchal society…

    1. Special tips from the organizers: Make sure your father is an eminent person already working in the department or just marry an eminent philosopher, maybe not your thesis advisor, but it worked for me. Meritocracy my ass.

      I know, I know some of them truly deserve where they are now. And to make things more clear, all networking is in my eyes nothing but nepotism and an obstacle to a meritocracy. But this special focus on a particular group, all women with an educational pedigree bar none (undergraduate and graduate), all at least middle class, is just sickening. T

      If only the sexes were equal in ability, then it would at least partial sense.

      1. Imagine a student at one of these workshops asking the organizers about whether she should sleep with one of her grad school professors. What advice would they give? Does Jill North advise students to do as she did, or is that now forbidden? Or imagine a workshop attendee asking about whether she should sleep with a graduate student after joining that student’s department as a new professor. What advice would they give? Does Liz Harman advise students to do as she did, or is that now forbidden?

        1. North is tenured at Rutgers and had posts at NYU, Cornell, and Yale. Her list of publications, 12 years post-PhD: 5 journal articles, two of which were published while she was in grad school. And two invited chapters. Make of this what you will.

          1. You can’t make anything at all of that information without actually reading the papers and knowing what influence they have had on North’s field.

            1. Only one paper is relatively highly cited, the 2009 JPhil one, with 52 cites. All her other papers have less than 20 cites, sometimes less than 10. Not impressive for someone with that string of fancy jobs.

    2. Feminist Philospher: someone who, on contemplating the relative advantages of a typical male student with nobody to discuss philosophy with and a female student whose daddy is world famous in the discipline, decides the pedigreed female needs a boost just to catch up with the underprivileged man she unfairly left in the dust already.

    3. And did you see the workshop about facilitating publication for women in metaphysics? Since positive discrimination in hiring is not enough, and since the CDJ data exposed how the femphils were managing to get their people hired with fewer qualifications, they’re now moving on to providing their candidates with engineered qualifications. They have no shame.

      1. This will also give them more reasons to complain that they’re so oppressed because they fear that people don’t take their publications seriously.

        Imagine, to think that a publication is less respectable just because it was ‘facilitated’?!

        They already give so much advice to certain grad students that they practically write their papers. They give invited (not peer reviewed) APA speeches to female grad students with no publications. They give 80% of departmental colloquiums to female speakers. They are scheming to find ways to undermine blind peer review because it’s ‘not fair’ if the referees don’t know you’re a woman so they can reward you for your genitals.

        Who does this help? It doesn’t help competent female philosophers (it hurts them). Obviously it doesn’t help male philosophers. It only helps those female philosophers who are incompetent, and the PC bros and sisters who control them.

        1. Which departments have 80% female speakers at their colloquia? Links to department calendars would be helpful, since this is a concrete claim that can be verified and analyzed.

          1. I don’t know about 80%, but Georgetown has had 60% women for the last two years in a row. That means men (70% of the discipline) are competing for 40% of the talks, and the other 60% are all for women, who are 30% of the discipline.

            But hey, they are grievously ‘underrepresented’!

            1. You have to love it when someone states that a group is not underrepresented at the same time he states that the group only makes up 30% of the discipline.

              1. “underrepresented” has a normative and a descriptive reading. On the normative reading, a group is underrepresented iff there are too few of them (and that’s bad or the result of wrongdoing). On the descriptive reading, a group is underrepresented iff there are fewer of them than some base rate.

                9:32 pm, I’m guessing, would admit the descriptive claim (where the base rate is 50%), but deny the normative claim, citing as evidence against the normative claim the unfair ways women are given advantages in philosophy.

                We’ve been through this before. Read the PMB archives to catch up.

                1. So, according to you, even though women are given a multitude of unfair advantages in the profession, they still make up only 30% of the discipline? Is your point that if they weren’t provided the multitude of unfair advantages, they would represent less than 30% of the profession and, finally, you would be able to find an acceptable position at a ranked school?

                  1. “So, according to you, even though women are given a multitude of unfair advantages in the profession, they still make up only 30% of the discipline?”

                    You should take into account the possibility that women are less likely than men to be interested in philosophy. You could give me all the unfair advantages but I still wouldn’t take a job as a horseback polo player.

  30. I’ve got ten words for you Carol Hay: if you can’t handle the work, quit your fucking job.

    The fact that someone like her sees herself that way and loves to wallow in misery is the problem. And before some feminist reading this wades in to say I have no idea what is like to be a female professor, let me remind you that on the same evidence, Carol Hay doesn’t know what it’s like to be a male professor. Let me tell you: it’s not perfect. Despite what your women’s studies professors told you, we men can’t walk into a room and command respect. We have to earn it, just like you do. What we nonfeminist men lack is some shitbrained theory about the ‘patriarchy’ to blame our professional and personal failings on. I guess that’s a pretty significant advantage, because it forces us to take ownership over the quality of our work. But that advantage is open to women as well, if they’re wise enough to steer clear of the feminist culture of whining.

    Maybe Carol Hay should take a moment to think about what her editorial and pity party are doing for the status of women in the profession. What she’s telling the world, falsely, is that women can never do the work that men do. Just think about how fucking stupid it is to say that and claim to represent women’s interests at the same time. This is the brilliance of feminism, folks.

  31. an above says, “They are just flexing their muscles and showing that they can ruin the lives of whoever doesn’t give them what they want”.

    From the last few days, it looks like Beziau has just fallen victim to a public witch hunt by the usual Social Justice Warrior in-crowd. A fairly tidy case too. Beziau’s article is weak; but the claims made by the frothing loons that it is “homophobic” or “sexist” have no basis and are smears. The smearers are Yap, Schliesser, Weinberg and Novaes.

        1. Nobody. But the readings from the balloon from Ghent showed that the climate is sufficiently warm for even yapping dogs, whiners, and novices to rise in the hot air, so up they went.

  32. Check out the hilarious ‘Interview Catch-22?’ post at the Snoozers! It’s about a self-evidently humorous piece on interviewing for jobs by Allen Wood on the APA site. Justice W and nearly all the commentators completely miss the joke: post and comments lie on the standard DN spectrum, from po-faced chin-stroking, via sententious finger-wagging, to shrieking denunciation.

    1. The responses to the Wood piece are embarrassing. The stupidity of the serious moralist is very much on display. Are these people philosophers, or lifeless bureaucrats from HR?

  33. Hey Pilos boy, are you out there?

    I think you could sue Jean-Yves Beziau for copyright infringment. This piece of unending joy and delight looks like it might have been stolen straight from the pages of Philosophy Metablog: The Pilos:


    Then again, has anybody ever seen Jean-Yves Beziau and Pilos Boy in the same room at the same time? Pilos Boy, is there something you need to tell us?

  34. Kukla’s comment in the DN thread flouts conventions of written English, and makes completely unhinged generalizations about individuals based on their race and gender. It’s glorious.

  35. “But the grievance industry doesn’t want people to acquire personal power. It wants to reinforce their identity as victims. Only by keeping targeted groups convinced of their own powerlessness can it maintain its own control over them. The equity and inclusion people, the community organizers, the women’s resources groups, the minority studies “scholars” all reap huge benefits from their sordid and self-serving business. The salaries, benefits, study and travel grants, book deals, speaking fees all add up to a bounty too addictive to let go of.”


  36. It seems evident to me from reading the rather hallucinogenic response from Beziau that he is an opponent of homophobia and sexism. He is non PC and eccentric. What he’s opposed to is being PC. That, in itself, is evidence merely of his being opposed to a certain kind of authoritarianism and repression. But his social justice warrior critics are erroneously treating his non PC views as evidence of his holding a claim that he is opposed to. This is both delusional and authoritarian. An inability to think rationally and critically, combined with an authoritarian desire to repress and silence others.

  37. “Scott” now doing the Lord’s work on Leiter’s blog. Sad that so many people have to remain anonymous even when making pretty basic points.

  38. What to make of Stanley’s recent endorsement of a rant against the prestige structures of the discipline? He’s a big beneficiary of those structures. Is he trying to make it impossible for new young white male analytic philosophers to climb upwards by doing path-breaking work in LEMM fields? I guess that would him maintain his shaky top dog position in epistemology and phil of language.

    1. That could be part of it, but he’s done so much damage to his reputation with the sloppy propaganda book, and his idiotic op-eds, it’s not clear he could get another job at a department not populated with his friends.

      1. But instead he got an endowed chair for his political efforts. The man knows how to play to his audience. And his friends are well placed.

        1. Yeah, no top department is going to hire his LEMM students at this point. Well, maybe MIT. He had the edge and gave it up to become a social justice warrior and public intellectual. People won’t forgive him for giving in to a kind of vanity that’s different from the one that prevails among analytic philosophers.

    1. just add him. he’s got over 2000 friends. he accepts anyone. i don’t know him but i’m his “friend”. not. sketchy, i know, but we need to defend our right to do proper philosophy and be hired for that reason.

    1. LOLZ. Jazz Tranley back in 2006 defending ultra-specialized analytic philosophy. That’s when he was still capable of doing that. Now real analytic philosophers are racist sexist scumbags to him.

  39. Does Jazz still do a lot of coke? He wouldn’t be the only philosopher of his stature to ride the white pony, but perhaps it is yet another relic of the past he’d like everyone to forget.

      1. I’m surprised anyone hasn’t heard Jazz’s brag about how he squeaked out of getting busted running a key as a youngster.

  40. Kukla posted the below on facebook. Discuss.

    Here are the three sessions I have officially organized for next year’s Eastern APA. I am so incredibly happy that both my career and the discipline have reached a stage at which I can just make people talk about whatever shit I find maximally interesting!

    *The Ethics and Social Ontology of Human-Pet Relationships*
    Carla Fehr University of Waterloo
    Jason Wyckoff, University of Utah
    Michele Merritt (Merritron), Arkansas State University

    *The Medicalization and Politicization of Fat*
    Megan Dean, Georgetown University
    Samantha Brennann, University of Western Ontario
    Anne Barnhill, University of Pennsylvania

    *Promising Sex*
    Lori Watson, University of San Diego
    Cassie Herbert, Georgetown University
    Hallie Liberto, University of Connecticut

    1. Kukla fails to mention that she could always have organized workshops on those topics if she wanted. It’s just that she didn’t want to do that before because she is a shallow careerist who only researches stuff that is trendy.

  41. Whoa. I’m not exactly sure what I want to write here…I just discovered this blog…and…well…well…:
    I don’t pay much attention to the more soap-opera-esque aspects of the profession. The People-magazine-ish stuff…the personalities and fads… I’ve almost always thought of that stuff as antithetical to the idea of philosophy. I ignore it both as a matter of principle and because it isn’t (or wasn’t) of interest to me. I have a job at a rather obscure (read: non-stellar) place, and so it’s easy for me to ignore such things.

    However… I lived through the First PC Wars back in the late ’80’s and early ’90’s. I was a kind of local standard-bearer in those battles. I have no more patience for the kooky left than I have for the kooky right. I remember the bat-shit crazy things that were being claimed back then, and I was dismayed (though not all that surprised) to see this all re-emerge fairly recently.

    At any rate…back in the day, I was convinced that philosophy was less crazy that, e.g., lit-crit. (Though, in retrospect, I’m not really sure that’s true…) At any rate, I first became aware of the neo-PC / SJW phenomenon and few years back. I did not realize that it had so infected “the profession”. (My own department is pretty sane in that particular respect…)

    Then came the PGR/Leiter blow-up. I started paying a bit of attention. And I started thinking–and saying to friends–that I suspected that PC insanity was infecting philosophy, at least on the web. I suspected that what happened in the Leiter case was a kind of a coup by the forces of political/philosophical correctness in the discipline against someone insufficiently lefty. Though I classify myself as largely a liberal, Leiter is notably left of me…but, I suspected, not left enough for the really lefty lefties… I came to suspect that part of what was up was a kind of attempt by people–perhaps associated with the Daily Nous?–to depose BL, take over the PGR, and make the DN more prominent than TLR… (Note: I’m no fan of the PGR nor TLR…but perhaps that’s neither here nor there…)

    Then there was the BS that started showing up routinely on Philos-L… and on and on…

    And theeeen…I started thinking that I was just becoming kind of nutty. I really despise the extremist left–largely because of my battles with paleo-PC. The extremist right is probably typically more dangerous in the moment…but the extremist left is more…creepy…weird…gross…*crazy.* It intellectualizes its insane bullshit and cloaks the insanity in a bunch of theories that are, to my mind, worse than the kind of outright, familiar nuttiness/bigotry of the far right…and yet which seems to appeal to (more centrist) liberals. Thus liberals end up being the most important defenders of the wacky, illiberal / regressive left… Anyway…lots of things piss me off…but the crackpot left really, really pisses me off…

    Anyway…since I loathe the crazy left so passionately, I began to think I was just imagining all this stuff. After all, I had no terribly good evidence…largely just a bunch of impressions. Like everyone else, I’m wrong a lot. And if you don’t take that shit seriously, then you’re just another moron believing whatever whimsical nonsense pops into his pretty little head…

    And then I found this site…like…last week.

    And then I started thinking that MAYBE I WASN’T FUCKING CRAZY AFTER ALL

    Which is, of course, bad…but also good… I’d probably rather be paranoid than for this stuff to be true about “the profession”… But, hey, there’s still a kind of thrill in finding out that my suspicions are shared, and I might not be a crackpot.

    Anyway, I’m drunk and this is all off-the-cuff and rather jumbled…but there it is anyway… Finding this blog was a bit like finding a bit of flotsam to grab hold of. A bit of sanity in a sea of just the opposite.

    Unless, of course, all you people are fucking crazy too…

    1. Leiter is well to the left of most of the PC crowd on economic issues. He’s just not into identity politics as much as they are. Good for him, I say. Most of those people are into PC crap for self-promotion purposes anyway.

      1. I just realized that as I was typing the above…it’s not a unidimensional difference. It’s not even that he’s simply less far to the x than them…it’s that he happens to not share *exactly* their position… That was enough to get him taken down..

    2. Thanks for posting. Your story is eerily like my own, although I found this blog longer ago. There’s plenty of shitty stuff that gets posted here, but I take cheer in knowing that I’m not alone in resisting the latest waves of leftist authoritarianism that have hit our philosophical shores.

  42. The panels sponsored by Kukla, and the allusion above to English and other language and literature departments, suggest to me the need for a more detailed sociological comparison between these two disciplines. I am an English PhD with an MA in Philosophy from a top-twenty program, and I am struck and puzzled by what seems to be Philosophy’s repetition of the politicized “theory wars” of the 80s-90s. What is going on here? On the basis of pure anecdote and observation, I suspect in part the following:

    1. External economic pressures that first hit English in a big way then also started to hit Philosophy in a big way.

    2. Specialization exhaustion set in first in English, and now has also become steadily more pervasive in Philosophy.

    3. Points 1 and 2 are not unrelated.

    4. The new approaches of “feminist philosophy” and the like respond to points 1 and 2 by inventing a new and uncharted territory in response to specialization exhaustion; this new approach must first be justified politically and morally in order then to make itself intellectually fashionable, hence awarded, hence self-perpetuating.

    5. The academic context in which this is now occurring is even more administratively heavy than it was three decades ago. Hence the moral and political necessity of the new approaches will also require more direct appeals to top-down administrative intervention than was necessary in English.

    6. In both cases, the proponents of the new approaches are basically of two sorts: those already powerful and those not already powerful. The motivations of each group vary, but there is an observable tendency of the first to appeal to morality and justice (they can afford to do so) and of the second to appeal to intellectual novelty and smartness. The second group want to be admitted into the world of the first; the first group wants to pretend that they are not only more intelligent, but also more humane than their elite opponents, with whom they have their fiercest battles.

    7. If one or two major Departments are won over to the new approach, the discipline can change very quickly indeed.

    8. Thirty years later you’ll realize that the intrinsic conservatism of your discipline, the false certainty of its historical and conceptual divisions, “areas”, and so on, really did need an overhaul. Unfortunately, by then you might have forgotten some of best and most important insights and practices of your discipline prior to the Revolution. In the way that I am an outlier in my generation of English professors for having a pretty thorough knowledge of the Bible, and a bit of Latin and Greek, perhaps some decades hence some young maverick grad student in Philosophy will stand out for her interest in Frege and Quine, her unaccountable fascination with modal and second-order logic, her bizarre affinity for Chisholm.

    1. 6 repeats every “conservative” argument against elite liberalism since the 50s. “The rich worry more about niggers, bitches, and faggots than they do about us.”

      Did you know white men are dying early these days?

      And Leiter quoted you approvingly.

      Left wing cynics have always understood white anger. Derrick Bell thought the Brown decision was wrong. But none of you are left wing cynics.

  43. It is humorous, is it not, that such blatant examples of authoritarian ideology were on display at the Yale ideology conference? I’ll mention here the weird reception of Leiter’s tweet and the constant self-congratulation about how few participants were white men (it was mostly white men who brought this up, of course).

    It is also interesting to me that so many participants of the conference are avid readers of (and complainers about) this blog. They just love to piss and moan about what happens in uncensored forums.

      1. A big group, but not so big that I can share the most interesting stories without outing myself. A serious conference with some rigorous and developed material, but it sometimes felt more like a “party” than a “work” meeting, maybe from a smug attitude everyone seemed to project.

        1. that’s too bad (i mean, that you can’t share details without outing yourself). i have a connection with that conference (don’t want to say more for same reason you don’t want to say more) but decided not to go because it seemed to project a smarmy political-ness. kind of regretting not going, i think it would have been interesting to see how it all actually went down.

    1. Are you implying that metablog readers also read RoK? That’s not a very nice thing to say about all the femphils who obsess over this blog!

    1. “My immediate thought was ‘What?’” Haddiyyah Ali, an Africana studies and political science major, told Daily Campus. “I know there had to be a lot of research that went into it…but just for me coming from a student perspective, my initial thought was, ‘What about black women and girls – what about us?’”

      Who needs to parody these people? The problem isn’t segregation, it’s that MY group isn’t getting any handouts.

      1. ‘Puppetry major Isaac Bloodworth told Daily Campus that opposition could be rooted in racism.’

        BA in Puppetry. I really had to double-check that this wasn’t The Onion.

  44. Jennifer Lackey (Northwestern) was directly involved in the removal of Peter Ludlow from his academic position, giving him a “life sentence”, publicly accusing him (falsely) of “rape”, in the absence of evidence. Now Jennifer Lackey (Northwestern) says in NYT that she is opposed to “life sentences” for “epistemic” reasons (i.e., doubt about guilt), writing, “In any other domain, it would obviously be irrational to make a high-stakes decision about the rest of another person’s life that not only rules out the possibility of ever considering additional evidence, but is also meant to be absolutely final.”


    Well, not for Peter Ludlow, it seems.

    Lackey is directly involved in the ruination of another person’s life and career; and follows this with a public display of moral hypocrisy and lack of moral self-awareness.

      1. Oct 8, 2011, 2:44 PM from Lauren Leydon-Hardy: Tomorrow I think. He’s not staying with me, he’s staying with another friend. Unrelated: why is Jennifer [Lackey] fucking with me? Why won’t she just give me my paper with comments? Answer: because she *likes* fucking with me, because she is evil.

        Oct 8, 2011, 2:48 PM from Peter Ludlow: typical fag hag…

        Oct 8, 2011, 2:48 PM from Lauren Leydon-Hardy: TOTALLY.

      1. Uhm, ‘buddy’?

        If you don’t understand what’s wrong with destroying someone’s life, then in a way I pity you.

        1. Dude, 1:26. I’m sure resigning from Northwestern sucked for Ludlow. But I am pretty sure life in prison sucks more, by at least two orders of magnitude.

  45. “In any other domain, it would obviously be irrational to make a high-stakes decision about the rest of another person’s life that not only rules out the possibility of ever considering additional evidence, but is also meant to be absolutely final.”

    This seems to apply in both kinds of cases. In today’s climate, it’s naive to think Ludlow’s treatment has been less than absolute in destroying his career.

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