February Open Thread

Once more unto the morass, dear friends, once more.


583 thoughts on “February Open Thread

  1. Leiter linked to this blog and then deleted the link. Which things in the January thread were so unlinking-worthy, though? Was it the bitching about how terrible Jason Stanley is?

  2. Consider the recent Yale Conference on “Idealogy, broadly construed” [1] in light of last year’s notorious Behavioral and Brain Sciences target article [2] on the lack of political diversity in social psychology. Notable that the conference includes among its participants a psychologist whose work is cited in the article to illustrate its point about the distorting influence of that lack.

    [1] http://philosophy.yale.edu/working-groups/ideology-conference
    [2] http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2016/february-16/psychological-science-and-viewpoint-diversity.html#.Vq98E-yc57s.twitter

    1. Note that within 25 minutes of the conference beginning, there were jokes being made about how ridiculous it is to worry about whether there are conservatives in academia.

  3. Leiter is playing well. He’s announcing to the profession: Stanley & co are rousing the rabble and soon they’ll be at your Ivy gates with their pitchforks if you don’t stop the New Consensus.

  4. Just a heads up that there’s lots of stuff happening at the Pilos lately. We’ve got Pilos Profiles up and running – last one was William James and currently we’re doing Lewis. It’s cool having people chime in with comments, questions and their favourite stories of these wonderful philosophers!

    1. Re: the above conference discussion

      Here’s what Aph Ko, an actual living black feminist activist (gasp!) thinks about such enterprises:

      “If you’re trying to be a better social justice advocate, but you need a facebook following and tons of twitter fans in order to do the work, then you might need to see if your allegiance is to social justice, or to yourself.

      This doesn’t mean that you can’t still write articles and engage people with your ideas. Just make sure that you’re not talking over folks of color, or getting attention for theories and thoughts that you know you didn’t create.

      Make sure you’re not getting financial donations or grants for creating “intersectional” work if you’re a white person. Try to find a different way to make yourself useful.”

      I love that last sentence:”Try to find a different way to make yourself useful.”

      1. It’s best if you don’t create “intersectional” work all. Intersectionality is just a pretext for arbitrarily separating people into ‘victims’ and ‘opressors’.

    2. Pilos, people are saying you’ve got some competition from JYB. Would you agree your blog is like a beautiful young woman who one day will become a formal semanticist?

      1. Pilos, I still believe in you! But it’s true you’ll have to up your game if you want to stay in the spotlight with the major senior figures! Have you considered posting Genesis videos? Or soft-porn videos of goth-metal Serge Gainsbourg covers?

        1. I want young philosophers to come and work for me, so thanks for this. We’re really thinking the Pilos Profiles have a lot of potential, but I think we’re going to keep a healthy variety aspect with some more poems for my father, and some apologies.

      2. Thank you. I think JYB is onto something in that paper and would love to see him do some work on David Lewis and William James. They’re beautiful men and we feel that more and more as time goes past! They had beautiful minds and that’s what counts.

  5. Remember when Sarah-Jane Leslie published that flawed study about discrimination? The study was then refuted by a psychiatrist who writes under the pseudonym Scott Alexander.

    I recently came across an excellent article by him. It’s called ‘Right Is the New Left’, and it claims that the same dynamics that supported the leftist counterculture of the 1960s are leading to a rightist counterculture today.

    I recommend this article heartily.


      1. Leiter was trying to get Calvin College banned from APA for requiring that hires be practicing Christians. Same old SJW tactics, too tedious to go into. Now Leiter’s against it.

          1. Well, “practicing Christians” is a bit tendentious of a description. Leiter was objecting to faith-statements that understood “practicing Christians” to mean “no (non-celibate) gays need apply.”

            1. The APA adopted an anti-discrimination policy that included gay people. The question was whether Calvin College would be allowed to advertise in JFP given that it appeared to be in violation of the APA policy. What any of this has to do with how Leiter was treated is a mystery!

                  1. “We’re against SJWs/political correctness/New Consensus, but only when it applies to the people we like. Low-status people we don’t like, not so much.” The fact is that Leiter was the original philosophy SJW. He was organizing petitions to target lower-status groups all the way back in 2010.

                    1. Right, Leiter “targeted” Calvin College because it was low status, and he didn’t like it. Not because of its bigoted policies.
                      Good reasoning, Karma.

  6. A description of the Stubblefield sentencing: “A crowd of friends — mostly fellow travelers in the field of disability studies — watched the hearing from the gallery. A three-person documentary film crew gathered tape from the jury box. “I’m interested in this as a love story,” the director told me later. (Since publishing my article, I have also heard from playwrights, poets and producers. The other day, I met for tea with a composer, who described his plan to render Anna’s story as an opera, with the court transcript as his libretto.)”


    1. What is the condition of being well-meaning, emphatic, yet knowingly and wantonly overstepping the bounds of lawful behavior, breaching trust, abusing power? “a pathological liar and narcissistic” according to one. “Evil” if you ask Hegel: the subjectivism and hypocrisy that undermines the social and institutional condition for ethical action.

    1. Publishing any old balls in a top 15 journal is very much like making love to a beautiful woman. You slip it in when her guard’s down, make sure she’s too ashamed to dwell on it in public, and if anyone else starts kicking up a fuss, you calmly reveal… http://tinyurl.com/goj9yb5

  7. From an interview with Adolph Reed:

    Henwood: Coates and lots of his supporters would say that what you are arguing is for a class based politics that’s blind to the injuries of race and the enduring damage of racism. What do you say to that?

    Reed: I say that their race first politics is a class politics. It’s not an alternative to class politics it’s a politics of a different class. It’s not a working class politics, it’s an aspiring PMC politics that’s hinged in material terms ultimately on race relations administration as a career path. There’s a multi-billion dollar diversity industry now-it might be interesting to have Ken Warren on and talk about that since he did a three year tour as a Deputy Provost for Diversity at the University of Chicago and made deep penetrations behind the lines of the corporate diversity industry.

    1. Henwood: I remember an old slogan “Black and White Unite and Fight”: a pretty good guideline to political action?

      Reed: Look, it doesn’t need to be Kumbaya. It’s practical-if you assume that the interests and the structures which generate inequality, dispossession and misery are not amenable to the petitions to the enlightened ruling class from one section of the oppressed, then the only way we’re going to be able to make anyone’s life better is to change the terms of political debate. And we can only do that on the basis of common experience and the most broadly shared experience is that of those who work for a living or are expected to work for a living. And I don’t see how we can get to any sort of a better world going through any other route. And we certainly can’t do it by hanging out, like McKesson and John Legend (in his own mind) with the Broad Foundation and Bruce Rauner and TFA and people like that.

      There’s a sense in which these people are the black shock troops for neoliberalism.

      1. “neoliberalism” is a fake word, used by Marxists, to talk about liberal democracy and what they hate about it: i.e., free choices of individuals The University is dominated by the left, its instinctive authoritarianism and totalitarian impulse to control and regulate everything. Those resisting the authoritarian social justice warrior ideology and its institutionalized structures, are liberals, libertarians and a few conservatives.

        1. Actually, neoliberalism refers to a well-documented strategy of the monetization and privatization of the public sphere that began with Reagan and Thatcher and continues into the present. It is not a Marxist concept, and is usually employed by social democratic capitalists or Keynesians wanting to highlight the confluence of militarist, deregulative, and inegalitarian policies in the US, England, and increasingly the EU. Marxists hold that all capitalism is necessarily “neoliberal” in this sense, and so are theoretically less invested in the term than social democrats. Though of course they often recognize the concept’s practical benefits in certain contexts. (Hence Reed’s attempt to argue that the corporate diversity class is just one more feature of neoliberalism’s capture of actual mass politics via a specialized and highly remunerated set of administrators.)

          1. And by the way, I am a Marxist of a sort, and I do hate and resist the new moralism of diversity and identity politics in the academia. So you’re just going to have to put up with me.

                1. Under Marxist state control and regulation of everyone’s lives, the Soviet Union, its satellites, and China with its satellites, and North Korea, and various African versions all suffered, and in some cases still do, huge levels of poverty and famine: millions dying in famines, living under state authoritarianism and the constant threat of gulag or execution for disobedience. When economic liberalization occurred, prosperity massively increased vastly. All of this is trivial. Failure to comprehend the difference between *millions of people being starved to death and living in poverty* versus the readily observable prosperity of liberal democracies is caused by precisely the privilege that western Marxists enjoy by virtue of living in tolerant liberal democracies.

                  The word “neoliberal” is a code word used by Marxists to describe tolerant liberal democracy — Marxists who admire authoritarian and brutal regimes where millions of people live in irreversible poverty and suffering.

                  1. “The word “neoliberal” is a code word used by Marxists to describe tolerant liberal democracy — Marxists who admire authoritarian and brutal regimes where millions of people live in irreversible poverty and suffering.”

                    Like the author of this essay, a notorious admirer of authoritarian and brutal regimes.

                  2. Must we have these middle school discussions? Can anyone not see that “I don’t like capitalism” is not equivalent to “I like the USSR”?

                  3. Yes. How silly of me not to remember that Trotsky and Adorno were huge supporters of the Soviet State! Clearly a Marxist analysis of the political economy, ruling class ideology (which he gets from Aristotle’s Politics), and commodification of the world can only lead to Stalin. I apologize for missing that entailment.

  8. Serious blow to Bernard Williams’ posthumous reputation as Sir Ranksalot judges his criticisms of morality insufficiently courageous. Could have been worse — he does concede that Williams’ interest in Nietzsche was ‘genuine’.

  9. Philippe Lemoine @ Leiter said:

    “Still, I think that, based on the evidence we have at this point, it would be unreasonable to deny that being a woman helps on the job market.”

    This issue comes up quite a bit on blogs. I think this author is correct. Women are, in fact, receiving a significant boost on the philosophy job market today. That said…

    No one has explained why this fact even matters. True, women are enjoying a market boost. Historically, men have received a much, much greater market boost than women. The pendulum swings. Isn’t it about time for it to swing or is this supposed to be an offense to meritocracy? If it is, it must be synchronic meritocracy. Isn’t diachronic meritocracy more important?

    Recent blog discussion of current favoritism for women/female applicants in philosophy is shallow. It would be good to see deeper engagement into whether this favoritism is warranted in light of the fact that women have been passed over in academia for a very long time.

    just an observation.

    1. It’s exactly people like you I had in mind when I wrote, on Leiter,

      “Rather, the justification is that tenured philosophers are overwhelmingly male. This claim is both true and its truth bad, seeing as hiring practices for most of the past fifty years have been sexist. (Even if they haven’t, suppose that they have.) The trouble with this justification is that young male philosophers are bearing the costs for the unjust gains of older, male philosophers. It makes no more sense for young men, who’ve not benefitted from sexist hiring practices, to bear the cost for them than it does for young women or even non-philosophers to bear those costs. But because members of this insurgency are not the ones likely to bear these costs, they are indifferent to them, which underscores how their struggle is merely political and not moral in nature.”

      The point is that you can only think of bias in favor of women that does not reflect individual merit as “diachronic meritocracy” if you think there’s something persistent to (I’m tempted to say scoldingly say “reify”) the categories of women and white men and so on.

      Here’s why “diachronic meritocracy” is not meritocracy. Suppose that Aaron Bing vandalizes public property. He merits punishment. Before he can be punished, he dies. So you punish Aaron’s son Bruno instead because the group of Bings diachronically merit punishment.

      Similarly, Quine wrongly gets hired at Harvard over Quina, an equally talented but wrongly ignored philosopher, because of a sexist hiring committee. Consequently, when Quine’s nephew, Quine Jr., is on the job market, he suffers from bias against his application that is diachronically merited because he belongs to the group of Quines.

      To complete the analogy, suppose lots of white men wrongly get hired over non-whites and non-men over time in the period up until 2016. Consequently, when a white man goes on the job market in 2016, he suffers from bias against his application that is diachronically merited because he is a white man. As above, diachronic merit takes a group’s merit as the basis for distributing goods. This wrongly neglects individual harms.

      Sophisticated proponents of diachronic merit will argue that bias against white men on the 2016 philosophy job market is merited because white men still unjustly enjoy privileges. But this position doesn’t in fact support the diachronic view of merit. I suspect that white male privilege boils down to two kinds of good:* (1) privileges of unjustly accrued wealth (see slavery and subjugation of women) and (2) institutional racism and sexist ensures white men’s rights are protected while failing to protect the right of non whites and non males. Consequently, because of the unjust advantages enjoyed by men,

      But the wealthy are not discriminated against in the job market. Poor white men suffer the same or more bias as rich white men. I’d support compensatory bias for class-based disadvantages, but this is not the kind of discrimination under discussion. Merited discrimination against the rich achieved by discrimination against white men is unjustly imprecise. So much for (1). It is obvious why white men can’t be discriminated against in virtue of (2): it cannot be the basis for a complaint against you that your rights are respected. Respect for each other’s rights is the least (and perhaps most) we owe each other. Any right respect for which is the basis of complaint is no right at all.

      TL;DR Identity politics will have you believe that identity groups are the site of diachronic justice or merit. Diachronic justice violates the rights of individuals.

      *Philosophy working on white privilege might think that my analysis is too reductive and that I’ve overlooked this nuance or that subtlety. I doubt these nuances cannot be assimilated to one of the two categories above.

      1. This is well put. I would add that the institutional favoritism in the hiring women in philosophy for at least the last 20 years, together with a growing body of evidence that women are less interested in philosophy from the time of their first undergraduate course on the subject, which proportion changes very little through graduate school, PhDs received, and in full-time positions, are facts the Party Liners would do well to take more seriously. I’ve been at a couple of professional events in the last year where this subject has come up in passing, and some people are beginning to sound unhinged.

      2. Given that all gender discrimination in modern developed countries is anti-male, that women receive all of the preferential advantages over men, and that this has been true for 30-40 years, the whole discussion above has little bearing at all. Women are preferentially treated, and men subjected to bias, in
        – the education system (where women outnumber men as undergraduates and postgraduates in every institution of higher education in the world with only a tiny number of exceptions);
        – the workplace (where men and women must by law be paid the same for equal work, but in fact women in their 20s are now paid, on average, more than men are);
        – the legal and justice system (where men are routinely subjected to bias, discrimination and punished by orders of magnitude more harshly than women ever are, and where female violence, domestic abuse, rape and assault is ignored or covered up);
        – the healthcare system (where women live roughly 5 years longer than men do).

        Given that all the evidence shows that it is men that are discriminated against everywhere (education, workplace, legal system, healthcare), any argument about the issue of demonstrable favoritism towards women in philosophy job hiring (which has been true for decades) is just a tiny drop in an ocean of discrimination and bias against men. It is male students who are underrepresented, at all institutions of higher learning with a tiny number of exceptions. When will this receive remedial action?

            1. Voices like 4:39 aren’t important, they’re ignorant and paranoid. It’s voices like 4:39 that make it easy for others to dismiss the metablog, even though important discussion occurs here. And 11:20, by the way, is also 4:39.

              1. Voices like 4:39 express the entirely obvious truth that academia has been biased against men for several decades. Is that ‘paranoid’? No. We all know it and you know it too.

              2. On the healthcare point, US life expectancy for men is about 76 years, about five less than it is for women, 81 years. It seems like JC really doesn’t like evidence.

                1. On the under-representation of men in undergraduate bachelors degrees awarded in the US (numbers in brackets are in 1000s), the US government statistics for the period 2002-2013 show that, of degrees awarded, 57% are females, while 43% are males:

                  2012-13: 57% female, 43% male (1053, 787)
                  2011-12: 57% female, 43% male (1026, 766)
                  2010-11: 57% female, 43% male (982, 734)
                  2009-10: 57% female, 43% male (943, 707)
                  2008-09: 57% female, 43% male (916, 685)
                  2007-08: 57% female, 43% male (895, 668)
                  2006-07: 57% female, 43% male (874, 650)
                  2005-06: 57% female, 43% male (855, 631)
                  2004-05: 57% female, 43% male (826, 613)
                  2003-04: 57% female, 43% male (804, 595)
                  2002-03: 57% female, 43% male (776, 573)

                  Females have been the majority of US degrees awarded since 1981. This is 35 years.

                  1. All gender discrimination in the developed countries is anti-male discrimination. It is true, whether it fits your evidence-free political assumptions or not. All gender discrimination – whether in the healthcare system, education, the legal system and the workplace – is anti-male. There are no exceptions to this systematic, institutionalized gender discriminatjon. In every case, boys and men are discriminated against.

                    On the under-representation of males at Universities. The vast majority of undergraduates and postgraduates at Universities, throughout the developed world, are female – this applies to thousands of institutions of higher education. In the US, this averages to 57% female, 43% male. In other countries, the figures are similar. This under-representation has been the case since the early 1980s. In some cases, it goes as high as 70% or 80% female.

                    Yet there remain calls for substantial, special advantages to be given to females, contradicting the evidence; but there are no such calls for males, again contradicting all the evidence. This is – by definition – gender discriminatjon. And it has been true for at least three decades, as the evidence shows.

                  2. Isn’t the rational response to say that men and women indeed do face differential outcomes when it comes to various social goods, and, it is open for debate as to how much discrimination, either implicit or explicit, contributes to those outcomes?

                  3. The hypocrisy is shocking. When there are ‘too many’ men in philosophy it’s
                    ‘muh discriminationz!’, but when there are ‘too many’ women in universities it’s just ‘absurd’ to call it discrimination. I would laugh if the injustice wasn’t infuriating.

                    1. The hypocrisy is shocking. When women get jobs with lower on-paper stats it’s
                      ‘muh discriminationz against men!’, but when women have to have significantly higher on-paper stats to get into good universities, almost all of which are trying to maintain gender parity, it’s… still somehow discrimination against men.

                    2. 6:46, are you for real? You think the different average life span of men and women is due to discrimination? Really?

                    3. Male and female college applicants have the same average SAT scores. The only reason why colleges need to try to maintain gender parity is because boys get lower grades in high school, and that is because teaching styles have been changed to accommodate girls to the detriment of boys.

                    4. The lifespan difference is due at least in part to discrimination. Compare how much gets spent on breast cancer research vs. how much gets spent on prostate cancer. The medical system is biased toward women.

      3. Kramer,

        You’re right that punishing the son for the sins of father would not be just. Similarly, punishing current male applicants for past wrongful discrimination against women would not be just. I don’t know what to think about reparations, but I don’t think hiring practices that favor females are punitive. There seems to be (at least) two plausible grounds for favoring female applicants now. First, it would mitigate unfair disadvantages women currently face. (IMO this is the most important consideration.) Second, it would repair the discipline. The discipline currently has a disproportionate number of males due to hiring practices that have been historically unfair to women. (That’s all I meant by ‘diachronic’.)

        You’re right that the poor, male and female, need to be discussed much more in this context. Any favoritism shown to women in hiring practices, if justified, should apply to poor applicants as well.

        I don’t have the time to do a back in forth. These are difficult issues. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

        1. ‘it would repair the discipline’

          If you think philosophy is ‘broken’ simply because it’s done mostly by men, then I’m sure you will also want to ‘repair’ the female-dominated field of psychology by introducing bias against women. Oh, wait…

          1. I suspect all disciplines are in need of a little repair. But I don’t think philosophy is in need because it’s mostly inhabited by men. I don’t think commercial fishing is in need of repair because it’s mostly performed by men. I think any discipline is in
            need of repair if there are barriers preventing equal access to them. Philosophy is one among many of these disciplines. Psychology may well be another.

            1. New voice. What are these barriers? From what I understand, what data we have shows that the best explanation for the statistical underrepresentation of women in philosophy turns on their preferences (that’s a generic (for people who dont’t understand how language works)). Given how lucratively poor philosophy is, should we be agitating for more male midwives? Is this what Feminist Philosophers thinks? Or is the hivemind after something else?

            2. But the barriers are not against women. On the contrary, there are well-documented barriers again men, barriers that you are defending!

        2. AO,

          I don’t think that bias against male junior applicants in an attempt to punish men for benefitting from past sexist hiring practices, if that is what you mean by “punitive”.

          Here’s the trouble with your argument. Suppose that I grant your two grounds for favoring female applicants. It doesn’t follow from those two claims that bias against junior male applicants is justified. It would be pro tanto justified only if bias against junior male applicants were the only way to secure the outcomes you describe. But bias against junior male applicants is not the only way to secure your two grounds.

          For example, suppose that we force white male professors of a certain age, say, of Jason Stanley’s age, to donate a significant proportion of their salaries to creating hiring lines dedicated to junior female philosophers. I think a fair estimate for Jason’s salary is $250,000 per year. Were we to tax Jason a fair proportion of that salary, say, $150,000 per year, we could open up two junior professorships at $75,000 per year, which are dedicated to hiring only women. Steps would have to be taken to ensure that the positions created by this particular piece of distributive justice are in addition to, rather than replacements for, extant hiring lines. The advantage of this measure is that everyone, including Jason Stanley, agrees that philosophy hiring was sexist, so white men like him had an unjust advantage from which he now unjustly profits.

          This approach is more just than discriminating against junior male applicants. Everyone agrees that philosophy up until recently unfairly favoured male applicants. Consequently, under my proposal, those who’ve gotten unjustly wealthy can now do something to help the profession repair the wrongs in which they’ve been complicit. Innocent junior male philosophers needn’t be unfairly penalized for the structural sexism for which senior male philosophers, as a group, are responsible.

          Of course, since institutional protections prevent this scheme from being implemented, we wrongly victimize young men on the job market instead. This makes me think that the underlying aim of hiring more women isn’t justice. If it were, we would also care to discuss the costs of pro-female hiring pressure.

          1. “Everyone agrees that philosophy up until recently unfairly favoured male applicants.”

            What everyone agrees is that philosophy up until the seventies unfairly favoured male applicants.

            1. I’m happy to abandon that commitment. I’m mostly trying to show my opponents’ conclusions don’t follow from their premises.

    2. “diachronic meritocracy”:

      In 1916 A1 and B1 apply for a job. A1 is more qualified, but they hire B1 because they’re biased in favor of Bs.

      In 2016 A1 and B1 apply for a job. B1 is more qualified, but they hire A1 because they’re biased in favor of As.

      Both hires are wrongful. It’s not ‘diachronic meritocracy’ but diachronic anti-meritocracy.

      1. I see your point, but the historical counterfactuals–i.e., If S had done a at t, then xyz– in this post and the ones above strike me as problematic.

        In “the bad old days,” women as a class were not seeking professional academic work, and thus were not being actively discriminated against in hiring. Yes, some of the few who sought such work were no doubt discriminated against. But the point stands that for most of the history of professional academic philosophy there were–for large scale social and economic reasons divorced from the day-to-day affairs of philosophy departments of the time–virtually no female job seekers, so today’s situation cannot very easily be compared with the situation in the past.

      2. I won’t be able to give you a satisfactory reply. I think desert is one consideration among many. The important question is what should be done all things considered.

        An illustration: A and B apply for admission to college C. A and B are relevantly similar, but B is objectively better (more deserving because B is slightly brighter, say). Who should be accepted? At first blush, B. But suppose B had received a better education than A partly because B’s family stole money from A’s family, which deprived A of an education A would otherwise have had access to. B is not at fault. A is not at fault. However, B is enjoying intellectual
        goods at A’s expense. In this instance, wouldn’t it be okay to favor A? I lean towards saying yes. You?

        1. Different person here. I think ‘all things considered’ may be amiss here given your hypothetical scenario. Even so, there may be a case to be made that, despite coming from a weaker institution the fact A is by and large comparably prepared to B who comes from a stronger institution is a point in favor of admitting A. There may also be a case that college admission should redress discriminatory practices in the past. But I think it would be out of place to demand college admission redressing other forms of injustice, or in your case, crime.

          1. I didn’t mean to suggest that colleges should (are demanded) to redress injustices that resulted from crime. I meant to suggest that colleges would be permitted to redress injustices that resulted from wrongdoing.

            I think it would be helpful to tackle this question from a different angle. Under what conditions would it be permissible to favor one candidate A over another candidate B, either in graduate school admissions or in hiring for a position in philosophy? Suppose A and B are relevantly similar on paper (GRE scores, or teaching experience, or pedigree, or publications…). Were we to find out that A has suffered some comparative disadvantage B has not suffered, would it be permissible to appeal to this fact to vote in favor of A? (We should benefit the disadvantaged.) Or suppose that the discipline has many more members like B than it does like A, would it be permissible to appeal to this fact to vote in favor of A?(We should increase diversity.) If not, why not? If not, under what conditions could we permissibly favor A? Are there any conditions?

            I don’t think the answer is never, but I understand the appeal in saying that such decisions should always be strictly meritocratic. I wonder what conception of meritocracy would support the view that the answers to the above questions are no and no. At this point I am not arguing that women are As. I’m asking you to suppose that they are, then I’m wondering whether it would be permissible to favor women in hiring on this assumption.

            For what it’s worth, pointing out that more women have graduated from college than men over the last 30 years is not strong evidence that women are more more privileged wrt, say, college admissions. It could be that women have simply fought much harder than men over the last 30 years to make it to, and then through, college. (This is a response to anonymous 2:23am)

            1. The usual argument is that if in some context we have the pattern, say more As than Bs where we’d otherwise expect 50:50, then we must apply remedial action to “correct” the “under-representation”.

              However, as all educationalists know, the pattern for University undergraduates and postgraduates is like this,
              Females 57%
              Males 43%.
              This under-representation of males at universities is robust, has been so for decades; and a similar pattern holds throughout the developed world (North America, Europe, etc).

              By the usual Identity Politics arguments, there ought to be remedial action to attract more male students to University given the systematic under-representation of males at Universities. But this is not proposed. Why not?

              We are surrounded with demands for special advantages be given to females, simply because there are fewer females in philosophy than there are males. So why are we not surrounded with demands for special advantages to be given to males, because there are fewer male students in higher education?

            2. In reply to an observation: I think your second paragraph is a better illustration than the previous one, and I think your third paragraph nails the issue. Which is to say, in my opinion, the question of gender is a red-herring in your cases unless certain additional premises are granted. Since I don’t really see how wrong-doing is suppose to carry over to the new scenario as you have shifted your emphasis, I put it aside.

              Incidentally, my feeling is that to both questions, I would answer yes and yes. That is, I think overcoming disadvantage by one’s own effort is a sign of merit esp social-economic disadvantages (at least a valuable trait to the profession), though I’m less sure how to make sense of the second condition as a sign of merit (I’m not sure what it would mean for an individual to be intrinsically ‘diverse’, at least in the sense salient here). Be that as it may, under the presupposition that women are As, it would be permissible to favor women in hiring. But in this case, the substitution of women into the premise is completely arbitrary. Now, your suggestion that we suppose ‘women are As’ is tantamount to saying: suppose, (i) universally, women suffer comparative disadvantage to men, (ii) among the many ways of characterizing diversity that is relevant and valuable to the discipline, i.e. the many ways of partitioning the pool into equivalence classes, gender should be privileged.*

              Notice: I can consistently maintain the denial of both (i) and (ii) at the same time affirm (iii) were we to find out A has suffered some comparative disadvantage relative to B, for particular A and B, yet has accomplishments comparable to B, then we have grounds for preferring A. and (iv) we should increase diversity in the discipline. By asking us to ‘assuming women are As’ you incur the justificatory burden of establishing (i) and (ii). And, no, there is no intrinsic merit in virtue of being a woman; so the question over conceptions of meritocracy and gender are independent — better to keep them apart.

              *come to think of it, I’m loosing sight of how increasing the relative number of women in philosophy is supposed to entail an increase in diversity; there are still only two equivalence classes under the gender partition. So whatever ‘diversity’ one wants to achieve, it is neither necessary nor sufficient to increase the relative number of women philosophy. Hence, I don’t see how one can avoid arguing for greater gender parity directly.

              1. “Be that as it may, under the presupposition that women are As, it would be permissible to favor women in hiring. But in this case, the substitution of women into the premise is completely arbitrary.”

                Okay good. So if women are disadvantaged compared to their male counterparts, and hiring women would increase diversity in the discipline of philosophy more than would hiring men, you would be okay with a practice that gives at least a bit more weight to applications from female applicants than male applicants. (This would apply to black and Latino, and poor, and disabled, and other under-represented applicants, too.)

                “Now, your suggestion that we suppose ‘women are As’ is tantamount to saying: suppose, (i) universally, women suffer comparative disadvantage to men, (ii) among the many ways of characterizing diversity that is relevant and valuable to the discipline, i.e. the many ways of partitioning the pool into equivalence classes, gender should be privileged.”

                It’s not really tantamount to saying this. But whatever. I’m okay putting forward merely a *conditional* claim and then deferring to empirical research on the question as to whether women (blacks, disabled, poor) are disadvantaged compared to middle-class white men as things currently stand; i.e. with respect to acceptance into philosophy grad programs and philosophy positions and to the burdens that members from these respective groups must face in order tom make into a grad program or to get a position . I’m confident that empirical research will support my contention, but my confidence is no argument. I’m happy to leave things here. (I don’t have the time to collect citations for this blog. There’s a growing empirical literature on this subject though, as you are no doubt aware.)

                I don’t see where I suggested (i) or (ii) and I reject both. Instead it seems intuitively obvious to me that women are typically disadvantaged compared to men. Not in all respects. Only in certain salient respects.

                I didn’t quite follow the rest, I’m sorry. I don’t believe that hiring more women in philosophy as such increases diversity more than hiring more men increases diversity. The category ‘woman’ is meant to serve merely as a proxy. The thought is that with more women one could expect more perspectives, among other things. I don’t think that we should take gender parity to be a desirable goal in itself either (or diversity, for that matter).

                I don’t have a theory of desert, but I think that people should get what they deserve. And I think that when people are disadvantaged through no fault of their own, they deserve preferential treatment, all else equal. I think women are more disadvantaged through no fault of their own than are typical white males even when it comes to applying for programs and jobs as things currently stand. Let me end with a concession: this needs to be supported with facts. Those of interested in how to think about preferential hiring should look to the empirical literature. If I come across something interesting I’ll post it here, please do the same.

                Thanks for your thoughts.

  10. What is truly diverse philosophy? Simple: whatever is left of philosophy once the faction that can hurl most accusations of racism and sexism at its opponents has conquered the fanciest departments, endowed chairs, and journals.

  11. The two threads on DN and LR make it clear: there is an onslaught at the moment, and philosophy will look very different in a few years’ time if the New Consensus wins. To hasten their conquest the NCers will throw around accusations of racism and sexism, because in this climate those accusations are an excellent way to silence their opponents, or even to get them fired. So what can we do to save philosophy from being changed by such non-philosophical means? With a heavy heart, I say we need a blacklist of NC leaders and their affiliates. You cannot let these snakes into your department. Now, the main names are well-known. But we need to be careful even of junior hires. We need to know which ones of their students are part of the NC. Any information is welcome. I’ll start by rehearsing the list of senior names often found here and elsewhere: Barnes, Fricker, Haslanger, Jacobsen, Kukla, Norlock, Paul, Protevi, Schliesser, Stanley, Weinberg, Zack. Who are the others we need to watch out for?

  12. The two threads on DN and LR make it clear: there is an onslaught at the moment, and philosophy will look very different in a few years’ time if the New Consensus wins. To hasten their conquest the NCers will throw around accusations of racism and sexism, because in this climate those accusations are an excellent way to silence their opponents, or even to get them fired. So what can we do to save philosophy from being changed by such non-philosophical means? With a heavy heart, I say we need a blacklist of NC leaders and their affiliates. You cannot let these snakes into your department. Now, the main names are well-known. But we need to be careful even of junior hires. We need to know which ones of their students are part of the NC. Any information is welcome.

  13. The two threads on DN and LR make it clear: there is an onslaught at the moment, and philosophy will look very different in a few years’ time if the New Consensus wins. To hasten their conquest the NCers will throw around accusations of racism and sexism, because in this climate those accusations are an excellent way to silence their opponents, or even to get them fired. So what can we do to save philosophy from being changed by such non-philosophical means? With a heavy heart, I say we need a blacklist of NC leaders and their affiliates. You cannot let these snakes into your department. Now, the main names are well-known. But we need to be careful even of junior hires. We need to know which ones of their students are part of the NC. Any information is welcome.

          1. Tell that to the Colorado prof who got fired for filing a report trying to show that his grad student had been falsely accused of sexual harassment.

    1. How do we protect…, there’s no need to stoop to the level of the New Consensus.

      What we need to do instead is stand up and refuse to allow them to pull these things off around us.

      The next time someone calls someone a sexist or racist for no reason other than to discredit the person’s resistance to the latest batshit NC move, we need to jump on it with both feet. More and more of us are coming out of the shadows and doing that. We don’t need to phrase it as a general attack on NC. We just need to say that whatever they’re doing in this case is wrong, and that it’s not OK to use characterizations like that to harm other people, and that we won’t stand for it. Keeping it at that level will rally more people to the same side.

      On the issue of accidentally hiring one of these people, it seems the thing to do is be on the lookout for crazy antics at the interview stage and before. It isn’t too hard to come up with good interview questions that let them play their hand. There’s always a chance you’ll give a desperate non-NCer the impression that an outrageous NC response is what the search committee is after, but maybe it’s not so bad to get unprincipled people thrown out of the competition as well.

      A little background checking can also turn up evidence of NC tendencies. These people like to show off as much as possible and generally write under their own names.

      1. Well, look at the batshit crazed lunacy with what just happened to Jean-Yves Beziau. Everyone who knows him knows he is adamantly anti-sexist and anti-homophobic – he is merely eccentric, something pointed out repeatedly. Yet he was publicly libeled by Audrey Yap, and then others, with outright lies. They should publicly apologise for telling lies. We, as a profession, must stand up to these rants, outbursts, naming/shaming and public abuse of our fellow professionals by this (small) crowd of zealots.

        1. Agreed, 2:29. On any reasonable understanding of what we are doing in philosophy and in academic life in general, these instances of ‘batshit crazed lunacy’ are unwelcome and unprofessional. Making it clear to people who pull this shit that these attempts to blacken people’s reputations or ‘dispel’ them from the profession are not OK is a crucial step in restoring a professional environment that the NCers have managed to poison. Speaking of ‘dispelling’ people, Brogaard is another one who tried to destroy someone’s career (a grad student’s, no less) and didn’t even have the proverbial slap on the wrist in response. If these miscreants know they can get away with these antics, they’ll keep upping the ante and taking over. It’s time to tell them that the game is up.

          1. Even when what they’re doing is just blatant self-promotion, standing up to them openly is too risky. I’ve been accused of sexism for trying to do just that. We need a quiet blacklist.

            1. Why a blacklist, Anon? These people are very public about what they are doing. We all know who they are. They want us to know who they are. They create their own list all the time. Want to see if the person you’re planning to hire is on it? Just do your due diligence and google the person’s own online writings and comments.

              1. I fear that’s not enough. What about the quiet ones? What about their grad students? We have the social media/blog stuff as a first indication, but that’s not enough. Anyone connected to the loud NCers also needs to be heavily scrutinized.

      2. I agree. I’m terrible at politics and always prefer the straightforward approach…so perhaps I’m just naive…but you know what happens on such monster hunts… The straightforward “speak truth to power” approach is right, it is a long-term solution, and it helps build the kind of discipline we must have for philosophy to flourish.
        Besides…you don’t really think you can beat those people at that game, do you? There’s just flat-out no way that’s going to happen. These are people who are constitutionally inclined to be underhanded, brutal and vindictive. Try to fight them on their own terms and we’ll lose. They have every advantage there. They’re good at it, they like it, they are entirely convinced of their own virtue and the justice of their cause, and they’ll love nothing more than putting some retrograde Neanderthals to the metaphorical shiv. And if there were such a plot and it were revealed, it would be the biggest coup ever for the NC types.
        Fight them in the open, however, and their advantages are minimized. Our arguments and positions are stronger. If it’s basically them vs. the ideas of open inquiry, merit, and the free exchange of ideas, they lose. Maybe not right away, but eventually.
        Yes, openly defying them will cost some people the juicy jobs they want. Sorry. You know, the market has been bad for a long, long time, and lots of us are living in jobs we would not have chosen. It didn’t kill us. Lots of us openly defied these lunatics during the first outbreak of PC back in the late ’80’s and early ’90’s, and paid some cost for it (though, admittedly, they were internet-less back then, ergo less well-organized and also less batshit crazy…)
        Look, people stood up to the Nazis and the USSR. We can stand up to some nutty, pasty, pseudo-intellectuals. People stood up to the Nazis, for chrissake. Nobody’s going to kill you. This isn’t like standing up to the Brown Shirts. Risking some hit to your career isn’t asking too much. Besides, if they start openly trying to undermine the careers of grad students…that’s the kind of thing that’s going to bring on the backlash. OTOH, if you try to win by underhanded tactics, they can site your underhandedness as the reason not to hire you, even though that won’t be the real reason.

        1. I don’t think anyone is advocating for a plot. We’re just saying: be careful who you hire.

          As for us not having much to fear since we have truth on our side, well, look at what happened to other humanities disciplines, which are now dominated by narrow identity politics orthodoxy before anything else.

          1. Right. Good point.
            But was there an organized resistance? I think of philosophy as being more virtuous…
            In retrospect, I don’t think I meant that having truth on our side would automatically win the day…but, rather, that if we, as the agents of truth…or, at least, as the agents of less-wrongness…stand up for truth, less-wrongness, and the Western Intellectual Way…that we’ll have truth on our side. And that’s a powerful weapon.

        2. ” if they start openly trying to undermine the careers of grad students…that’s the kind of thing that’s going to bring on the backlash”

          Nope. Cue Brit Brogaard and others.

          1. Sorry, I’m not familiar with the Brogaard stuff.
            But notice that I wrote “that’s the kind of thing…” etc. I tried to clearly indicate that I did not believe that one case would do the trick. But targeting dissenting students on political grounds is not the kind of thing that can be done routinely–or even very often–without triggering a backlash.

            1. Brogaard tried to get a grad student kicked out of his program for a blog post she didn’t like. She is now editing the PGR after Leiter was thrown out of it. That’s the power of the NC.

                1. This happened almost two years ago. Brogaard’s meltdown, the attempt to ‘dispel’ a grad student from his program because she disliked his politics, and the subsequent behavior of the usual suspects, led to the implosion of newapps and the appearance of the first metablog.

                  I miss Glaucon.

  14. Let these people in at your peril. If they’re NC and a minority it will be impossible to deny them tenure even if they do jack-shit. And they’ll blackmail you into hiring one or more of their friends as soon as you get a new line. Then they’ll tar and feather you with made up accusations of sexism/racism/whatever so you have to keep your head down while they proceed to remake the department in their image.

    1. They’re already in. You haven’t heard the names Chang, Stanley, Haslanger, Saul, Barnes, Ferrer, Jaggar, Weinberg, Lackey, Pogin, Dowell, Ichikawa, Jenkins, Yap, etc? You haven’t been paying attention.

      1. Oh I’ve heard them. So they’re in. Fine. Let’s stop them right in the hallway. We need a list just like that one (I notice a few omissions), and we need to watch out for all their students and associates. We need to fight back because this disease is not going away by itself.

      1. That’s a bit much, but yes, in five-ten years it will be unrecognizable, and it may end up looking like one of those humanities disciplines dominated by postmodernism or whatever they call vague high-falutin’ emoting these days.

  15. As a victim of attempted academic blacklisting, I won’t support it, no matter how much I despise these careerist bullybabies. Being a scholar means fighting for the ideals of an open society, not tearing them down.

    1. It may still be good to have a list though. People can use it how they wish. It’s good to into hiring well-informed.

      1. Still waiting to hear why it isn’t just quicker to look up your candidates and see the clear evidence they themselves present against their own integrity. It speaks for itself and they do it in the open.

        Who exactly is going to use this list who doesn’t already know who these people are?

        And no thank you to blacklisting their students. Some of them double as legitimate philosophers, and their students might not share their horrid antiintellectual ideologies.

        1. I agree that this is difficult. I wouldn’t blacklist anyone just because of who their advisor is. But I would be extra careful. Some of their juniors are not very vocal on social media, and will be even less so after they read this blog.

      2. I think we can avoid the need for a blacklist if we simply avoid hiring people whose letters are written by NC members, especially when they don’t have publications, or have only invited publications, or gave invited talks for no apparent reason, or ‘liked’ NC content on Facebook, or in general did things to confirm that it’s no accident they have letters from the NC.

        I agree this is unfair to a small number of them. But how can you trust an enthusiastic letter from an NC member? Wouldn’t simply be asking for it?

        1. Isn’t being a non-NC grad student difficult enough? Just because we’re near the Kool-Aid doesn’t mean we’ve had any.

          1. Choose your advisor and network wisely is all I can say. This is ugly reverse Macarthysm, but at the moment I don’t see what else we can do.

            1. I would propose that the persons calling for “blacklists” on this blog are agent provocateurs.
              Either that or very stupid.

              1. Yes, it’s rather like the Catholics in interregnum England, or the Japanese in WWII America , or the Muslims in today’s America. I mean, “what else can we do” except stereotype, blacklist, and isolate them. Sure, there may be one or two normal Muslims around–hell, maybe a sizeable plurality or even a huge majority–still, the most vocal and powerful enemy Muslims are so bad that just being a Muslim–maybe even being a half-assed Muslim–is enough to warrant at least an armband or something. I wish there was another way. But “what else can we do”?

                1. I suspect the original suggestion was intended as an agent provocateur joke. You can’t “blacklist” the people who run the APA, various other professional organizations, the top departments in the world, the major blogs, etc. So, presumably the suggestion was joke. It’s like saying you’re going to “blacklist” Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio – “There, ha! Take that Mr Trump! Six people in Seattle, who live with their moms, have ‘blacklisted’ you”.

                2. “Blacklist” was the wrong word. But I don’t think the sentiment was crazy: hire a NC person and you will risk your department ending up like Colorado.

  16. On Yoyo’s classic March 2015 analysis of CDJ’s hiring data concerning gender bias, based on two years of hiring (2012/2013) into first academic philosophy job (sample size 311; 100 female; 211 male):
    100 females published 81 publications = averaging 0.81 publications per person.
    211 males published 306 publications = averaging 1.45 publications per person.


    Males average 1.45; females average 0.81.
    This is because men “work harder”. Right?

      1. 8:14, the research you cite undermines your own not to subtle agenda. The analysis demonstrates a statistically significant correlation between gender and number of publications among hires. That is, there exists a pro-female bias in junior job hiring. Why you think there is a connection with which gender ‘works harder’ is beyond me.

      1. This latest iteration of the metablog follows the trajectory of the others, each of which was a bit more obsessed with women’s unfair advantages, and women in general, than the one preceding.

        Now it seems like the vaginoclasts make up the majority of those posting here.

        Vaginoclasm is, as always, accompanied by the “smart” conservatism of the unfellated. (Indeed the belief, often warranted, in one’s own unfellatability routinely has two effects upon a young white male with a calculator watch and a bevy of AP classes: the first is vaginoclasm itself, and the second is Charles Murray.)

        I do not think that the class of middling vaginoclastic Anglo-American philosophers is well understood. They are either more voluable or more numerous than I had guessed.

        But, just like iconoclasts before them, behind every vaginoclast is in fact a vagindolator.

  17. I’m late to the game here, but anyone follow the blow up after Leiter’s post suggesting that we should consider closing or ‘downgrading’ some PhD programs?

    It seems to me that the answer is obviously ‘yes.’ But we can’t have a real conversation, because NC folks are too desperate to score points by being ever so race and gender conscious. (+100 bonus points if that consciousness takes the form of proving that Big Bad Brian is racist, sexist, etc.)

    God bless David Wallace for his willingness to wade through CDJ’s “analysis” and for his competence in so doing. incredible that she just throws up her hands and let’s Wallace “have the last word” (i.e. win).

    The irony is that people like CDJ don’t realize that they’re actually harming the cause they purport to serve. It would be helpful to have data on race in philosophy and to figure out how to improve the racial composition of the discipline. But it’s clear that she’s still nursing a grudge against Leiter, and thus her analysis is incompetent.

    1. At the moment the NC status is throw lots of shit around and hope that some stick. They accuse anyone of sexism and racism because they’ve already prepared the ground for those accusations to be believed even when they’re based on nothing. In this case, though, they made the mistake of using numbers and got debunked.

  18. “This latest iteration of the metablog follows …”

    This latest iteration of the metablog defends equal rights for all, as did previous ones. This means standing up to racists, feminists and the privileged in the philosophy profession. Someone has to stand up to the bigots, and to defend the victims. So we do.

  19. JC writes, “are you for real? You think the different average life span of men and women is due to discrimination? Really?”

    One simple suggestion is for you try to put aside your prejudices, and understand what evidence and facts are.

    Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote last week, “I’m fighting to double NIH funding to help millions of women live longer healthier lives”.

    Now the evidence shows that it is women who live five years longer than men do, not the other way around. So do you agree that Warren’s comment and proposed action is an example of discriminatory bigotry – given that women already live five years longer than men do. If not, explain why.

    1. Whatever useful pushback against unjustified favoritism for women in philosophy we are trying to organize here is greatly harmed by this MRA crap. Please stop.

    2. You really are a blithering fucking idiot 12:37 pm. The first claim was that the difference in life span between men and women was due to discrimination. Now you make a totally different, and irrelevant claim. Why shouldn’t we try to help women live longer and healthier lives? Where did Senator Warren say the goal was to do so at the expense of men?

      Seriously, you’re a pathetic loser nutjob. And stupid to boot.

      1. JC, “Why shouldn’t we try to help women live longer and healthier lives? ”

        Because *men* live shorter, less healthy, lives, you prejudiced bigot.
        If you have a group of more privileged people with better health outcomes (here, women), and you devote further preferential treatment to those, then that is discrimination. Indeed, it is textbook discrimination. Please learn to think before you comment here with your ignorant prejudices.

  20. Yes, please stop with the MRA bullshit.

    5:24: “This means standing up to racists, feminists and the privileged in the philosophy profession. Someone has to stand up to the bigots, and to defend the victims. So we do.”

    Shove your royal we, dude.

    Speaking of “we,” can this blog do polls? I’d be curious to see some polls about the politics of readers, especially since the sudden veers the place occasionally takes into strong political directions suggest to me that those reflect a minority of readers who happen to be more frequent and louder.

    For example, I’d guess most readers agree that we occasionally have to “stand up” to “feminisits,” but that most would also agree it’s not because they’re feminists but because they’re hypocrites. So, I’d be curious to know what percentage on the board take the extreme view that feminists in general are a threat, not just a vocal minority wing of feminists.

    I’d also guess the majority of readers don’t support the posts we see pile up every now and then suggesting that oppression against men is the worst kind, the most frequent, and part of a vast social political conspiracy.

    Finally, I’d also guess most don’t equate criticizing SJWs with criticizing the left, even if some posters seem to just equate left politics with the problem. Sure, I’m sure we have some strong conservatives here, probably a lot of independents and liberatarians, too. But I’d suspect we also have a lot of people who identify strongly as left, but either think the SJWs are hypocrites who are abusing real categories of social injustice, or are more oldschool lefties who think economic and class issues take priority over social identity politics.

    1. Advocating equality of the sexes, and opposing prejudice against one of them, does not equal being an “MRA”. The claim is nonsense. Repeating this puerile nonsense will be opposed. Above, “anonime” and “anon” keep repeating drivel about their “NC” obsession. Do they realize this makes them sound like loonies? “NC” was a post made by Weinberg attacking Leiter. Now imagining the “NC” universe is persecuting you makes you sound like a loon, a paranoid conspiracist. Grow up.

      Worse, proposing to “blacklist” people connected to Weinberg is juvenile and obsessive at best; and more plausibly it is both unethical and unprofessional.

      There are far, far more important topics in the world, and in the philosophy profession, than this puerile “NC” vendetta against Weinberg. One of them is the widespread ideology called “social justice warfare” and/or “identity politics”. There is strong opposition to this, and that includes from many figures on the left. Trying to undermine this with “Help!! An MRA!!” is again puerile paranoid drivel. And the similarly childish and paranoid “Help!! NC is persecuting us!” drivel does not help either.

      1. Thanks! How about one of those agree/disagree on a scale from 1 to 5 kind of polls? Some possible questions:

        1. Gender is the most important diversity problem within philosophy
        2. Race is the most important diversity problem within philosophy
        3. Disability is the most important diversity problem within philosophy
        4. Class is the most important diversity problem within philosophy
        5. Viewpoint uniformity is the most important diversity problem within philosophy

        6. The ‘New Consensus’ represents a threat to the disinterested pursuit of philosophy
        7. The ‘New Consensus’ is largely made up of hypocritical careerists
        8. Many ‘feminist philosophers’ are hypocritical careerists
        9. ‘Feminist philosophy’ promotes its adherents at the expense of more marginalized groups
        10. Many organizers of prominent feminist philosophy groups are themselves beneficiaries of philosophy-specific privilege by birth or marital relationships

        11. The Philosophical Gourmet Report is a good guide for prospective grad students
        12. The Philosophical Gourmet Report is a self-serving tool captured by a privileged elite

        13. Women philosophy PhDs have an advantage on the current job market
        14. Philosophy PhDs of color have an advantage on the current job market
        15. Males have an advantage on the current job market
        16. Whites have an advantage on the current job market

        17. The metablog is a necessary evil due to censorship elsewhere
        18. The metablog reflects the views of most philosophers

        1. I’m new to this thread. But I have to say, Men’s Rights Activists are guilty of far less bullshit than feminists. Some of what they have to say is downright salutary. The same can be said for some of what feminists have to say, too, of course. But anyone who criticizes MRAs and doesn’t also criticize feminists is intellectually or morally suspect, particularly in the absence of a good reason for the bias.

          1. There are lots of critiques of feminism on here. But critics of feminism don’t need to embrace the grotesque MRA movement.

            1. Who is embracing it? Less associative knee-jerking and more attention to detail, please. You are supposed to be philosophers.

                1. For example, this idiot on February 6, 2016 at 4:39 pm: “Given that all gender discrimination in modern developed countries is anti-male, that women receive all of the preferential advantages over men, and that this has been true for 30-40 years…”

  21. So, summing up:
    1. “Help!! An MRA!!” is puerile bullshit.
    2. “Help!! NC is persecuting us” is puerile bullshit.
    3. “Let’s blacklist Weinberg’s NC mates” is puerile, unethical and unprofessional bullshit.

    Cut it out, loons.

    1. Fair enough, but you’ve overplayed your hand. Yes, the MRA stuff is bullshit, as is the blacklisting idea, and there is more than a tinge of paranoia to some of the NC references. Clearly, though, ‘NC’ or ‘SJW’ or whatever is shorthand for a (small) group of philosophers online who roughly share a set of moral and political commitments, temperaments, priorities, etc. So it’s not like referring to the NC crowd is some ‘loony’ tic.

      “There are far, far more important topics in the world, and in the philosophy profession, than this puerile “NC” vendetta against Weinberg.”

      Yeah, no shit. Who said otherwise?

    2. But saying “be careful who you hire” is not bullshit nor puerile nor unprofessional. It’s a matter of prioritizing certain philosophical virtues over political considerations. And, frankly, a way to guard against the danger of being accused of racism or sexism at the first opportunity, as the NC crowd are all too eager to do.

  22. Talking about the “NC crowd” – based on a single JW blogpost – is paranoid, puerile nonsense. Proposing “blacklisting” people connected to JW is unethical and unprofessional. This obsessive gibberish makes you sound like paranoid loons with a vendetta. Finally – and seriously – cut out this “Help!! An MRA!!” drivel. Only unhinged wankers speak like this. Grow up and cut it out.

    If you dislike the social justice warriors, batshit crazed feminist loons, and so on, then fine. They, and their SJW ideology, are loathed by millions of people, including large segments of the left.

    if you want to run a vendetta, “blacklisting” professional philosophers, based on your pathetic puerile paranoid obsession with a JW blogpost, then fuck off. Really. No one is interested.

    1. Fine, points taken, but would agree that hiring a hypocritical identity politics zealot such as the ones often mentioned here is a risk for any department? At the end of the day, that’s the nugget of truth within the blacklist nonsense.

    2. I’m not sure I understand the hostility, 3:21. Although “New Consensus” fails to pick out an organized group, party, or association within professional philosophy, I’m not convinced anyone ever intended for it do so. Indeed, I’ve always understood it be a useful shorthand for “the loose network of largely truth-opposed bien pensants who endorse/tolerate crybulling.” More to the point, I don’t think its pathetic to worry about the influence this loose network has had on the culture of professional philosophy. Even those of us working in seemingly apolitical core areas can’t seem to avoid its influence.

      For example, note that the one NEH summer seminar in philosophy this year–focused on the not especially batshit crazy topic of cognitive penetration and led by a couple of very good philosophers–includes guest appearances by such luminaries as Kristie “culture of justification” Dotson and Kate “expecting your interlocutors to reasonably articulate their views is prejudiced, you biggit” Manne. For more: http://projects.iq.harvard.edu/neh_perception

      1. There is a perfectly exact phrase for what you wish to refer to: *social justice warriors*.
        The phrase “NC crowd” reeks of babyish parochial paranoia. To outsiders, it makes those using it look obsessive. Who, exactly, are this “NC crowd”? Well, … a blogpost and an obscure backstory. That’s how dumb this all is. Now, compare this with the social justice warriors. SJWs are loathed across the board – from the political left to the right, and because these manipulative posturing asswipes poison everything they go near. They are hated by, for example,

        – sensible liberals;
        – sensible conservatives;
        – old-fashioned Marxists;
        – postmodernists;
        – South Park’s parodists;
        – the “cultural libertarians”;
        – equity feminists (Christina Hoff Sommers, Cathy Young et al)

        So, forget the “NC crowd” stuff, which hardly anyone understands. Instead, identify your enemy correctly: social justice warriors. Then fight them on their ideology, using evidence; and, if need be, on instances of their unethical, unprofessional actions, witch hunts, etc – of which the social justice vitriol flung at Beziau is just the latest example.

  23. ^ Yes. All this boils down to “think twice before you hire one of these ruthless activists or their friends”. The Colorado and Beziau stories really are chilling.

  24. If Leiter ran the PGR in a manner similar to how he runs his polls about the greatest such and such philosopher that’s over x age, opponents of the PGR may have a point.

    1. 10:13,

      But surely you must agree that, unless I am mistaken, none of those figures primarily works on the Presocratics.

  25. There is a rule among communists: any socialist or labor organization will ultimately be taken over by hard-line communists. Among conservatives, the rule is “any organization not explicitly conservative will ultimately be run by liberals.” And the rule applies to universities too. “Any department that isn’t in the hard sciences will ultimately be run by social justice warriors.” It took philosophy about a generation or two longer than the rest of the humanities, but they are now in charge, and for the duration.

    1. Another rule governing another aspect of all this may be applicable as well, specifically Eric Hoffer’s rule of the evolution of causes:
      “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”

  26. Professional associations and universities are now competing for who can appease the NC SJWs more. Four keynote speakers, four women. One of them is Haslanger. What are the odds?

    1. The aussies are signalling that they are more PC than even the Americans. Britain is also falling, cue the Waynflete appointment. It’ll be over soon if we don’t put up a fight. Leiter can’t do it alone. He’s the only one left carrying the flag in public. He’s an asshole but he’s the lesser evil. More prominent people need to put their names to anti-SJW comments.

      1. SJWs demand, and get, special privileges for those who already have it, or are already over-represented in various situations. US government statistics show that 57% of undergraduates in the US are female; 43% are male. Similar statistics hold at the postgraduate level. This has been true since the early 1980s. The same holds throughout the developed world. Why are resources devoted to the over-represented group?

  27. Part of the problem that occurs here is that there are one or two SJWs here, who dislike being shown the factual evidence. For example, the long-standing over-representation of women in higher education. Then the response to this evidence is insults combined with a persecution complex. The SJWs behave like white supremacists, demanding special privileges for the whites, and complaining they’re being persecuted by uppity blacks.

  28. “..I will end with a word to the wise: metaphilosophical assumptions like the fundamentality
    and transcendence assumptions can be used against any discourse that is more complex than
    another. Better to have a care with these assumptions because no complex analysis is safe
    from their collective devaluation.”

    Word to the Wise: Notes on a Black Feminist Metaphilosophy of Race

  29. “My decision to pursue a career in philosophy was the result of advice that if I wanted to have an academic career studying “theory,” then I needed to get out of English and into philosophy. […] Yes, reader, you read that correctly. I went into professional philosophy because there were more jobs in philosophy than literary theory”
    “I use philosophy to help support, generate and defend research, advocacy and activism that might change the current plight of Black people in the US, particularly promoting better conditions for Black cis- and trans* women, girls and gender non-conforming people.”
    “I wrote 5 articles to be used by particular Black feminist social scientists for their theoretical frameworks and, in doing so, furthered Black feminist research in general.”


  30. Yes, one or two people on the blog (not I) have posted statistics and claims common among Men’s Rights Activists.

    What I don’t understand is why the people complaining about these statistics and claims don’t argue against them. That’s how philosophers handle disagreements. We give reasons for disagreeing. We don’t just identify the source of the claims or statistics like morons who don’t understand what the ad hominem fallacy is. If that’s your scene, you should be on a Women’s Studies blog instead of this one.

    1. Because at some point it becomes wasteful to argue against a position that is largely discredited by scholars on both the left and right. I mean, someone could give arguments about the superiority of the white race, or about the greatness of Stalin, or whatever, but it’s no surprise that people won’t take them seriously.

      1. On US government statistics,
        57% of undergraduates are women.
        43% of undergraduates are men.
        This means that it is men that are under-represented.
        Now please deal with these facts, “anon”, instead of engaging in dishonesty.

        1. Men are underrepresented overall in colleges, but it’s a class phenomenon, look more closely at the data next time. Men aren’t underrepresented due to discrimination.

        2. Hey dude, I hate to break it to you, but the problem of under-representation in higher education is not just a matter of quantity. It’s about who’s worse off at the end of it. We all know the facts: lots of people waste their time in college, and they go deep into their knees into debt.

          Let me break this down for you, just in case you’re not from the US. Going to college is not the best decision any person can make in America. In fact, most people get fucked over by it. Assuming that college is actually a waste of time for a lot of students, and most people who go to college are women, then it turns out that lots of women are wasting their time in college and going hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt for it. Why do we celebrate the fact that most undergraduates are women, when higher education in America leaves the average undergraduate in an awful financial (and probably mental) situation?

          Some people, especially men, can pass higher-education aside and make more money than a philosophy professor. When women enter the business/private sector, they’re heavily discriminated against. Their college degrees aren’t impenetrable barriers against sexism. Although more of them are present in higher education, they’re getting less value from it than their male peers.

          There’s nothing to be proud of when it comes to under or overrepresentation of a single gender in college, when a large number of colleges are cash cows exploiting kids into crushing debt just so they can feel proud about getting a C in their Quantum Physics lab?

          1. “When women enter the business/private sector, they’re heavily discriminated against. ”

            That’s bullshit. They’re heavily discriminated in favor of.

          2. Step 1: Bias the high schools against boys.

            Step 2: There are now far more women than men in college.

            Step 3: Start whining because women are now spending more money on college.

            You can’t have it both ways.

      2. 5:18, are you actually saying that concern that men are far more frequent recipients of violence from both sexes than women are, that men’s suicide rates, etc. are far higher than women, that men are routinely denied access to their own children by courts, etc. is akin to promotion of white supremacism or Stalinism?

        Wow, you really have drunk the feminist Kool-Aid.

        You’re not above the facts. You’re not even at the level where you understand the basic facts. You’re a complete idiot. Perhaps you should learn about the things you’re opining about before you run your mouth here. This isn’t feministphilosophers. At the metametametablog, you get called on your bullshit. And you’ve just been called out.

        1. I don’t know what to tell you. Do I really have to point that, say, there has never been a female POTUS? That women couldn’t even vote until fairly recently? You are confusing the erosion of male dominance with the creation of female dominance. And I say all this as a staunch opponents of misplaced feminism within academic philosophy.

          1. Women not voting ‘until recently’ was actually a century ago.

            There has never been a female POTUS, but how many women are willing to take the enormous risks that come from betting your life on a political career?

            Maybe that also partially explains why there are fewer women than men in philosophy. It’s a risky career. It’s not safe.

                1. It’s too late, Winston. You’ve been dispelled. They’re preparing Room 101 for you as we speak. Brogaard will reap a good reward for bringing you in for reedification and dispelment.

    1. Pretty subtle actually. He’s been defending free speech and now after the Mount scandal I hope some people see that the crybullies’ demands to empower admins to police speech are very dangerous, unlike the red herring of a provocative column making some basement-dwellers agitated.

      1. Unlike you advocating a “blacklist” of other professional philosophers and their students that you happen dislike, “anon”?

        1. ‘Happen’? It’s not like they didn’t do anything. Maybe it’s time to let them taste their own medicine.

          But honestly I don’t support a blacklist. Blacklists are just hearsay. It’s a lot more reliable (and fairer) to filter out the candidates with letters written by SJWs.

  31. There are already informal blacklists on all sides of the political spectrum, and some not political at all. Nobody wants a colleague who is going to make their lives more difficult or who is going to bring bad press to their department. If you have a reputation for sleeping with grad students, you’re on some blacklists. Even people who don’t care who you sleep with will be unlikely to stand up in a department meeting and argue in favor of appointing you: it wouldn’t be worth spending the political capital. If you’ve pursued a Social Justice crusade — or any other crusade — beyond what most people consider reasonable, you’re on some blacklists. After all, who knows what harm you might cause to the department’s working environment as you pursue these crusades. If you’re incline to initiate suits, grievances, complaints, or threats that people find unreasonable or frivolous, you’re also on some blacklists. And, regardless of your politics, if you get too much of a reputation as a self-involved careerist, you’re also on some blacklists. I know lots of people who carry around various political and/or apolitical blacklists, and I am aware of them being put into action.

    1. So your idea is to “blacklist” the fabled “NC crowd”, and even students. And also you feel butthurt by people writing percentages on an anonymous blog. In the end, you will have “blacklisted” every single red-under-the-bed you feel persecuted by.

      1. I did not endorse blacklisting: I merely pointed out that it already exists, in various forms. So far, what I have posted is merely descriptive and not normative or prescriptive: I would be happy to discuss whether the currently existing blacklisting is good, bad, or neutral. And I don’t feel butthurt about anything! I think that, because the posts here are anonymous, you’re confusing me with someone else.

  32. Because the term ‘MRA’ is getting used as a scarecrow by a few people in this thread, it might be a good idea to take a look at their subreddit to see what they’re about.


    1. Okay, okay, socialist Zionist MRA feminists.

      Right, so, one lamp in the belfry if it’s feminists, two if socialists, three for MRAs, and four for Zionists. But do I add them all up? Ten lamps?

      This is too complicated, screw it.

      1. Bernie Sanders’ female supporters are *not* feminists. The vast majority of women think feminism – particularly the whiny SJW version you get on Twitter, “women’s studies”, and in philosophy faculties – is total horseshit. This is really a source of major cognitive dissonance to you, is it not? You spend your life inside an echo chamber of identity politics garbage, and then a left-wing politician comes along, with female supporters, and it blows your pretentious horseshit out of the water.

        1. The women are on our side! Only the feminist women are dangerous!
          We know this by deeming all women on our side to be non-feminists.
          Amen. Alarm and muster!

        2. The majority of Sanders’ female supporters are probably feminists, since 47% of all millennial women are, and 62% of democratic millennials are. You even distinguish “the whiny SJW version.” So it’s perfectly possible that many or most feminists also don’t like the whiny SJW version. So why imply the options are only SJW feminist or not feminist?

          I agree it’s interesting Sanders doesn’t support colleges behaving like courts in rape cases, given the link of SJW feminism with millennials. Maybe many Sanders supporters would disagree but don’t know about it. But the reason might be more interesting: the media link of millennials to infantile, narcissistic forms of identity politics may be misleading.

          That entitled worldview has been force-fed to the younger generation, but its real source is liberal late-boomers trying to save their decaying privileges in some scant, left-proofed form, an entire generation of petty bourgeois–left-leaning but affluent professors, professionals, and parents–who have used their kids and students as ventriloquist dummies for their self-absorbed, self-righteous worldview.

          For a while it worked: the kids dutifully mouthed their cant in high school and college. But then they graduated to no jobs and a life of debt and realized that the SJW abandonment of class politics for identity politics might be great business for people like Hillary and Steinham, but has screwed over their entire generation. Their parents, those overgrown infants, the late-boomers, may be headed for a big fall at their own students and childrens’ hands.

  33. “I think that Gloria Steinem is a woman with money and status so it must be hard for her to imagine what it’s like to have to struggle to pay off student loans and make the rent working a low wage job and easier to write off my spport for Berine as a hormone thing than an informed decision to vote in my interest” (statement from Moumita Ahmed, supporter of Bernie Sanders, and critic of Gloria Steinem).

    1. * To make matters worse, among “the most consistent findings in educational studies of creativity,” according to psychologists Erik L. Westby and V.L. Dawson, is that “teachers dislike personality traits associated with creativity.” *

      That’s interesting because those tend to also be the traits associated with philosophy.

      1. I’m pretty sure whatever creativity in philosophy is, it is not arrived at by asking a group of undergraduate psychology students what they think are prototypical characteristics of a creative 8-year-old-child. Apparently ‘being logical’ is percieved to be atypical of a creative child and ‘making up the rules as he or she goes along’ and ‘being impulsive’ is perceived highly typical of a creative child …

  34. If Philippe Lemoine says “based on the evidence we have at this point, it would be unreasonable to deny that being a woman helps on the job market,” what are other things that he says?

      1. Sorry wrking on a tablet. I don’t know what PL has said elsewhere, but I am paying attention.

    1. Well, idiot, neither you nor Brendan O’Neill seems to know the first thing about men’s rights activism, or to be able to articulate charitably what its aims are. So there’s that.

      Want a better response? Then rather than say “MRA crap” when you have presented no support for the claim that it’s crap, or link to something inanely stating that men’s rights activists are just looking for excuses for not having girlfriends (many have girlfriends, many others are women) or can’t get jobs (an equally false and irrelevant ad homimem), pony up with some arguments next time. Until then, cut out the gun-jumping and wait until you’ve established a claim before relying on it.

    2. “I think it’s wrong to see the New Feminism in this way. Because, if anything, the New Feminism is a war on women. It explicitly calls into question the ability of women to negotiate public life without the assistance of others.”

      That’s interesting because this is exactly one of the MRAs’ complaints about feminism: that it treats women as irresponsible children that must be given special treatment. Example: for the same offense a woman gets far less jail time than a man, if she even goes to jail at all.

      It’s becoming hard to distinguish feminism from conservatism when it comes to those aspects of the traditional gender roles that are beneficial to women and/or detrimental to men.

    1. “The APA condemns the activities of those who seek to silence philosophers through bullying, abusive speech, intimidation, or threats of violence.”

      I’ll believe that when I see the APA condemn the use of Title IX to intimidate and silence philosophers who, for instance, speak out about injustices committed by university disciplinary committees or who try to publish op-eds mildly critical of feminism.

    2. I don’t see the metablog mentioned on the APA statement. I’m opposed to “abuse”, where “abuse” means things like threatening people’s lives and livelihood. That doesn’t really happen here. So what’s the problem with the APA statement, exactly?

      1. “A look at some of the anonymous philosophy blogs also reveals a host of examples of abusive speech by philosophers directed against other philosophers.” And then Ferrer goes on to tell us to “cease and desist”.

        1. That could just as well have been about “What is it like to be a woman in philosophy”, an anonymous blog full of abusive speech about philosophers…

  35. I’m tellin’ ya, Sir Ranksalot is our best chance of keeping philosophy analytic and truth-driven rather than identity politics-driven. Next step: recapture the APA.

    1. Not really. Remember, he’s The Grinch who ‘tortured’ Scratchy. This is the tried and trusted SJW method to control him.

    2. While I too would like to keep philosophy truth-oriented, I’m not at all convinced that APA can be recaptured from the forces of Sophistry. It was in decline well before Amy Ferrar came along and she’s hardly the only problematic figure in the APA. Indeed, there are MANY truth-opposed ideologues within the leadership structure. For that reason, I suggest we metabloggers (and fellow travelers who share our concerns about the value of free expression and the importance of maintaining the high standards of scholarship in the discipline) abandon the APA. Stop paying dues. Stop agreeing to referee submission for conferences (and stop submitting work). Ask yourself: when is the last time the APA did anything to significantly advance your research, your career, or philosophy itself? If the APA dies, perhaps a non-ideological successor organization will rise up to replace it.

      1. Hear, hear!

        I stopped paying dues over a decade ago. Never once have I regretted that decision. I now advise young philosophers to go to APA meetings, pay dues, interview and do all that crap — until you get a real job — and then forget about the organization altogether.

      2. Well put, Lysias. Stupidly, I rejoined the APA in January in Washington. Now I wish there were a way to get my money back. I’d love to put it toward a new organization that represents the profession, not the loony fringe.

  36. Alright folks, do we retake the APA with the silent majority or do we leave it in drones? This needs to be a coordinated effort.

    1. Well, I’m staying. And I resolve to actually vote in the future.
      I don’t think it would be too hard to fix things. Of course, unlike some people I think Ferrar has done a good job with some of the stuff, so what I would count as ‘fixed’ maybe some others here wouldn’t.
      I’m old enough to remember when the self-styled “pluralists” took over the APA. It wasn’t a total disaster, but it did screw some things up. Once the ‘silent majority’ realized it was a serious problem, they started paying attention, voting, running for the offices, and the worst problems were ameliorated.
      I don’t honestly believe that anyone is going to produce a viable alternative to the APA, and I think we do need a professional organization. So, I’ll stay and join with those who are going to try to fix it.

      Oh, also: ‘drones’? Or ‘droves’?

      1. Definitely ‘droves’!

        Repairman, I’d like to join you. Do you have any information on the mechanics of it all? When and where do we vote on the leadership and policies of the APA? I’m the person who stupidly paid membership dues this year, so I want to get the most of it and help get rid of some of these turkeys, or at least their dumb policies.

        1. You vote for representatives; I’m afraid you don’t get to vote on policies.
          I’m in the eastern division but I assume it works about the same in the other divisions. At the end of March I got an electronic ballot by email. I’m sorry to say that last year I just ignored mine. You can also nominate people for next year’s ballot.

          1. Cool. So, we should get ballots in the mail in March? Do we know who’s running? Also, any thoughts about whom to nominate? Maybe some of the people who have already been forthcoming under their own names: Philippe Lemoine, Steven Hales, I know there are some others.

  37. Nice to see that the sensible comments (Lemoine, Dworkin) at DN thread are getting more support in the likes than the comments from the usual SJW nuts – Pogin & co. This is Kathryn Pogin, who ran a campaign against Laura Kipnis at Northwestern, filing a frivolous Title IX complaint, trying to get Kipnis fired, for merely writing an essay. Nice to see sensible comments at Leiter’s thread too, from “Scott” and others.

  38. Weinberg responds to Diogenes and misses the point big time:

    Diogenes of Sinope · February 13, 2016 at 5:11 pm
    It’s clear from the reactions on all blogs that the APA leadership is engaged in an ideological crusade that most members don’t agree with. Perhaps the Righteous Ones don’t care about the opinions of the unenlightened, but they do seem to care about their membership dues. Speaking of how those dues are used: the APA Executive Director has a BA in women’s studies and an MPA. There are scores of unemployed philosophy PhDs. What does this tell us about the APA’s priorities?

    Justin W. · February 13, 2016 at 5:22 pm
    I have seen Ms. Ferrer’s qualifications mentioned before in this way, yet it is never explained why one would think that the lack of a PhD in philosophy would render one unqualified to be executive director of the APA. Ms. Ferrer’s job is not to do philosophy; it is to manage a professional organization of philosophers. The skills required for that would presumably be much more similar to the those exercised and honed during her years of experience working at nonprofit organizations than to those developed obtaining a PhD in philosophy.

    1. Could it be that Weinberg has started manipulating the like button on DN? I can’t believe his tone deaf reply is more popular than Diogenes’s comment.

      1. Agreed, Philan. For those who don’t know this, he’s been routinely dishonest in moderating forums, often allowing through arguments that support his side but blocking completely unobjectionable comments that rebut his side’s points. In this way, Daily Nous is being used dishonestly to advance the NC agenda. Given these well-known traits, it would not be too surprising if he were fucking around with his like readings.

        1. Diogenes’s comment is picking up votes now but still not winning, which is odd. Thank goodness for Ligurio and Lsyias replying to Weinberg. Still, I thought recently DN was better. The APA fatwa could be read as applying to that blog as well.

          1. Ok, seriously? Who gives a fuck about likes on Weinberg’s blog? It takes another level of nutty crazy to think anyone would bother to manipulate that. If you want to join a conspiracy theory camp I hear there’s a great market for Scalia murder theories.

            1. On the contrary, I think those likes are a good barometer and a good way for the silent majority to demonstrate that the SJWs are just a loud fringe. But I agree that it’s unlikely that Weinberg is manipulating anything. It’s more likely that Ferrer got her millennial SJW friends from Tumblr to go and click on Weinberg’s post because she felt her job may be in jeopardy. Earlier the likes were on a par, now suddenly Weiberg has a dozen more likes. That’s very odd. As soon as reality catches us someone intervenes to make sure things look as if Ferrer has broad support among philosophers.

    2. Most of a college president’s work is not to be a teacher or researcher…. And yet we think it’s important for an institution to be led by someone who knows what the academic mission is all about. Ceteris paribus, etc., but still. And I think what we’re seeing in the APA case is that many actual philosophers are unenthused about supporting the organization. I confess I let my membership lapse out of carelessness, but I haven’t had cause to feel bad about that.

  39. Anybody know how the APA is doing financially? They took a bit hit with the rise of online ads and the collapse of the Eastern. The political bungles are probably costing more memberships than they gain. Some of this could be mitigated by subscription fees if the JAPA takes off. But given their recent plea to end free-riding, this leads one to surmise they’ve been spending their savings instead of cutting costs.

  40. “So, let’s review. A non-peer-reviewed paper shows that women get more requests accepted than men. In one subgroup, unblinding gender gives women a bigger advantage; in another subgroup, unblinding gender gives men a bigger advantage. When gender is unblinded, both men and women do worse; it’s unclear if there are statistically significant differences in this regard. Only one of the study’s subgroups showed lower acceptance for women than men, and the size of the difference was 63% vs. 64%, which may or may not be statistically significant. This may or may not be related to the fact, demonstrated in the study, that women propose bigger and less-immediately-useful changes on average; no attempt was made to control for this. This tiny amount of discrimination against women seems to be mostly from other women, not from men.

    The media uses this to conclude that “a vile male hive mind is running an assault mission against women in tech.”

    Every time I say I’m nervous about the institutionalized social justice movement, people tell me that I’m crazy, that I’m just sexist and privileged, and that feminism is merely the belief that women are people so any discomfort with it is totally beyond the pale. I would nevertheless like to re-emphasize my concerns at this point.”


    1. Branden Fitelson, Rutgers’ big shot expert on probabilities, posted one of these disastrous articles to Facebook. Is Fitelson incompetent or is he dishonest? Discuss.

      1. Maybe he wanted the likes.
        Or he was told he’d have to be a corrupt son of a bitch if he wanted to survive in Jersey.
        Or he’s crushing on some SJW lady, and wanted to impress her.
        Or he wants all the ladies, and wanted to impress them.
        Or he’s become a mole, and is gaining the trust of the SJW crowd so he can destroy them from within.
        Or he was hacked, and he didn’t even post it.
        Maybe he’s (secretly) dead and someone is managing his public image for him.
        Or he was recently hit in the head, and has been rendered incompetent.
        Did it involve commentary? Perhaps he wants to see who agrees so he can unfriend them.
        It could be a test, and he’s just waiting for someone to call him out, so he knows who his smart Facebook friends are.
        Maybe he has access to more data than Scott Alexander, and has drawn different conclusions accordingly.
        Maybe he’s lost his edge and become more reactionary.
        Or he’s working on a study of his own and this is somehow part of it.
        He could just be a Russian spy, distracting us from his nefarious deeds.
        Maybe he’s both incompetent AND dishonest.
        It’s possible he’s neither.
        I don’t know, but at least I’ve killed some time.

  41. When a metablog becomes inactive, it takes months before the next one picks up. This is why I set up Philosophy Meta Meta, a directory of metablogs that will always contain a link to the current one.

    If you have links that should be added, please use the anonymous comment function to contact me.

    1. Great work, very useful. The link should be displayed right at the top of this blog’s banner, so next time they shut us down we know where to go right away.

        1. Yes, awesome work.

          I haven’t been back to the Laughing Philosopher blog in awhile. Lots of good stuff there. If I’m not mistaken, that was the one that started it all. Anyone know what happened to old JW Showalter?

      1. Reddit admins are very SJW-friendly (like every other corporation today). Every single mainstream reddit has at least one SJW mod who has full freedom to remove any posts they like.

        /r/mockingbirds obviously wasn’t mainstream, but there must have been pressure from famous professors to do it.

  42. Okay, let’s see if I’ve got this right.

    J W Showalter, using that pseudonym, decides the time has come for a balanced discussion that entertains feminist and antifeminist discussions equally. He seems very middle of the road when you read his stuff on Laughing Philospher. Brit Brogaard hounds him into silence, ending that blog permanently. And she openly boasts about doing so, with zero professional or personal repercussions to her.

    Then Glaucon, also hiding behind a pseudonym, takes up the torch with the Metablog. He says things that are far more nuanced and fair than the feminist blogs that dominate the scene. But some unknown person presses him to stop. He closes the blog down, deletes all the archives he can, and runs away before he can be harmed by this mysterious threat.

    Next comes the Metametablog, whose moderator won’t even dare to invent a pseudonym or give commentary. Mysteriously, that one vanishes the same way.

    To replace that one, some other hidden person starts the Mockingbirds blog on Reddit. But one or more social justice warriors who were welcome to offer dissent there chose instead to eliminate all traces of the comments.

    And – do I have this right? – the conclusion people draw from this is that the real silencing that’s going on is not the feminists silencing free discussions (whatever would make us think that? ) but the “patriarchy” silencing the feminists.

    I guess that’s why we never hear any feminist views being uttered anywhere. The patriarchy is just so damn effective,.

    1. Not disagreeing with your overall point, though to be fair, Glaucon shut it down after he got tired of the direction many of the threads were taking. He said this at the time.

      1. The closing post of Glaucon’s Metablog included a poem with this verse:

        Lingered to provide a place to comment freely,
        Let fall upon its back the scorn of other bloggers,
        Deleted a few comments, tried to repel the creeps,
        But seeing that it had really turned to crap,
        Made one last post, turned out the lights, and fell asleep.

        In short, 10:45, above, gets it right. It was the “creeps” who posted lots of “crap” that led Glaucon to shut the place down.

            1. Holy crap.
              Thanks…I think. What a shitshow.
              If anyone else can tell me more or point me to more, I’d appreciate it.

              1. Hi, Stealthy. I watched events unfold, and can tell you more details.

                Two or three years ago, it was impossible to read or even express dissenting views against the growing feminist ‘consensus’. Leiter didn’t allow comments on his blog then, and at the time he was on friendlier terms with the APA. NewAPPS and Philosophy Smoker were, and still are, running dogs for the feminist cause. There were a couple of threads that veered in that direction on the Smoker, but Mr. Zero (a moderator there) seems to have routinely censored the comments from people he didn’t agree with, making it seem that his favored side was winning by blocking the rebuttals. Many of us experienced that. It was a really dishonest thing to do.

                Then, things heated up even further. The Colin McGinn story galvanized many of the New Consensus folks to seize even more power in the profession and in the blogosphere. At the time, we knew very little about the McGinn issue: it was really just his word against the grad student’s. Some people called for caution and due process before jumping all over the guy, but they were shouted down. This strengthened the resolve of the activists for some less clear cases: the Colorado incident (with the Site Visit Committee of the APA’s Committee on the Status of Women doing their work, now better appreciated for how scandalous it was) and soon after that, the Ludlow incident, which again involved the ousting of a professor before the evidence was in.

                That was the climate in which J.W. Showalter (perhaps not his real name) started the Laughing Philosopher blog. Showalter was quite even-handed, in retrospect. His blog attracted discussions with anti-feminists, feminists, and middle-of-the-roaders. But he irked the rising powers of the self-described New Consensus folks, who had up to that point been using their monopoly on the blogs as a way of gaining political power. Showalter gave Michael Tooley a platform to provide an insider’s look at what had happened in Colorado, which went against their narrative. He raised questions that at the time had never been raised on a blog. He also had a policy at first of not blocking any comments. This led to someone who called himself ‘Highly Adequate’ going on Laughing Philosopher and trying to make the case that men are inherently more likely to be philosophical geniuses than men. Showalter and the commenters at LP were unanimous in criticizing Highly Adequate, and Highly Adequate went on to start his own blog, Darkness Visible. But surprise surprise, the enemies of Showalter like Brogaard capitalized on the appearance of Highly Adequate’s comments on the Laughing Philosopher blog to try to misrepresent the entire blog as supporting that view, when anyone looking at the conversations could see that Showalter and everyone else were shouting Highly Adequate down.

                At that point, about two months into the founding of the blog, someone or perhaps two people made some posts on the NewAPPS blog about the conversation. One of them claimed to be Showalter, but it was never verified that it was the same person who ran the Laughing Philosopher blog. The other called herself Tara Nelson. They both, or maybe it was the same person, invited people to go to the Laughing Philosopher blog to help refute Highly Adequate. Just a few days before that, Brit Brogaard had joined NewAPPS. I think the thread in which these comments appeared was her first or second. Brogaard considered herself to be an expert on the psychology of internet trolls, and claims that she tracked the IP addresses of Showalter and Nelson and found that they were the same, so that it was either two partners using the same computer or computers behind the same firewall, or just one person using a sockpuppet. As you saw in the link to her blog, she decided that this was the work of one or more students at Rutgers, one of whom claimed to be Showalter. She claimed that whoever it was was dangerous and wrote to the Rutgers department to have the student thrown off the program for contributing to the blog. I don’t know if the student was ever found or if he was expelled for writing the comment, but Brogaard’s ploy worked. Within a week, the Laughing Philosopher blog was closed down for comments and Showalter was heard from no more.

                It’s worth noting that while Brogaard was going on this terrifying rampage against an anonymous or pseudonymous commenter, whose comments on NewAPPS were completely innocous as far as I could see, APA president Amy Ferrer was spending a week on NewAPPS by invitation. She joined the comments every week, and witnessed everything that was going on. She had a perfect opportunity to comment on what Brogaard was doing, or the importance of free speech and not opening up an Orwellian can of worms. She chose to say absolutely nothing.

                Two things happened in the aftermath of that. The first is that Brogaard left NewAPPS, and that blog started collapsing. Apparently, Brogaard had got in a fight with some others at NewAPPS about whether the thread with the ‘offensive’ comments should stay up. They said no, she said yes. She left and took the comments with her to her low-traffic Lemmings blog, which is why you can still read them today. I guess she thinks people will be outraged by reading them, but why she thinks that is beyond me. After she left, more and more people started drifting away from NewAPPS to start their own projects. Brogaard, of course, was tapped by Leiter to head up the PGR from now on. Oddly, nobody seems to have mentioned her witch hunt against ‘Showalter’/Nelson and what that might betoken about her likely conduct as PGR director.

                The other thing that happened was that the people who were already getting excited about the chance to have a free and open conversation about what’s happening in the profession had nowhere to talk about the Brogaard bombshell. So they moved to the one place in the philosophy blogosphere where you could still post things without censorship: Philosophers Anonymous. Philosophers Anonymous was a very funny blog, now defunct, run by someone called Spiros. His sidekick, Glaucon, was a regular in the comments sections. Spiros didn’t have a filter on his comments section, but that hadn’t previously led to any previous conversations about feminism in the profession, since Spiros’s main interests were things like who had died and how much he hates Billy Joel. But everyone looking around for a place to discuss the things that would otherwise have appeared on Laughing Philosopher noticed that comments were appearing in the Philosophers Anonymous threads, so for a few days everything moved over there. If you go back to that time, you can find threads going on for hundreds and hundreds of comments even though they have nothing to do with the original topic. Some people were threatening to ‘out’ Showalter, some were asking for him to open up the Laughing Philosopher blog again, some were freaking out about Brogaard, some were just talking about the New Consensus power grab and Amy Ferrer’s complicity in it. This lasted until Spiros came back to the blog a few days later and told everyone to clear out and do this on another blog. Glaucon volunteered to open a blog for the purpose, and hence the original Philosophy Metablog was born. Once Glaucon was running the Metablog, his great rants appeared there rather than on Philosophers Anonymous. A year or so later, Philosophers Anonymous petered out.

                1. Thanks much, 3:45.
                  This helps a lot. If anybody’s interested in pointing me toward places where I can fill myself in on more of the relevant backstory, please, please do so.
                  I strongly suspected that something nefarious was afoot, but I had other irons in the fire, and basically made a decision long ago to ignore the soap-opera-esque crap in the so-called profession…
                  I certainly hope that disinterest/obliviousness explains why there’s not a general uproar about this stuff among philosophers. It’s kind of difficult for me to believe that the majority of academic philosophers in the U.S. could be so confused as to be genuinely sympathetic with this insanity.

                  1. It’s shocking, yes, Stealthy. I think a good portion of philosophers is so stupid and immoral as to think this is morally right, and another good portion is spineless to the point of doing nothing about it. The implications of this have really shaken my picture of my colleagues everywhere. I’m much less proud to be a philosopher now that I’ve seen how many of us have been complicit in this in various ways. It’s disgusting.

                    The Laughing Philosopher blog is still up for you to look through if you want to trace that side of things. You can also see some of it still, I think, in the comments threads at Philosophers Anonymous (this was early April 2014, if memory serves). But most of it’s in the comments I told you above and in Brogaard’s own preservation of the comments threads at NewAPPS.

                    1. Thanks again, 3:45/1:10.
                      Ever since the paleo-PC days in the late 80s-early 90s, I’ve defended philosophy against attacks on the liberal arts by saying that we’re nothing like lit-crit, women’s studies, sociology, etc… I’m sad to see that that seems false now, and, like you, I’m less proud to be a philosopher. Some of the arguments I’ve been seeing from the NC crowd are just breathtakingly awful. This, however, confirms something I’ve long realized: when philosophers go bad, they’re particularly dangerous, because their training allows them to give even terrible views a thin veneer of plausibility. Philosophical training without any regard for the truth produces a kind of grotesquerie.

                    2. Stealthy, would you be willing to share your experiences in the late 80s-early 90s? What was the general milieu then like? These ‘pluralist’ flare-ups seems to be periodic in philosophy and the APA. You could mistake the following for something that is only published recently when in fact this was letter circulated in the APA in November of 1980 a year after Rorty’s election:

                      “The Committee on Pluralism seeks to obtain, through political means, a position of influence which its members have not been able to obtain through their philosophical work. We believe that the Committee favors the suppression of serious scholarly and intellectual standards under the false banner of openmindedness.”

                      Some contemporaneous media coverage by NYT for those interested: [1] http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9506EEDC173BE732A25753C3A9649D946890D6CF; [2] http://www.nytimes.com/1981/01/06/science/education-analysts-win-battle-in-war-of-philosophy.html

                      Wonder if anyone has written a material or institution history of Anglo-American philosophy. The little I know about the APA and its history has been from Rorty: The Making of an American Philosopher…

    2. The post-Glaucon PMMB disappeared after users repeatedly posted incriminating text messages between Peter Ludlow and Lauren Leydon-Hardy. From what I can tell, Ludlow is anxious for those exchanges to not be made public, and he may have attempted to use legal means to shut down the site. All that to say, it looked to me like the PMMB shut down due to someone who was definitely not on the SJW side of things.

      1. “From what I can tell, Ludlow is anxious for those exchanges to not be made public”

        That is bullshit. It is`Janice Dowell who want it closed down, because it showed the close romantic relationship between Leydon-Hardy and Ludlow.

        1. It also showed that Ludlow was (at least) a little predatory. I don’t imagine either Leydon-Hardy or Ludlow would be happy for the details of their affair to be widely shared, especially since they’re both in relationships with other people by now (Leydon-Hardy eventually married the guy she was cheating on with Ludlow).

      1. Details, please? How do we know it’s her?

        Someone needs to compile all these bits of history somewhere. They could prove very useful and interesting later on.

    1. Thank you for this reference! Ever since the FemTrolls have ruined one of my fields, astronomy (#VenusGate), I have been on the lookout for other fields! Not surprising that they would attack this one too – because meat and eating meat and cooking meat is one of the last refugees of traditional masculine culture. I for one person do not wish to see it go away.


    1. I hope someone gives him a good job when the time comes. He’s done lots of service to the profession. I’d seriously count it as something in his favor if he applied at our place.

      1. Well isn’t this just a winky bit ironic! First you tell me to “pony up with some arguments next time” and establish my claims – and then YOU attack me without any arguments. The kettle is black indeed. This very much hurts your Feminist cases and all fellow women! Maybe if you commented less here you could have time for more factual, long comments!

        But really if you have a problem with my blog and studies – then go there and show your points to be valid! I’ve been blogging since well before your kids had diapers, and I find it bad and a tad sad that this is what your generation has come to.


        1. Hi, Nikolay. I’m the person who asked you to pony up with some arguments next time. I’m not the person you’re addressing in your Feb. 16th at 12:31pm comment.

          1. He’s a Creationist nutter, but at least Pilos and JYB have a little more competition. Come to think of it, together they would make a nifty slate for a new leadership of the APA!

  43. I am just a little bismirched about the fact that a comment here (“Anonymous”, above) seems to think it’s cool beans to SLUR me as a “creationist” when in fact i have REFUTED creationism:

    I suspect she is a femphil activist upset about the gendered nature of my CRITICISM (not creationism) of CURRENT evolutionary theory:

    I have also had a spat with PZ Myers who many activists worship, so maybe that is what it is getting this particular commenter’s griddle:

    I am already attacked in the science/maths blogosphere… don’t be the same in philosophy!

      1. You are a Larouchite conspiracy theorist. You also seem to be the SJW who spammed the subreddit (mockngbirds) mentioned above. Please go back to your parallel SJW universe.

        1. Hello again, Anonymous. I do happen to know what you are talking about. I am very confused about the purpose of that place. I thought it was a place to talk about non-standard ideas in academics, as well as to mock (see: the title) the wannabe scientist Jason Stanley. But it did not end up being the safe space [VOMIT!] I expected. You will be interested to know that I have done battle with Reddit before:

          But please will everyone stop attacking me, thank you.


          1. Nikolay, if you want people to take you seriously you will have to publish your results in respectable peer reviewed venues in math, biology, etc. Sure, there’s a bias there for established views, but it’s far from impossible to publish contrarian articles — I speak from experience. Try to do that, then come back and I promise you’ll have a much more productive experience talking to academics.

            1. I have many successes talking to academics, like PZ Myers and Noam Chomsky. Just see my blog! I correspond with them on email and Twitter. As far as I know, no one here is actually an academic, so this criticism doesn’t apply anyway!


        2. (I may add here, now, that the Reddit place you describe called me a “sister” blog. I think they are FemPhil SJW, as you describe, making fun of me like many have. I did not know what waters I was wading into. ALSO they created a duplicate account of me? My first one exists but cannot post! It is confusing.


  44. Over at Daily Nous, Kathryn Pogin rails against “having folks speculate about your sexual history or preferences or being accused of criminal conduct by anonymous persons online outside of any system of accountability and without further evidence”.

    Pogin’s attitude is sensible. Anonymous speculations and allegations aren’t doing the profession any good.

    I immediately thought of the What Is It Like blog. That site is, quite explicitly, *dedicated* to anonymous accusations of criminal conduct (alongside morally bad but legal conduct) without accountability or evidence. There are now dozens of stories there — anonymously and without any accountability or evidence at all — alleging harassment, assault, and other criminal conduct. Many of those stories also contain identifying information about the alleged perpetrators.

    I thought next of the notorious Thought Catalog episode, where an Rochelle Dara Bascara — again, without any accountability or evidence — claims to have had a manipulative and morally problematic affair with an Ivy League philosopher, also supplying identifying information about the alleged perpetrator.

    Finally, I thought of Heidi Lockwood’s affidavit in the Ludlow case, in which she shares various anonymous reports about Ludlow’s alleged criminal conduct (including use of illegal drugs and solicitation of prostitutes), again entirely without evidence or accountability.

    I agree with Pogin: down with the anonymous and evidence-free allegations. Down with What Is It Like, and down with the whole call-out culture that made it possible.

    1. Meanwhile, I’ve been reading and contributing to the metablogs since they started, and have seen precious little of those things here.

      What a bunch of self-blind, preening hypocrites these people are.

      1. Indeed. Witness the mental gymnastics Anne Jacobson is having to do at Feminist Philosophers in order to avoid admitting that by the standards of the APA’s statement she’s clearly in violation of that statement with the Hitler video she posted. And only days after she and Saul have a tone-deaf exchange wondering why anyone would object to the statement.

        1. I know! AJJJJ: ‘It is remarkable that there is controversy over the APA letter’. Philippe L did a brilliant job at DN of undermining this kind of wide-eyed nonsense. Yeoman service: hats off to the guy.

          It probably would have been a good idea for one of the many critics of the hilarious APA ‘cease and desist’ tantrum to point out that AJJJ’s posting of the Downfall video violated those absurd strictures against ‘abusive speech’ and ‘ad hominem harrassment’ AJJJ herself had deemed so obviously uncontroversial only six hours earlier. But no need: a swarm of professional finger-waggers from the other side immediately descended to denounce the Downfall post as ‘inappropriate’, ‘problematic’, etc etc.

          1. And now Doogie weighs in at FP! It seems abusive speech and ad hominem harrassment are OK if they’re ‘generational’. No, wait… only if the ‘generation’ in question are millennials? Maybe the APA should issue a clarification.

            1. When a bunch of people are straining every nerve to be on-message, it’s always really funny when it becomes unclear what counts as on-message. That’s why there wasn’t a single mention of the Cologne attacks on FP until a week ago, when there was finally a link to an article entitled ‘No, feminists aren’t scared to write about the Cologne attacks’. Nearly six weeks after the attacks.

              1. Literally the first time in months FP have had more than a couple of comments and it’s all because someone’s triggered by the most famous spoof video on the internet. You literally couldn’t make this shit up. Even AJJ like ‘this shit cray.’

              2. What’s even funnier is that the article they linked to pretends that Islamic immigration has nothing to do with it and that the actual problem is with men in general. You can’t even parody these people.

          2. Anon 3:04,

            Well, actually…

            I *am* one of the critics of the “cease and desist” statement, and I *did* point out that the Downfall parody seems to violate the rule articulated in that statement.

            I know, my comments are easily interpreted as a genuine finger-wagging denouncement, but read them again. At no point did I object to the Downfall video. I’ve only said that it has those characteristics that the APA statement seems to be trying to forbid.

    2. BTW does anybody know what’s up with the Dara Bascara affair? I remember that Stanley was strutting on his horse through Facebook playing ‘investigator’ and asking people for information on TP’s sex life. What happened next?

      1. Probably nothing, especially after people started asking questions about which women benefitted from Pogge’s quid pro quo arrangements.

          1. Especially since many of them are women of color. Can you imagine the headsplosions that would result, if it turned out that women of color (oppressed!) in philosophy had cynically used Thomas Pogge to gain advantages (privilege!)?

            1. Exactly! When I have been reading into philosophies recently (despite my love of REAL science and math), it has seemed very clear that the FemPhils do not know that women and women with color ever make mistakes. I find that people here are MUCH better at finding these mistakes and hence it is a good place to go for people interested in finding them themselves!


      2. Ah, yes. Strut around through Facebook playing investigator to condemn someone? You’re feted by the philosophical community. Discreetly investigate a bullshit sexual harassment allegation (at Colorado) that’s about to get one of your grad students unjustly expelled? Prepare to be fired when a feminist ‘colleague’ reports you for your investigations.

    3. As a scientist I just want to give chimes and agree that Professor Pogin most certainly has no way of distinguishing betwixt case from case here! And I suspect he supports every aspect of every action in the cases Anonymous mentions – running the hypocrisy full circle indeed! I did not expect us to agree so handily given our many interactions in other places below and above.

      But I also wanted to come here to say that many commenters are making this blog about MY blog and that I would please like that to stop. You are WELCOME to comment on MY blog (in the comments, not main posts please!) but you are NOT welcome to COMMENT on my blog HERE. Do we understand one another cordially?

      Let me know this,

        1. Every post on your blog is wrong, and I have proven this. I have defeated your blog. No one has to go to your blog ever again because I have proven you wrong.

      1. “…agree that Professor Pogin … And I suspect HE…”

        Oh Nikolay, poor Nikolay… Well, I guess it was nice knowing you…

  45. Should anonymous meanies desist?
    The suggestion they should has some pissed.
    Death threats are evil
    But let’s not get medieval
    Just ‘cause some of your circle’s been dissed.

            1. A PMMMB filled with hearts is probably an improvement. Sort of like a Trump rally, each of which is (by Trump’s accounts) a totally love-saturated event. So much love.

              1. No one here has run anyone out of the philosophy profession. There is debate; and, at worst, disapproval and mockery of pompous blowhards. Now, in contrast, consider the campaigns run at FP, NA, DN and WIL – smear campaigns intended to run professional philosophers out of the profession and to silence dissent. These are examples of bullying, harassment and intimidation.

        1. Nikolay, sorry if this is blunt, but you have no connection to professional philosophy. Can you please stop posting so much in a forum dedicated to problems in professional philosophy?

          1. Agreed, Anon. These comments of Nikolay’s really are taking us away from our main topics, and the threads are long enough as it is. Nikolay, perhaps there’s another blog you could discuss things on? Daily Nous seems more suited for what you’re trying to do.

          2. I find Anon very offensive. First I have a LOT of philosophy on my blog if you think philosphy means LOGIC as well as talking about PHILOSOPHERS. (Here is just one of hundreds of examples of both logic and mentioning philosophers: https://sciencedefeated.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/lessons-from-17th-century-optics/)

            But there is a second reason why your claim is bunk which is because many of the most important figures in these debates are NOT philosophers. For example I have noticed Journalists like Rod Carveth and Frenchmen like Philippe Lemoine and political theorists like Jason Stanley ALL seem to have a place on this blog but not me?? FemPhils shuld get their logic straight and realize that if they are going to embrace Carveth, Lemoine, and Stanley here then they should also embrace me.


            1. Lemoine is grad student in philosophy (I like the idea that Frenchman = not a philosopher, by the way). Stanley is a professor of philosophy. You just don’t know what you are talking about. Please go away.

              1. Hmm. When I looked Lemoine up on Facebook, he seemed to be friends with lots of French people, but not a lot of philosophers. I am realizing now that this is likely becasue of what he complains on the other philosophy blog where he attacks FemPhils for suing poeple, Leiter sues people also sometimes. As for Stanley……. we’ll have to agree to a difference on that.


                1. What fucking difference are we supposed to agree on? Stanley has an endowed chair in Yale’s department of philosophy, and he is best known for his work in phil of language and epistemology. Anyone remotely connected to professional philosophy knows this, which goes to show that you are out of place here. Go away. If you don’t I propose that we just ignore your posts from now on. I know I will.

  46. I just want to note for the record that there is a LOT of attempted FemPhil silencing of me in the comments right now. I feel safe because I have my own (very successful) blog (since 2008), but I worry for those non-standard thinkers who do NOT have a very successful blog since 2008. This does not seem to be a place where FemPhils can have open dialogue, which is what they are always claiming they want!


    1. Nobody deleted your posts, right? Also, nobody in philosophy cares about your blog. Nobody will care until you publish something in a peer-reviewed philosophy journal. Until then, please stop posting here.

      1. Lol no one deleted my posts….. but no one deleted other people’s posts either…… that is not what silencing HAS TO be.

        Stop with weird peer review fetishizing! This is a blog. It is not peer reviewed! And none of these comments are! And other blogs are not also.

        (for the record LOTS of people care about my blog which anyone with EYES can see based on pageviews as well as comments)


        1. You are someone who doesn’t even know Stanley is a philosopher. Nay, you didn’t even bother to google him. You are not welcome here. You are polluting this thread with your rants about your mathematical confusions. Please go and do this on Reddit or some other more appropriate forum.

      1. Go the fuck away, Sokolov: Bertram is a philosophy prof at the U of Bristol and a well known blogger at Crooked Timber. Once again you prove that you are clueless. I still don’t know what 9:29 meant though.

          1. I appreciate Nikolay’s participation in the blog! It’s much better than listening to the MRAs complain about the women “takin’ their jobs!”

            1. Idiot,

              There has not been one single comment in this or any previous metablog complaining about women taking (or “takin'”) people’s jobs. Not a single one.

              The fact that you think otherwise shows that you are not even reading this, but rather trusting the extremely bigoted and dishonest prattle from the feminists, who haven’t taken the time to read and understand or even to think.

              Do yourself and the rest of us a favor and actually read things before you sneer at them. I think you’ll find that you’ve been deceived because you trusted a bunch of liars (i.e. the feminists).

              If you’d rather not read, then don’t comment. Simple.

            1. What on earth is “sockpuppetting”? And how am I doing it? I thought that I had support here, but you gals are too blinded by feminist ideology to recognize what I’m saying!

              On Bertram, figures you stop substantively responding as soon as evidence is presented your way!


          2. Anyone remember this incident, where Sokolov shows just how fucking clueless they are?

            In sum: Sokolov makes moronic comments on FP. (https://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/2015/09/25/are-anti-sexual-assault-advocates-on-college-campuses-hysterical/#comments)

            Sokolov gets taken to task by David Wallace. Sokolov fails to realize who “David Wallace” is. David Wallace then politely corrects Sokolov in the comments section of his own shitty blog, whereupon Sokolov complains, “how am I supposed to know what I am talking about?!” (https://sciencedefeated.wordpress.com/2015/10/02/fighting-the-moderately-good-fight-on-probability/)

            Metablog should treat Sokolov’s comments like spam, which is what they are.

              1. Dear Anonymous,

                What you say is fairly insulting. On the advice of Philippe Lemoine I shall not sue you, but do you have an evidence for your claims? I do not know of groups that have banned me? It is true that I am not FRIENDS with Irena Cronin on Facebook, but that is NOT the same with being banned from her group. Philippe Lemoine is ALSO not friends with philosophers on Facebook – as he laments.


                1. RM’s Twitter feed:

                  “Look at me! Look at me! Pay attention, dodgammit! Look at me!”
                  “I AM OPPRESSED.”

                  “Stop looking at me, you oppressive TERF shitlords! Disagreement is oppression.”
                  “I AM OPPRESSED.”

                  1. I just started following RM’s Twitter feed, too. It’s the most self-indulgent thing I’ve ever seen. Aside from actually applauding certain journals for letting through the non-word “themself”, everything she says is a version of “I’m great”, “You people who don’t support me suck”, “Brian Leiter is a piece of shit”, “Why aren’t more people fawning over me”, “The fact that people oppose the APA Statement on Bullying can only mean that they’re in favor of bullying and harassing minorities and me in particular”.

                    1. She may be a good example of how some M to F trans people are fetishists in love with themselves, as some of the no-platformed old school feminists claim.

            1. Dear Anonymous,

              First, I am not “they.” I am “he.” I am a man. Women like you do not appreciate this – you think I am a second-class citizen of academia. You discount my testimony. You take my babies fro me.

              Second, Wallace was UTTERLY clueless on that thread, which is why he was unable to address me on my own blog in a serious way except to pretend I wasn’t talking about him.

              And to the mods: please notice that it is OTHERS who are making this about my blog……. I was here to discuss the happenings in philosophy on compairson with my experiences in science and maths – I have years since 2008 of experience, so you ought to find my presence worthwhile!


  47. RM’s Twitter feed:

    “Look at me! Look at me! Pay attention, dodgammit! Look at me!”

    “Stop looking at me, you oppressive TERF shitlords! Disagreement is oppression.”

    1. The Asian woman had a very good point. Unfortunately or fortunately for her, she realized too late that the crowd she’d come out with isn’t interested in nuances. They will turn on whoever doesn’t fall in lockstep with their program, which involves eating their own. I laugh with delight whenever I see them thinning out their own ranks like this by being intolerant of all dissent.

      These ‘safe space’ ringleader idiots really are like movie villains. When you watch the movies, it’s always hard to know why anyone wants to work for the villains, since they kill off their own faithful henchmen for sport. Ditto for these fuckwits.

  48. The latest from Rachel McKinnon’s Twitter feed: “Metabros object to programs of women helping women get TT jobs. “Why no programs for men,” they cry! Make your own, guys. Geez. We did.”

    Have I got that right? Rachel McKinnon is advocating that men should follow the lead of feminists and establish sexually discriminatory programs to boost people of our own sex only? That’s what she wants? What?? Is she even thinking before she tweets?

    1. Rage Machine McKinnon believes in and advocates discrimination. It’s bigoted, unethical and illegal; and obviously people will oppose it for those reasons.

      1. Same goes for RM’s habit of constantly tweeting about her awesome physical fitness routine. You can’t be part of her feed to get updates on her ‘philosophical’ rants without reading about her boasts about her physique. Imagine a male philosopher doing this. Seriously. Imagine how people would react if Brian Leiter became a fitness junky and constantly gave people updates about how much he could bench press. Would people be similarly embracing of it all? I think not.

    2. A priori pro Mckinnon’s Tweets, I just want to point out to you feminists that UNLIKE you I HAVE advocated for OPEN dialogue betwixt the ideologies of Left and Right. For example here I proposed – with force – that Leiter and McKinnon do a “bloggingheads”:

      Read it and WEEP that it did not occur in living memory – yet.


  49. Philosophy as a series of jokes?
    You could do it, Ludwig told the folks.
    Sokal hoax, I’ve heard of
    Now I feel Sokolov[e]!
    Or maybe just too many tokes.

    So don’t feel you’ve been trolled or played
    By the nonsense that here well displayed.
    Science defeated?
    Numbskullery bleated.
    My friend, you’ve just been nicolayed.

    1. Glaucon,

      First, is your name a reference to the Plato dialogues with same?

      Second, I do not know whether you are making fun with me or joining me in non-standard thinking when you write “nicolayed” but please know that you have misspelled me (try ‘k’ in next poem) and that it is surprising for a woman to do this, given the importance to women in our profession of spelling and getting things right (allegedly).


  50. I’ve been thinking about an easy transformation and its high oppression point value.

    A cisgendered man who has sex with women? No oppression points. Watch your fucking back, mate.

    The same man, after dressing and declaring as a woman, continuing to have sex with women? Now it’s a woman, a transgender person, and a lesbian. That’s a very substantial number of oppression points all of a sudden. With three oppression points, you can do an say whatever the fuck you want. You’re bulletproof. You can even redefine whatever you’re doing as philosophy and nobody can say boo.

        1. Why is it ‘super creepy’ or even creepy at all? It’s not as though this involves digging up anything from Rachel McKinnon’s private life. She endlessly broadcasts her sexual orientation and preferred gender in her Twitter feed night and day for the world to see and read. These personal features are also mentioned in many of her talks and Q and A sessions.

          1. You don’t even need to dress as a woman. You can just declare yourself genderqueer or something. Though on some construals that may only give you one oppression point.

          2. Of course you wouldn’t think it was creepy, you’re obviously deranged. It is quite different to peruse someone’s public comments or listen to them speak as opposed to ask on an anonymous blog about the ‘details of her transition and sexual orientation.’ By the way, I follow her on Twitter and do not see her ‘endlessly broadcasting’ about her sexual orientation. I understand that you might be jealous given she’s TT and you are an adjunct in a basement. Carry on.

            1. 10:41, you stupid, stupid, stupid idiot:

              To begin with, I am in no way jealous of the likes of Rachel McKinnon. I am not an adjunct in a basement, as you baselessly surmise, but a fully tenured professor with a rather enviable position, to be honest. So are many others who post here. I know some who post on this blog anonymously whose CVs would make you weep in shame and comparative hopelessness if you read them.

              You see, idiot, despite what your amateur gossip circle tells you, those of us who are fed up with the New Consensus and come here to compare notes, strategize, and blow off steam are not jealous. Actually, idiot, if you read through the threads here, you will see for yourself that not a single person has ever expressed unhappiness that women are taking away all the jobs or anything else your lying shitbag friends have dishonestly told you we think. Nor has that view been expressed on any previous Metablog, to my knowledge. If I’m wrong, you need only find a source and cite it. No? Then perhaps I should fill you in on why we would hate what you loons are up to. It has nothing to do with envy.

              The reason we can’t stand your bullshit is, first, that it’s an embarrassment to philosophy; second, that it’s manifestly unjust by any normal standard; third, that it’s achingly self-indulgent; and fourth, that it positively interferes with the true mission of the university and the profession. That’s why we hate it. We hate it because it’s idiotic, unfair bullshit, and because it’s a cancer on the university and on the principles of a free society.

              You smugly ask me to ‘carry on’. Very well, we shall. As for you, I hope you enjoy the last few months or years of this idiocy before the tables are turned on you. Already, there’s a huge and growing groundswell of disgust at what you shitbirds are doing to the university system. Already, people from all walks of life want you to go to hell. I give you another year or two, five at most, before you’re out on your ass and the rest of us don’t need to conceal ourselves behind anonymous masks as we laugh and jeer at your achingly hideous ideas while we boot your sorry asses out of our lives.

              You are not philosophers. You have never been philosophers. You are the bottomfeeders who have made it well past your lot in life, the moneychangers in the temple, the houseguests the hosts are trying to get rid of, the parasites leeching off the free society you’re bringing down with your crude, anti-intellectual ideologies. The most stupid people, that being you and your gang, are those who fail to learn the lessons of history. Right now, the rest of us are forced to stew behind our masks here as you continue to make these cringe-worthy errors one after another, forgetting about due process and common sense as you try to put things together from scratch and botch the job repeatedly. I hope you won’t carry on, but I’m sure you will until your time is up. I hope that will be very, very soon.

                1. Whom are you calling a loser? And on what basis? Because we’re not racing through the profession taking random pot shots at anyone who momentarily pisses us off by slightly disagreeing or by violating some bizarre new ‘safe space’ rule? Is that what you think of as being a winner?

                1. If you are an intelligent and reflective person, then why did you write “If you are tenured professor”?

                  Just fuck off, man. Daily Nous and NewAPPS would love to hear your thoughts, I’m sure. But we wouldn’t. That’s been made clear. Bye.

                  1. Ummmm I wrote it because it was a condition of the sentence??

                    Who is the DUMMY when YOU don’t even realize that I HAVE commented at Daily Nous? Link much?


                    And this is just one among example upon example!


                    P.S It is not surprising that “metabros” describe the FemTrolls here as not very smart – you “Femtrolls” are not very smart indeed! Giving a bad name to X Chromozones everywhere!

              1. The ARG! Glaucon back-ish (seems like a Glaucon impersonator to me – less metrically fluent than the real one) and the ARG back all in one thread. August 2014 all over again. Glory metablog days.

        2. Before you attempt to creep-shame people you should make sure you’re not an ignorant twat. Every single detail mentioned in that comment was popularized by Rage MacKinnon herself.

  51. I am serious, I read the comments on the Pogge article and the way people wrote about Stanley there made it look like being a black female undergraduate during his Rutger years meant awkward advances.

    1. I have no reason to believe that these allegations against Stanley are correct (I believe I would know or at least have heard of it, if there was anything to them). No one, to my knowledge, has ever come forward with any specifics. It’s just a random anonymous attack. Giving it any credence is neither wise nor just.

    2. I think Stanley’s entire way of being is a form of harassment, and especially the way he smothers women and minorities with his obsessive attention, but I don’t know if it has taken sexual forms.

  52. RM, Glaucon, ARG, outsider trolling, and the latest in prurient charges about sleazy philosophers. This place is kicking again! Keep it up folks.

  53. Speculating and passing on rumors on people’s private lives is not cool.

    However, to mention that Rachel McKinnon is a self-described trans woman and lesbian is not to speculate or pass on rumors on someone’s private life. The better part of her career is dedicated to talking about how horrible it is for trans women lesbians like her allegedly is in philosophy. That’s a far cry from passing along rumors about someone having sexually approached someone else in private.

      1. RM has blogged extensively about the details of her transition (at the now defunct metamorpho-sis.com), including details about her genital surgery and coming out as a lesbian. None of this is any secret to anyone who’s followed her online antics over the past few years, nor did McKinnon seem think it was important that it remain private.

        1. Hell, Rachel McKinnon even had a blog post about how great it was to have her first orgasm after genital surgery, and how different it was to have an orgasm sans-penis. When someone blogs about stuff like this so publicly, it is disingenuous to wring hands about privacy or whatever. RM loves attention.

            1. One of the worst aspects [of having a penis] was simply having what I considered the wrong genital configuration. This meant that orgasms were centered wrongly: the experience was, in an important sense, external in a way I didn’t like, and carried with it feelings that I didn’t enjoy. This put me at constant odds with whatever libido I had…

              One of my principal worries going into surgery was whether I’d be able to orgasm afterwards. Procedures are sufficiently advanced that it’s rare for someone *not* to retain that ability. However, it took me three months to manage (after a few failed attempts). Perhaps obviously, everything is different. And just as with cis women, everyone’s different. The healing process is so slow (it takes 3-6 months to return to “normal” activities), that one barrier is worrying that one is going to hurt oneself in the process. Moreover, since the configuration is so different afterwards, one has to learn how to have sex (even if it’s alone!), which can be a frustrating (although sometimes enjoyable) process.

              And after finally succeeding in reaching my first post-operative orgasm, I’m in a place to reflect on the differences. My almost immediate response was to cry — seriously. Happy tears, to be sure, but there was a pretty big cry for two reasons. First, there was an overwhelming sense of rightness about everything — how things felt before, during, and after; and that the location of the orgasm no longer felt “external” as it did before, and it didn’t carry with it a number of physiological sensations that used to be unpleasant and dysmorphic. So not only did it feel right, but it didn’t carry with it any “wrong” feelings afterwards — so I got to just enjoy the whole experience.

              Second, I was worried about whether I’d ever manage to orgasm again. I often had a difficult time before surgery. I’m safe, I think, in now chalking that up to the dysmorphia: I couldn’t associate those feelings with pleasure (which puts a mental block on pleasure and orgasm) because of the prior genital configuration. Now that that’s lifted, the feelings can be properly associated as pleasure, and I can just enjoy it without the dysmorphia. Of course, the whole process is a lot more complicated than before (true for basically all women), and takes a lot longer, but it’s a lot more fun.

              Finally, I’ve noticed an interesting physiological difference. Before, as is stereotypical, orgasms made me tired immediately afterwards. I’d often recover my energy within a few minutes, but it was noticeable. Now it’s quite the opposite: I was immediately energized.

              1. For those who don’t recognize this, it’s a quote from RM’s blog about her transition experience. We must dispel once and for all the myth that Rachel McKinnon doesn’t like attention.

                1. 10:54, *you* would be well-served by having a brain and using it. But we all know that’s not going to happen. You have no arguments to contribute. You just show up repeatedly and opine. What good you think you’re doing is beyond me.

  54. Summary again of the analysis of CDJ’s data for philosophy job hiring for 2012 and 2013,

    – “Women hired had published less than men did, in fact about half as much.”
    – “The average publication rate for women hired was about 0.8.”
    – “The median number of publications for a woman hired was 0.”
    – “The average publication rate for men hired was about 1.5.”
    – “The median number of publications for a man hired was 1.”
    – “… a majority (54%) of women hired had no publications, as compared with 40% of men.”
    – “For 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.”
    – ” The association between being (un-)published and gender is statistically significant. … In other words, if the null hypothesis is true, the probability of seeing this observed data is tiny: 0.1%”
    – “The statistical findings, at least as far as philosophy job hiring in 2012 and 2013 were concerned, indicate the existence of both prestige and gender bias in philosophy job hiring:
    Against lower prestige male applicants. For high prestige female applicants.”


  55. ‏@rachelvmckinnon on Twitter

    Feb 15
    The @apaphilosophy is merely saying don’t be an asshole. That’s seriously controversial for you? E.g., “don’t use slurs.” Is that so hard?

    Feb 18
    Yes many people do take a stand, but there are *prominent* voices opposing it (including #philosophyasshat himself).

    1. “It’s not a slur if it’s about ‘cishet’ white males.”

      No sarcasm. That’s just the kind of thing that SJWs believe.

      1. I am 4:18 and was assuming it’s cognitive dissonance. RM, what do you say? Do you endorse the principle: “No slurs unless you have n oppression-points and then you can slur anyone with n or <n points." If you do endorse it, why?

    2. Rage MacKinnon is a what people call a crybully. In a world in which straight-up bullying is frowned upon, crybullies have found a way of doing it in the name of ‘being nice’.

      RMK would have been a McCarthyist in the fifties, an asexual Victorian in the nineteenth century, or a Puritan in the seventeenth. The important thing for people like her is to find a pretext for the psychological (or physical) torture of other human beings.

    3. “asshat” is a pejorative but not a slur, because it doesn’t target members of a certain group. come on man do your phil of language.

      1. But read/her watch RM’s talk on allies behaving badly. She repeatedly stresses there that we should never criticize a person, only an action. The fact that she’s invented a pejorative name, “Philosophicalasshat”, for Brian Leiter and asks everyone else to join her in using it shows her being very hypocritical indeed.

      2. Her words were “E.g., “don’t use slurs.”” Notice the “E.g.” Slurs are not (by far) the only thing that isn’t nice. “Asshat” isn’t nice either.

    1. If the SJWs see how these things feel on their own skins, then maybe some of them will stop doing it. The Golden Rule and all that.

      1. BTW, why are you presupposing that we need an excuse? Haven’t both Stanley and RMK done everything they could to deserve it?

        1. What is it to deserve being subject to public ridicule? Pointing out hypocrisy is something else, and I think RM’s probably as ripe a target for that as anyone. But who deserves to have personal insult cast upon them in a public forum by anonymous asshats?

            1. Proununciation: rɪˈdɪkjʊləs
              Grammatical category: adjective.
              Definition: deserving or inviting derision or mockery; absurd.

              Question answered! Thanks for clearing things up, 12:46.

              1. Rachel: Instead of even more name-calling (e.g. “haters”), why not just try to explain why it is not hypocritical to throw insults and hateful rhetoric at individuals and groups while also claiming to endorse the APA’s call for philosophers to “cease and desist” with insults and hateful rhetoric? Could it be that you think you have a good reason to ignore the APA, and maybe others have hit on it as well?

      2. That’s not the Golden Rule. That’s Eye for an Eye. Maybe your problem is you’re coming at this from an ancient Sumerian cult while thinking of yourself as coming at it from a Christian one. Didn’t you pay attention in Sunday school?

            1. How would *you* do it? How do you explain the Golden Rule to someone like RMK without making her see how her victims feel?

              Many SJWs simply don’t understand how much harm they do. They often *deny* that they are doing significant harm, and they seem to be sincere. The only way for them to understand how wrong they are is for them to feel a little pain themselves.

              1. Granted, some SJW’s have victims. But I honestly can’t think of any victims of RMK. Can you tell us who you think is one?

                    1. Good point. That little temper tantrum last year was bizarre. “Victim” is an overstatement about its effect on her targets though.

                    2. That’s because only very powerful people can afford to get in her way. You must also think about all the damage she does indirectly by intimidating and silencing the 99% of the profession who aren’t BL or JW.

                1. One of Rachel McKinnon’s greatest victims is philosophy itself. She shows up in different places in person and in print and uses her status to bellow orders at people rather than present philosophical arguments. She does this with the goal of making people feel ashamed to disagree with or fail to follow her unargued-for and radical suggestions. And if we follow those radical suggestions, our ability to philosophically discuss things will be constrained in an unhealthy way. She also wildly misrepresents her interlocutors’ views, as a matter of course. See her recent tweets on those of us who dislike the APA’s statement on bullying for some particularly egregious straw man fallacies. Then we have the long and juvenile campaign she’s orchestrated against Brian Leiter, etc.

                  1. Most of the femphils and their allies are threats to philosophy itself: they want to replace argument with emotional tirades. And no, this is not a sexist rant against women, because many male SJWs do just the same thing.

                1. This is what philosophers are turning into:

                  ‘You gave voice to an uncomfortable truth. You must be a deranged psychopath.’

                  ‘Here is an assertion that I am making. Do not try to disagree with me.’

                  You can’t be a philosopher with these attitudes.

                  1. Are you actually quoting people here? If so, who? In any case, the last ‘attitude’ is something that happens all the time in philosophy. It’s not a sign of a bad paper that it makes certain assertions that are then taken off the table in terms of argument. (Nor is it a sign that the paper writer is a bad philosopher). Particularly if the paper makes it clear that this is what is going on. Making clear what you are assuming for the sake of argument, and asking people to accept those assumptions for the sake of focusing on the issue at hand, is a useful thing to do.

  56. This blog serves two purposes. One is to facilitate an open and fair discussion about what’s going on in the profession, which we have been clearly shown cannot be done on the other blogs. See, e.g. Berit Brogaard’s response to this (track down the IP address of posters whose views she disagrees with, and loudly attempt to end their careers by having them thrown out of grad school for daring to challenge the New Consensus), which was seen and passed over in silence by the head of the APA itself, or Mr. Zero’s and Justin Weinberg’s response to it (selectively block messages they don’t agree with from appearing, thus making the weaker argument appear the stronger argument).

    A second purpose that some have adopted is to engage with those who have set themselves up as enemies of philosophy, free inquiry, due process, and particular individuals who happen to have been baselessly accused and subjected to kangaroo court mentality. The actions of the New Consensus have destroyed many people’s lives already. They have targeted particular individuals and started beating the shit out of them, driving them out of their own homes by depriving them of their livelihoods, costing them their reputations, trying to have them ‘dispelled’ from grad programs, and so on.

    The first of these is a nobler purpose for the blog. But the second must be understood in context. If some irresponsible and psychotic thugs start grabbing some innocent people around you and beating the shit out of them, and the authorities don’t intervene and stop that, then at a certain point you have to start fighting back or else make the choice to make everyone a martyr for the cause. I don’t think there’s any good reason to insist on radical pacifism here.

    At the same time, we should take the moral high ground whenever possible. Innocent people, like Sider, have harmed nobody, and they are not fair game. Let’s keep it clean. I know 99% of us would anyway, but let’s make that 100%.

    1. You sound like a kind and thoughtful person. You should post here more. One way to take the moral high ground is to drown out the anonymous hate and vitriol. We must not resort to the dubious methods of the SJWs, or we’re no better than they are.

    2. “Innocent people, like Sider, have harmed nobody, and they are not fair game.”

      I agree. There is absolutely no reason why somebody decided to pick on TS.

      Why not address someone like David Sobel instead? He has advocated the victimization of presumably innocent people in order to “make an example” of them. Let’s make an example of this conscience-free neofascist instead.

      Yes, maybe that would be as destructive toward Sobel as what he has been doing toward others. But the difference is that Sobel deserves it because of his actions. It’s not nice, but it’s justice.

      1. You’re missing the entire point. Advocating for mobs of anonymous people on the internet to get together and target people in a way that is ‘destructive’ towards them is NOT justice. The minute that you – or any other person – sets themself up as an arbiter of who is ‘innocent’ and therefore ought not to be targeted by the mob, and who is ‘guilty’ and therefore deserves to be targeted by the mob, justice has flown out the window. This is particularly true when the self-appointed arbiters and the mob they whip up target people from behind a veil of anonymity, safe from any of the usual repercussions (both social and potentially legal) of ‘targeting’ people like this.

        1. I’m not denying that these are difficult issues. Vigilante justice is very dubious, but it’s still justice if it’s done right, and sometimes it’s the best you can hope for.

            1. Same here as above. If you want to be a martyr of radical pacifism then go ahead, but you shouldn’t try to shame other people into joining you.

        2. I’m opposed to mob action or vigilante justice.

          However, to be fair, it should be stressed that there’s a huge difference between going after people like McKinnon, Lockwood, Weinberg, Schleisser, Ferrer, Saul, Protevi, etc. and going after people like Ludlow or Pogge.

          The crucial difference is that it’s far from clear that the latter people did they things they’re alleged to have done, and those things can’t be adjudicated by a mob. The former people, by contrast, clearly did what they’re alleged to have done, and there’s no need for adjudication on that score. If you want to know what these feminist demagogues said or did, you just need to look at their own published writings. They don’t deny or conceal anything. It’s not as though people are alleging that Brogaard psychopathically tracked down someone’s IP address and tried to get him thrown out of his grad program. She said it in public, and even posted the whole affair on her own private blog.

          For those reasons, “innocent until proven guilty” or due process concerns don’t seem to apply as much to the feminist miscreants. Still, there are some significant problems with mob justice even there. We have to make sure that what the feminidiot did on some occasion really counts as an instance of the general evil it’s alleged to constitute. We also need to be sure that the punishment truly fits the crime. Mobs are notoriously bad at figuring that out.

          For those reasons, we should not have mob punishments against these people. But we are completely warranted in critically discussing things the feminists have openly proposed in print.

          1. I wouldn’t say that “innocent until proven guilty” doesn’t apply. I would say that it applies, and when someone’s bad behavior is as transparent and public as it is in McKinnon’s or Lockwood’s cases, the proof has been supplied, thus rebutting the presumption of innocence. “Innocent until proven guilty” does not mean “always innocent, no matter what proof you have”!

          2. 3:20,
            Agreed, it’s different in that way.
            Still, we should keep in mind that everyone thinks what they’re doing is different in a way that justifies it. Probably the Ludlow mob thinks what they were doing was okay for some reason.
            I shouldn’t have implied moral equivalence, you are quite right about that, though.

  57. Moderator: what are the readership statistics for this site like? How many unique visitors per day? The old PMMB occasionally published these, and I always found them interesting.

  58. I don’t quite understand the animus being directed against RM (unless it’s really based on some private animus). RM had a minor ziff with Leiter a couple of years ago; he called her “singularly unhinged” and she called him an “asshat”. So what? Since then, it’s an ongoing harmless joke. RM has a minor row with Weinberg about the trans stuff and “allies” a few months ago. This is all trivial stuff, not of any significance compared to a lot of other matters.

    1. They hate her because she has a tenure track job and they don’t. Also, they are transphobic. Hence the request for private details on her transition/sexual orientation. Of course, they will justify it by stating that she talks about these issues publicly (which should suggest that there are other ways to obtain the information they desperately seek rather than asking an anonymous forum).

        1. Learn how to read……”Rational
          February 19, 2016 at 8:30 pm
          A hefty price tag thigh. Do we know the details of RM’s transition and her sexual orientation?”

      1. I don’t give a shit about RM’s transition or whatever she wants to call it. I do give a shit about her unhinged, toxic and harmful public behavior!

        1. RM replies:

          “Hmm, would you say that outing a pseudonymous blogger’s identity (and a blog post from their now-offline blog) is shitty behavior? I would.”

          She’s got a good point.

          1. So, was the person who posted that above not only calling themselves Rachel MacKinnon (in a way that, given some of the replies, led people to believe they were and reasonably so) but also attributing to her things from a blog that is both off-line and anonymous? if so, that is deeply, deeply shitty behavior. They ought to own up to it under their real name and apologize. I’m all for critically discussing people’s views and positions. But this anonymous, nasty targeting of people as individuals needs to stop if this blog is going to have any hope of being taken seriously as a place for critical discussion. As does the habit of pretending to be particular, named individuals. Who on earth thinks that is an OK thing to do?

      2. Anon 3:27, you hate the Metablog because you’re a child molester and you like the fact that the New Consensus people are distracting from your crimes.

        What evidence do I have of that? None at all. I’m just following your lead in responding to people with wild psychological ad hominem distractions on the basis of absolutely zero evidence. Do you like it? Do you think we should always have conversations like this? No? Then stop doing it.

    2. We’re at the point where the APA is calling for the suppression of speech (including this blog – I mean what other “anonymous blogs” are they possibly referring to?). The statement was remarkable for its duplicity. It’s based on a vicious and totally false association of the metablog with racist abuse and even criminal threats directed at Yancy. As there is no racism or threats here, one has no guess at their true motivations — presumably it’s about silencing political views they dislike (basically criticism of their friends). For an association representing professional philosophy to do that is just crazy. What’s next from the APA, I wonder?

      RM has been cheering them on, despite the fact she is an inexhaustible fountain of toxicity and abuse. As in other cases we’ve seen, these outbursts are never censured by the “be nice” crowd. RM’s antics are concerning because she is helping to establish a climate where one narrow clique is permitted and even encouraged to scream at and silence anybody deemed unworthy. The screeching mobs that are whipped up are being used for political ends – most recently to attack Synthese. I can’t think of any other individual who is working harder to chill dissent, though to be fair lots of people besides her are criticized here (including Weinberg). I’m actually very surprised you think this is all just trivial stuff.

    3. Excuse me, she continues to call Leiter an asshat and spew vitriol against anyone who posts here. And her “be nice” friends don’t “call her out”. Hence the animus.

    4. Anybody who wants to say anything related to trans issues must be wary of being given the same treatment that Rage MacKinnon gave to Justice Whineberg. Almost none of us can afford to take that chance. That’s the kind of stifling climate that kills philosophy.

  59. Cut out the RM attacks, please. It’s obsessive and pathetic. RM had a row with Leiter (“asshat”) and a row with Weinberg (“allies”). Period. Beyond that, no one is interested – except the single obsessive above; no one is interested in her private life; she is free do as she pleases and to publicly discuss it or not, if she pleases. I looked at her fb once – shoes and cats. If you feel threatened by a trans woman in high heels surrounded by cats and rainbows, then *you* are part of the problem.

    The philosophy profession has serious problems, inflicted on it in serious ways, by individuals with no sense of decency or shame, and which have impacted on people’s lives in very serious ways. RM is not part of this; RM doesn’t run a big blog, which periodically hunts people; RM hasn’t got anyone fired or tried to get anyone fired. RM just blew a fuse once or twice. Big deal.

    1. Looks like you haven’t been listening. Rachel McKinnon has a significant influence on the profession. Someone already showed you this. You don’t address that. And if you maintain that her social media accounts are just about shoes and cats, then you just demonstrate once again how little you know about what you’re talking about. That’s public knowledge, easily verified, and you’re getting it wrong.

      Please go be an idiot somewhere else.

    2. You’re right. The ill will of us metabros shouldn’t be directed at RM: she’s untenured at a no-name school. She’s got a bad temper, just like Leiter, but who cares. The problem is with her powerful and hypocritical friends who instrumentalize her behavior when it suits them, and then go to spout their “be nice” crap and don’t call out RM when she violates their New Consensus codes.

      1. Yes, but it goes both ways with RM and her powerful friends. I don’t think we disagree, but she’s attracting the likes of Jason Stanley and Jennifer Lackey with the reward of invited publications for her towing the NC line. Should we start to care only when she gets a tenure-track at a ranked department through the newly configured power/hiring networks?

    3. If I understand what happened here (someone dug up details from RM’s past from an old blog in order to shame her?), it is disgusting.

      Let’s not let this kind of shit find a home here again, folks. Romans 12:21!

  60. I have no love lost for RM–and, to be honest, I’m quite amused by the “Rage Machine” sobriquet–but lets not pretend she’s anything other than a junior faculty member who spends too much time ranting on the web. I’m not suggesting she shouldn’t be criticized, but surely she’s more ridiculous than dangerous. Indeed, the bellicose rhetoric here sometimes belies how silly and inconsequential most of the New Consensoids really are.

    I understand the concern that they want to remake philosophy into something unrecognizable, but I remain unconvinced they’ll be able to do so. In fact, I’m not convinced that they even have any well-articulated intra-disciplinary political goals. While we should, of course, resist bald-faced attacks on free speech and due process, we should also keep in mind that the New Consensoids appear to be just as interested in social signaling, moral preening, and “the art which gives good to friends and evil to enemies” as they are in any sort of serious attempt at changing the face of the discipline. With that in mind, I believe laughter and ridicule are more often than not fitting responses to their nonsense.

    1. Stanley, Haslanger and other extremely well connected people have explicitly stated their intentions to change the discipline. And they have power and status. That’s were the danger lies. They want emotive political activism masquerading as philosophy to have higher status than LEMM. The APA’s new direction and its use of funds is an example of how quickly they can move towards their objectives. That’s why we need quiet but effective pushback: don’t hire their fellow travelers, etc.

  61. OK, so I realise this may reasonably seem like a mean-spirited or grudging etc reaction, but . . .
    I take it many readers of this blog have today seen links to that HILARIOUS blank ‘article’ about the causal power of absences. I’ve never met or heard of this guy Goldschmidt – he’s probably a perfectly nice dude in person etc etc.
    But all those damn comments at DN jumping on the bandwagon to say HOW HILARIOUS it is.
    For Fucks Sake! – this is the sort of grindingly obvious, luke-warm philosophy ‘joke’ that must have been made a thousand times by a thousand different nerdy philosophy majors which nobody has bothered to go to the trouble of actually submitting to a journal until now. (Of course the editor of Dialectica must take at least half the credit/blame.) Its so SO annoying to think that this will probably now be cited for years to come, the tiresome unfunny joke repeated endlessly by other tiresome unfunny people. Its like those deathly dull stories about someone answering an exam question with one sentence or one word.

    I REALLY hope I am not the only mean, curmudgeonly asshole who had this reaction. Please somebody out there verify for me that they too felt contempt at how deeply unfunny and lame it is. Otherwise I’m gonna spiral down the solipsistic vortex . . .

    1. Yes it is unfunny and lame. But it is widely recognized that egotistical grievance collectors, rage machines, indignant, moralistic SJWs are arrested in their development in that department.

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