March Open Thread

Another month, another thread.


426 thoughts on “March Open Thread

            1. That’s very subtle. Just so everyone else knows, NS is making a reference to RU486, which is produced by the same company that made the gas used in Nazi death camps.

    1. Prediction: Jazz Tranley lectures McWhorter on “what it’s like be a black person in AmeriKKKa.” Campus activists nod in agreement, as McWhorter is the wrong shade black.

    2. I do not see why you have to have the specifics that it is “EST.” Other people live in other letters – why not help them? It seems like this blog has biases that are troubling to me among others.


  1. Attention metabros and metasisters and metaungendered fellow philosophers: the new version of Tor tells me that DN has a system that tries to pull my computer’s personal info. The new Tor can stop that (you get an option) but I don’t think the old one could. Not sure how commercial VPNs fare in that respect. Watch out for the wrath of sneaky Whineberg and his cabal of witch-hunters. The recent relaxing of censorship may be a strategy to harvest our IPs. I also have some circumstantial evidence that some SJW types are trying to expose metabloggers and various pseudonymous DN posters. Be careful out there.

    1. Yes, it’s HTML5 canvas image data. It can identify your computer coming out of a VPN or equivalent. Make sure to deny that option if you’re using the new Tor. Not sure about the old version or commercial VPN.

      1. Note that a site like doesn’t have the ability to extract HTML5 canvas image data. ip-lookup was recommended by the owner of this blog. I suggest s/he changes the recommendation in the first post, unless s/he is Whineberg and wants to catch us out by comparing IPs here and matching them with signed or pseudonimous posts on DN. is a better way to check whether Whineberg can smoke you out.

      2. Apparently HTML5 canvas data can be used similarly to cookies, in order to reidentify users. This doesn’t mean that it can be used to get your IP, but it’s better safe than sorry, so say ‘no’ to that question.

        Whineberg is a creep and SJW fascism must end.

  2. Why not. Can’t wait to see Tranley shown up for his desperate attempts to deny the obvious.

    1. Stanley argues that dominant groups use “free speech” arguments to constrain marginalized groups’ free speech… to argue that free speech is not threatened on campus.

      1. Stanley doing a terrible job of representing philosophy here. His opening statement ended with the claim that “the fact we’re having this debate PROVES that free speech on campus isn’t under threat.” Wow. And his debate partner is doubling down on modens off-topic-in-an-incredulous-voice-ens.

  3. Will people on this blog ever talk about the happenings involving water scientist Saul Kripke? He does influential lay work in areas that I blog about! But I am understanding that everyone is afraid to talk about him? Why?


  4. Well, guys. I guess the jig is up. “now really paranoid” at 11:07pm, above, has finally revealed something I thought no one knew, namely, that I am, indeed, the owner of philosophymetametametablog. That’s right, you’ve been writing for the very enemy you hoped to defeat. Every time you mention me or Daily Nous here, Daily Nous gets at least one or two extra hits that week. No, it’s not the most efficient way to promote Daily Nous, but I have been able to use my technological savvy and copious amount of free time to learn your real identities; now I’ll be able to reveal them for profit. A number of people have asked me for them. That number is zero, but still, one can hope. Thanks for your cooperation.

    1. Wait. Is this true??? Can the admins speak to this? I am now very confused! I came here to commisserate against philbrofems and now the leader ADMITS to running this blog? What is going on!


      1. It’s definitely true. I will release the information state by state, sweeping against the course of occidental history from West to East. metametametabloggers in Hawaii, then Alaska, then Oregon, Washington, California… you’re on notice. Get ready.

      2. noted scholar, your identity may or may not be compromised. You may or may not be safe in your place of residence. You need to download more RAM as soon as possible.

  5. Veridicts from SJW allies on twitter:

    -@DailyNousEditor @paulbloomatyale This is painful to watch. We must do better in the quality of presenting positions.

    -the anti’s don’t stand a chance. That pro guy – ‘philosopher’ jason, was awful
    -@jseths Not sure. He’s a professor at Yale, where the debate is set, so I’m assuming he’s solidly popular with a constituency in the crowd.

    Overall, thought Stanley was no worse than Kaminer and Harper. But none of the three were anywhere near the level of McWhorter. Also Stanley needs to drop that Phil-bro thing of name dropping “what Noam Chomsky said to me”. Just say Noam Chomsky doesn’t get invited to pol sci departments…

  6. FYI: Nikolay Sokolov is a long-running joke profile on Facebook and WordPress. It appears to be run by Lauren Leydon-Hardy, who started the profile when she was a student at Brandeis.

      1. Why couldn’t it be true? It looks like Leydon-Hardy was a member of the first cohort to graduate Brandeis’s then-new MA program.

          1. Just checked online and saw that Brandeis didn’t have an MA program until fall of 2009. The insane blog you guys are fussing about started a full year earlier (don’t know about the Facebook profile). So like Anonymous @ 3:34am said, it’s a funny theory, but sadly not true.

          2. I checked online and Brandeis didn’t have a grad program until Fall 2009. The psycho blog started a full year earlier. So like anonymous @3:34 said, it’s a funny theory, but unfortunately not true.

              1. Yeah, 7:32, there’s a real locus of outrage here.

                Speculating that a grad student who has entered the public fray under her own name (by publishing op/ed pieces in such places as Huffington Post denouncing defenders of free speech as liars, etc.) is actually running a harmless satire blog as well: that’s what one anonymous metablogger has done here. And here you are jumping on it with your smug sarcasm, as usual. This is surely the pinnacle of your intellectual achievements.

                By contrast, another grad student who unlike Hardy has chosen to write under a pseudonym and remain private, publishes a blog permitting free and open discussion of these sociopolitical developments for the first time. What happens then? Surely nothing ‘creepy’, right? Well, uh, an established Social Justice Warrior professor writing on a Social Justice Warrior blog openly engages in a hunt to discover the person’s identity by tracking his or her IP address, sending it to the department chair to have the grad student ‘dispelled’, tries to figure out who the grad student is so as to expose him/her in the philosophy blogosphere and permanently ruin the grad student’s reputation outright in addition to derailing the grad student’s career partway through grad school. And in response to that, no outrage. Just business as usual for people like you.

                Get your priorities straight, 7:32, and for God’s sake wipe that smirk off your face. it’s showing up everywhere and we’re sick of it.

                1. I have been asking a lot for everyone to stop focusing on my blog here! I have not encountered such weirdness and obsession since I argued with mathematicians Todd and Vishal! First everyone thinks I’m a woman, now this!


                2. Wow, we guess 1:22 has just outed himself as the blog owner. Because there is no way, based on the 11 words posted at 7:32, that he could know whether that comment was the ‘pinnacle of 7:32’s intellectual achievements’ or that 7:32 ‘usually’ jumps on things with smug sarcasm, or what 7:32’s ‘priorities’ are, unless he knows not only what other comments 7:32 has posted here, and what 7:32’s name (and therefore other intellectual achievements are). So 1:22 must not only be tracking IP addresses in order to know which comments are posted by the same individual, but also be using these to actually track down people’s real-life identities. Seems pretty creepy to us.

                  Also, the argument is terrible. Even if someone blogs or comments elsewhere under their own name, it still doesn’t follow that it is permissible to out them for posting anonymously elsewhere. It also doesn’t follow that objecting to one such outing implies that you don’t object to other instances of bad behavior. We object to all kinds of things. We assume 1:22 also objects to lots of things, like bombing innocent civilians. Usually we would not be so uncharitable as to assume that because 1:22 posted a comment objecting to the treatment of a grad student by a member of the profession while also failing to mention the bombing of innocent civilians that 1:22’s priorities are out of whack. But perhaps we should. We also think using the plural to describe our own views when we really don’t have any grounds to make claims about what other people think is a bit silly, but we guess since 1:22 is doing it, then it must be evidence of a superior intellect. We bow down to you, Blog owner 1:22.

                  1. The Femtroll’s back, folks. Just read the self-confident, smug drivel that 1:29 has produced and tell me there are two people in the world who publish on the metablogs, think they’re so smart, and are actually the most idiotic people imaginable and engaging in pseudo-reasoning so pathetic as to be almost unbearable, all the while managing to strawman everyone in sight. It’s the Femtroll. I wish we knew her weak point and that we could just hang garlic around her neck or flush her down the toilet or something.

                    1. How about you actually respond to the claims rather than insulting people, 2:34? For example, on what grounds do you assume that 7:32’s priorities are not straight? On what grounds do you think that because someone raised an objection to something, it is reasonable to assume that they do not object to another instance of similar behavior simply because they have not also mentioned that instance in one short comment on a blog? On what grounds do you think it is reasonable to, on the basis of so few words, insult someone’s intellect by asserting that a blog comment must be the ‘peak of their intellectual achievement’? On what grounds are you accusing 1:29 of strawmanning? On what grounds is that comment reasoning ‘pseudo’ reasoning? When you merely insult people and accuse them of things, without giving your reasoning, it appears as though you do not have good grounds for your accusations.

                    2. 1:22, the reason you think people are being ‘smug’ to you is because you are being both unreasonable and nasty towards other people. You seem to rub people up the wrong way – an lot of people if you are the person here who frequently calls people idiots, shithead and the like. Maybe it’s time for you to take a break from the blog. Your comments don’t appear to be advancing any arguments or winning any converts, and it’s getting a bit unpleasant to keep reading your comments, given the level of abuse you are hurling at individual commenters. I enjoy the odd snarky comment, but it is not particularly fun to read your kind of comments, which as I say, are just nasty.

    1. Close. I believe the account was (is?) run by Stephen Turner, Leydon-Hardy’s boyfriend-turned-husband, who started it when he was a graduate student at Harvard. Turner is a scientist.

    1. Extremely badly.

      Motion: Free speech is threatened on campus.

      Pre-debate Poll Results
      49% for | 27% against | 24% undecided

      Post-debate Poll Results
      66% for | 25% against | 9% undecided

      1. Well at least he has a theory about why he lost:

        Andrew F. March Who won??
        Jason Stanley They crushed us. The audience was heavily heavily weighted in their direction. They got all the applause lines, which was bizarre because the lines that got the most applause from the large student body present were about how student bodies are all left wing oppressors. So it was kind of self-defeating applause.
        Andrew F. March Did you learn anything from it?
        Jason Stanley I learned that Yale must be a frightening environment for Black students (the biggest applause lines were for the claim that to call someone a racist is like calling someone a pedophile and that antiracism is a serious threat to liberal freedom). There is massive white student support for those positions. I imagine it must be very difficult to be a Black student and hear that. Being white I can only guess though.
        Andrew F. March Was the audience diverse?
        Jason Stanley There were 12 Black people in an audience of 480 (one was my wife).
        Jason Stanley A friend counted and messaged me.
        Andrew F. March jeez…fucked up

        1. Yeah, so difficult being a black student at Yale. Because they get admitted with subpar grades and test scores.

    1. “I can see from your hand gestures that you are ‘down’ with the ‘people.'” Christ, academics are awful.

  7. Is Jazz Tranley’s talk, “Shooting a Cartoonist”, available? Aside from Tranley, is there much support amongst philosophers for murdering left-wing cartoonists?

    1. Watch out for Kate Manne. She has the connections and the pedigree (and the skewed view of the world) to lead the SJW to new heights.

      1. Cameron, Manne, Pogin, Barnes: all very dangerous, and ruthless. Look at Barnes going out of her way to publish Dotson’s stuff in her journal even though it’s obviously way out of the aims and scope.

        1. Some of these people are known for participating in obvious refereeing cartels on the metaphysics scene. It wouldn’t surprise me if they also tried to block the publications of people known to be enemies of the SJW cause. Watch out, folks.

          1. These people are ruthless, violent, an unprecedented threat. Ragnarok is coming, and you’d better be prepared. Some of them even put each other’s sub-par work into the journals they edit. Philosophy has never seen anything like it before.

            1. Philosophy has seen people put their friends’s papers into journals for as long as there have been journals. What’s different here is that this isn’t about friendship but about advancing an a-philosophical political agenda. Also, if they do affirmative action for SJWs they’re likely to also do negative action for anti-SJWs.

              1. Not just likely, but logically necessary. Affirmative action for any group is negative action for the rest of the world.

  8. Great how philosophy is shaping up – this is just a quick shoutout from the Pilos. We are doing news now and the Pilos Profiles are going strong. As I said in the last thread, we got Bertrand Russell this time. Pardon my posting again so soon, I wanted to appear in the new thread before it gets very long.

    I’d love people to join in the comments. Also if someone wants to start a philosophy metal blog that could be interesting as well.

  9. It is coming to my attention because links are blowing up on my WordPress that someone (or someones) here did not like my comments on philosophy a while ago and have been stealing my identity to make fun of me. This may help your pageviews but it does not give me any help. I have refuted the pretender or pretenders on my own page. Please stop linking my blog immediately. I do not associate with the pretend comments here. Sometimes they aren’t even good pretending. For giving an instance: I do see Lyndon LaRouche as positive in some ways but the pretender (pretenders?) doesn’t seem to know this.

    Cease and desist.

    1. I respect Sartwell as a philosopher, but there’s so much melodrama and half-cocked ranting in the above post (and the one posted before it chronologically) that I have a hard time taking the plagiarism charges seriously.

      1. I don’t know, he comes off (to me) as someone fed up with the way people in the profession have responded to his work, and rightly so. I think he’s made a pretty convincing case that there’s, at a minimum, some professional discourtesy he’s received at the hands of people who have used his work.

  10. I wrote the comment that I’m copying below in response to philodaria on Feminist Philosophers (, in the discussion about Melissa Click, but for some reason it has not been published. I’m not going to speculate as to why, but since I posted it almost 2 days ago and that I don’t like writing a comment for nothing, I figured that I might as well publish it here. So here it is:

    “Well, I don’t know about that. In France, just last week, a video that showed people brutalizing animals in a slaughterhouse went viral and was showed on every news show in the country. That video was probably what went the most viral in France in the past few weeks. Indeed, I was rather under the impression that people in that industry were doing everything they could, sometimes going as far as lobbying to change the law, to prevent activists from filming what’s going on in slaughterhouses, farms, etc.

    Even if you were right, it would only show that people are more shocked by a professor threatening a student with the use of physical force than by the brutalizing of animals, but I don’t see how that would in any way reduce the plausibility of the view that, *keeping fixed how bad people think a particular type of behavior is*, the existence of a video showing that behavior dramatically increases the attention it draws from the media and the pressure on the employer of the person who engaged in that behavior to fire him. This view just strikes me as obviously true.

    So again the question is: do you really think that, if a video clearly showing a professor at a university sexually harassing a student was shared on the Internet, a mediatic shitstorm would not ensue and that the professor in question would not be fired as a result? I personally find that completely implausible but, if you really think so, I think we can only agree to disagree on that point. However, even if you disagree with me about what would happen in that case, what’s clear is that the evidence you produced doesn’t favor your hypothesis over mine because none of the sexual harassers in the cases you mentioned was filmed.

    In fact, I think it even favors my hypothesis to some extent, because in at least one of the case you mention (the one about the head of cardiology at Yale), the culprit was forced to resign after the NYT wrote an article that revealed that Yale had surreptitiously reduced his punishment. In that case a video wasn’t even necessary to draw attention from the media and put the pressure on the university to do the right thing. Now, perhaps you think that the difference in the case of Melissa Click is that, even if there hadn’t been a mediatic shitstorm, she would have been fired. I personally find that highly unlikely but, in any case, the evidence is silent on that since there was indeed a mediatic shitstorm about what she did.”

  11. Just reading the transcript of the i^2 debate. The highlight so far:

    Wendy Kaminer:
    A Brandeis professor, a tenured Brandies professor, been there for many years, was
    subject to a secret investigation for racial harassment, found secretly guilty of racial
    harassment because he uttered the term “wetback” in class in the course of explaining
    its use as a pejorative. That’s not an unusual case. We see cases like this all the time.

    John Donvan:
    Okay, let me stop you there and ask Jason Stanley. Is it — your opponents are saying
    that it’s not unusual. You’re making the argument these are outlier cases.

    Jason Stanley:
    These are outlier cases, clearly. There’s a huge literature in my discipline of philosophy
    on slurs, and there’s two different theoretical positions that if you are using the slur,
    then you — then — then you also aren’t — if you’re mentioning the slur, just, you know,
    you’re talking about the word, then you’re still slurring, and the other view says, “No,
    you’re not slurring.” So I have been at a million talks, discussions. I’ve taught classes
    where I and others have used many slurs. I’ve taught at five different university
    campuses, from state universities to Ivy League campuses. So I’m just not seeing the
    point about slurring. And some of the other cases — can I address one case that Wendy
    mentioned in her opening remarks?

    1. It goes to show you that philosophers should not pretend to be the guardians of reason and rational argument. They are willing to argue carefully only if it suits them and their preconceived views. And perhaps even worse, their preconceived views do also not rest on careful deliberation.

      To be a real philosopher, you need to have first and foremost intellectual honesty and the willingness to accept to end up being sceptical and undecided about a lot of things we usually take for granted. Most philosophers do lack those qualities, it is just that Stanley is a particularly nasty example. He is no real philosopher, he is just a pettifogger with the compulsory need for validation, in his case in the “moral” domain. No matter how ingenious his arguments or his pointing out nuances is, he lacks the quintessential virtue of character.

      Characterwise, he is just as lacking as Thomas Pogge. Both like to ride the high horse by chastising others for their bourgeois morals, but in the end, what they do is just stroking their ego. In Pogge’s case perhaps to alleviate the guilt of sexually harrassing women.

      These people are hypocrites, pretending to possess philosopical virtues.

      1. True and important. Philosophers tend to be better than the average scholarly type at thinking about and discussing relatively non-technical issues of the kind that often arise in middlebrow discussions of policy and so forth… But that just makes the dishonest ones more harmful. Unguided by anything like a reliable conscience (intellectual and otherwise), they’re just sophists.

        1. In the case of JS in that debate, a bad sophist, desperately trying to defend the indefensible, and making philosophy look bad in the process.

  12. Compare and contrast.

    Missouri: female prof Melissa Click is filmed assaulting and physically threatening male student (“I need some muscle over here”); police charge prof, who accepts lesser punishment; Click is then fired by Missouri.
    FP’s response: “failure of due process!”

    Leuven: report of conflict involving male prof and female grad student, turning violent. Police are later called.
    FP’s response: distribution of claims of guilt of male prof with no evidence, and demands for punishment of male prof without due process.

    This is the gendered bigotry of modern feminism. In matters of innocence and guilt, FP judges people by their chromosomes, not their actions.

    1. That’s a pretty misleading characterization, once you know the context. The TA and the professor were involved in a physical altercation. An investigation is underway, and the TA is no longer teaching yet the professor is. It is this last fact the letter you quote is objecting to. No one is demanding punishment, just that those involved in the altercation are treated fairly while the investigation is underway.

      1. You have no evidence for your assertions, Anon. You falsely assert that “no one is demanding punishment”. This is false.
        1. FP have distributed claims asserting the guilt of one party without evidence (“a female teaching assistant was physically assaulted by a professor”).
        2. FP have distributed demands for the punishment of one party without justification (“protested this class by confronting the professor”).
        This is not acceptable conduct in any organization, under any circumstances. It is gendered bigotry, treating one person (a male) as guilty, on the basis of their chromosomes.

        Despite treating the male here as *guilty*, without evidence, FP has also said that Melissa Click – who was filmed assaulting and threatening a student (“I need some muscle over here”), and was later charged and punished by the police – has been “denied due process”.

        Get the facts right.

        1. What FP did was reprint a letter. You have also quoted the part of that letter that you assert ‘demands the punishment of one party without justification’ . so by your own reasoning, you yourself are ‘distributing’ demands that the party be punished without justification.

        2. Shouldn’t you be more worried about the female TA, who has in fact already been punished, given that she is no longer teaching? It seems that if you think that being removed from class is punishment without justification, then you should be even more concerned about someone who has in fact received that punishment. She’s the one who is being treated as guilty without evidence.

          1. I doubt that this will end well for the alleged aggressor, in any case, since I have just heard that the alleged victim is romantically linked one of the local professors.

            1. Okay this is interesting. Some male junior academic got violent because of frustration at some junior female’s advancement via a relationship with a senior male? Sounds just like the American fake SJW system.

              1. By ‘punish’ do you just mean ‘suspend from teaching while the investigation has taken place’? And by ‘female attacks male prof’ do you mean ‘two people were involved in a physical altercation’? Because otherwise, your claim is inaccurate. We have no evidence that the man was attacked by the woman, or vice versa. What we do know is that there was a physical altercation, and that both parties are alleging assault. We should suspend judgment about who is at fault (and so who attacked who) until such time as the incident has been properly investigated. We should not ‘punish’ anyone either, but it is appropriate to suspend people from teaching duties in this case while an investigation is underway. The female TA is no longer teaching. What the letter quoted on FP (and BL) does is ask that the male prof also be suspended from teaching duties while the investigation is underway. So when you say ‘everyone is trying to punish the man’ do you have something else in mind? I have not read any calls for punishment. The letter is not a call for punishment, nor is it a call that the male involved in the physical altercation be treated any differently than the female involved.

                1. “The letter is not a call for punishment, nor is it a call that the male involved in the physical altercation be treated any differently than the female involved.”

                  This is false. The letter explicitly calls the male “the aggressor”, which assumes the male should be assumed guilty, despite that not being established by evidence.
                  The letter states, “a female teaching assistant was physically assaulted by a professor”. No evidence is provided for this claim. No one knows what the altercation involved or who started it or what happened. The letter also states, “We, the students (initially a group of approximately only 30 people and now much more), protested this class by confronting the professor”. This assumes guilt, without evidence, and involves an attempt to punish someone. It is unacceptable. Finally, the letter also states, “… and to suspend the aggressor until all investigations are carried through, as this is usually the normal stance expected from an institution when facing accusations of this severity”. This assumes guilt without evidence and is not “normal stance”. It is a demand for punishment without evidence.

                  No one knows what happened. No one should be suspended. The claim that the male is “the aggressor” and the demands that he be punished are examples of unacceptable, gendered bigotry.

                  1. If you truly believe that a request that a person be suspended from teaching duties is unjust punishment in this case, it is difficult to understand why, despite it having been pointed out to you, you have not once expressed any degree of concern for the one person in this case who *has in fact* been removed from teaching duties – the female TA.

                  2. Its not clear whether this is deliberate – although it appears idelogicalky driven – but the poster above has been repeatedly posting misleading info about this case. The brief facts are that there was an altercation, both parties are accusing the other of assault. An investigation is underway. No one is calling for either party to be fired or otherwise punished. The female has been removed from teaching duties. No one is calling for the male to be treated any differently from the female, despite what the above would lead you to believe. The call is for the male to also be removed from teaching duties while the investigation is underway. If you want a vastly more accurate picture of what is actually happening than what is being posted by the person writing misleading descriptions here, I suggest you read the post on Leiter.

                    1. The male has been called “the aggressor” on the FP blog, though evidence has not been supplied. Furthermore, it has been demanded at the FP blog that he be “suspended”, though no reason has been given.

                      1. Has FP called the female “the aggressor”? If not, why not?
                      2. Has FP called for the female grad student to be “suspended”? If not, why not?

                      This is ideologically-driven gendered bigotry. It is unacceptable.

      2. Maybe consequentialism is playing a role. It’s easier to find fast replacement for a TA than for a professor.

  13. Can someone give me a brief version of all the hate for “Jazz Tranley”? By the way, I read some of his NYT stuff. He’s like the Ben Carson of political philosophy. He may be very smart in his field but in politics he’s a total amateur.

    1. Simple: JS climbed the greasy pole by being an apolitical, ruthless analytic philosopher of language, and once he reached a comfortable professorship at Yale changed his tune and started saying that we should all be doing critical race/gender theory instead of analytic philosophy. And he started acting with friends to take over the APA and the Leiter Reports to twist the profession according to his political preferences. In the process he brutally witch-hunted a number of enemies with bogus accusations of racism and sexism.

      1. The idea of a ruthess philosopher of language is kind of funny. He made a comment a few years ago on LR that stuck in my head: that he wouldn’t be in philosophy if he wasn’t in a prestigious position. Philosophy without prestige wouldn’t hold his interest. Maybe he just got bored parsing the meaning of know how.


            I was incredibly fortunate to get a great job, and the consequences were extraordinary in several ways. First, because I was offered what seemed to me to be an essentially unique opportunity, I could afford to invest my self-confidence completely in my work. In contrast, this sacrifice would have been more difficult if I had been at a much less prestigious institution. I would have probably pursued other projects outside philosophy to protect myself against the more salient risks of failure.

        1. Nothing without prestige would hold his interest. Maybe we should agree to a conspiracy of silence and never mention him again.

  14. Regarding the Nikolay S’ blog and her/his identity as a (maybe) philosopher, I think they probably are a philosopher, because why else comment here, at DN, and at FP (not great evidence, but hey)? I do think they are a troll, but for good reasons, and not for the reasons offered above. Anyone who is around scientists for any length of time is naturally annoyed by their culture. There exists a species of University scientists (tho it is the worst among science-journos, and among pseudo-skeptics like Michael Shermer) who constantly shout the virtues of funding science (and their credentials) even though a simple look at history shows scientific progress has not occurred through University grant-funding. You also see many scientists who say no rational person could disagree the whole Universe started at a tiny point, or that no rational person could dispute hypothetical entities like dark energy. I give only 3 examples (because internet comment) but in short, I feel scientists, and particularly the very loud and vocal “skeptical” community online, are easy to become annoyed with and deserve trolling (in many ways they are trolls themselves, because I feel no rational person could believe endless credential-based arguments, as many scientists and skeptics apparently do).

    In that context, I think NS is a philosopher or generally intelligent person who is annoyed by (at least online) scientists for good reasons. However, they also acknowledge the scientific community is at this point seen as invulnerable and is hard to troll. Most of science’s critics are people who are terrible writers and just tweet angrily about GMO’s and vaccines. This distracts people from how annoying scientists really are, and actually, since those issues tend to be issues scientists are in fact right on, it makes scientists appear even smarter and Godlike to the general public. So I think NS is right to think if you want to troll scientists, you need to troll them in an aloof/humorous way. They will still resort to saying “modern medicine!” and to credentials (as David Wallace once did in a comment contra NS)…and the general public will still love them. But at least there was some trolling.

    1. This was not seen before when I said to cease and desist pretending. I want to say thanks – not because you are fully nice to me but because you try to be nice. We are all on the journey to succeeding in being nice. You are further along than many here!

      I am still not quite happy with the words of “trolling.” I try to keep things humorous but I also try to make important points, usually in my home land of science and maths.

      To close, I just wanted to return to say thank you. But like before I want my pretender to cease, to desist, and not to comment again!

    1. The story about C Sartwell being removed from campus (see above in this thread).

      This was ALSO removed from DN at the same time.

      Intriguing . . . There was a suggestion in one comment at DN, before it was removed, that this is a ‘mental health’ issue – i.e. Sartwell has gone crazy?

      1. It is obviously a mental health issue. Didn’t see Leiter’s post, but I was weirded out by DN’s gawky, avoiding the obvious coverage.

      1. Comments on that DN post especially winceworthy. ejrd hits dizzying heights of sententiousness even by the standards of DN, and the smartarses at comments 1 & 4 simply embarrass themselves. I knew Crispin back in the day, and he had already forgotten more about country music, and American popular music generally, than most people ever knew.

  15. What shows university funding does not result in scientific progress? I can think of lots of good things to come out of university funded science. Developments in chemistry software are rarely the result of industrial collaboration. Industry doesn’t like to fund anything which isn’t a pretty sure fire success (at least by academic standards). I don’t know about funding in other areas because I don’t work in them. Don’t cite examples like Bell labs, that way of doing things died a while ago; these days industry is almost pure application.

  16. @8:46:

    “The male has been called “the aggressor” on the FP blog, though evidence has not been supplied. Furthermore, it has been demanded at the FP blog that he be “suspended”, though no reason has been given.”

    Again, this is deliberately misleading. The male has been called the agressor in a letter reprinted on the FP blog. If you think this is a problem, look in the mirror. You are quoting from the same letter. So by your own logic, we could accuse you of ‘calling the male the agressor’ in your posts. Similarly, we might also say that ‘it has been demanded in your posts on PMMMB that he be ‘suspended.’

    It is also not true that no reason has been given. You may disagree with these reasons, but the reasons given are 1. the male is the subject of a serious allegation 2. an investigation is underway 2. the other party to the altercation is no longer teaching, so in the interests of impartiality the male should not be permitted to teach while the investigation is underway.

    In answer to your questions:
    . 1. Has FP called the female “the aggressor”? If not, why not? A: FP has not ‘called’ anyone anything. Perhaps you need to brush up on the use/mention distinction. So there is no reason why FP should call anyone the agressor unless the people posting their have special knowledge, which seems unlikely.
    2. Has FP called for the female grad student to be “suspended”? If not, why not? A; Again, FP is not ‘calling’ for anything. But in any case, there is little need to call for someone to be suspended from doing something when they are in fact no longer doing this thing.

    These are all very obvious points, and it is becoming clear that you are more interested in misleading people and wasting people’s time than actually engaging with a minimum of intellectual honesty. This will be my last post on this, but again I suggest those interested in what actually happened in this case check out Leiter, which appears to have the most (and the most accurate) information at this point. And of course anyone who has in fact read the FP post on this knows that they are simply reproducing an open letter rather than ‘calling’ or ‘demanding’ anything.

  17. A female professor Melissa Click at Missouri is filmed threatening a student (“I need some muscle over here”). She is charged by the police with assault and accepts a lesser punishment; she apologises; but is later fired. Then FP claims Melissa Click was “denied due process”. FP is therefore trying to excuse or downplay an videoed assault against a student by a professor.

    An altercation occurs between a male professor and female grad student at Leuven. No one knows what happened or who started it. Both have initiated legal action against the other, and therefore each holds the other responsible. However, FP calls the male “the aggressor” without evidence, and demands punishment (“suspension”) of the male, without due process, and provides no reason. Being suspended is a disciplinary punishment administered by the University and is frowned upon in employment law, because it is prejudicial. FP does not demand that the female be suspended by the university – why not? – and does not say why only one person, the male, should be punished by the university.

    This is an accurate account of both incidents.

    In 2014, FP excused as “incredibly complicated’ the repeated sexual assault of diaper-wearing disabled man with the mental age of a toddler by a Rutgers feminist philosopher, Anna Stubblefield, who has now been convicted in a New Jersey court of repeated sexual assault and has been jailed.

    The political extremists at FP need to understand that people must be treated impartially, and not make accusations without evidence, and issue demands for punishment without justification, on the sole basis of individuals’ gender. The sole difference here between FP excusing the female professor at Missouri for a videoed assault against a student and FP blaming the male professor for an incident no one knows anything about is gender. This is gendered bigotry. An assumption of guilt based on gender. It is unacceptable.

  18. Honestly, isn’t it kind of ridiculous that the entire profession gets worked up because teacher and student got into a fight?

    This is a local incident, very likely to be uncommon even at the university where it happened. At this stage, with this little information available, speculation is all we have and it already has lead to the need to fully uncover the whole story, otherwise at least one party has its reputation unjustly damaged.

      1. 1:06, you’re low “even for this place”, and your “even for this place” shtick is getting tiresome “even for you.”

    1. Leiter has almost single-handedly made reading the metablog acceptable, or at least defensible. Go after him when he explodes in one his idiotic bouts of temper. But to alienate him bringing his family into this for the sake of defending Donald J. Drumpf is beyond moronic.

    2. ‘Purchased spouse’ is an exaggeration. Almost no woman will marry a man who makes less than her. Does that mean they’re all purchased spouses?

  19. Sarah-Jane Leslie et al. continues to produce motivationally dubious research. Tl;dr: Assumes that frequency of use of ‘brilliant’ (and cognates) in student evaluations on across 18 academic fields is a proxy for a field’s valuation/emphasis for raw intellectual talent [what they call the “naturalistic measure” of “a field’s focus on brilliance”]. Hypothesizes “that fields differ in the emphasis they place on raw intellectual talent and, further, that these differences affect the representation of groups that our culture portrays as lacking such talent.” [Note: its first rendition of the relevance of faculty beliefs on the make-up of a discipline is criticized hereand here] Finds that high relative frequency of use of ‘brilliant’ by anonymous student evaluators on RateMyProfessor predict lower involvement of women and African-Americans — but not Asian Americans — in a given field. Concludes that “turning the spotlight away from sheer brilliance […] may bring about improvements in the diversity of many fields.”

    1. “The fact that this naturalistic measure of a field’s focus on brilliance predicted the magnitude of its gender and race gaps speaks to the tight link between ability beliefs and diversity”

      The slatestarcodex article on the old Leslie et al paper showed pretty comprehensively how fallacious this kind of reasoning is. Apparently philosophers have no problem making demonstrably fallacious arguments for politically convenient conclusions these days.

    2. I don’t know what good turning the spotlight away from brilliance would do for diversity, but it would kill a few fields, including philosophy. Philosophy is made by brilliant thinkers.

    1. Stanley did not expect to lose the debate because he’s used to people in philosophy sucking up to him, and only frequents the sanitized blogs and FB pages of the New Consensus.

      1. Well the new SJW orthodoxy, promoted by Stanley, Weinberg, Saul, Barnes, Pogin and co, is indistinguishable from the juvenile narcissism of a 14 year girl on Tumblr. No wonder they’re opposed – and even ridiculed – by everyone outside the philosophy profession. How *did* a group of privileged narcissists, who imagine they are “victims”, and behave like aggressive self-entitled teenagers, take possession of the philosophy profession?

    2. This is devastating to Stanley. Full stop. But it serves him right for being so disingenuous:

      “During portions the event, [Stanley] claimed that folks on the other side, who say free speech is under threat, aren’t really engaged in a debate about free speech––he said the real debate is about racism and anti-racism and about leftism.”

      Indeed, so much of his talk centred on projecting to the rest of us that he is “on the left”, and pretending like he had some great profound insight by saying actually you’re just anti-leftist… This ‘man-of-the-left’ schtick was tiresome in the 70s, but nothing’s going to stand in Stanley’s way of presenting himself as the new Chomsky (did he mention he knows Chomsky, he really does…)

      1. I was struck by Stanley’s apparent disingenuousness as well. First, one of the central examples discussed in the debate is the Northwestern Title IX Kipnis episode. Not about race! (And Stanley mentions the “factual error” of Kipnis’s original story without, tellingly, saying what it is or how relevant to the main issue it is. He also falls back on “you’ll have to trust me, the case is complicated.”) Second, there’s only so many times his side can respond to counterexamples by saying “that’s an outlier and not in keeping with my experience.” As one might expect, given their political affiliations!

          1. The funny thing is that Chomsky is, and always has been, a major champion of free speech. He even, famously, defended the right of French holocaust denier Robert Faurisson to have a fair hearing for his arguments — arguments whose conclusion Chomsky, of course, personally detests. People at the time (this was a couple of decades ago) who shared a milder form of Stanley’s outrage at such things attempted to smear Chomsky with this. Chomsky replied in several interviews that if one is serious about the importance of free speech, as anyone who belongs within academic or intellectual life,or a democratic society must be, then one has to countenance and defend the existence of arguments and claims that one finds abhorrent.

            Jason Stanley is on the opposite side of the free speech issue from Chomsky. Chomsky represents a genuine left-wing view. Stanley does not, but he takes on the trappings of an identity-politics fringe of some older left-wing movements and then covers himself in the mantle of being ‘the man on the left’. What an insult against everything Chomsky stands for to invoke his name disingenuously in support of what Stanley and his accomplices are up to.

            1. 4:33: Bravo for your post.
              I still don’t understand how Noam Chomsky gave Stanley’s book such a positive blurb.
              With regard to your accurate account of the Faurisson case…I think it would also be fair to mention in this regard the responses of Chomsky, and also Richard Lewontin, Steven Jay Gould, and others to The Bell Curve. Nobody said the authors of that tome needed to be drummed out of their jobs. The honest response was to publish reasoned and scientifically well-informed critiques of that book’s pseudoscientific racism, such as Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man.

              1. To be honest though, the mismeasure of man is not well-reasoned but only a testament how political bend can clouds one’s judgment and argument.

                1. 5:35: What evidence supporting institutional racism did Stephen Jay Gould’s “political bend” not deal with adequately, since the latter “clouds one’s judgment and argument”?

              2. Chomsky has blurbed shitty works on propaganda before. By the way, my jaw dropped at your last sentence. It’s Gould’s book that turned out to be pseudoscientific fraud. I recall Kitcher coming to his defense, lamely. Gould’s reputation has taken a huge hit because of this. See what Robert Trivers has to say about Gould’s failure to keep his politics out of the sciences.

                1. Imagine, a mere mortal, a novelist yet, writing about a Great Man like Trivers.
                  Trivers’ work is what Gould and Lewontin described as “just-so stories.”
                  Trivers’ one talent seems to be character assassination. What one reviewer referred to as Gore Vidal’s habit of “biting on the kneecaps of his betters.”
                  Too bad the New York Times didn’t go with John Horgan’s suggested title for his review of Trivers’ book:”Everyone is Self-Deluded But Me.”

                  1. You’re defending Gould from a fraud charge by giving an ad hominem attack on Trivers because of ‘just so’ stories that don’t have anything to do with Gould.

                    Not good philosophy.

                    1. Gould and Lewontin cited Kipling’s “Just-So” stories to make an intellectual, not an ad hominem point. A lot, maybe most, of “evolutionary psychology” is based on vapor – idle speculation – (your word here). Like that Trivers paper on the presumably enormous, but somehow previously-undocumented, role of “self-deception” in human history. “Generative”? Of a few careers and bestsellers, maybe, but not much genuine data or help in understanding anything.

                    2. But you are making an ad hominem point. Trivers’ criticism of Gould can’t be rejected because you don’t like the way Trivers does biology. It’s not even Trivers anyway, what about the psychologists themselves? And I don’t even mean the evolutionary psychologists (who don’t have anything to do with this).

                  2. Horgan is a hack. He has never recanted his positive review of that book smearing Napolean Chagnon, even after his eventual vindication. (See Alice Dreger’s book Galilieo’s Finger for an account.) Compare Horgan (1) to Dreger (2):



                    Also, good discussion:


              3. ‘The Mismeasure of Man’ is a bad example, because it is very controversial among psychologists. Many very competent psychologists consider it a work of political propaganda, written by a paleontologist who didn’t understand psychology, and who misrepresented many of the works and arguments he criticized.

                A few initial reading links here.

                1. By the way, could you cite any of what you call “shitty works on propaganda” that Noam Chomsky has given generous blurbs?

                    1. There isn’t any answer to what was a pure attempt at blowing smoke. Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman have done definitive work on the role of propaganda in contemporary societies.

              4. @March 15, 5:18 pm:

                “The honest response was to publish reasoned and scientifically well-informed critiques of that book’s pseudoscientific racism, such as Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man.”

                As others have said, Gould’s book is the shoddy scholarship here. Here’s another link, this one from the New York Times:

                In fact a lot of the outcry over the Bell Curve simply reflected an ignorance of the scholarly consensus among psychologists who study intelligence. While psychologists disagree about the degree to which racial differences in IQ are attributable to genetics vs. environment, that there are such differences is almost universally agreed among the relevant experts — despite the taboo of talking about it.

                See, for example, the Mainstream Science on Intelligence statement, signed by 52 intelligence researchers in response to misreporting about the Bell Curve:

                1. I guess you missed this part:

                  In a posthumous article in 1996, Donald T. Campbell, a former president of the American Psychological Association, included his own analysis of the Wall Street Journal statement, previously drafted as a letter to that newspaper.[7][8] Campbell first remarked that:

                  Of the 52 signatories, there were 10 whom I would regard as measurement experts. I do not have a list of those who were asked to sign and refused, but I know they included Lee Cronbach, Robert Sternberg, and myself.

                  He remarked that the rhetorical organization of points in the statement, inadvertently or deliberately, seemed to him to build up to the conclusion that the black-white racial gap had a genetic cause. He pointed out that already at point 5, no provision had been allowed for differences in educational opportunity. Later on in point 14, he judged that the statements on heritability had been made without mentioning that it was based on twin studies, where environmental opportunities had been excluded as possible factors. In point 23, he pointed out that it was not possible to compare children of black and white parents that were “equally” educated, because in these circumstances the opportunities in the quality of education, both before and at college, would differ. On point 25, Campbell remarked that Jensen had himself published policy recommendations concerning rote learning.[8][9]

                  Alderfer (2003) analysed the editorial as one of five responses to The Bell Curve, a book which he viewed as “an attempt to influence both psychological knowledge and U.S. politics”. He concluded that some of the responses, including the editorial, “fell far short of providing a critical analysis of the book’s racially biased argument and did little to reduce the misleading picture of race and IQ that the book promulgated.” More specifically, Alderfer criticized the failure of the psychologists to recognize the effect of such a book on race relations in the US; as well as their failure to discuss the third and last part of the book on the implications for social policy. He wrote that, “Some psychologists said they wanted to keep themselves out of the emotional turmoil that had been generated by publication of the Bell Curve … They might also have wanted to preserve the neutrality of psychology as a science. When examined in the contemporary racial context, however, their action was neither scientifically nor politically neutral. Essentially, they took a stand by not taking a stand. Their stand was not to become involved in how their expertise might be used to affect people’s lives …they missed an opportunity to caution their readers about regressive forces affecting U.S. race relations and to locate the book within that context. They did not fully use the authority based on their expertise to prevent harm.”

                  1. @5:04 pm:

                    Race and IQ is one of the most politically volatile research subjects there is. Of course there are psychologists and others who objected to the statement. (And Wikipedia, which is a hostile source for politically incorrect science, tends to overemphasize such objections.) But take a look at what they actually have to say: 80% of it is politics. Alderfer’s criticism is almost wholly centered on the “dangerousness” of this research, not on its truth. Campbell likewise objects primarily to the framing of the statement, and accuses it of “build[ing] up to the conclusion that the black-white racial gap had a genetic cause,” even though point 22 explicitly avoids a commitment one way or the other on that issue. None of his criticisms (save perhaps of point 14) challenge the truth of the statements, just their lack of providing suitable “context.” Certainly neither of them appear to challenge the *truth* of the claim that there are racial differences in IQ, although they clearly lean towards the environmentalist side of explaining those differences.

                    A survey from a few years ago found that only 17% of 228 intelligence researchers who responded to a survey on race and intelligence thought that race differences in IQ are wholly environmentally caused, although a plurality thought that less than 40% of the difference is due to genes: It’s hard to know how representative this survey is because this is such a controversial area and people don’t want to talk about it, but it’s the best data we’ve got.

                    In spite of the outcry over the Bell Curve, its scientific claims were and are completely mainstream among intelligence researchers. There’s a large gap between popular perception and the scientific experts here, as can be seen in another survey of intelligence researchers on which media outlets do the best job on reporting on IQ: The number one source is Steve Sailer’s blog, and mainstream media does not do well.

        1. Recall that one of the most strident advocates for punishing Kipnis was an invited speaker at Stanley & Manne’s Yale Ideology Conference.

  20. Stanley’s reaction: “I learned that Yale must be a frightening environment for Black students (the biggest applause lines were for the claim that to call someone a racist is like calling someone a pedophile and that antiracism is a serious threat to liberal freedom). There is massive white student support for those positions. I imagine it must be very difficult to be a Black student and hear that. Being white I can only guess though.”

    There seems to be absolutely no recognition of the fact that that line was delivered by a black speaker.

    (Also weird that Black is capitalised, but not white by comparison. Is that a thing now?)

    1. I guess it’s the thing now, 4:34.

      Back in the day, to take a stand on a leftist social issue took guts. You had to actually confront people who disagreed with you in a way that left you open to violence, imprisonment, loss of employment, expulsion from school, and/or loss of status. Nobody expected something for nothing. You had to weigh up the likely negative consequences of taking action and balance these against your conscience. This forced people to carefully examine just how important the various issues were and taking action accordingly.

      Now, at the universities, it’s all so different. The students who get involved in these things are by and large spoiled little shits whose major exposure to fighting for justice has been to help them check off boxes to bolster their applications to universities. Their deans are now writing them notes to try to get them excused for absences and late-submitted or nonsubmitted work so that they can march around and engage in pointless demonstrations that serve no function but to get their picture in the paper and annoy everyone who wasn’t already committed to whatever cause it is. And the causes, predictably, are getting more and more trivial as the incentives for whining increase and the disincentives vanish.

      So naturally, risky things (like protesting at recruiting stations for the military or walking home with gay nightclub-goers to make sure they don’t get physically attacked by rednecks) are of little interest nowadays. Instead, the big issues are things like interrupting nonviolent speeches with your friends by screaming, holding up irrelevant signs, and copying cliched activism maneuvers that got attention when they were original 50 years ago but are just stale and pointless now, adjusting your pronoun use and accusing others of being immoral and intolerant if they don’t say “themself”, and capitalizing “Black” but not “white”.

    1. A bit of helpful decoding: “Geography” nowadays is often “Social geography” aka PC social science, which isn’t science, but bad philosophy.

      1. Again, not science:

        Geography and Post-Phenomenology


        This paper examines geography’s engagements with phenomenology. Tracing phenomenology’s influence, from early humanist reflections on the lifeworld to non-representational theories of practice, the paper identifies the emergence of a distinct post-phenomenological way of thinking. However, there is currently no clear articulation of what differentiates post-phenomenology from phenomenology as a set of theories or ideas, nor is there a clear set of trajectories along which such difference can be pursued further. In response to this, the paper outlines three key elements that differentiate phenomenology from post-phenomenology and that require further exploration. First is a rethinking of intentionality as an emergent relation with the world, rather than an a priori condition of experience. Second is a recognition that objects have an autonomous existence outside of the ways they appear to or are used by human beings. Third is a reconsideration of our relations with alterity, taking this as central to the constitution of phenomenological experience given our irreducible being-with the world. Unpacking these differences, the paper offers some suggestions as to how post-phenomenology contributes to the broader discipline of human geography.

      2. There is already a precedent for this kind of thing WITHIN the philosophy profession. Indeed, I once attended a keynote presentation given by Nancy Tuana (one time editor of the APA sponsored newsletter on feminism and philosophy) during which she attributed Agency (with a capital “A”) to Hurricane Katrina. When questioned on the merits of her attribution, she retreated to speaking in postmodern riddles. One wonders if, perhaps, the APA would do well to sponsor a news letter for Moorean Common Sense.

        1. Thanks, Lysias. I am 1:34/42. In the spirit of “emergent interplay” may we proclaim, loud-and-proud, a new slogan for Foolosophy? I AM “viscous” AND “porous”! I daresay a new “Copernican Revolution” is dawning: Lacuna? Miasma? Tuana!

      3. The SJW movement has been very powerful in the natural and cognitive sciences since the 70s. Google ‘radical science’, and read Stephen Pinker’s ‘The Blank Slate’.

  21. “And Stanley mentions the “factual error” of Kipnis’s original story without, tellingly, saying what it is or how relevant to the main issue it is.”

    There is no “factual error”. Leydon-Hardy called Peter Ludlow her “boyfriend” in late 2011 in evidence made public; she repeatedly shared a bed with him in his apartment; and she repeatedly said she was “in love” with him. Shortly after, in 2012, Leydon-Hardy admitted (to NU’s Joan Slavin) to having a romantic relationship with Ludlow. Later, in 2014, Leydon-Hardy lied about her 2011 romance with Ludlow; and Pogin then repeated these lies, never citing any evidence. Both then used these lies to attack Kipnis. It’s interesting that Stanley is now prepared to tell lies too.

      1. “Just go ahead and lie” – that’s philosophy’s Social Justice Warfare motto, defended by the femphil who claims that rape is “complicated”.

  22. There was almost univocal pushback against the silly Schwitzgebel article on DN. The tide is turning against the SJWs.

  23. Preferential treatment is given to *women* in philosophy, as everyone knows, and this is particularly true in hiring. The gender bias towards women is statistically significant and the effect is strong. On being hired into first academic position, women have published on average only half as much as men have; the median number for men is 1, while the median number for women is 0. For “the Top 15 journals” the effect is even stronger: “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”. This implies that women are being hired, systematically, on the basis of fewer publications compared to men. If publication count does statistically correlate with merit (which is true, on average), the data shows that lower merit women are being hired over higher merit men. This is measurable gender bias.

    It’s an established fact in the sociology of the philosophy profession that women receive preferential treatment over men. For the SJWs to keep denying these facts simply reinforces the tragicomedy and intellectual dishonesty of the philosophy profession at the moment. SJWs repeatedly lying about everything, in increasingly obvious and dishonest attempts at self-promotion and virtue signalling.

  24. By the way, is it really a detriment to philosophy if women are underrepresented? It surely is a problem in education and psychotherapy, but nobody cares about that.

  25. It isn’t a detriment if any group is, or isn’t, under-represented. Men are, for example, under-represented as undergraduates and postgraduates in higher education everywhere, and this has been true for decades. In the US, about 57% undergrads are women, and 43% are men. This is pronounced in biological sciences, medicine, law, the humanities and most social sciences.

    What is a problem is systematic lying and intellectual dishonesty about such things – which is what SJWs (and in philosophy, at the SJW blogs – FP, DN and NA) continually do: tell lies.

  26. When has Schwitzgebel become highly accomplished? Since he started his blog? When he discovered social justice? Is according to SJW everybody in his own way highly accompished?

    1. There are plenty of philosophers nobody would have heard of if not for blogs. The sucky thing is that if they attract enough attention with their SJW work then they get offered serious academic opportunities. Hence the race to the bottom in telling lies and proposing ever more draconian punishments (anyone remember pre-emptive professional shunning?) for those who deviate from the New Consensus.

      The answer must be firm and simple: do not hire these people or their associates, or they’ll turn your department into another Colorado.

        1. Yeah, I suppose the prime examples of nobodies who became known for blogging SJW crap are Brotevi and the Balloon. The latter has gone quiet on SJW lately, he must be hoping to decouple his fame from that past. We can’t allow that. He must be forever marked as the one known for advocating preemptive professional shunning of philosophers accused of sexual harassment who wish to defend themselves by suing false accusers. He said we should shun them even if they are later found to be innocent and the accuser guilty. This is one what we get when the SJW posturing market gets crowded and various mediocrities compete for attention.

          1. Agreed. They let the paleo-PC movement get away with it in the early nineties, and this is what we got in return. This time there must be no way out. If you were an SJW anytime between 2011 and 2016, then people must know this forever.

      1. I am not saying he is a nobody, but highly accomplished? Is there anything above that? Ruler of the universe?

      2. Yes, and papers in Nous, Phil Review, etc. If you only know Schwitzgebel through his SJW posturing, you really need to get out more. He’s a real philosopher, and a very very good one. Like many middle-aged scholars, though, he’s passed his point of peak research productivity and looking to move upwards. There are only two paths for that (sometimes these paths join into one) — administration, or SJW posturing.

        1. Very Stanley-esque: nothing to contribute to real philosophy any more? Self-promote by starting a SJW crusade. Still better than Brotevi & Balloon, who never contributed anything at all.

  27. “The answer must be firm and simple: do not hire these people or their associates, or they’ll turn your department into another Colorado.”

    All the departments I know are *already* Colorado. What is your point?

    1. Have they been put into receivership on the basis of a report by a couple of continental shithead feminist philosophers? Has a tenured prof been fired for trying to defend a grad student from unfounded accusations? We’re not Colorado yet. We live in fear of Colorado. To get out of this state we must resist the SJW tide.

      1. Right at this moment, Jenny Saul is inciting a mob against a Leuven professor related to an altercation with a grad student, that each holds the other responsible for. Saul has endorsed smears against a professional colleague and demanded action – illegal action – against him.

        Perhaps you might consider real world events, instead of your own personal repetitious obsessions with Colorado?

        1. Colorado were real world events. But yes, we should do something about the current Leuven situation. Any good links?

          1. Typical FP disinformation. It seems the KU Leuven feminists are learning from their masters:

            “the department had given her teaching responsibilities to the accused professor in order to avoid their meeting and cause further conflict. This implies that she is automatically suspended from teaching whereas he is still teaching even though he admitted to the assault.”

            Duh, could it be that a TA can’t teach her own class according to their regulations? But no, it’s the patriarchy.

        2. This comment appears to be a flat out lie – at the very least, it is deliberately misleading. It seems that someone is waging a campaign on this thread to spread misinformation. All Saul does is reproduce open letters, without any editorializing. These letters do not name the professor. Describing this as ‘inciting a mob’ is absurd. Describing an instance where a person reproduces two letters sent to them with the prefaces: “A group of KU Leuven students have sent me a fuller statement about events there” and “From the KU Leuven Feminist Society:” with no other comment as equivalent to that person ‘demanding illegal action’ is absurd. Especially when the action being demanded in the letters themselves – not by Saul – is that a person who was involved with an altercation with a student be removed from teaching duties while the investigation as underway. In any case, here are the links to what Jenny Saul has said about this case so people can see for themselves seeing as the poster above is determined to keep repeating lies about this.

  28. What bugs me about the recent discussions of social justice and minorities in philosophy and society is the inference from population statistics to the conclusion of systematic discrimination. Population level statistics don’t be themselves prove–or even suggest–ANYTHING about systematic discrimination. What is needed is a premise bridging the population stats to systematic discrimination. I take this to be an obvious point. But I’ve yet to see anyone give a satisfactory bridge premise, much less give a good argument for how hiring prejudices, e.g., are going to “fix” whatever the hell the problem actually is–if there even is one. If we take what seems to be Stanley’s approach, we just ignore the bad reasoning, cite our own badass publications and appointments, and look down on anyone who doesn’t nod in agreement as part of the problem.

    1. Men are under-represented amongst US undergraduates and postgraduates (43% men; 57% women; a statistic true for decades).
      Therefore, men are oppressed.

    2. I agree. Here’s what I think is a somewhat different emphasis:
      The hypothesis *racism and sexism are partially responsible for the unhappy demographics of philosophy* is a live one. Such phenomena aren’t exactly uncommon. OTOH, most philosophers are not just ordinarily opposed to such things, but *very* opposed to them. Also, there are many institutional mechanisms that aim to counter such prejudice (e.g. affirmative action). Also–aside from the ordinary efforts of basically good people to combat such stuff–there’s a cottage industry in the discipline which, to say the very least, is passionately dedicated to ferreting out such bias. Also, on a personal note, I know a lot of people in philosophy, and almost all of them would come down on obvious bigotry like the fist of God. So…I have to say that I find it rather implausible that racism and sexism are rampant in the discipline. Rampant and pretty much super-secretly so? It’s just not a terribly plausible hypothesis *prima facie*.

      Currently, I think we’ve got good reason to take reasonably low-cost steps to *minimize any barriers* that might be keeping underrepresented groups out and down. Thing is, it’s such a common view that philosophy ought to be universal (e.g.?) open to everyone with the relevant desires and abilities, that it’s not going to be easy to find many low-cost (low moral risk, that is) steps that aren’t already taken rather naturally… But making special efforts to let women and minorities know that philosophy is for them–and positively *wants* them–seems to count as morally low-cost. How about we do that and similar things?
      (Sidebar: I recently saw a talk for undergrads that bent over backwards to pretend (without making it clear that it *was* pretense) that if you just list a dozen great philosophers of history, half will be women… That just seems dishonest to me… But I’m willing to be persuaded.)

      What we *don’t* have sufficient reason to do is discriminate against people–anyone–on the basis of sex or race or anything else in order to achieve a discipline that looks the way we prefer that it looks. Taking such a morally precarious step requires a degree of certainty that is unsupported by available evidence.

      Now, add to the above that I have very good reason to believe that the aforementioned cottage industry exists. That is, there’s a faction in philosophy that has demonstrated over and over again that its members are passionately devoted to the prejudice hypothesis…devoted far more ardently than is warranted by the evidence. It’s that faction that is mostly pushing for more extreme measures that aim at more than merely opening up the discipline and guaranteeing an apparently level playing field. The members of this faction have shown fairly clearly that they are willing to spin the facts and nip and tuck the arguments as needed in support of their political preferences. Their arguments (both philosophical and political) are often bad, and clearly so. And I have a suspicion that there’s more than a touch of anti-white-male prejudice afoot as well…but I may be less than perfectly objective on that point… People in that faction also tend to favor a type of identity politics that I think is a philosophical, moral and political disaster.

      So…we’ve got a good argument for taking some extra steps to make sure that we aren’t illegitimately shutting anyone out. We’ve got insufficient grounds for engaging in anything much more radical, especially anything that itself seems clearly prejudicial. And a big chunk of the people who are denying that second point seem to be in the grip of a cluster of rather clearly bad theories that largely explain their errors in this vicinity…

      So it seems pretty clear what we need to do, in general.

      Demands that we take more radical action simply are not warranted by currently-available evidence.

      Furthermore, there’s just no rush. The most important thing is that the overt barriers be down. If there is some subtle way in which philosophy is unwelcoming, fixing that is going to take awhile. If, say, some women choose to study history instead while we are figuring it out, it’s not as if we as a discipline have done something horrible. I’m sure that every discipline must do some things that are sub-optimal in this respect…in fact, I’m sure that they do some things that turn off people they shouldn’t and some things that attract people they shouldn’t. (In the latter case, people might end up devoted to a discipline that really isn’t for them…) I doubt that philosophy is criminally bad at this. We’re probably just ordinarily bad.

      1. Spot on, Stealthy. There is also another argument that the SJWs use though: it’s not a matter of injustice or discrimination, but a matter of epistemology. Important philosophical knowledge is gendered. I find that highly implausible, but it’s something we also need to address.

        1. Right you are.

          I actually agree with what I take to be the rather pedestrian point that the people getting the short end of the stick are, on average, more likely to notice that something’s amiss than the other party. I think it’s vanishingly unlikely that this kind of minor, not-in-principle difference can be the basis for a “feminist epistemology”… But, as a not-terribly-insightful-nor-profound observation, I think it’s largely right about a lot of cases. (Though I was actually raised in such a way as to be *way* more aware of any illicit advantage I might be getting… Some kind of Southern/Midwestern Protestant thing? I dunno…)

          Anyway, I’m not entirely unsympathetic to such claims. Philosophy is often such a close-run thing that *anything* that might gain us some cognitive advantage/perspective is of interest to me. But of course the Other Side would never accept such an argument from Our Side… Let’s say it turns out dudes have some obscure cognitive quirk that makes them, on average, better at philosophy. They’d never accept that as a legitimate reason to accept a majority of dudes in the discipline. Of course that’s just *ad hominem*…so whatever…

          But anyway…though I think the point is a stretch, I do think it’s worth thinking about/not rejecting out of hand. But as a basis for policy, we need a lot more than “this isn’t obviously false.”

          1. I would also say that it’s perverse to affect the careers or lives of lots of young people on the basis of some controversial epistemology. It’s not just a matter of hiring people who work in a field you’re interested in. It’s hiring people on the basis of gender because your pet view says that gender makes a difference in philosophical outlook. That’s treating philosophers like lab rats.

            1. word.
              Imagine someone arguing that philosophy should hire fewer women and Germans on the grounds that Nietzsche said “Women are like the Germans; one cannot fathom their depths because they have none”…

  29. But still landed a decent blow:

    “In his quantitative analysis of the PGR data a few years ago, sociologist Kieran Healy found that philosophy is a high-consensus field relative to other humanities. We tend to agree on what is good work. Philosophy is more like science than literary criticism in that respect. The “diverse” disciplines have fewer shared intellectual standards. We’re not as subjective as the authors of the linked article claim. In any case, something tells me that the computer I’m typing this on doesn’t work just because a bunch of white men agreed on what makes for good science.”

  30. “Shouldn’t the null hypothesis for why higher education is so overwhelmingly female be that our evaluations of undergraduates and postgraduates are directly biased against men?”

      1. 10:14am provides us with an instructive example of bad reasoning, common in debates on this blog and elsewhere. The claim “Because men don’t face remotely as much discrimination as women” is a comparative quantitative one, and so “Yes they do. For instance, this example” utterly fails tor respond to it, instead initiating a tangent re: the particular features of the example.

        1. Men face more discrimination than women do. Demonstrably so, in philosophy job hiring as has been demonstrated by empirical evidence, where women receive preferential treatment. Also in the legal system, in the courts, in the education system (where women significantly outnumber men), in the workplace and pretty much everywhere.

          Please learn to reason correctly.

          1. Look, I’m against the FP takeover, but the circularity charge made in that graph just doesn’t work, for the reason pointed out by 12:31. You cannot disprove a claim of the form “In general X>Y” with a counterexample of the form “In this case Y>X”. There is no universal quantifier in front of the first claim, so an objection with a counterexample preceded by an existential quantifier won’t do.

            1. Why don’t you fuck off, “Anon”? If the cases which comprehensively cover a population P are A, B and C, and then examples A, B, and C are then covered, then that does, in fact, cover 100% of cases. This has nothing to do with “existential quantifiers”. It concerns statistics.

              Learn to *reason* correctly.

              1. Because the case of higher education comprehensively covers the population of men and women? Your resort to profanity indicates frustration at your defeat.

            2. Doesn’t it matter how strong “not even remotely as much” is? If the “men don’t face remotely as much discrimination as women” means 90% women are discriminated against, and then someone gives an example which shows that 20% of the time it’s actually men who are discriminated against then it seems like a fair objection. Of course you can’t quantify discrimination like this, but that’s half the point, the “remotely as much” claim is intentionally vague. You said

              The claim “Because men don’t face remotely as much discrimination as women” is a comparative quantitative one, and so “Yes they do. For instance, this example” utterly fails tor respond to it

              But how could you dismiss the claim “men don’t face remotely as much discrimination as women” ?
              Sure, just giving n counter examples to it doesn’t disprove it, but giving n counter examples to “women don’t face remotely as much discrimination as men” doesn’t disprove that either. If I accept the latter claim and use the reasoning in the diagram, then I can come to the conclusion that men are discriminated against, and dismiss all discrimination against women. If someone makes a broad claim like that how else can you respond other than with counter examples? What other than examples of discrimination against men could be used to dispute the original claim? You don’t get to do exact logic when making policy decisions in the real world. You have to base things off incomplete evidence. I think the diagram is stupid and I think the obsession with discrimination against men is stupid, but your dismissal of the diagram ignores how these discussions actually work.

              1. I find it odd to discuss the pragmatics and semantics of “remotely as much” when the claim at hand is that society at large tends to favour men. Sure, patriarchy oppresses both men and women, for example by creating the expectation that men perform the most dangerous jobs and so on. But to dispute the general pattern flies in the face of a wealth of evidence from all sorts of fields.

                1. The evidence is that society favors women in education, the workplace, healthcare and the legal system:
                  – education and higher education (where, e.g., 57% of US undergrads are female; where female philosophy grads hired are held to lower expectations than men are, etc.),
                  – the workplace (where women in their 20s are paid significantly more than men are),
                  – healthcare (where women receive more resources, get more attention and live around five years longer),
                  – the legal system (in the family courts where men are discriminated against on custodial matters, and in the criminal justice system where man are treated more harshly and punished more harshly, and women are rarely punished).

                  If you can find any evidence of women being discriminated against, please give one example. It is men who are discriminated against, in all the areas mentioned above.

                  1. There has never been a woman president, women are underrepresented in boardrooms and at the top of just about any powerful organization, are still paid less than men overall, etc. Must I go on? The MRA position is like climate change denialism or creationism. There is simply no respectable academic who would lend support to it.

                    1. Goldin says: “It’s probably there, but we’re not quite certain whether these differences are due to the fact that women, even those without kids, have more responsibilities or take more responsibilities in their own families — taking care of their parents, for example. So the answer is that we don’t have tons of evidence that it’s true discrimination.”

                      So the pay gap is real but we’re not sure it’s true discrimination. Hardly a ringing endorsement of the MRA position.

                    2. The fact that men constitute something like 80% of the 1% of people who occupy positions of global power tells us very little about what life is like for non-elite men. I’m not very sympathetic to the MRA worldview, but its perfectly consistent to hold that (a) social institutions and policies systematically discriminate against men and (b) men occupy a significantly disproportionate share of the (very, very limited) elite positions in the social hierarchy.

                    3. OK that’s interesting, Lysias. There certainly is a strand of feminism (“lean in” feminism, which is not unlike the feminism of academic superstars) that is all about securing elite positions for women, not about equality in any meaningful sense.

                    4. Is the head of the philosophy department at the University of Cape Town not a ‘respectable academic’?

                  2. It seems that my comment was eaten up. I will try again. I also second many of the things Anonymous 6:22 says.

                    Since the same bullshit is posted over and over, let’s go through it one by one. I’m busy, so this is only a cursory treatment.

                    1. Education: I’m not sure what these large-scale statistics are supposed to show about discrimination or philosophy in particular. And be careful what you wish for. Often disparities like these are taken in other areas to be evidence of a difference in innate ability. Why point to innate ability in one case but not in another? In fact, given that many private institutions gender balance 50/50, this suggests they are implementing a policy of affirmative action for (white) men and discriminating against women (and Asians, etc.), if you look crudely at the number of applicants. This was the case at my undergraduate institution. But you must do a lot more to explain why that shows anything interesting.

                    2. Workplace: You are citing this British study, I assume: There are two obvious caveats within the same study: (a) the pay gap has not closed for women older than 30, (b) the pay gap has drastically widened for teenage women. I also am unable to find the original study. I have no idea what they are controlling for. Given the way the popular presentation is written, it seems unlikely that they controlled for occupation. That’s obviously a big gap. Also, compare the following American studies that show a wage gap for working women who have just graduated college:

                    3. Healthcare: I’m not sure exactly what sources you are thinking about. One counter-example: There is systematic evidence that women’s pain, particularly during their periods, is underdiagnosed: One study:, one popular presentation: . Yes, women live longer. I don’t see how that’s discrimination. Yes, women bear children. But there is also systematic discrimination in treatment of childbirth:

                    4. The legal system: It is true that here there is systematic evidence of disparities in punishment. I generally think this is an area where we need to make progress. You also mention benefits women receive in divorce courts; I think these are partly balanced by the problems many women face in using the police to help avoid domestic violence.

                2. I’m just saying that producing a counter example is not an “utter failure to respond” to the original point. It would only be an utter failure if there was a possibility of successfully refuting the claim, which there isn’t. Counter examples are not enough, no matter how many, but what else could be used as a response? If there’s no way to dismiss the claim, then the claim shouldn’t be used in an argument. 12:31 shouldn’t insult other peoples powers of reasoning whilst ignoring this. That’s my only point. I don’t care about the diagram, I just don’t like 12:31.

                  If this diagram were about society at large I’d agree it’s silly to respond with a single counter example; there’s lots of evidence that women are more discriminated against in society at large and I don’t dispute this. However, this diagram is almost certainly about arguments with feminist philosophers, and the situation in faced by underemployed philosophy PhDs. Let’s not pretend either side genuinely gives a shit about society at large.

                  The well supported statement that “men don’t face remotely as much discrimination as women in society at large” is not too relevant to people privileged enough to attempt a academic career in liberal arts. The relevant point would be something like “male philosophy PhDs don’t face remotely as much discrimination as female philosophy PhDs”. I think this second claim sufficiently unclear that it is reasonable to respond to the claim with a single counter example, if for no other reason than to prompt the original person to back up their claim. To be clear, I think the men are oppressed nonsense is nonsense, but 12:31 sounds like a dismissive prick.

  31. The article is pretty good. But the problem remains: can we only strike up relationships with our exact peers? With the hours we are expected to work to find and keep a TT job? Here’s a key passage: “I wearily advise her to stick it out in science, but only because I cannot promise that other fields aren’t worse.” So it’s not about science, or philosophy, right?

    Moreover, the article leaves out something important. Harassers aren’t idiots. They know that if the subordinate wants the relationship then it’s fine, and so people gamble. It’s a fine equilibrium. Often the subordinate will give the impression that they are open to something romantic so they can collect a few favors, but hope that they’ll never get the dreaded email with some kind of sexual overture. Sometimes this doesn’t work out.

    So the safe course is to never send those emails. But you can see why some people take risks.

    1. There’s an option between “only with your exact peers” and “anyone you see at work, including those you directly supervise”. Something like “legal adults over whom you do not currently exercise significant power, and who have not told you to knock it off” seems reasonable.

      But even if you want to take the gamble, starting off with some intense email confessing all your feelings is not the way to go about it… really no matter who the person is. Casually offer to buy the person a drink (or lunch, or coffee), and see if there’s any kind of spark. Give yourself plausible deniability and a way to back off with some grace.

      The kind of email described in the article is like the emotion version of a dick pic: it’s too soon, no one wants it, and it’s not flattering to receive it.

      1. Thank you. Really tired of strawman that suggests the only two options are “no men approach women ever” or “men approach any woman they want, any time, any way they want to.”

      2. Agreed. The author of the email is either an emotionally incompetent science nerd or a slimy lecherous boss. Could also be both.

        1. I don’t know, I’m an emotionally incompetent lech who regularly sends such emails, but I’m neither a boss nor a science nerd.

      3. This seems similar to a movement back toward the ideal of relationships only between two members of the same social class.
        I suppose the intent is clearly different, though.

    1. I’m glad we’re finally moving away from “masculinist scientific glaciology often characterized by control, prediction, ice penetration, measurement, and quantification” .

    2. I had to stop and retreat to my safe space. All those references to penetrating glaciers with probes triggered me.

        1. Well, as Peirce more-or-less says, there’s a certain virtue associated with clear and straightforward falsehoods

          1. To take it as a joke is to read it with a non-zero amount of charity, or with basic conversational competence. The philosophy blogosphere is no place for either mode. You’re lucky you’re anonymous.

          2. On facebook, in response to his old position that philosophy of language was first philosophy. Not a joke, for better or worse, depending on your perspective.

  32. “Since the same bullshit is posted over and over, let’s go through it one by one. I’m busy, so this is only a cursory treatment.”

    People are responding to your advocacy of discrimination, your opposition to equality, and your feminist shit with facts and evidence. There is no “Patriarchy”. There is also no Yeti. There is also no Flying Spaghetti Monster. And there is no conspiracy of scientists all pretending that the climate is warming. Feminism is bullshit, akin to creationism or believing in UFOs. Feminism is gender bigotry, a conspiracy theory, increasingly loathed by millions of people, including the vast majority of women in fact.

    1. 57% of US undergraduates are female; 43% are male. This has been true for decades, since the 1980s. It is also true in higher education throughout the world. The under-representation of men is true in medicine, law, biological sciences, areas related to medicine and education, humanities (not philosophy) and some social sciences (not economics). These are all female dominated areas. Is this dominance caused by anti-male discrimination?

    2. On pay, the facts are hardly in dispute, despite the barrages of feminist propaganda. In an analysis carried out by the Press Association in 2015 based on UK government statistics, it found that women in their 20s are paid substantially more than men in their 20s are: “When aged 22-29, women earn an average of £1,111 more than men”.

    Similarly, for the US,
    “Women who recently graduated from college earn as much as or more than their male counterparts in 29 fields, ranging from engineering to art history, according to researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The reverse wage gap means women earned 16 percent more than men in social services and 10 percent more in industrial engineering jobs held by graduates between the ages of 22 and 27, the research showed. The difference in pay between genders — women overall earn only 78 cents for every dollar earned by men — is also far smaller for newly minted college graduates. This group of women earns 97 cents for each dollar earned by men, the study showed. The fields where women outpaced men the most in earnings were social services; treatment therapy, 11 percent; industrial engineering; and art history, with a 9 percent gap. Women also outearned men in all other engineering disciplines, construction and business analytics, among other fields.”

    This is also not a new phenomenon. Differences in average pay emerge usually later, for other reasons, explicable in terms of lifestyle choices: women choose to have children, and choose to work part time (and perhaps men work harder), points made by the Harvard economist Claudia Goldin, and others.

  33. “I think these are partly balanced by the problems many women face in using the police to help avoid domestic violence. ”

    This is a politically motivated falsehood. Women are responsible for at least 50% of domestic violence. Some studies show even more. A Harvard study (2007) stated that “When the violence was one-sided, both men and women said that women were the perpetrators about 70% of the time. Men were more likely to be injured in reciprocally violent relationships (25%) than were women when the violence was one-sided (20%).” The police, however, automatically treat male victims of violence as guilty. Similar criminological data appears in connection with sexual assault, showing that around 50% of perpetrators of sexual violence are women.

    A bibliography (2012) of some 286 studies concerning violence by women against men is here

    from Martin Fiebert, Dept of Psychology, California State University,

    The criminological fact is that it is women who conduct a very significant proportion (probably a majority) of domestic violence; it is male victims who are then routinely punished.

    The founder of women’s shelters in 1971, Erin Pizzey, has long campaigned on this, despite receiving death threats from feminists.


    ” We are working on a new treat for the most triggering among us. Women in Philosophy is a new compilation focusing on the philosophical writings of women who do not mention gender politics. There is so much writing about women and gender politics, but what about writing from women that has nothing to do with gender? What about writing on philosophy, politics, psychology, economics, cybernetics, and even game theory? Why isn’t this writing highlighted more?

    We are going to fix things up here at Trigger Warning. We will gather 23 unique philosophical essays from 23 unique women about topics that cannot be found in a Women’s Studies class. We will do it with intellectual flair and style. Submissions are due on April 1st, 2016, and can be up to 3000 words. Send them to with the subject “Women in Philosophy”. ”

    Found it on twitter. Some lady ‘metabros’ may find it interesting.

    More about the website –

  35. Here is a the content of a post I made on Daily Nous, in the most recent thread on the canon, which has now been deleted:

    “I agree with Richard. If more history of philosophy classes were to include my work on epistemology, then I would perhaps become as influential as Aquinas. The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward my recently published critique of Williamson’s critics.”

    Now, perhaps I’m not as clever as I like to think I am, but I have a difficult time seeing how my attempt at a mildly piss-taking (but also self-effacing) reductio warrants deletion.

    1. By failing to declare yourself a victim, you became a victim. The only way to avoid being victimized is to declare yourself a victim. By declaring yourself a victim, you join the hallowed elite.

      The philosophy profession has been Christianized.

  36. If you don’t get how fucked this all is, just watch the 10 seconds from 0:23-0:33:

    Melissa Click is told this is public property and she adopts some mocking, goofy tone:
    “oh, yeah, that’s a really good one, but I’m a communications faculty, and I really get that argument…”
    She uses her position as a communications professor to trample dissent

    1. She’s not aware of what she’s doing. What you have here is a woman who’s letting her emotional sympathies get the better of her judgment. And for the trigger-induced, it’s incidental that she’s a woman letting this happen to herself.

    2. I suspect he’s right that they’ll look back on this footage and cringe in ten years’ time. The stuff with the protests at the board meeting is awful. What a bunch of entitled little brats

  37. Who was it that recently cited Benetar as an exemplar of someone working on sex/sexism who was taking an anti-New Consensus view? Judging from the comments on DN his time has come…

    1. There are some arguments made in that thread that are so astonishingly terrible I have a hard time believing that they were made by philosophers.
      Wait…on second thought…it’s not actually that hard to believe.

  38. If anyone thinks this has come out the blue, think again. The “Benetar is racist” message has been stoked up in the national press by another UCT professor:

    Read and decide for yourself. But don’t for a moment these recent events weren’t related to this larger power play…

  39. Shelley Tremain has brought “uncharitable reading” to a whole new level. God, is she dumb, it is really painful to read. How did she manage to “earn” a PhD?

    Social justice warriors and their crusade, they keep on giving!

    1. I’ve also wondered how Tremain “earned” a PhD. Every comment seems like it must be satire, but given that Tremain’s dissertation was “on disability and Anglo-American theories of social justice”… well, that would be real commitment to satire.

  40. But…but…if were merely assume a couple of patently cracked ideas, including one that, if true, would destroy everything worthwhile about philosophy–and, for that matter, the very idea of the search for truth as an autonomous undertaking–*we can show that this one white guy might possibly be racist!!!!*

    Surely you can see that this crucial social benefit warrants acceptance of the ideas in question.

    1. It’s hard to think of anything more disgusting than the bastard spawns of Machiavellianism and SJW ideology.

  41. Re: Leiter approving of the violent disruption of political meetings. You’d never have guessed he was a Marxist, would you?

      1. It was a gang of violent left-wing protesters, disrupting a political rally. Obviously, Trump’s supporters will feel threatened by this organized left-wing violence.

            1. That was in Ohio.
              So, the “gang of violent left-wing protesters” is pure fiction.
              Trump is a flat-out fascist. It’s out in the open now. It will be fun to watch and see who continues to defend him.

              1. Look, Trump is not a “flat-out fascist”. It’s true that there are elements of protofascism in Trump’s ideas – e.g., about social rebirth, “greatness”, a malaise of moral decay led by a corrupt liberal elite, and the promotion of confrontation and conflict. But these elements often appear on both the left and the right. Trump is a populist in the Berlusconi tough-talking businessman mould, a divisive demagogue. A gap in the market has opened — a demand from alienated and disenfranchised voters, many working-class, fed up with the establishment — and Trump came along and filled this gap. Responding to Trump by violent disruption of his campaign rallies probably plays into the hands of his supporters, though only time will tell; hopefully the protest violence on each side doesn’t escalate to something worse. But the anti-Trump protestors *are* the establishment. Similarly, his Republican opponents — whether Cruz, Rubio, et al in the campaign, and commentators at The National Review, Commentary or FOX – are the establishment. Trump and his supporters see themselves as an anti-establishment protest movement.

                1. Yup. When you huff and cluck about how Trump doesn’t share our values you are siding with Dick Cheney, Bill Kristol, and Benjamin Netanyahu (an actual fascist!)

                  Which isn’t to say that Trump is so great, but realize that he’s getting this comprehensive propaganda takedown because he’s scared an extremely authoritarian establishment.

  42. >>> Welcome to my new blog series on gaps. Because gaps are often complex, simplistic, single-cause explanations, such as “discrimination,” are rarely justified. I will be exploring specific gaps — racial, gender, political and more — and reviewing how social science *evidence* can and should influence our understanding of those gaps. I will be critically evaluating the “all discrimination all the time” explanations for gaps advanced in many acaemic circles. I will be identifying a slew of explanations, *other than discrimination*, that can be a source of some or most or even all of many gaps. <<<

    What Explains Racial, Gender, and other Group-Based Gaps?

  43. “it never occurred to me that my career, my teaching, my credibility, and even my freedom could be threatened or destroyed in this way in the united states of america. it seems impossible. but this is a sober, factual recounting of the events.”

    Sartwell is right.

  44. Sartwell is a *genuine* non-conformist and radical, as opposed to a member of an organized ideological tribe. And certainly not a member of a tribe in implicit cahoots with academic administrators. So he will get no cover and no protection. Bye-bye.

    1. And what’s more, he had the temerity to criticize members of the in-crowd, which makes him doubly fucked. (I guess “believe accusers” doesn’t carry any weight when the accused are prestigious women in the discipline.) For all the shit Leiter gets, he is very good on academic freedom issues, and I’m glad he’s sticking up for Sartwell publicly.

      1. Agreed about Leiter. Over the past ten years I’ve come to think that BL is right about the big issues I care about in higher ed, and god knows there’s nothing like the DN or FP or Society for Ethical Non Monogamy or whoever to make you appreciate an old school liberal willing to call it like he sees it.

  45. Benetar on DN: “Ms. Mkhumbuzi is facing university disciplinary procedures for a number of serious breaches of student rules. I am not at liberty to discuss these at this stage because the matter is sub judice and may, in any event, be governed by confidentiality requirements of the student disciplinary tribunal. Those who are passing negative judgments in your comments section should be advised not to believe everything they read and to suspend judgment until they have all the relevant facts. I hope that in due course I shall have permission to release them.”

    Right, save a copy of those comments kids. Here we have, for all to see, those ready to assassinate Benetar’s character on the basis of a facebook post. Nice.

    1. I know I’ve already said this…but my God there are some bad arguments in there. The crazy thing to me is that no one can come right out and state what most of the people there *have* to recognize and *must* be thiking: the anti-Benatar-ites are straining mightily to move things toward the conclusion they prefer… The conclusion that PC academicians *always* seem to prefer: that the white dude is a racist.

      I’ve got to stop reading this stuff, because it’s going to destroy my objectivity. The more crappy / unfair arguments I read there, the harder it is for me to resist the urge to take up a position on the question prematurely. Hell, Benatar *might* be a racist for all I know…but the shitty arguments o that thread have come nowhere near proving it, despite passionate efforts.

      Last thing: the arguments in question are so *prima facie* preposterous that I find myself rushing through them and leaving the page, lest I allow myself to actually start wasting time responding… But…is it not the case that two different anti-Benatarites have thus far given arguments to the effect that if Smith’s arguments have actual, unforseen bad consequences for some relevant group G, then Smith is a bigot? (in one case: a sexist; in the other a racist)? Is this some crackpot conception of bigotry I’m unfamiliar with? I thought I was fairly well up on crackpot conceptions of bigotry…

      1. Prima facie preposterous is very in among the social justice warrior set…they hardly even try to make their arguments logical. X will help favored groups and shut up disfavored ones, hence X is justified and not-X is RACIST, that’s all the logic you need.

    1. Well, unless they’re disabled or economically disadvantaged.

      Economically disadvantaged should probably be the only category on that list.

      (No, that’s not my group.)

      1. Just keep in mind they are only accepting letters of reference if written by members of underrepresented groups. You might also need to append a doctor’s note attesting to non-neurotypical status.

      2. I’ll do the same. It does sort of suck that some minorities would have to “out” themselves to get in, but that choice is theirs to make.

    2. I always ask this, and I’ve never gotten a straight answer: what grounds do we have for thinking that LGBT philosophers are underrepresented?

      My hunch, for what it’s worth, is that “underrepresented” is now an empty shell of a word, deprived of all meaning except an expressive one: “group that gives us a warm feeling inside”, or something like that.

        1. I think LGBT people have always been ‘overrepresented’ in philosophy. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

  46. Xolela Mangcu is really targetting Benatar now. Would he have to apologise if it turns out that Benatar is right?

    As for the charge of not hiring a black philosopher at UCT, both Jazz Tranley and Nathaniel “Not a Slave” Coleman are both available.

    1. Too white, too Christian. The author is not exotic enough.

      Seriously though, I find it troubling that both Benatar and his critics are willing to exclude Augustine as they seem to have both bought into “African equals Sub-Saharan”.

      But what great historical works of “really” African philosophers are there? Honest question here. What Benatar has said is no doubt very controversial. Especially if we consider the fact that philosophy is a luxury that only flourishes when basic economic needs are met and is usually pursued by people of at least middle class status.

      1. I know your first sentence is intended as a sardonic commentary on contemporary PC culture (in which, you imply, St Augustine is seen as “too white, too Christian, … not exotic enough”). But let me play the pedant a bit here.

        No one doubts St Augustine became Christian (and not a moment too soon, as he quipped), but there is quite a bit of discussion about his “ethnic background.” For one, our racial categories don’t really have direct correlates to the terms in use at the time, so he wasn’t “white” to his contemporaries. Second, his mother’s name is Berber, so the guess he had that as part of his background. The question then turns to his father, and their opinion divides: was he also Berber? Or was he from Roman controlled lands? Or was he of Phoenician descent? (There’s some possibility I suppose he was from some fourth grouping but Berber, Roman, and Phoenician are the three dominant groups of the era at the time.)

  47. No less than five SJW philosophy witch hunts, in just three months in 2016

    – Leiter (yet again – the Bruya business),
    – Beziau,
    – the Leuven prof,
    – Benatar,
    – Sartwell.

  48. If all these are “witch hunts” what is the sense of that term? Because the extension here is pretty heterogeneous.

    Leiter is in a blog spat with an author of a piece critical of the PGR. That’s “dog bites man” stuff.

    In the second, a dude wrote a thing, and other people wrote blog posts about that thing.

    In the third case, there’s an open investigation involving charges of physical aggression. In response, people have written blog posts.

    In the fourth case, the prof is the one pressing charges, so do you mean the student is the object of the witch hunt? Or do you mean that the witch-hunters are people have written blog posts about the prof?

    In the fifth case, a prof has been kicked off campus by admins. Weinberg wrote an early information piece, and Leiter know has one condemning the admins. Do you mean Leiter is witch-hunting the admins?

    Presumably you mean the admins are witch-hunting the prof, but can’t you see the difference between blogging about a thing and pressing charges against a person, as is the case in the 4th and 5th instances?

    1. And the differences among admins investigating allegations, a prof pressing charges, and admins acting against a prof?

    2. Sorry, at least 4 of the 5 have the following structure: “We don’t know all the facts, so I guess we should better rush in to judgment.”

      True of Bruya – no one really cared whether his analysis held weight

      True of the the Leuven prof,

      True of Benatar,

      True of Sartwell – contrast the way DN handled this with Leiter

      1. Wouldn’t “rush to judgment” be better then? To me, “witch-hunt” implies some real world effects, as opposed to blog comment chit-chat. You could add “reputation smearing” to “rush to judgment” and that still wouldn’t add up to “witch-hunting” IMO.

        In any case, I think blog fights and admin action need to be differentiated even if the epistemic structure of rush-to-judgment holds (if it does — no one is ever going to have “all the facts” — the dispute is the threshold at which one judges sufficient facts) across the instances.

        1. We should also note the function of “ism bashing” as a discrediting technique:

          Leiter – accused of racism
          Beziau – sexism and homophobia
          Leuven Prof – accused of sexism
          Benatar: accused of racism and sexism

          Sartwell (I think? So far?) is an exception. But given time, they will come up with something, e.g. “Even well-established senior women philosophers are not safe from online harassment by angry entitled males”

        2. “… implies some real world effects, as opposed to blog comment chit-chat.”

          Because a group of individuals using social media to distribute allegations, display their outrage and ruin the reputation of a professional academic by internet mobbing isn’t the “real world”? If you want to accuse Leiter of racism, then put it in writing and let a court decide. Otherwise, either shut the fuck up, or expect a strong response from Leiter. If you personally want to accuse the Leuven prof of a criminal offense, then put it in writing and let a court decide. Otherwise, shut the fuck up and let the appropriate professionals sort it out. If you want to accuse Sartwell of a criminal offense, then put it in writing and let a court decide. Otherwise, shut the fuck up and treat other human beings with respect. This is how matters between individuals are settled in a democracy. Not by the kinds of internet and social media witch hunts, where philosophy’s SJWs collectively target and hunt individuals, in order to promote their own power, status and prestige.

          1. I agree with the sentiment, but I’m not at all convinced that “this is how matters…are settled in a democracy.” Demagoguery, witch-hunting, scapegoating, moral preening, and all the other irritating and dangerous propensities of the New Consensus have always been with us. What’s new is the way that blogs and social media amplify, popularize, and publicize what used to be local instances of bad behavior. Digital mobbing is dangerous because it makes it exceedingly difficult for unjustly accused person (or, for that matter, a justly accused person who is repentant or guilty of only minor wrong-doing) to escape their tormentors or lose their reputation by moving or finding a new position. Where past instances of scapegoating might ruin someone temporarily, online scapegoating promise to ruin someone permanently. How we can effectively disincentivize such behavior is anyone’s guess. I certainly don’t expect the APA to take a stand in favor of due process!

    1. “The Shame Culture” by David Brooks, New York Times,

      “Many people carefully guard their words, afraid they might transgress one of the norms that have come into existence. Those accused of incorrect thought face ruinous consequences. When a moral crusade spreads across campus, many students feel compelled to post in support of it on Facebook within minutes. If they do not post, they will be noticed and condemned. … This creates a set of common behavior patterns. First, members of a group lavish one another with praise so that they themselves might be accepted and praised in turn. Second, there are nonetheless enforcers within the group who build their personal power and reputation by policing the group and condemning those who break the group code. Social media can be vicious to those who don’t fit in. Twitter can erupt in instant ridicule for anyone who stumbles. Third, people are extremely anxious that their group might be condemned or denigrated. They demand instant respect and recognition for their group. They feel some moral wrong has been perpetrated when their group has been disrespected, and react with the most violent intensity.”

      This toxic ideology is what philosophy’s SJWs – Weinberg, Barnes, Saul, Stanley, etc. – believe and promote with their monthly hatefests.

  49. French Continental fake philosophy in action.

    “Drawing on the work of the late French philosophers Deleuze and Guattari, the objective of this paper is to demonstrate that the evidence-based movement in the health sciences is outrageously exclusionary and dangerously normative with regards to scientific knowledge. As such, we assert that the evidence-based movement in health sciences constitutes a good example of microfascism at play in the contemporary scientific arena”

    As long as we allow these ‘microfascist’ frauds to pass for philosophers, we have no right to complain when laymen or scientists think philosophy is dumb.

    1. So three people from school or nursing and an English professor spins an article from their joint musings on Continental philosophy [which is good for a few laughs] and gets it published to pad their cv’s. No one’s going to mistake this for philosophy. What’s more upsetting is that CIHR and SSHRC fund this kind of shit.

      1. You just don’t know how many people I meet who think Derrida or Deleuze are philosophers. As long as we are cowards and we allow these frauds to go unchallenged, the public perception of our community will suffer, and half the people will think we’re morons. (The other half will admire us for the wrong reasons.)

        1. Must we deny that they are philosophers? That route is always fraught with quibbling about how to define our subject. I prefer to say that they are very bad philosophers who are rightly ignored by most people with expertise in the subject. By analogy, Dr. Phil appears to be a rather bad clinical psychologist, but he is nevertheless a clinical psychologist on any common sense account of that discipline.

          1. Agreed. People who want to draw and redraw the lines of the discipline to exclude someone almost always strike me as too lazy or incapable to show where the supposed crackpots go wrong.

    2. On a related note (and because I don’t want to post it up-thread where it’ll never be seen), the inimitable Jerry Coyne nukes feminist glaciology:

      I haven’t had time to read the whole thing, but the first part, at least, is pretty good. He’s also stood up against the PC demand that we all accept nominalism about race.

    3. You are so right, anon 7:43. Continental philosophy poisons the discipline. Not only do the charlatans occupy positions that could have been occupied by sensible analytics, they make philosophy look bad to the general public.

      They just can’t accept that there’s a hierarchy with giants such Dummett, Putnam, Kripke at the very top while they are at the bottom, below the freshman analytic. Instead of recognizing that they are nobodies who have no right, neither as students nor as academic staff, to be in academia, let alone the highest discipline in academia, philosophy, at all, they hide from the truth and withdraw within their own charlatan circle of continental philosophy, with its own obscure and unself-critical circle-jerk meetings and journals.

      They also poison other disciplines, such as literary theory, which draws on the bullshit they produce. It makes a discipline such as literary theory equally a discipline of charlatans insofar as its practitioners rehash the ramblings of the continentals.

      A much heard defense by continentals is that continental philosophy focuses more on the experiental aspects of life, which supposedly don’t lend themselves all that well to analysis along the lines of analytic philosophy. Well, that may well be true, but since these continentals produce nothing of value, shouldn’t we rather infer that some things just don’t lend themselves all that well to philosophy in se?

      1. “A much heard defense by continentals is that continental philosophy focuses more on the experiental aspects of life”

        Then why do they write all that bullshit about science, grammar, and other things that have practically nothing to do with their personal ‘experiential aspects’?

      2. “A much heard defense by continentals is that continental philosophy focuses more on the experiental aspects of life”

        If that’s what they focus on then why do they bullshit about science, grammar, and math?

        On top of that, why would we even need philosophers who focus on the experiential aspects of life, when we already have poets who do it a lot better?

  50. From Leiter, “It’s official, it will be Clinton v. Trump in the U.S. God or Zarathustra help us all.”

    The sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions.

  51. “You just don’t know how many people I meet who think Derrida or Deleuze are philosophers.”

    Gilles Deleuze was an intellectually dishonest pretentious fraud, notorious for having no understanding of concepts in mathematics, as Alan Sokal pointed out. One of the NewAssholes bloggers used to keep recycling Deleuze’s nonsense but forget who. Jacques Derrida case is not so clear, at least to me.

  52. Free Speech:
    Someone tried to get this bill moved forward in Tennessee:
    to stop rules against Microaggression and outlaw “safe spaces” (which do have a rather hilarious definition in that bill)

    This got shot down in committee because someone mentioned that it would allow ISIS to recruit on campus. But the argument was actually much more concerning. The excerpt:
    “There are young people who are not ready yet — they’re half-baked, half-cooked — who are recruited to work against their own parents, their own nation, and I would be concerned as a parent and as a citizen,” DeBerry said. “Free speech is one thing; being stupid is another.” There’s more but I can’t be bothered to type it all up. I say if that’s the case they shouldn’t be allowed to vote either, right? Much less press demands about changing university policy!

    And the video:
    Go to pretty much exactly the one hour mark to listen to extrordinary comments on how “fragile” our poor students are.

  53. Good to see there’ll be return at Leiter’s blog for Darlene Deas. Who can forget the femtrum against Deas last year! And the femloon who wandered over here to complain about Darlene’s problematic coffee pot, and her “tone” …
    I think the following memorable comment summed it all up.

    Yeah, her tone. What a tone! I can’t believe someone would have a tone like that. Especially a woman outside the profession. Did I mention the tone? So inappropriate! who has such a tone?

    And that coffee pot: geez, don’t get me started. How completely inappropriate! And surely there’s some reason why that coffee pot post appeared on Leiter at the same nanosecond as someone was sexually harassed. Timing, anyone? And we’re supposed to believe that it’s a coincidence.

    If it were just the tone, I’d have felt strange, but let it go. If it were just the coffee pot, I’d have felt uneasy, but let that go, too. But both together from the same person? And combined with the timing? Hello… this is mega inappropriate. Yet another reason why Leiter needed to step down from the PGR and why we’re better off with the SPEP report. Leiter didn’t just provide Deas with a platform, he also has a tone problem himself. To say the least. Also, he has a coffee pot. He may have also recommended that others buy a certain coffee pot on Amazon. And PLEASE nobody say that he didn’t just because he wasn’t publicly accused of doing it. Word gets around about these things. ‘Nuff said.

    So Deas has got to go. It’s not just the feminists who think so anymore, it’s the dyed-in-the-wool antifeminists who are fed up with her tone and her coffee pot remarks. Never mind the content of her comments: really, really, please, I beg you, don’t read her comments for the content and think about it. Just remember that coffee pot thing and nod your head and play along. And her tone. And her timing. And then let’s all just agree that she’s making it hard for anyone to take the problems with academic feminism seriously. Really. We can do better. No more Deas.

  54. Philosophy be not proud, for some in the blogosphere have called thee
    Provincial and superficial — thus thou art so.
    From Paris and Ghent much hot air doth blow,
    Which fuels, on cue, righteous sanctimony.

    With an excess of alliteration and not a little condescension,
    His purple highness bids all beware! lest these two faults show.
    But in lecturing to others, don’t other faults then grow
    In the self-appointed consciences of the profession?

    O philosophy, thou poor captive of those who drain the new consensus cup,
    Alas, with these finger-wagging ninnies dost thou dwell,
    Who scoff at your professors as if that protects thee well —
    Would that these bloviators just shut the f-bomb up.

    One short blogpost past, I realize how little I know of classical Indian logic,
    But it’s nowhere near my AOS, so this seems not catastrophic.

        1. Smith writes, “The idea that men are naturally and essentially the lustful ones, and the pseudoevolutionary explanations that are offered for this idea, are really nothing more than apologetics for our own current set of prejudices. I have never come across a single early modern male author who owns up to his own libidinousness. They write about themselves as if sexuality were not a defining factor of their existence.”

          This is Bourgeois Mono-cultural Colonialist Philosophic Chauvinism at its most insidious. Indeed, Smith’s condescending failure to reference the interventions of pre-modern subaltern Africana philosophers–for instance, the politico-autobiographical treatise of Aurelius Augustinus–suggests an ignorance explicable only in terms of an intellectual submission to the hegemonic discourses of privilege.

        2. One thing that comes as a surprise to people with little historical memory is that it was not until very recently that sexual insatiability came to be associated with men.

          Lol the Greeks. Socrates rarely talks about anything else. In book one of the Republic Cephalus (approvingly) reports Sophocles comparison of living with male libido to being chained to a madman.

          1. The problem with either strategy is that lots of people won’t want to come out explicitly as against the New Consensus. That’s too risky. We need candidates with a positive, different agenda. Something like “philosophy not politics”, “the job market not decolonial feminism”, etc., but phrased in a less confrontational way. And we need senior people to front this.

          2. I *think* the Win Elections strategy is better.

            I agree that people are going to be afraid to stand against New Consensus policies. And, even though there are (I think we’re all pretty sure of this) a substantial majority who don’t share NC ideology, this majority is composed of philosophers who don’t particularly want to be involved in administrative things. I certainly don’t. So that makes it harder.

            However, I think there’s a bigger problem with simply not renewing, which is that it won’t really help much in the long run. All it does is to defund some of the current APA work, and personally I don’t think the funding for that work is the problem. If lots of people stop renewing, the APA will still be the face of the profession, and its voice.

            Does anyone know exactly which of the elected positions makes a real difference? Presidents of the divisions don’t seem to do anything except give presidential addresses at the meetings.

            1. Yes, some senior philosophy figure wishes to become the new David Benatar. That’ll solve it, surely!! Seriously, though, if you imagine for a second that any senior figure wishes to destroy their own career like this, then … maybe change your meds? When it comes to *tiny* quibbling about SJWs, there’s Leiter, Lemoine and Wallace, who are already 95% on board with SJW stuff anyway. No one else would dream of speaking out.

              1. Getting rid of Amy Ferrer would be a step in the right direction. She’s a classic overreaching administrator, empowered by clueless SJWs. APA jobs for philosophers, not for professional feminist activists without even an undergrad philosophy degree.

  55. Um, Philippe Lemoine is not a “senior philosophy figure”. He’s a graduate student. And, I suspect I agree with David Wallace on at least 95% of relevant issues.

    Anybody (who’s not completely clueless) have a thought about which elected APA positions actually make a difference?

    1. Elected APA positions make no difference. But if you sincerely believe they do, and you know someone who is prepared to Benatar themself, then: who, precisely?

        1. Anyone who doesn’t think ‘them self’ isn’t a word doesn’t know very much about the (history of the) English language.

          1. I call bullshit, 6:00. Go on, reveal this secret history. Oh yeah: and explain how to derive your grammatical ought from it.

            1. The history is hardly secret, and is available to anyone with access to the Oxford English Dictionary, which gives ca. 1450 as the first documented use of ‘themself’ as “anaphoric reference to a singular pronoun or noun or undetermined gender or where the meaning implies more than one: himself or herself.” Sir Thomas More is among the cast of illiterate imbeciles using it.

              I suspect we have different views of the source and status of grammatical norms and thus on whether there’s a problem in deriving a “grammatical ought” from usage.

              I also suspect that you and/or the original commenter are conflating grammar and style, concluding that something is ungrammatical or not a word from the premise that it’s seen as inappropriate in more formal contexts. As the blogosphere in general and this blog in particular are not exactly formal contexts, a little linguistic tolerance might be in order.

              And with the growing acceptance of singular ‘they’, someone who doesn’t like singular ‘themself’ should brace themself, because there’s a lot more of it coming their way.

              1. I am not one of the above commenters, but singular ‘they’ is an abomination.

                In other sad word news, apparently the top five searches on Oxford Dictionaries in the UK is:
                scope, feminism, hee-haw, racism, & practice. (While the US is busy searching for supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, fascism, racism, balayage, & translate.)

                1. An abomination used by Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and the God of the King James Bible. Just saying…

                  1. Uh… actually, Shakespeare, Austen and others who are often brought into this were using ‘they’ in cases like “every one” or “everyone”, which some at the time thought of as a plural construction. They didn’t say nonsensical crap like “My good friend told me that they had just…” where ‘they’ refers to the friend. So let’s not use a changing understanding of whether ‘everyone’ is plural or singular to sneakily justify stupid errors like the latter, please.

              2. And those who use it should brace themselves in turn, because there’s a punch in the face, projectile vomit, and plenty of journal rejections coming their way.

              3. Lying imbecile,

                “Themself’ was used before the rise of modern English as a *PLURAL* pronoun.

                It has never, ever, ever been used by competent speakers of modern English as a singular pronoun. And even in the distant past, it was used as a precursor to ‘themselves’ before we had the ‘ves’ ending for PLURAL, not singular.

                Please stop using bogus linguistic arguments to try to foist your politically correct garbage on the rest of us.

        2. @12:37, Do you have a theory of lexicalization that accepts “Benatar” as a verb but rejects “themself” as a word? I’m curious what that would look like.

          1. I don’t love “Benatar” as a verb, but I don’t understand why there would be a problem accepting makeshift verbs to represent new and complex actions while not accepting non-pronouns that only illiterates and imbeciles use. Where’s the supposed inconsistency?

            1. “themself” is perfectly ordinary English, “unremarkable—an element of common usage”. Don’t imbecile yourself, publius!

            2. I’m not sure I was supposing an inconsistency, it’s just that accepting the common and productive verb->noun formation would suggest that you use usage as a guide to what counts as an English word. But rejecting “themself” as non-word would suggest you use some other criteria. Your explanation, however, makes me think that you do use usage as a guide, but are just uninformed about “themself”. It is, in fact a pronoun (a reflexive one), and is fairly widely used, though not, universally.

              And, as 2:31 suggests, there is for many people a register difference (though not one that should prohibit its use in an informal context like blog comments), it’s perfectly normal in formal, written language for some. The comment thread to the following post will give you some idea on the distribution. Note the link in the first comment. It is Wikipedia, so take it with a grain of salt, but it has some interesting examples taken from Canadian law.


              1. The incidents from Canadian law are from 2013. And law, like academia, is notoriously rife with zealous feminidiots willing to throw anything and anyone under the bus to achieve their dubious aims. Canadian law is particularly egregious in that respect nowadays. Sorry, I remain unconvinced that this is proper.

  56. Who appointed Ferrer and how can she be fired? We need to elect the officials who can fire Ferrer and hire someone with an interest in philosophy instead.

    1. Pro-male and anti-babies. Can you imagine anyone more inimical to the currently fashionable asexual family oriented philosophers?

  57. Weinberg didn’t hit the Leuven prof, while FP pissed all over the Leuven prof, saying he “assaulted” the snowflake. Weinberg kept out. Why? Anyone have inside info?

    1. FFS, would you quit lying about this? It’s not clear what the point is. Even if you’re not, I’m sure almost everyone else who reads this blog is perfectly capable of understanding the difference between ‘reporting that someone else said x’ and ‘saying x’. Yet again, here is the entirety of what FP has *actually said* about the case. And it is very easy for anyone to find this out by googling ‘feminist philosophers Leuven”

      “A group of KU Leuven students have sent me a fuller statement about events there.”
      “From the KU Leuven Feminist Society:”

    1. Spousal hire. Fitelson’s partner is a computer scientist at Northeastern without a chance of getting a job around NYC.

      1. 2:55 again. “Spousal hire” is misleading, just realized. “A move made for reasons related to spouse’s career prospects” is less misleading.

    1. How is Bharath Vallabha back in the mix? I thought he stopped blogging due to his finally realizing that obsessing about his non-role in organized philosophy was messing with his head.

  58. I would like to point out that if the Belgian white majority would not behave as hostile as it does to the Muslim minority, those attacks would not have happened.

    1. Whitey also to blame for Istanbul, Jakarta, Beirut, Saudi, and Tunisian bombings by Isis in the last few months. Whitey also to blame for rise of Isis in Syria.

  59. “… the difference between ‘reporting that someone else said x’ and ‘saying x’. ”

    Liar. FP was not merely “reporting”. It was a public endorsement of the claims made by the feminist bigots in Leuven. If FP today writes, “A group of Belgian Islamists have sent me a fuller statement about events there”, followed by a statement claiming that Mossad has conducted a bombing in Brussels, would this merely be “reporting what they said”? Or an endorsement? Obviously the latter.

    For some, lying is routine and moral respect for other human beings is unknown.

    1. You really are a special kind of moron. Is it hard to get through life as an imbecile? Even in your example, there is no endorsement. Organizations report on statements from various parties all the time, including from terrorist organizations, are each of those an endorsement?

        1. Go away, liar. NYT have not endorsed anything.

          FP endorsed the feminist society’s statement accusing the Leuven prof of “assault”.

      1. Suppose Belgian Islamists claimed Mossad conducted a bombing in Belgium. Suppose Jenny Saul distributes this statement with editorial, “A group of Belgian Islamists have sent me a fuller statement about events there”.

        That would be an endorsement. This is obvious. It is what endorsement means. You need to stop lying. Clear?

  60. As for “reporting” and commenting: someone at NU leaked the Ludlow/Leydon-Hardy texts last year, just after Ludlow resigned. Metabloggers at a previous metablog reported this and commented on it.

    The texts indicated a consensual romantic affair in 2011 between Ludlow and Leydon-Hardy, who slept with Ludlow, repeatedly told him she was “so in love”, and called him her “boyfriend”. This evidence demonstrated Leydon-Hardy’s dishonesty and also demonstrated the dishonesty of Leydon-Hardy and Pogin in their attempts to get Kipnis fired (for merely writing an essay).

    Then feminists, led by Janice Dowell, had that metablog closed down. They had the posters at a related subreddit banned; and then spammed the subreddit with SJW gibberish.

    1. Well, Slimeberg, more accurately. Why these abusive bigots run these witch hunts is beyond me. They have no sense of intellectual honesty, moral decency or elementary respect towards others.

      1. How does snark constitute a “witch-hunt”? When Leiter snarks about SPEP is Leiter “witch-hunting” SPEP? When John Oliver snarks about the NRA is Oliver “witch-hunting” the NRA?

        1. Beziau – an individual – was publicly witch hunted by an online mob of loons, at FP, NA and DN, trying to ruin his career. This has nothing to do with organizations like “NRA” or “SPEP”. It has to do with targeting an individual person and publicly fucking that person, for reasons of personal gain and self-promotion. And now Weinberg is continuing the witch hunt.

          1. Okay, on the individual person angle, when Leiter snarks about Simon Critchley, is Leiter “witch-hunting” Critchley? When John Oliver snarks about Wayne LaPierre, is Oliver witch-hunting LaPierre?

            1. Learn what the phrase “witch hunt” means. It means
              – a *group* of people,
              – actively *collectively*
              – using their *power*,
              – to *target* an *individual*,
              – aiming to *hurt* that individual.

              If you don’t understand this, it is probably a deep moral failing of yours, for which you alone are responsible.

              Here a group of people, using their power at the most widely read blog platforms (FP, NA and DN) *collectively* ran a witch hunt against an *individual*, aiming to ruin his career. Weinberg now continues the witch hunt.

              1. Oh, you mean like the way some folks at the PMMMB witch-hunt Amy Ferrer? A group of people here collectively acts, using their power of being widely read, targets an individual, aiming to hurt her, by calling on the APA to fire her?

                As for Beziau, I missed the calls for him to be fired (which is the best I can come up with for an operationalization of “ruin his career”). He was made the object of ridicule, sure, but he seemed to have been willing to fire back, and now is mounting a counter-attack. All in the normal run of things in the fractious philosophy blogosphere, no?

                1. Ok 558, first you say you think the only way to ruin someone’s career is to call for their firing. By itself that desn’t speak too highly of where you are coming from. Then you say calls to remove AF are thereby attempts to ruin her career. When AF can go be an activist elsewhere. But smearing J-YB as a sexist homophobe across the philosophy blogosphere isn’t supposed to be an attempt to ruin his career, and one that isn’t relevantly different to calls to remove AF as director of the APA.

                  In the absence of a far more well-reasoned set of comments from you I will conclude you are not conversing in good faith.

                  1. Okay, so calling for someone to be fired is not an attempt to ruin a career, but criticizing someone’s writing, without any such calls, is. I’ll keep that in mind as a PMMMB example of arguing in good faith.

                    1. Some commenters saying that maybe a non-philosopher should not be the director of the APA is in no way the same as, or even similar to, an organized attempt to smear someone’s character so comprehensively that they become unemployable in their chosen field. This isn’t complicated, it could even be called obvious. Why are you trying to obscure this?

      1. I don’t see anything fishy about it.

        The best defense of Beziau is that he’s quite a strange guy and thus remarks that would ordinarily have been sexist in fact were meant otherwise. But then you don’t want that kind of person taking up the standard against witch hunts.

              1. It’s Beziau’s remarks we’re considering. Why you would like to know details of Weinberg’s sex life is your business, and ought to stay that way.

                1. So, Weinberg will soon be posting about why it’s good to “fuck” “old hags”? Thereby proving Beziau to be a monster? Look forward to it.

                  1. wut? Why are you so interested in Weinberg’s sexual practices? That’s kinda creepy.

                    Let’s stick to the point: Beziau is saying that old hags aren’t fuckable. 6:11 said that that *might* have sounded sexist “ordinarily,” but that Beziau is such a strange guy that his claiming old hags aren’t fuckable is instead “meant otherwise.” You’re denying that even the “ordinary” way in which saying old hags aren’t fuckable would have been sexist is in fact not sexist. I’m agreeing with you. Saying that old hags aren’t fuckable IS IN NO WAY SEXIST.

  61. Feminist dictionary,
    “witch hunting” – criticizing the Executive Director of APA on an obscure blog.
    “reporting” – accusing a Leuven prof of “violent assault”, without evidence.
    “sexism” – saying younger women are more attractive than older ones (statement B).
    “reporting” – witch hunting a Brazilian prof for non-sexist remark B.
    “non-sexism” – arguing that B is “sexist” by showing how one enjoys “fucking” “old hags”.

    The profession hates you, you feminist creeps.

    1. PMMMB dictionary:

      “witch-hunting” = snarking at someone we like
      “not witch-hunting” = snarking at someone we don’t like
      “not sexism” = saying that old hags aren’t fuckable
      “not weird creepy obsession” = dragging Weinberg into comments that agree that Beziau’s statement that old hags aren’t fuckable isn’t sexist

  62. I see that that aggressive bigot Kathryn Pogin has a comment at DN, trying to excuse further online harassment of Jean-Yves Beziau.

    Pogin, recall, witch hunted Laura Kipnis, and tried harass Kipnis out of her job in early 2015, based on lies that Pogin distributed and which are contradicted by the text message evidence in which Leydon-Hardy declares her “love” for her “boyfriend” (Ludlow), with whom she is sleeping. Given Pogin’s known record of aggression, harassment and lying, Pogin is hardly someone to treat as a serious commenter. Was Pogin ever disciplined at NU for harassment and bullying? If not, why not?

  63. So Diogenes’ comment on how Beziau has been witch-hunted has been duly censored from the DN. Whineberg remains a dishonest broker.

    1. The comment is back up, along with a pathetically obtuse piece of editorializing by Justice Whineberg, and a trenchant reply by Diogenes.

      1. “trenchant”? is that what we’re calling a walkback worthy of John “not intended to be a factual statement” Kyl?

        1. What walkback? Philosophers act autistic when it suits them. A generic reader would have had no problem seeing Diogenes’ statement for the hyperbole that it obviously was.

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