April Open Thread II

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163 thoughts on “April Open Thread II

  1. Leiter is now disparaging the Slate columnist, Rebecca Schuman, a German Phd with a book on Wittgenstein. I’d like to see a debate between those two, in German. I bet the ol’ Nietzsche scholar can’t string two German sentences together.

    1. Her book seems to be a conversion of her dissertation, which you can find on Dissertation Abstracts International database with the full text.

    2. With a few exceptions, Slate writers are generally pretty dull, and Schuman is among their worst. And her career in academia went precisely nowhere, likely for good reason.

      The number of people in the world who write embarrassing bullshit at Slate is large as is the number of people in the world who write shitty dissertations/monographs on analytic philosophy. But I guess there is something pretty remarkable about occupying the overlap between the two.

      1. Are Slate writers dull? I don’t visit Slate that often but compared to average magazine/clickbait journalism, Slate is pretty good. Dan Engber and David Auerbach are interesting. Schuman is smart. I’d say the feuilletonists at Slate are pretty high level.

    1. The number of people in the world who can command a big audience at Slate and also write a dissertation/monograph on analytic philosophy is pretty small. Tiny. Those are two very specific skills and she has managed both. I wouldn’t say she’s a moron. Leiter’s book, meanwhille, is described on the back cover as a “primer for students.”

      1. Her columns are awful and her views on academia should not be taken seriously. Even if she has a big audience at Slate, that speaks ill of the audience, not well of her.

  2. from the previous thread, “… we will have barely caught our breath before the next bright shiny lunatic MM scheme is upon us.”

    Well, there’s the public MM smear campaigns against Jean-Yves Beziau and David Benatar as examples, in the last few months alone. These lunatics cannot control their vindictive desire to publicly attack and smear people.

      1. This is the stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever heard. I’ve been supporting Leiter when people bring it up and there’s no way I’m doing that again.

      2. Something about the title language of “Carrie Jenkins’ Scooter” makes me wonder whether Leiter might be the deranged MMMBer who used to post “Darlene’s Coffee Pot!” as if it meant something.

    1. Leiter’s a creep. Who uses FIPPA to obtain emails of professional colleagues (and, reminder, he could do this to anyone at a public university, he’s lucky he’s at a private school)? He was likely masturbating as he read through the emails.

      1. “Who uses FIPPA to obtain emails of professional colleagues “? I guess a lot of people involved in litigation with professional colleagues in Canada. That’s how discovery works.

        I mean, he may well be a creep, I have no idea. (I’m pretty sure the pseudonymous “Brian Creeper” is pretty creepy too — who posts comments about colleagues’ masturbation?)

        1. Actually, that’s not how discovery works. Discovery occurs in a court room where the requests for documents are reviewed by a judge for such things as relevance to the proceedings. Leiter used FIPPA to take advantage of the fact that his nemisis works at a public university and, therefore, he could go on a fishing expedition to see what was said about him at UBC.

  3. Leiter is rightly using the public records law to defend himself against a malicious defamation and smear campaign.

    To view his actions as anything other than reasonable and just, suggests you haven’t been paying attention.

  4. Malicious defamation? Smear? L is a**hole to others and they organize a silly petition. Malicious defamation? *Seriously*.

    1. That is really lame. Laycock’s e-mails concerned academic issues about religious liberty, not how to plot a public smear campaign!

  5. My favorite bit is the footonote, where he reports that some anonymous Prominent Philosopher doesn’t like Sally Haslanger. Perhaps it would be a good idea to start a thread for people to report similar things about BL: eg ‘One East Coast Professor once told me he thought Leiter was a dick.’

    On the other hand, maybe it’s childish and mean to publish on a blog the fact that you once heard someone say that they didn’t like someone else.

    1. “… me wonder whether Leiter might be the deranged MMMBer who used to post “Darlene’s Coffee Pot!” as if it meant something.”

      Darlene Deas did a couple of guest posts over on Leiter’s blog in late 2015. This caused a meltdown from the Rage Machines (RMs) — comment thread at Leiter? — who somewhat inaccurately said Deas had endorsed the mistreatment of women. Deas had a slightly later post about a coffee pot available at amazon. One of the RMs came over here complaining about Deas’s “tone”, which made the RM feel “uneasy”. Naturally, this self-obsessed nonsense was mocked. One commenter wrote the following parody the RM’s deranged remarks,

      “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.”

        1. In case you didn’t read the original discussion, this guy is totally misrepresenting (gee, wonder why he posted someone else poor attempt at satire rather than what was said originally?) I read those original comments. A few people agreed that they though the post was a bit lame, and ARG went ballistic and accused them all of being rabid feminazis just for daring to think that (and it was, in fact, a bit lame regardless of what side of the fence you sit on). He got his ass handed to him for it, and I guess he’s still smarting.

          Stick around and you’ll notice the ARG pulling this shit all the time. Take a comment from somewhere and then spend months and months repeatedly spreading flat out lies about it. He must have bought himself a copy of Propaganda for Dummies or something.

            1. You’re misremembering. Most people who posted on that thread agreed that the post was lame at that ARG’s reaction was totally over the top. You memory is probably being colored by the fact that he’s been running a campaign of misrepresenting it for ages. He banks on the fact that most people probably wont bother correcting someone’s description of what happened in a few comments on a blog ages ago, so he’ll be able to repeat his lies about it enough times so that people start misremembering. It’s a shame it’s working.

              1. No, I remember how it went down. Typical back-and-forth. But the satire was fitting. And I think you’re seeing an ARG where there isn’t one, but that’s my impression.

          1. Idiot,

            You’re full of shit. As always. You’re easily recognizable by your tone and by your insistence that you belong to a large cadre of PMMB Leiter haters.

            There is no ARG. There are just people making jokes you don’t appreciate or understand, and you. That’s it.

            Look: it would be I’ve thing I’d you showed up here with a case to make against Leiter and Deas. But you’ve got nothing and present nothing. Deas and Leiter are head and shoulders beyond you, and you seem to be the only person who doesn’t see it.

            So make your case, if you have one. If you don’t have anything to say for yourself and are just hoping to use false peer pressure to curry support, then please take your bag of tricks elsewhere. Thanks.

                1. New voice here. Just have to say it: you don’t need to be angry or in a rage to recognize this behavior as idiotic.

                  I can’t tell if it’s one person or two people or maybe more, but whoever it is who keeps showing up here and trying to not-so-subtly create the impression that this is a Leiter-bashing blog really needs to get his or her act together. There are plenty of other places to go and post this sort of thing, like Daily Nous, NewAPPS, Feminist Philosophers, etc. etc. This blog is an antidote to all that. I agree with the previous commenter that it would be different if these people were giving us arguments or reasons. But it’s never that. It’s just repeatedly repeating the mindless anti-Leiter party line, which we now know from the emails has been carefully engineered by some frankly marginal people at the University of British Columbia and their fellow travelers.

                  1. Several different posters gave reasons.

                    Perhaps, AR…sorry, ‘new voice’, you could give us the list of the views one is permitted to express here (and the views one is not permitted to express). Or you could piss off with your attempts to dictate which views get expressed, and with your ludicrous conspiracy theories.

                    Cause of course, the best explanation for a few comments on a blog is not that a few different people have read leiters post and reached the conclusion that he’s behaving like an asshole, but that there is only one person who has been manipulated by the shadowy new consensus into holding an anti-leiter stance and has been sent here to post repeatedly under different pseudonyms in order to create the impression that pmmb is an anti-leiter blog because for some reason its supposed to be really important what the overall perception of this blog is, but they’re really bad at doing it so there are actually not that many comments here that are anti-leiter.

                    1. 3:54, you really have to learn to read carefully. Absolutely nobody has said that views can’t be expressed here. What you’ve been asked to do repeatedly now is to provide a reason for your anti-Leiter view, rather than assume that you’re in a place where people will agree that what he did is inappropriate (it isn’t, and others here have already explained why it isn’t, even though this seems to be a favorite hobby horse of yours).

                      But yeah, coming here and trying to use false peer pressure to change people’s minds will be ineffective. If you have a case to make, make the case. That’s actually the polar opposite from banning people from expressing views. It’s giving you an opportunity to justify your view.

                      There’s also been no invocation of a conspiracy theory here. The claim that’s being made isn’t that people have conspired to delude you. Rather, the claim is that you’ve come to some unwise conclusions, and are repeating them endlessly in a way that seems calculated to create the impression that there are several of you.

                    2. We’re all familiar with the mental illness that takes the form of believing that every separate person you encounter is out to get you.
                      What is the name of the mental illness in which you believe that everyone that disagrees with you is the same person, and that on the face of the earth there can only be one such person?

                    3. “you could give us the list of the views one is permitted to express here (and the views one is not permitted to express). Or you could piss off with your attempts to dictate which views get expressed, and with your ludicrous conspiracy theories.”

                      Ugh. Piss yourself off 3:54. The “shadowy new consensus” is not a conspiracy. It’s a small group of vocal nutjobs who have been trying to dictate how philosophers should think and act in public and in our professional lives. You are free to spout whatever blather you want. But this isn’t a safe space for blather.

  6. Uh… most of us here like Leiter. It’s one or two trolls who keep posting here who are trying to discredit him. Their style is always easy to recognize Nice try, guys/girls. What Leiter said on his blog today needed to be said. Good for him.

    1. Not only do you have no way of knowing (or even making a reasonable guess) what ‘most’ people who post here think, or whether it is one, or two, or many people here ‘trying to discredit him’ (not that it would take much trying) whether you, or anyone else ‘likes’ him or not is totally irrelevant to whether or not it’s mean and childish to publish on a blog the fact that you once heard someone say they didn’t like something else.

      1. Actually, the evidence we have is that there is a small group of Moral Scolds trying to discredit him, and to coerce others into doing.

        1. The emails demonstrate that CDJ’s claims of “trauma” are, like most claims of “trauma” these days, bullshit. Instead of a scooter she should invest in a good fainting couch

          1. So the evidence that you have for the claim that ” It’s one or two trolls who keep posting here who are trying to discredit him” is that “there is a small group of Moral Scolds trying to discredit him”? OK.

            My evidence that many people just don’t like him because he’s a dick who is doing a fine job discrediting himself is that there are a lot of people who just don’t like him because he’s a dick who is doing a fine job discrediting himself.

            1. Pay attention 3:04. Brian’s discovery shows that it took protracted lobbying and deception as to timing to get the September statement, or whatever they called it, to come to fruition. We’re dealing with a handful of whackos. And it’s becoming clearer with each episode.

              1. Here’s what I’m talking about: whether it is mean and childish to publish on a blog the fact that you once heard someone say they didn’t like something else. You can tell that that’s what I’m talking about partly because I have mentioned it several times, and also because I pointed out that the other things you raised ( how many people post things on this blog that indicate they dislike Brian Leiter., for example) were irrelevant to the question of whether it is mean and childish to publish on a blog the fact that you once heard someone say they didn’t like something else. It looks like you’re the one having a bit of trouble paying attention.

                You seem to think that you can make a good guess about whether more than one or two people post things that indicate they either dislike or are annoyed by BL on this blog based on what happened more than one and a half years ago. You can’t. It’s not hard to understand this. And in any case, it is irrelevant to the point I was making, as I made very clear when I said ‘It’s irrelevant”.

                1. I know you want to talk about how you don’t like Leiter. I don’t care. What you think is mean and childish is actually disinfecting. Welcome to the sunlight.

                  1. For someone who ‘doesn’t care’ you sure are spending a lot of time replying to a post on a topic you don’t care about.

                    But I think what you really don’t care about is the fact that you don’t have any evidence for the things you say. Which is why you change the subject in every post.

                    1. You’re nuts. What I don’t care about is your animus against Leiter. That’s why we’re talking about why what he said needed to be said instead. And he’s given us evidence that the campaign against him was organized by two people who resorted to coercion and deception. Pay attention.

              2. If the question is ‘do more than one or two people who post here dislike Leiter’ bringing up supposed facts about who did what with regards to some statement nearly two years ago, way before Leiter wrote the blog post that people are actually talking about today, is just dumb.

                1. That isn’t the question. The question is whether what Leiter said on his blog today needed to be said. It did.

                  1. I’m begging to suspect you can’t actually read. Or you think that continually changing the subject fools other people into thinking you ‘win’ an argument. It doesn’t. Someone (you, I’m guessing) made a stupid, baseless claim about what ‘most’ people think who post here, and a stupid baseless claim about how many people who post here think Leiter’s s dick for his latest post, and their so-called evidence was something that happened over a year ago. And no, Leiter didn’t need to make a stupid comment about the fact that someone allegedly once told him they didn’t like Sally Haslanger.

                    1. As someone who’s read the metablogs from the beginning, it’s evident that the New Infantilists are in the minority in the Safe Space that Glaucon set up. These conversations generally involve one Infantilist trying to defend the position. Maybe it’s a different Infantilist every time, or many times. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen the numbers needed to make the case that views like yours aren’t the outliers.

            2. “Pussies don’t like dicks because pussies get fucked by dicks. But dicks also fuck assholes. Assholes that just want to shit on everything. Pussies may think they can deal with assholes their way. But the only thing that can fuck a asshole is a dick, with some balls. The problem with dicks is they fuck too much or fuck when it isn’t appropriate. And it takes a pussy to show them that. But sometimes pussies can be so full of shit that they become assholes themselves. Because pussies are a inch and half away from assholes.”

          2. ‘The emails demonstrate that CDJ’s claims of “trauma” are, like most claims of “trauma” these days, bullshit.’

            umm, how do they demonstrate that? i think you may be confusing demonstration with assertion

            1. Even BL doesn’t claim that the emails demonstrate CDJ’s claims were “bullshit.” They do raise questions, however.

                1. Yes, sorry, CIJ. CIJ claimed that an email from BL had a “very serious” impact on “her capacity to work…and to contribute to public discourse as a member of the profession.” Given the content of the emails she received, that itself is already some melodramatic bullshit. Then we find that she is (shockingly) still an active member of the profession.

                  So no, this doesn’t prove demonstratively that CIJ was having a grand old time during this whole fiasco. But it was always mostly bullshit, and now we have more evidence to this effect.

                  1. What is supposed to be the significance of CIJ’s electric scooter conversation, ie, why is that being emphasized? When I first read it, I thought of it as something to help someone get around who has mobility or stamina issues, but then I got the idea people looked at it as evidence that life was peachy, like it was a sign of fun and frivolity.

                    1. Leiter thinks that the fact that someone can ride a scooter to work is proof that they are not having any medical problems. Leiter is a dumbass.

  7. Discuss:

    Presumably the only comments on the FP post about it were negative, since they surely would have published positive ones. I think the appetite even among the MM for unqualified Title-IX zeal is waning; its implementation has been too obviously catastrophically unjust in too many cases and its OCR architects/enforcers have been too clearly exposed as cowardly and dishonest equivocators. I suspect that this campaign is headed the way of the equally disastrous site-visit program (remember that?). The problem is that the general lesson is never learned: we will have barely caught our breath before the next bright shiny lunatic MM scheme is upon us. And with every iteration, the cause of opposing the relevant kinds of actually bad behavior is further discredited by being associated with a bunch of narcissistic douches whose highest priority is sustaining a fantasy of being in the heroic moral vanguard, and more and more people of good will are insulted and alienated.

  8. While this one is charging her scooter
    That one’s accessed her computer.
    But the mail’s been redacted
    So the lawsuit’s protracted
    —It’s a job for a legal MacGruber!

    Is she a sanctimonious arse?
    That’s one for the lawyers to parse.
    Has he been scandalized
    Or just self-aggrandized?
    Tragedy’s re-entered as farce.

    Let’s not mention the swapping of spouses
    Or name the thin-skinned one who grouses
    That he’s been defamed
    (though her inbox he flamed)
    I say a pox on both of their houses.

      1. What is disturbing that is that a well-known professional philosopher wrote this nonsense and it got accepted at Mind. Note that male representation at undergraduate and postgraduate level in higher education institutions is disproportionally low: on average, at higher education institutions, 43% male, to 57% female. The underrepresentation of men is particularly clear in the biological sciences, medicine, law, humanities and most social sciences.

      2. Quickly read through section 5, as well as section 2 (which is where the defense of what I take to be the most interesting and potentially questionable premise of the argument is). It’s not obvious to me that the argument succeeds (but honestly, how often does that happen?), but it’s also not obviously a bad argument. And either way, I think it’s a pretty interesting idea, worth thinking more about.
        Do you have some obvious, damning objection that I’ve overlooked?

        1. Hm, yeah, I still don’t get the problem.
          And I don’t understand the relevance of the fact that males are underrepresented in the population of university students.

          1. Let’s grant the (immensely contentious) premise of section 5 that department search committees have, like a CEO to its shareholders, an obligation to make sure that “the business flourishes”. It would not in the slightest follow that this is the only obligation that search committees have. They might have, for instance, have the obligation not to decide against shortlisting certain candidates simply because of their gender, race, sexual orientation, and so on.

            This is a–if not the–single most obvious objection to affirmative action polices like the one Bovens is defending, but Bovens spend not a moment addressing it. To be sure, Bovens spends a moment addressing the objection that the policy at issue can be justified by appealing to “a conception of fairness which requires that the best candidate get the job”, but that’s beside the point. Above, I’m appealing to a conception of fairness which requires non-discrimination, and these two requirements obviously aren’t equivalent.

            I mean, really–this is Ethics 101 stuff. Mind should be embarrassed.

            1. I think it’s interesting enough if his argument that it makes business sense to use AA in shortlisting succeeds, given that one of the usual complaints about AA is that it harms business. (And, just to be clear, his concern is with hiring in general, with a focus on for-profit business hiring, not with hiring in academia, which he mentions only in a parenthetical with other not-for-profit hiring orgainizations.) If he could convince the libertarian types that businesses should want to use AA, this would be a significant advance.

              In response to your fairness worry, I think Bovens would deny that his suggested procedure does involve deciding “against shortlisting certain candidates simply because of their gender, race, sexual orientation, and so on”. Rather, it involves deciding against certain candidates because their qualification has lower variance in the selector’s credence functions than someone with nearly as high expected qualification. And it turns out, Bovens argues, that members of underrepresented groups typically have higher variance.

              This is not saying: we’re not putting you on the shortlist because you’re white (and we already have enough/too many white people). It’s: we want to have a risky pick or two on our shortlist (since doing so maximizes expected qualification of the final pick). And for various reasons, we’re more certain of our original estimate of your qualification than the person from the underrepresented group, which makes you less risky.

              Now, I think there is room to push back against this response, and I don’t think it’s crazy to worry there’s still some problematic discrimination here, but I don’t think it’s crazy to think there might not be.

              One other note regarding the type of fairness you have in mind. One of the main targets of this article is people who want to interpret the 2010 UK Equality Act in a way that permits picking underrepresented candidates over candidates with equal expected qualification, rather than flipping a coin to decide between them. Doing more than that, they worry, would be unfair in the ‘best candidate should get the job’ sense of fairness. Bovens argues that this isn’t so. But the thing to see here is that the type of fairness you’re worried about is one that, if it’s violated in Bovens’s procedure, is also violated in tie-breaking.

              So if we were really worried about the kind of fairness objection you have in mind, we could read the claim of the paper as a conditional: if you are okay with tie-breaking AA, then you should be okay with non-tie-breaking AA. And even if it turns out that we shouldn’t be okay with tie-breaking AA, I take this to be philosophical (and perhaps even political) progress, given that some people seem to be okay with tie-breaking AA but nothing beyond that.

              1. “And it turns out, Bovens argues, that members of underrepresented groups typically have higher variance.”

                And that’s because many of them are there through affirmative action in spite of incompetence. Of course it results in higher variance.

            2. lol you have no idea what you’re talking about.

              Bovens is, obviously, defending limited claim (isn’t that philosophy 101?). A common assumption in affirmative action debates is that it decreases the chance that the selected candidate is the most qualified. Bovens argues that shortlisting candidates with lower expected qualifications but higher variance may raise the chance of finding an exceptionally strong candidate, and so it can be defended entirely on the basis of shareholder interests.

              No one working on discrimination shares your view of it, so there’s a good opportunity for you there! (just kidding. the problem with your view is that we made decisions based on people’s gender/race/sexual orientation every day and it can’t distinguish wrongful discrimination from obviously permissible discrimination, ex. only asking female friends if you can borrow a tampon.)

              1. If we can’t distinguish wrongful discrimination from obviously permissible discrimination, then why complain that any discrimination, including traditional, explicit discrimination, is impermissible?

  9. Leiter is hitting the New Infantilists hard today on Ludlow and Jenkins, and good for him. A victory for due process and against femphil mobs.

    1. “Before Hillary, There Was Another ‘Witch’ in Politics”

      And Julia Gillard is who you chose?! Jesus Christ… What about the obvious candidate Margaret Thatcher? Except looking at the bile thrown at Margaret Thatcher would hit a bit too close to home for people like Manne…

      1. There is also Monica Lewinsky — a “witch” whom Hillary Clinton called a “loony tune”, whom Clinton had secretly recorded and publicly vilified, along with the other women whom Hillary Clinton attacked and vilified, after her husband had murky affairs with them.

        I somehow suspect that the misandrist Kate Manne will not be defending Monica Lewinsky though; or defending the women whom Hillary Clinton publicly vilified. Manne is concerned with one thing: promoting her own status and power.

  10. Am I wrong to think the situation at Northwestern now looks really bad for Northwestern? Ludlow’s accuser has reconciled with Ludlow and now says the University mishandled the situation from the beginning. Given what we know about how Ludlow was treated in the investigation, I just don’t see how the University has any cause to continue trying to terminate him. Is this another Title IX fiasco? Or am I missing something? What about the people who went to the mat trying to damn Ludlow and Laura Kipnis?

    1. I think when the professor alleged to have committed wrongdoing and the complainant who alleged wrongdoing agree that the institution handled things terribly, it’s a bad sign for the institution. That Ha letter is really something.

      Didn’t PL resign in the fall? The Ha letter is dated September 2015.

      1. Why, because the witch hunt was so successful that he is now a presumptive bad guy, even despite the complete collapse of both accusers?

  11. Thanks to 2.16 who keeps trying, to no avail, to generate discussion about my post on the previous thread about ‘FAR’, the AAUP and Title IX. Here’s Part 2.

    The half-life of the APA Site Visit Program is very interesting and instructive, not to say amusing. When the controversy first broke, I saw one high-profile Moral-Majority type on FB calling for a mass signing-up on the part of other philosophy departments for further visits, as a kind of gesture of solidarity with the program. The first consequence was that a bunch of her friends, while responding positively, expressed an assumption that, naturally, the original poster’s (super-prestigious) department would be among the first. Well, she responded, we actually just had a kind of unofficial, dry-run self-inspection, so it would sort of be overkill to immediately invite the Site Visit Team as well… There was one iteration of low-key push-back by some of her friends – who, after all, had just committed to a collective act at her instigation! Then they quietly dropped their suggestion that she commit – and hers that they should. Quite a comical episode.

    (She also expressed extreme frustration with those who referred to Colorado faculty who weren’t guilty of harassment as ‘innocent’. If she had to read that one more time she was going to ‘lose it’! Didn’t they realize that sexual harassment was everyone’s responsibility? What do you mean, you didn’t know? It’s your business to know!)

    Shortly afterwards, Tooley blew the whistle at Colorado. The immediate MM reaction was outrage and faux-pity. Our Site-Visit advocate announced on FB that Tooley’s document was so sexist she couldn’t even finish reading it. Another FB footsoldier (an FP spouse) sniggered, ‘He put the “tool” in “Tooley”!’ So funny! Except it wasn’t. These people had badly misjudged the events, or most people’s responses – or (most likely) both. It was immediately obvious to everyone outside the MM echo-chamber that at least a lot of what Tooley was saying was true, and at least a lot of his anger was justified, and that this was much more important than the highly predictable fact that pretty much anyone of Tooley’s generation and temperament could be relied upon to say a few antediluvian-sounding things if required to hold forth on the topic of sexual harassment. Innocent (yes, innocent) people with families looking at losing their jobs because some feminist philosophers’ high-school social engineering project had blown up in their faces was more newsworthy, to most people, than some codger’s not having got the memo about intersectionality or whatever the fuck.

    It seems to be an important part of the point of the speech-hygiene obsession that it provides a handy means of diverting attention when the substance of what an opponent says is unanswerable. But this time the diversions couldn’t work: pretty soon every sane person could see that the Colorado Site Visit was an epic clusterfuck for all concerned, hugely damaging on all sides – including, prominently, to the anti-sexual harassment/assault campaign, which had been massively discredited. No-one — no-one — is now interested in relitigating Colorado. And when was the last time you heard the Site Visit Program so much as mentioned on FP, or DN, or anywhere else? And yet there hasn’t been the slightest sign of an examination of conscience on the part of its one-time very vocal advocates, much less a mea culpa. Totally shameless. On to the next scheme! Maybe we’ll have better luck next time.

    I don’t bring all this up primarily to grind people’s faces into a big pile of I told you so. The main point relates to a question raised on the earlier thread about why philosophers are so shit at practical politics. It’s basically an unshakable faith in the efficacy of ‘obvious’ rational solutions, an inoperable blindness (sorry Shelley!) to the law of unintended consequences, and an unshakable determination not to learn from experience. I even suspect it has something to do with the disparagement of history and the worship of science that have increasingly characterized academic philosophy in the last few decades.

    The MM philosopher is resolved to ‘live every day as if it were her first’, as Oakeshott says of the political rationalist in an essay they should all be required to read. ‘Climate problems’ in a philosophy department, you say? I know! Let’s have the APA send in a bunch of feminists with clipboards to sort it all out! What could possibly go wrong?

    1. Snark, letting-off-steam, over-the-top insults are fun in their place. Which is here. So we don’t always come to PMMMB in order to find measured, sane, civilised comment. But hey, let’s praise it when we find it! Oakeshott here is spot on.

  12. “As someone who’s read the metablogs from the beginning, it’s evident that the New Infantilists are in the minority in the Safe Space that Glaucon set up. These conversations generally involve one Infantilist trying to defend the position. ”

    This is just bad reasoning. Firstly, there is no reason to think that all , or even most, of those people who think Leiter can be a bit of a dick are also ‘new Infantilists’ (that is, share a set of views on other issues). Secondly, you seem to keep doing this so there is probably no point in pointing it out again because I’m sure you won’t get it, but you can’t just assert the the thing under dispute. There is no point in just saying ‘these conversations generally involve one infantilisit’ or ‘it’s evident that these views are in the minority’. Saying ‘it’s evident that’ does not men something is in fact evidence. The only evidence you have are the comments on this blog, and you have no reliable way of knowing how many different people express the same view. I may as well just insist to you over and over again that it’s ‘evident that’ there is only one person here who supports Leiter. Look, just count the number of posts on this thread that express the negative views about Leiter and those that express favourable views. They are roughly equal.you might think that lots of different people are making the pro-Leiter comments, and only one person is making the anti-leiter comments, and that person also has a whole set of views common to a group, but you have no good reason for thinking this. Repeatedly asserting it doesn’t make it true.

    1. First, the evidence for New Infantilism here is the repeated complaint—yours—that BL is being ‘mean’ and ‘childish’ by calling attention to CDJ’s conversation with AR over a scooter during a time when she is supposed to have been traumatized by something BL said to her. This is in the context of CDJ’s petition drive for some kind of censure of BL over her traumatization. But it turns out she and AR were trying to undermine the Gourmet Report from the start, and her claims of trauma look overblown. So tone policing BL in this situation is classical New Infantilism. Now maybe someone else who complained about BL’s tone is not a New Infantilist. But if the shoe fits in your case, and because you seem to be the only one carrying the torch at this point…Second, I do not mean to be giving you an argument about who posts here that you could reason your way to the conclusion of. I’m giving you testimony concerning what I’ve seen about the type of people who post here. Based on the style of comments, the tone, the timestamps, etc., it’s not too hard to pick up on the general distribution of views at the metablogs. If you think tone-policing of BL is anywhere as well represented here as professional and moral irritation with people like CDJ and AR, I invite you to sit back and observe for a couple of months.

      1. Maybe you;re confused because you’re not actually reading what people are saying, as your first sentence indicates.

              1. I’ll give you a hint, seeing as you’re not getting it: you’re describing it as “the repeated complaint—yours—that BL is being ‘mean’ and ‘childish’ by calling attention to CDJ’s conversation with AR over a scooter during a time when she is supposed to have been traumatized by something BL said to her.” Look at the comments that use the words ‘mean’ and ‘childish.’ So they mention CDJ? Or do they mention someone else? (hint: it’s someone else).

  13. I’d like to advocate for “dick-judgment externalism,” the thesis that judgments of dickishness don’t conceptually entail an evaluative stance or motivation. For example, I think BL can be a dick, and I have a pro-stance toward him precisely because of this. I can respect dick behavior; sometimes, even often, taking and expressing a dick-attitude toward someone is warranted. The “be nice” sanctimony can fuck right off, however.

  14. “Three’s a quorum in Colorado, but only if you have the collusion of the administration.”

    But suppose a feminist philosopher wants to fuck a male graduate student in Chicago? How many then?

        1. One of the big online-journalism places is apparently going to run a story on the whole situation that has lots of new information. I’m sure it will be a spectacle, if so.

      1. It’s definitely not a bullshit account. Go to her Twitter page and you’ll see a bunch of her tweets urging people to fund her through it. Of course she thinks it’s a worthwhile cause for people to give some of their charity money to. She and her feelings loom very important in the world she thinks we’re all living in.

        1. “She and her feelings loom very important in the world she thinks we’re all living in” has to be the best line ever about Rage Machine.

            1. What an embarrassment. Whence this sense of entitlement, this me-first-ism? Is it because she thinks her work is so important that, while the rest of us have to pay our own fees and support our own athletic pursuits and hobbies, there is some good reason why hers should be covered by the rest of the philosophical community? Or does she think that philosophers in general should go around with hat in hand looking for these sorts of handouts? Is it because we’re not paid enough, or because there are no more worthwhile causes to encourage people to donate to? Or does she just consider herself very, very important in ways that the rest of us are not?

              1. Once you admit you have an obligation to rescue a child drowning in a pond, you’ve modus ponens’d your way to supporting an academic’s bike race habit.

                I haven’t seen her say there’s any obligatory or charitable angle on this. It is a pretty odd request and I would be deeply ashamed to make it, but she and I are very different people.

                1. Huh? How do you modus ponens your way from an obligation to rescue a drowning child to supporting an academic’s bike race habit? Unlike those in absolute poverty, McKinnon is in no dire need of any kind, and in fact she can easily pony up for her own hobby, just like the rest of us do.

                  If there’s no charitable angle to it, then what would you call this, exactly? “I’ve set up a PayPal.Me link https://paypal.me/rachelvmckinnon if people would like to donate to help fund my cycling racing career ^_^ More to come!”

                  1. How do you modus ponens your way from an obligation to rescue a drowning child to supporting an academic’s bike race habit?

                    Well, it’s really easy if you have the necessary conditionals. And it’s impossible without them. So, there you go.

                    1. “You should ask for a refund on your tuition.”

                      And you should probably stick to football.

        2. This is anonymouse from April 27, who thought that it might be a bullshit account. I stand corrected. (BTW: I am not the Anonymouse from April 29.)

    1. Especially when his/her hobby is using their superior male physical strength to defeat actually female-bodied bicyclists.

        1. How dare you question Kramer’s self identity as a a child? He has as much a right to be there as they do and is every bit the champion of that dojo.

          Now pay him.

          1. There is no actual empirical evidence that mature-identifying persons have an advantage in karate over juvenile-identifying persons. That’s just a bio-essentialist myth.

            Pay! Now!

            1. I am frankly disgusted that this conversation has gone on so long, without more people paying Kramer. #not4free .

              I should be paid also, for having to point this out. #not4free. PAY ME! DO IT NOW! GIMME YOUR MONEY!

              Also, those who already paid to Kramer, me, and of course the heroic Rachel McKinnon should do it again.

              KEEP PAYING! PAY US ALL! AT ALL TIMES, PAY US!

  15. What an embarrassment. Whence this sense of entitlement, this me-first-ism? Is it because she thinks her work is so important that, while the rest of us have to pay our own fees and support our own athletic pursuits and hobbies, there is some good reason why hers should be covered by the rest of the philosophical community? Or does she think that philosophers in general should go around with hat in hand looking for these sorts of handouts? Is it because we’re not paid enough, or because there are no more worthwhile causes to encourage people to donate to? Or does she just consider herself very, very important in ways that the rest of us are not?

    1. “Pay me” has become a “thing” in SJW circles. They apparently believe society has not valued them enough, is expecting them to do all the “emotional labor” of defeating the gender binary, and so forth. I’ve seen McKinnon tweet things at people who ask her questions, saying “I will not educate you for free; pay me,” etc. It is not a big leap from that mentality to “pay me to be awesome.”

      1. That’s a nice point 1:09. Moreover, its one that, to my mind, comports with the view (expressed by, for instance, Adolph Reed) that identity politics is a form of neoliberalism. Indeed, if market value is the sole determinate of value an sich, then shouldn’t one expect to be paid the market rate for creating or doing something valuable?

        1. Can’t see what you’ve got against free markets. Freedom to trade at any price agreed between buyer and seller is the only moral form of trade. Furthermore, market value in a free market is the RATE OF CHANGE of value. Expectations of being paid of the kind you mutter are irrelevant and have nothing to do with the real morality of free trade. There are no rights to be paid absent an agreed trade but certainly, in the sense of a prediction, Mackinnon can expect to receive the rate of change of value of one more comment from Mackinnon . If no one will pay Mackinnon that proves that no value is added by his additional remarks. Probably the rate of change is negative and he would have to pay his audience.

          1. Jason Brennan, or Ayn Rand, or whoever you are, you’re going to have to actually provide some justification for your extremely dubious claim that “freedom to trade at any price agreed between buyer and seller is the only moral form of trade.” As far as most of us have figured out, this is neither necessary nor sufficient for being a moral form of trade.

            Moreover, it doesn’t even seem relevant to the Mackinnon case. She’s not offering to trade something for money: she’s just soliciting a donation. It takes the twisted logic of a Randroid to make that into an instance of ‘trade’.

  16. I just got a rejection from a very good journal after about two months consideration. I appreciate the relatively prompt decision, but they did not offer any justification for the rejection. Surely they have at least one referee report — what could prompt their decision to withhold it?

    1. They don’t necessarily have a referee report. Often, the manuscripts are vetted by general editors and/or division editors (called different things) before going to referees. The fact that you got your rejection note so quickly might mean that it didn’t make the first cut and never got read by a ref.

      1. Two months is good turnaround if the paper went to referees, but if the journal took two months to do a desk rejection, that would be unconscionable.

        1. I don’t know if ‘unconscionable’ is the right word. We don’t know the process here, but if the editors on intake are giving the papers more than a casual glance before deciding about whether the paper goes to a referee or a desk rejection, I don’t have any objection to that. (I get sent a lot of hopeless papers from editors who then expect a report and I think a lot of us at this stage don’t feel comfortable simply saying that the paper was hopeless.) And if the editors decide to do this and it takes a few months to process something in the pipeline, I could understand that (esp. if they have other responsibilities that are also time consuming). It seems to me that there are lots of permissible ways to run a journal, the process I’ve described falls into one of the ways that it could be done, and it wouldn’t be surprising that such a journal would take a few months to determine whether a paper goes out to referees. Even if these referees then took a few months to finish their reports (I do about five a month now, so it can be hard to finish everything within four weeks), that’s about four months in review. That’s better than you’ll get at, say, the Canadian. It’s a better system than PPR and Nous (closed for much of the year with a system that seems to benefit those connected to the journal).

          Anyway, sorry about the rejection and the lack of comments. I’m not saying this next thing as a justification, but this kind of thing isn’t uncommon and it still seems better than some of the things I’ve witnessed that have involved comments (e.g., AJP taking a few years to finish refereeing a paper and rejecting it after a mixed verdict when the editor agreed that all the difficult referee’s demands were unreasonable, Mind taking a few years to ultimately reject a paper that seven different referees reviewed where none asked for substantial changes or recommended rejection, JPhil waiting 12+ months just to start reviewing a response piece, the editor of Analysis leaving a flaming bag of dog shit on my porch at 2am, etc.)

  17. I suppose if the editors are giving the paper a careful look, and only sending papers to referees that they think have a good chance of being accepted, it wouldn’t be “unconscionable” for them to take two months to reject without comments. Anyway, thanks to you, whoever you are, for doing as much refereeing as you do, and for the thoughtful reply.

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