May Open Thread


377 thoughts on “May Open Thread

    1. First, Leiter did not mention JW’s name; he used it. Second, JW works at South Carolina. Institutional affiliations are standard fare on Brian Leiter’s (Law, Chicago) blog.

      1. You have per se defamed Brian Leiter (would totally be PHILOSOPHY if only the department did secondary appointments, Chicago).

        1. It’s not defamation per se to list someone’s insittutional affiliation correctly. It is defamation per se to falsely deny someone’s profesional competence, for example, to say someone with a JD, who has practiced law, is “not really a lawyer.”

          1. No, it’s not. If they no longer practice law, it is not a provably false assertion, and EVEN IF IT WAS, if they no longer practice law, it’s not injurious to their profession AND EVEN IF THEY DID, the situation would not be analogous to saying someone is not a philosopher, because 1) lawyers need to attract clients, and 2) saying someone isn’t a lawyer suggests they don’t have the necessary certifications to practice law, which would prevent someone from hiring them, while saying someone isn’t a philosopher suggests who knows what. What is the mode of injury to someone’s profession there?

            This only exists in BL’s angry brain mold.

            1. The whole point of defamation per se is that damages are presumed, you don’t have to show any. And one of the traditional categories of defamation per se is denying someone’s competence in their profession, as stated earlier. Metablog has a reputation to preserve, so let’s try to avoid such extreme displays of ignorance.

              1. “denying someone’s *competence* in their profession”?

                “Jones is an incompetent lawyer; he’s lost all his cases.”

                That’s “defamation per se”? Really?

                I could see “denying their possession of formal qualifications” as in “Jones is not qualified to be a lawyer” even when Jones has a JD. But why isn’t a judgment of incompetence protected speech?

              2. lol. You’re not right here, srry man. You don’t have to show damages, but the statement has to be something *injurious to someone in their profession.* Leiter would have to explain how saying he is not a philosopher could be injurious to him in his profession before it would be considered defamation per se. (But it still wouldn’t be, because it’s still not provably false) Not the same as having to prove actual damages.

  1. So, if Trump has a minority Vice President candidate, according to Leiter that person would be an Uncle Tom? Nice

    1. An Uncle Tom contributes to the oppression of his people by working for the oppressor, but loves the oppressor, fails to see the oppression for what it is, and has come to accept the racist ideology that says that the oppression is really justice because the oppressed are inherently inferior or deserving of bad treatment. A member of a minority group who became Trump’s VP pick would either be an Uncle Tom or worse than an Uncle Tom — somebody who participates in the racist oppression knowing full well what it is, simply to further his own selfish interests.

      1. 4:19, very well-stated, thank you very much. You make an important point. It’s hard to imagine anyone failing to understand the dynamics of such situations.

  2. Hard to believe that Justice Whineberg is still championing the casuse of firing the crank at Marquette who blogged about the philosophy grad student.

    1. No, it isn’t. This is identity politicking at its finest. Facts be damned, we need to protect the Poor Helpless Woman from the Big Bad Man whose opinions she doesn’t like!

  3. Occasionally metabloggers remark, ruefully, on the presumed career boost that Moral Majoritarians get from their preening, self-congratulatory, smug, in-group, self-involved presence on blogs and social media. But it cuts both ways. Many search committees have a member who asks herself, why would we want that much drama in our currently pleasant department?

  4. Any thoughts on TTIP? Could our fat lazy-assed American friends please keep their corporatism on their side of the Atlantic?

  5. Looking at the more recent evidence that women have higher chances of getting a job, Leiter asks “what’s going on”. What’s going is known by everyone in the philosophy profession. What’s going on is what has been going on for decades, in teaching, recruitment, hiring and promotion: sustained preferential treatment for women (and, additionally, for those with more prestigious, networked, backgrounds).

    “The statistical findings, at least as far as philosophy job hiring in 2012 and 2013 were concerned, indicate the existence of both prestige and gender bias in philosophy job hiring: Against lower prestige male applicants. For high prestige female applicants.”

        1. My goodness, you’re right. You should assemble a class and file a suit immediately. Mediocre men not getting jobs at exactly the rate of their representation in the discipline? I can see any of the top law firms just dying to get in on that sweet action.

          1. Who said they were mediocre?

            But anyway why wouldn’t mediocre men have equal rights just like mediocre women do?

        1. Speaking of class, half the SJWs I met were ‘white trash’ folks with a college degree trying to pass as middle class. This explains the ritual posturing we see everywhere.

    1. If you follow the chain, you’ll see someone tweeted it to him a few hours ago. Great mystery solved.

  6. In a single stroke, the OSU administration, led by Michael Drake, had turned the table on the college crybullies who have been weaponizing their resentment and putative status as victims to wallow in an infantilizing bath of moralizing intolerance.

    “This is where things got interesting, and President Michael Drake came into his own. He sent OSU Senior Vice President Jay Kasey as his ambassador to the protestors. Speaking in calm, measured tones (the video clip is widely available on the internet), Kasey explained that he was not there to negotiate. “Dr. Drake will never receive a list of demands and he will not negotiate with you.” Er, what? Yes, they heard right. They were in violation of the Student Code of Conduct, Kasey informed them, and if they did not vacate the building by a certain time, police officers would be called to clear the room. The administration was pleased, he added, to “give you the opportunity to go to jail for your beliefs.”

    This wasn’t part of the script the students had signed on for. “What do you mean by ‘clear the room?’ ” one student asked. “Our police officers will physically pick you up,” Kasey patiently explained, “and take you to a paddy wagon and take you to be arrested. You will be discharged from school also.” Hmm. What do you mean “discharged?” someone asked. Probably, Kasey clarified, you will be expelled.

    Gratifying as that exhibition of vertebracular stiffness was, what was most instructive was the rationale Kasey enunciated for insisting on the students’ removal: they were violating a “safe space.” The people who worked in the building, he explained, felt intimated by their presence. But how are we intimidating? whined one student, possibly one who had on another occasion claimed that reading Huckleberry Finn or dressing as an American Indian on Halloween constituted a micro-aggression that violated his safe space. It was a brilliant move and, judging from the response of the osu Police, was a coordinated effort. One Tweet from the university police advised the world that “Ohio State respects everyone’s 1st Amendment rights. @osupolice on hand to enhance safety and allow #Reclaimosu to voice peaceful concerns.” Who could be against “enhancing safety”?

    1. And you like administrators threatening to expel student protestors because of what, your commitment to free speech?

        1. Except everyone knows there was no ‘intimidation’. That was just a rhetorical trick Drake pulled — the protestors couldn’t complain because they abuse the idea of ‘intimidation’ all the time.

          But the fact that they can’t complain doesn’t show it’s true. It isn’t. Drake really did threaten to expel them for the exercise of their freedom of speech. So, protestors: intellectually flaccid sheep; Drake: authoritarian thug. They deserve each other.

          1. They engaged in intimidation of others, violating the rules of the institution. Obviously, they can be arrested and jailed for their criminal conduct, and expelled for violating the institution’s rules. All of that seems reasonable.

            1. Everybody knows they didn’t intimidate anyone.
              Every time you say they did, every single reader knows you are lying.

              1. Hi, justice.

                New voice here. Whether or not they intimidated someone, they behaved in a disruptive manner. Their actions are not substantially different from those of students who occupy the space to fog Coca Cola. What they were doing was not essential to their legitimate rules as students. In fact, if the administration had implemented their demands, the university would have lost its legitimacy as a serious conferrer of credentials.

                The president was right to say that he will not entertain demands from self-appointed subgroups of students. The students should not be expelled for making those demands, but they should be made to know that a real university president does not take such things seriously.

                If they interfere with university members going about their legitimate business there, including trying to stop the president from accessing his office, then it is right for them to be removed forcibly to stop them from doing things. And yes, academic penalties, including expulsion, are legitimate responses to those persistently standing in the way of the proper functioning of a university. They were given a warning. The rest is their (further) choice.

                Are there some occasions when acts of civil disobedience are so important that those who perform them should not be punished for their transgressions? Sure there are. After being arrested or expelled, the students could make the case that this is one such rare case. But the while point of civil disobedience is that the cause you’re pushing for is so urgent, and normal means of resolving the issue are so unlikely to work, that you’re prepared to go to jail or take some other serious risk to push it forward. That risk that you’re taking is part of what signals to others that you are serious and not just some self-important whining loser who expects to get something for nothing.

                By the way, what the fuck is with that asswipe protestor who stood there texting the whole time the Vice President was talking with them? Really indicative of how committed and engaged today’s social justice protestors are.

  7. Leiter says “… because what matters is the quality of the work, and that’s what a rational committee looks at.”

    This has been looked at, and the gender bias effect is *even stronger*. The background gender bias effect is that men have published roughly double what women have when hired. However, on average, men hired have published three times as many articles in the top 15 journals as women hired have.

    “The results for publication rates in the Top 15 journals are even more striking. … For the Top 15 journals, 27% of men hired had at least one such publication, while only 11% of women hired had at least one. For these journals, the average publication rate for men hired was 0.42 publications, while for women hired it was only 0.14 publications.”

    1. Work appearing in “high ranked” journal ≠ Work being especially good. Competent, maybe, but not necessarily interesting.

      Particularly when in philosophy most of the highest-ranked “generalist” journals are de facto LEMM speciality-journals for the pursuit of narrow response-to-counterexample-to-claim-4.3 wormholes about the preoccupations of a very narrow “canon” of contemporaries.

      Those aren’t the fields most colleges are making philosophy hires in. If we wouldn’t expect “published in Sosa-Empire-journal” to correlate to “gets hired for 4-4 position teaching applied ethics”, I don’t see how we’re supposed to expect a cross-gender comparison of Nous-Publishing to tell us much about who gets hired and why.

      It’s obvious to me that there’s gender-bias in philosophy hiring. But attempts to make that case by comparing publication-rates and venues on the presumption that journal-rank=quality and with no regard for AOS are utterly misguided.

      1. I see this kind of claim a lot, but I’m pretty skeptical. Most of the papers I read in the highest ranked journals are good and pretty interesting. Can you give me an example or two of a paper (not one of those short reply things) in a current or recent issue of, say, Phil Review, Mind, JPhil, Nous, or PPR that’s just a “narrow response-to-counterexample-to-claim-4.3” kind of thing? It’s of course possible that some philosophers who aren’t really good eke out a publication or two in one of these journals, but in general I think being able to publish in them is good evidence that a philosopher is very good. (Of course, this isn’t to say that not having published in them is good evidence that a philosopher isn’t very good. Also, I haven’t looked at the gender-and-prestige guy stuff, and am not that interested in it, so I’m not challenging you because I want to support whatever he’s trying to show.)

  8. Leiter was not talking about using journal placement as a proxy for quality. He is talking about the quality of the writing samples themselves.

    1. Leiter is sceptical of publications as a merit indicator, and is specifically denying that the quality of publications has been assessed in the data analysed.

      But the quality variable has been assessed. An indicator of the quality of publications an applicant has is the quality of the journals where they were published – e.g., the top 15 journals. This has been measured. The background gender bias effect is that hired men publish at roughly double the rate hired women do, on average. If there were no anti-male gender-bias and women were in fact writing fewer but better articles, one would expect this background effect to *decrease*. However, the gender bias effect *increases* for the top 15 Journals: for the top 15 journals, men publish at triple the rate women do: on average, men published 0.42 top 15 journal publications, while women published 0.14. Surely the claim that an applicant’s having three publications in top 15 journals (e.g., Nous, Phil Review and JP) is not a merit-indicator is a claim that does not belong in a serious discussion.

      The more general methodological point is this. Philosophers seem to have absolutely no fucking clue how science works. (This is why the most frequent critics of much of the confused discussion around these matters has come from David Wallace and Philippe Lemoine.)

      Feminists have repeatedly promoted an empirical theory: that women face discrimination in philosophy. No evidence of any kind has ever been cited to support this theory. However, this theory should be testable by empirical data, and has been tested by looking at correlations of two variables (gender and merit) in philosophy job hiring. Amongst the pool of hirees, the women measurably underperfrom compared to the men, who publish at roughly double the rate women do on average, and who publish at roughly three times the rate in the top 15 journals. What is emerging is the following picture: the feminist theory is contradicted by the empirical data. And the opposite is true. The empirical data shows that it is men that face discrimination.

      However, so strong is the political ideology here that empirical data refuting it is being discarded. We’re now reaching a point where no quantity of evidence is permitted to refute the theory advanced by feminists. And detailed evidence demonstrating the existence of gender bias – sustained and substantial preferential treatment given to women – is discarded to maintain the narrative. This is what happens when inquiry is replaced by political ideology: which statements are accepted as true or false is determined by prior political ideology, instead of by objective data and evidence.

      1. Let me see if I have this right. Leiter thinks that the quality of writing samples is far more important and weighted far more heavily in hiring than publication differences between men and women. He further does not think that using a proxy, such as quality of journal, for quality of writing sample adequately addresses the issue. One reason he might think this is that the majority of writing samples in job applications are not published papers. You reply that quality has already been evaluated by using the proxy of….wait for it…quality of venue of publication. That’s amazing science right there.

        1. “Let me see if I have this right.”

          Ah, “writing sample” mysticism. Those secret non-peer-reviewed “writing samples” mark out true genius! Never mind that this contradicts all other evidence, which shows the opposite. For the quality of applicants’ publications has been measured: and then the gender bias effect is even stronger than the background effect (men hired publish double the rate women hired do). In the top 15 journals, men hired published at three times the rate women do. However, to preserve your ideological opinion, you ignore the evidence, and insist that, despite the evidence showing men hired publish at three times the rate women hired do in the top 15 journals, still those secret “writing samples” make up the difference! This is …. wait for it … singularly unhinged.

          1. We’re trying to figure out what Leiter thinks is the best measure of quality, not whether or not there is a different and in your opinion better measure.

          2. 4:13 here again.
            I haven’t expressed an opinion. So what “ideological opinion” do you take me to hold?

            I see that people have studied the quality of publications using reputational quality of journals as a proxy. I see that when doing this men are found to publish more frequently than women in the high quality journals. These facts are not in dispute, at least not by me and I doubt they are in dispute by Leiter.

            I also serve on search committees regularly. We assess the quality of writing samples when we hire. We do not do this by using a proxy for quality of the writing samples. We actually read the writing samples and evaluate them. You call the writing samples “secret” and you even use square quotes (“writing samples”) as if there something inaccurate about calling the writing samples that are a key part of job searches writing samples. Odd. Writing samples are “secret” only to the extent that job applications are “secret” — does that bother you?

            We do not say, and I do not claim, that “writing samples make up for the difference” between the proxy measure of quality you refer to and anything else. In hiring we do not attend at all to the proxy for quality of papers you focus on. We instead read the writing samples and evaluate those. This is how job searches work.

            I also confess that I don’t know what you mean by “writing sample mysticism” — in professional philosophy writing samples play large roles in PhD admissions, hiring, tenure evaluations, promotion evaluations and other important things. Is this all part of some mystical fanaticism you find problematic? Then by all means explain the problem to those of us blindly following the practices of the profession in evaluating writing samples (or “writing samples” as you call them).

            1. 2:42, I have served on search committees for 15 years. Writing samples for job hires are generally published work. This is obvious to anyone who works in the philosophy profession. All you achieve by these denials is to ensure that objective measures of merit – such as published work – are no being longer counted as indicators of merit in academic philosophy, for political reasons. And having abandoned even the smallest pretense of fairness or objectivity in assessing merit, academic hiring in philosophy is then driven by prestige, gender (being female) and connections.

              1. Someone (x) can have 5 published articles in prestigious journals and another person (y) can have 1 published article in a prestigious journal. But it just seems very obvious to me that person (y)’s article could be much better than all 5 of person (x)’s articles. In that case, personally, I would prefer to hire (y) over (x).

                Journal prestige is just a proxy for quality; it isn’t quality itself. Not every Nous article is equal. Publishing loads and loads of stuff, even in top journals, might not get you hired if it’s an uninteresting research paradigm. Rate of productivity is not the only metric of philosophical excellence.

                Philosophy hiring is not a video game: you shouldn’t automatically level up just because you got 7 publications or because you got 3 more publications than your competitors.

                1. “you shouldn’t automatically level up just because you got 7 publications or because you got 3 more publications than your competitors.”

                  True, but not relevant. What is under discussion are statistical properties of groups, not individual instances. Statistical claims don’t have the form, “Every A is B”. They have the form, “X is related to Y, in a certain way”, where X and Y are the statistics for the groups A and B.

                  “Journal prestige is just a proxy for quality; it isn’t quality itself. Not every Nous article is equal.”

                  Again, true, but not relevant. The point is that it is probable that someone with exactly one Nous paper is more meritworthy than someone with exactly one Electronic Journal of Pretentious Drivel paper. Suppose philosophy in 2020 has hired 50 As and 50 Bs, and the As have all published exactly 1 Nous article, and the Bs all published exactly 1 EJPD article. Then something has gone very badly wrong – because the *averages* are statistically different. And, crucially, it is irrelevant if, say three EJPD articles are in fact better than three corresponding Nous articles.

                  1. But there are plenty of other explanations (beyond aff. act.) that account for the data as we have it.

                    Here’s one, albeit idealized in a ludicrous way. Let’s suppose that a bunch of grad students all are capable of writing exactly one paper of X quality. Group A tries to publish that paper, of X quality, and five more papers, of X-4, quality. Group B only tries to publish their paper of X quality. Everybody succeeds in publishing what they want.

                    Now suppose that hiring committees only care about the quality of a candidate’s best publication. (My understanding is that something like this happens.) So they look at people from Group B and only care how good their best paper is. Their best papers are X good. Then they look at people from Group A and look at their best paper. Those people’s papers are X good as well. So then to pick between people from Group A and Group B, the hiring committee moves on to things like “Who fits the research profile of the department best?” and “Which person could I most stand having a coffee with twice a month?” Maybe “Who outputs more overall?” is also one of the questions they consider, but it’s not necessarily the second most relevant criteria.

                    I wouldn’t be surprised if women were more often in Group B. There have been lots of study showing that women tend be less confident and forward with their work, which would translate into their being less likely to send work to journal venues.

                    I actually think some kind of affirmative action is happening, as I think most people do, but the journal articles data stuff is getting really annoying.

                  2. ” Suppose philosophy in 2020 has hired 50 As and 50 Bs, and the As have all published exactly 1 Nous article, and the Bs all published exactly 1 EJPD article. Then something has gone very badly wrong – because the *averages* are statistically different.”

                    Does the data show anything like this though? I think the data just shows that on average, men have more publications than women when hired, even when controlling for prestige of venue. So we don’t actually know that “Women with 1 Shitty Writing Sample” are frequently being hired over “Men with 1 Amazing Writing Sample.”

                    1. On CDJ’s 2012/2013 data, the publication rate for hired men (1.45) is about double the rate for hired women (0.81). For the top 15 journals, the rate for hired men (0.42) is triple the rate for hired women (0.14). The writing sample theory would predict the performance difference to decrease for the higher quality journals: because if these unpublished samples are, on average, so strong as to counteract the background (i.e., male rate = 2 x female rate), then this ought to be substantiated in some other way. That is, despite the lower overall rate, there would be a nonetheless higher rate for women to publish higher quality material in higher quality journals than men do. So, on the “writing sample” theory, the effect should decrease, perhaps to parity. However, it doesn’t decrease. It increases. This tends to undermine the writing sample objection.

                    2. “The writing sample theory would predict the performance difference to decrease for the higher quality journals: because if these unpublished samples are, on average, so strong as to counteract the background (i.e., male rate = 2 x female rate), then this ought to be substantiated in some other way. That is, despite the lower overall rate, there would be a nonetheless higher rate for women to publish higher quality material in higher quality journals than men do. So, on the “writing sample” theory, the effect should decrease, perhaps to parity. However, it doesn’t decrease. It increases. This tends to undermine the writing sample objection.”

                      Why would it need to be “substantiated in some other way” at the time of hire? Unpublished writing samples are often published after candidates are hired.

              2. 3:58, (I’m the 2:42 you replied to). I have served on search committees for over 20 years. For entry level searches at my department writing samples are not “generally” published work. Apparently your experience at your University is different. For senior searches we read the published work of candidates.

                I’m not sure why you say that my “denials [what denials?] … ensure that objective measures of merit — such as published work — are no being longer [sic] counted as indicators of merit…”

                Published work is certainly a measure of merit. Published work is important in many settings including during the hiring process, during tenure evaluations, during grant proposal evaluations and many other settings. What I have agreed with Leiter about is that evaluations that focus on counting publications and that use journal quality as proxy for writing sample quality are not the sort of evaluations we do in making hiring decisions. At least, to be cautious, this is what is the case at my University. Perhaps things are different at yours.

              3. 2:42 again, with one more question. What are the “political reasons” you say I have for saying what I say? I’m not exactly a political player of any kind, as far as I know. What did I say that was political in some way?

                1. I think the forest is being missed for the trees here. Is it logically possible that someone with one Nous publication is all things considered a more meritorious hire than someone with seven? Of course. Is it logically possible that someone with one publication in Metaphilosophy is all things considered a more meritorious hire than someone with one publication in Mind? Of course. But the fact that these are logical possibilities doesn’t have very much evidential bearing at all.

                  All the evidence supports the hypothesis that women are given a boost in the hiring process in virtue of their gender. That’s strongly supported by the observed outcomes, it’s strongly supported by anecdotal evidence that anyone who is minimally engaged in the profession will have observed, and it’s strongly supported by current plausible analyses of publishing patterns. It just seems like bad abductive methodology to try to save the “equal treatment” hypothesis by claiming that there’s a massive, unobserved, and not easily observable difference in quality between men and women’s writing samples.

                  1. Who is trying “to save the ‘equal treatment’ hypothesis”? I (2:42) never discussed that hypothesis. I also didn’t make any claims about “logical possibility” (perhaps you were replying to someone else there. I’ve pointed out how job searches actually work at my University. I’ve pointed out that we don’t use the proxy for quality of publication that some people seem to think is so important. I’ve not disputed what studies using that proxy show about it.
                    In searches it is common for writing samples even of finalists to not be already published papers. It’s also common for finalists to have published writing samples. What study shows how the quality of the published writing samples compares with the quality of the unpublished writing samples? I’m not defending the claim that unpublished writing samples are typically better or worse than published writing samples. I’m not aware of any general study of that issue.

            2. Unless you are advertising a shit position, you will have far more writing samples than the search committee has time to read. Cutting that group down to something manageable is done on the basis of the CV, where, guess what, the number of publications does matter. The number of publications is already used as a proxy for quality in the hiring process. It’s simple dishonesty to say otherwise.

              1. I think prestige of graduate institution/letter writers is the more common proxy for quality in the first cut. But in my own case, I do look at writing samples first. The good news is that it’s often obvious from the first 1-3 pages that the writing sample is poorly written, or extremely boring, or that it shows (by my lights) poor philosophical judgment.

              2. Wait — it’s “dishonesty” to say what I do when we search (as we do nearly every year in my department)? And no these are not “shit positions” unless you think 2/2, good graduate program, good salary is “shit”.
                Odd. What I find dishonest is when I sometimes see philosophers say that search committees “don’t have time” to read writing samples in making cuts. There is plenty of time to do this.
                I know from testimony of others that some search committees do not read writing samples to make first cuts. I know from my own practice and also from others’ testimony that some search committees do read writing samples to make first cuts.

                1. I know from experience that some search committees do not read writing samples to make first cuts. Here is some further evidence (beyond anonymous anecdotes on the metablog) that search committees generally don’t read the writing samples in making first cuts and/or that the think that publication record serves as an indicator of quality.

                  First, consider : From 2004, suggesting that at least in the past publication record mattered. See especially these comments:

                  “Keith urges us to give considerable weight to the publishing records. This part of Keith’s advice seems perfectly sound–but once again, I do not know anyone who thinks otherwise.” Tad Brennan

                  “I have never been in a hiring committee in which a candidate with more publications did not get credit for this fact when compared with a candidate who had fewer.” Robert Allen

                  “Presumably, the experts who write letters are primarily testifying to the publication potential of the candidates on whose behalf they’re writing. But it’s hard to see how actual publications could count for less than a prediction of future publication, unless the predicted publications are understood to be significantly better than the existing publications. (I don’t know that they really do count for less. I hope not, but my gut feeling is that Laurie Paul was onto something in her earlier post.).” Mike Pelczar

                  Also, the entire comment by Anne Newstead on needing a sterling publication record to be competitive.

                  Second, by Gualtiero Piccinini states, “Unless you are already in the final list of candidates for a job, your writing sample will rarely be read. Few people have the time, expertise, and confidence to judge the quality of your work on their own. Instead, they will rely on other sources of information (see below). . . virtually no one will read your published work, so they will judge it by where it’s published. J. Phil., Phil. Review, and other good journals attract people’s favorable attention. Conversely, publishing in obscure journals counts against you in any research-oriented department. Mutatis mutandis for journals in between. You should learn early on the ranking of philosophy journals and submit accordingly.
                  If you haven’t published anything and you still aspire to a job in a research institution, you should be from Princeton or Harvard or have extremely strong letters of recommendation from famous people.”

                  Third, consider Berkeley’s website on the Academic Job Search stating that the CV is the primary device that determines the initial cut, though it’s school prestige and not publication record that is highlighted :
                  “the process begins with anywhere from three to ten boxes of files consisting of you and the other 99 to 299 fools who had the temerity to apply for your job. At this stage of the game, few are looking for attractive candidates. Rather the focus is on reducing the stack to a more manageable size as quickly and easily as possible. The primary criteria at this point are whether a candidate’s fields match their interpretation of the job description (see above) and the prestige of their graduate pedigree (institution and dissertation committee members).”

                  Fourthly, seems to think that publications matter: “If you’re right out of grad school and don’t have a lot of papers out yet (or few first-author papers), you’re probably not going to be landing phone interviews right away.”

                  Finally, here is the insufferable Allen Wood at the almighty APA blog (

                  “search committee members have limited time to do their work, and they are also fallible human beings. They are going to use whatever factors they can to winnow out, as fast as possible, from dozens or even hundreds of applications, the very few candidates who will be given serious consideration. If you are a candidate from a lesser known institution, your chief hope of being taken seriously rests on the chance that your writing sample will be so immediately engaging and impressive that it can overcome the disadvantage weighing you down. There would be at least this much fairness in the process if every writing sample were read carefully the first time through. But that is hard and time-consuming work. I try to do it, but can understand it if not all search committee members feel able.”

                  Further, the kind of “reading” Allen has in mind is described as follows: “I pick up each writing sample with the firm intent of eliminating the candidate from consideration as quickly as I can. I may take any excuse to stop reading your writing sample and eliminate you. I tell my students who are preparing to be job candidates that the most important page of their writing sample is the first page.” Allen, the master philosopher in his own mind, continues, “Many years spent reading philosophy of all kinds has given me the ability (or at least the belief that I have the ability) to spot a sharp, talented, well-trained philosophical mind rather quickly. If a writing sample, or even its first five pages, is a self-evident exhibition of less than this, then it would be a waste of my time to read the rest of the dossier.”

                  I don’t think many search committees read writing samples to make the first cut. The ones that do don’t read them carefully and would probably do better using publication record since the odds that the peer-reviewer read the paper carefully are higher than the odds that the committee member has time to do so.

                  1. What matters to the referees and what matters to me is oftentimes quite different, as evinced by the many papers in prestigious journals that I have little or no interest in.

                    1. Well, you sound like a real arrogant fuck, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy your time in academic philosophy.

                  2. 2:42 again.
                    Your comment certainly show what some people do as part of their practice. It also shows what some people think about the practice of others. What others think about others’ practice seems to be this – “it’s a priori that they must do what I do” – or something like that.
                    I know that some search committees do not read writing samples as part of initial cuts. I know that some do.
                    I still don’t concede any claim about search committee members not having time to read writing samples. “Not having time” seems to be a socially kinder way of saying that someone isn’t going to do it.

                    1. I’ve offered evidence that writing samples are not read or read in a meaningful way until the after cuts have been made. I’ve offered evidence that people on hiring committees do use publications as an indicator of merit. You’ve offered yourself and anonymous others as evidence. I could do that to, but it’s such worthless evidence that I don’t see the point.

  9. Leiter doesn’t allow psuedonyms so some guy would always sign in with pseudonyms from German literature that Leiter, of course, had never heard of. Not “Felix Krull” but you get the idea. I thought that was pretty funny.

  10. If Derek Bowman stopped posting variants of the same tired comments (there are no jobs b/w philosophy should somehow divorce itself from academia because there are no jobs) on nearly every philosophy blog nearly everyday, would he find the time to write and publish his way into a job? The world may never know.

      1. Except that Lemoine and the gender and prestige guy on the other side have, uh. facts and cogent arguments, and that they listen carefully to what the other side is actually saying and don’t pretend that everyone who questions the legitimacy of the ‘feminist philosophers’ is just a disgruntled job market loser looking for a scapegoat.

        Other than that, pretty much the same.

        1. Two people “having, uh, facts and arguments” has no bearing on the question of whether they, who like Derek Bowman are not in tenure-track positions, would have better chances of getting tenure-track positions if they spent less time beefing with the internet.

          1. At least presenting facts and arguments on a topical issue is arguably useful, as contrasted with trying ineptly to cover them up.

    1. Not a direct response, but I do know that document requests have been made from public institutions with which Leiter has been associated.

    2. obviously not. there’s nothing there. all bl got were some boring personal details that prove nothing, so all he can do is try to use them to embarrass her

      1. Surely the only way a rich woman can heal from torture by The Chicago Grinch is by purchasing a scooter?

        1. or it had nothing to do with it at all, because it’s normal to send some emails that are about other topics even when something serious has happened?

          for fucks sake, this is ridiculous

          1. Your trivializing this trauma is both inappropriate and problematic. This rich English lady was Grinched; she suffers Post-Grinchomatic Stress Disorder, and needs a scooter to recover.

          2. It is pretty obvious, isn’t it, that the bit about the scooter was more funny than probative of anything. More interesting was the turmoil within the department as the two tried to bully their colleagues in to signing the petition.

            1. Look, Scratchy suffers trauma from the cranky email. And needs a scooter to recover. Who wouldn’t? Also, the cranky email was inappropriate and problematic. Horrific, even worse than losing one’s tiara.

  11. As we all know, the only people who post here are BL, Justice Whineberg, John Protevi, and Itchy. Plus the genderprestige guy.

  12. Please, can we talk about something important, like Rage Machine’s latest “pot meets kettle” tweet? Or Jason Stanley’s most recent narcissistic display?

    1. Rage Machine says that “lame” is abelist, and suggested “weak” as an acceptable alternative. Thing is, “weak” is ableist for the same reasons, and disability activists have decried its use as well. As usual, the sanctimonious SJW assholes get hoisted on their own petard.

      1. Yeah, you really got her! She is soooo screwed! She’ll never get a TT position if she keeps this up. Good job, buddy!

        1. (Anonymous2 obviously doesn’t live in an environment where smug, aggressively moronic people get slapped around for it)

      2. ‘Weak’ isn’t ableist for the same reasons. ‘Lame’ in the literal sense *just means* disabled. ‘Weak’ can be a result of disability, but most people who are weak aren’t disabled. There’s a connection to disability, but it’s not the same.

  13. What’s alarming about the anti-male gender bias in job hiring is that those disputing it concede that the primary factors treated as probative in hiring are applicant’s departmental prestige, applicant’s gender (i.e., being female) and applicant’s connections. At the same time, a central indicator of merit – publication record – is being discounted, with excuses put forward. On CDJ’s data for 2012 and 2013, amongst those hired from PhD programme, the publication rate for low prestige men (1.7) is about three times the publication rate for high prestige women (0.6).

    The philosophy profession is saying to applicants: “We want high prestige women. We don’t care much about merit. We only care about prestige and gender.”

  14. Yes, if only we hired based on Academic Analytics rankings! Quantity of publications is surely the best predictor of whether I’d want to work with someone, and as we all know, the more publications you have, the better you are at philosophy.

    1. How to get a job in philosophy: Are you female? From a prestigious department? Do you have a network of fancy profs pushing for you? You published nothing? No matter. Your competitors are the wrong kind of people. You’re hired. No one cares academic merit.

        1. That’s an impressive CV. Berkeley does terrific junior hiring. She must be extremely impressive to actual professional philosophers, rather than anonymous losers on the internet.

  15. And yet so many men get hired. Maybe the problem is a surplus of decent, not brilliant but decent male Ph.D.s? Clearly that’s what the market is telling you. It would be nice if every mediocre wannabe of whatever gender got a TT position, I agree. But if a few mediocre men don’t get jobs, while equally mediocre women don’t, who gives a shit?

    1. “if a few mediocre men don’t get jobs, while equally mediocre women don’t, who gives a shit”

      Do you understand that the evidence we have shows that equally mediocre men and women are not failing to get jobs at the same rate?

  16. I want to make a comment about the philosopher at Morehead State who has been laid off. (I don’t comment at Daily Nous!) I don’t want what I am about to say to be seen as critical of her personally. There is lots to her story that I do not know. I am going to make a general comment about what she said and the psychology of the job she had.

    She said: ““I love being a professor. I have been a professor my whole life. I don’t know what I am going to do.”

    Here is the problem. She conceives of herself as a professor. She is NOT a professor. She is a lecturer. That is her title. Sure she is called “professor” in the classroom and that’s fine, but she isn’t a professor. This is part of her mistaken belief about herself that was in part the cause of her situation and continued exploitation (which I don’t condone).

    When I had a job as a lecturer, I knew I wasn’t a professor, assistant or otherwise. My classification was lecturer and I had to teach more classes than the professors. I knew that if shit when south, I was gone. I wanted to be a professor and that’s why I worked to get another job as a professor rather than as a lecturer. And when I had the chance in the department where I was a lecturer, they passed and picked some other ass-wipe who didn’t stay, but whatever. They weren’t going to hire me for what ever reasons they had.

    Conceiving of yourself as a professor when you aren’t might make you stay in a situation that is bad for you. One can think that they have achieved what they wanted “being a professor” but it means that you might not look for jobs as aggressively. I don’t know why she stayed for 15 years at low pay. Family constraints and the like high have caused it. But not leaving or having a counter offer to get her a position to stay just make it clear to them after a while that she was “just fine” with being a lecturer for them. The do have a relatively new female assistant professor. Why didn’t that job go to her? Well, they knew she would stay. She was no threat to leave. So if they can keep her, then the department can get another philosopher out of the dean. That’s better for the program in some ways.

    So, each of us have to realize what job we actually have. At my university, lecturers are “allowed” do a lot of work that I think they shouldn’t. Now that we are laying them off because of budget issues, they are mad that the tenure/tenure track people are protected over them for doing the “same job”.

    It’s not the same job, and lecturers need to figure that out quickly and not become life time lecturers. I do feel for this philosopher, and hope she can find an appointment that pays her a living salary.

    1. I agree with the basic thrust of your post, 5:25. I too held a non-tt lecturer position for several years. It was an annually renewable teaching-focused gig in a really excellent department. The work was very enjoyable and my colleagues were friendly and supportive. I health insurance….and TAs!!!! It was about as close to a dream job as one could expect coming from a graduate program outside the top five. Nevertheless, I went on the market aggressively every year that I held that position. I ultimately ended up taking a tt-position in a significantly less excellent department at a significantly less excellent school. The harsh reality is that humanities positions are so politically vulnerable that it is irrational to assume any such non-tt position will be renewed, no matter how much precedent there is. In the present academic market place, complacency is death.

      Moreover, although I strongly sympathize with the woman who is losing her position at Morehead State, the narrative at Daily Nous (in the post and the comments) does not adequately differentiate between kinds of contingent teaching positions. Holding an adjunct position is significantly worse than holding an annually renewable lectureship. The position I held paid me enough and gave me sufficiently stability that I was able to spend time preparing materials for the job market, working on publications, and saving for the possibility that I might end up unemployed. People who hold annually renewable lectureships face genuine challenges that shouldn’t be ignored. But their challenges are just not comparable to those faced by adjuncts, who often teach 15 or more courses/year to bring home less than 30k. Indeed, on my view, academia would be a far more humane place if adjunct positions were largely replaced by annually renewable lectureships of the sort I held. Such positions are far from ideal, but they at least provide new PhDs with a somewhat stable resting place from which to figure out what comes next.

  17. All of the men, we’re petrified to speak to women anymore. We may raise our voice. You know what? The women get it better than we do, folks. They get it better than we do. If she didn’t play that card, she has nothing.

      1. Probably a failed parody written by a femtroll.

        (But it’s funny because it might be a good idea to minimize interactions with women as the troll says.)

  18. Take a concept of interest to philosophers (good, ought, true, identical, infinite, existence, fact, justified, implies, etc.). Hyphenate with a culture. E.g., this blah-blah is infinite-relative-to-Niracaguan-snorkelists. Claim that these meaningless hyphenated concepts are meaningful but seriously neglected ones, because of oppression of Nicaraguan snorkelists; play the victim card; throw your weight around making the “everyone-I-disagree-with-is-Hitler” accusation, and ask for more money.

    1. TP. He slept with a grad student from a different university in a different country. She thought she’d persuade him to get a divorce and marry her. It didn’t happen, so she got angry and accused him of raping her, on the grounds that she wouldn’t have consented to have sex with him if she knew he wouldn’t marry her, or something like that.

      He’d never promised to marry her. I hear rumors that she married a Russian oligarch meanwhile. The phenomenon is known as female hypergamy, women’s propensity to marry up.

      1. The person in question is the subject of multiple allegations, and the one leiter is referring to is not the one you appear to be referring to.

      2. The person in question is the subject of multiple allegations. The allegation leiter us referring to is not the one you are referring to.

        1. What could be “more serious” than the convicted rapist case? Anna Stubblefield was convicted in a court of repeated sexual assault of a man. Is Leiter claiming someone is going to be convicted in a court? Or is this just another social media witch hunt?

              1. He’s right only if you’re being deeply uncharitable and assuming that by ‘prior cases of sexual harassment’ Leiter meant to include cases of rape, when it’s pretty common for people to mean by sexual harassment something other than rape, in the same way that killing someone is technically a serious physical assault but it would be odd to describe a murder as a ‘physical assault’ or to object to someone pointing out that a case where someone got beaten so bad they were in a coma was more serious than most cases of physical assault because that meant they weren’t taking murder seriously.

      1. Yeah, Leiter has announced that another philosophy sex scandal is about to break.

        I agree (but based on no inside info) that it looks like it’s going to be about TP, but a different accuser, different incident.

      2. It’s so generous of Leiter and others to spread these rumors and signal that they are “in the know”.

        1. Isn’t it a bit prejudicial, in the legal sense, to spread accusations when no one knows the facts and the other side hasn’t been permitted to speak? It’s strange that Leiter wants to promote another trial by media. It looks like insider powermongering.

          1. 4:50, it also makes sense as a sort of safeguard. Leiter has recently gone farther in attacking clearly bogus moves by the New Consensus left. But he wants to be sure that he’s not seen as providing a cover for real sexual harassment. A good strategy for him is to be seen not only as coming down hard on sexual harassment, but on being one of the first to break the story. The possibility that the accused in this case might be innocent is not as important, strategically. And Leiter won’t say anything that entails that the accused is guilty.

            1. Isn’t a simpler explanation just that Leiter actually cares about sexual harassment? Why assume that it’s part of some grand strategy, and that Leiter (a lawyer) doesn’t care at all about the possibility that the accused might be innocent? I

          2. Why would you think that the other side hasn’t been ‘permitted’ to speak? Surely the ‘other side’ has access to the internet, just like the accuser, and could say whatever he liked.

            1. It’s about the use of power to fuck people over. Because standard judicial mechanism is not interested (i.e., because it’s bullshit), other forms of power are used to threaten and libel the victim.

              1. How do you know it’s bullshit? You’re merely assuming this, like you’re assuming that it is libel. If it is in fact libel, the victim can sue. You’re also assuming that ‘standard judicial mechanism is not interested’ but there is no reason to think this is true ether, In fact there is good reason to think this is not true, given that the link on Leiter is about someone raising money for a court case.

    1. What do you mean ‘extremely dangerous’? Either you have a serious accusation that belongs in public, or you should cut it out.

    1. No, it stands for Dazz Chanley: yes, the famed white-to-black trans* activist, thought leader, and tastemaker hymself.

  19. Assuming that the initials are right, I think it is either a classicist or a person working in epistemology, my bet is on the classicist.

  20. Yes, it’s obviously about TP. Ever since the original story broke, there have been claims that other more serious allegations were made at Yale, unrelated to the anonymous story that was written up on a blog. Leiter is claiming that these other allegations are about to be made public. We’ll see.

    1. “… are about to be made public”

      By the police? Or do you mean a social media witch hunt, based on no evidence, where the victim of the attack is not permitted to reply?

        1. You mean no evidence, no police and just a social media witch hunt? How sick. If there is a hell, one suspects the folks doing this will rot there.

          1. Well, we’ll see. I don’t know, and neither do you. But if it is a news story, as a suspect, then it won’t be a “social media witch hunt,” though one could surely follow. Just going on the information in Leiter’s description and the previous accounts, that it will concern official procedure at Yale, all of which are newsworthy.

            1. Will the “news story” feature a millionaire Filipino, man-chasing burlesque dancer and model of the name Dara Bascara, claiming to be “victim” of the man she sexually groomed for personal gain?

              1. Gee. I have no idea, although apparently you have some inklings. Perhaps you are, ahem, “involved” in this story? Anyhow, I assume the article will feature one or more major universities and some official proceedings. We’ll see. Or perhaps you already know? Perhaps you have already chosen to comment or not to the reporter?

  21. OK, so Yale, or rather the President of Yale, decided to keep the Calhoun name? And students and others consider it a racist problem (a view with which I’m inclined to agree.)? I have a solution. Calhoun college is a physical structure with a physical location, right? Just turn it into a parking garage. Keep the facade maybe. And Keep the Calhoun name if your President insists, but let it name something less desirable than a residence hall for future Supreme Court justices. Let it name a parking garage.


    Leiter is too much of a coward to put all of the nice words about Chavez in his own name, so all the nice words come from quotes. Predictably, you don’t hear much from Leiter these days about the disaster in Venezuela, but for years Leiter was very excited about Venezuelan socialism. When will big red diaper babies in the universities ever learn?

  23. Search google for chavez and Venezuela on the Leiter Report. For a number of years, Leiter had quite a boner for Chavez.

    Leiter is too much of a coward to put it in his own name, so all the nice words come from quotes. Predictably, you don’t hear much from Leiter these days about the disaster in Venezuela, but for years Leiter was very excited about Venezuelan socialism. When will big red diaper babies in the universities ever learn?

    1. Can you imagine if for years a conservative professor had supported a right wing version of Chavez, who lead his country to complete disaster like we see today in VZ? Leiter really should scrub his site of all the pro-Chavez propaganda, but of course he’s not embarrassed because the left never has to apoogize for the failures of socialism, their heart was in the right place. Meanwhile, no TP in VZ.

      1. Remember, the same person who for years swooned over Chavez is a respected figure in the US academy. This is your 2016 University of Chicago faculty, folks. Leiter has no excuse, really. Communism failed in 1989, when Leiter was probably about 35. He should know better. Like you would say to a little child: you know better.

      2. “Can you imagine if for years a conservative professor had supported a right wing version of Chavez, who lead his country to complete disaster…”

        It’s happened many times, but with far worse results. Chicago school of economics and Pinochet, anyone?

        1. Trying to explain to a left-wing ideologue why mass extermination of hundreds of millions of people is wrong is like trying to explain to a creationist what tRNA is.

          1. Trying to explain to a right-wing ideologue why mass extermination of hundreds of millions of people is wrong is like trying to explain to a creationist what tRNA is.

            1. Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and countless others exterminated hundreds of millions of people, and starved and pauperized billions, you unhinged creationist loon. Stop excusing mass extermination.

              1. What, 5:21? Who the fuck in this thread tried to excuse mass extermination? Who championed creationism? Who spoke on behalf of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot? No one.

                Did you mean to type in the URL of some discussion blog for idiots and get to the PHILOSOPHY metametametablog by mistake?

    2. It really is depressing. Too many humanities academics love Chavez and his ilk and fall for this nonsense every single time. It is like the entire 20th century never happened. No doubt cognitive dissonance will soon set in and Leiter and co will produce some tortured nonsense that allows their worldview to survive unscathed. Again.

  24. “Will he be like Venezuela’s Chavez who stood up to the bullying of the US government and promoted nationalization, a social welfare state and the arming of the people in Venezuela?”

    1. Good try HG but no bolivars. As recently as April 2013 Leiter was still linking approvingly to articles defending not just Chavez but his legacy. This doesn’t allow links but search for “The New Yorker’s Recent Hatchet Job on Venezuela”. Embarrassing. Utterly discrediting, actually. Leiter really should know better.

        1. It’s true, VZ is a very equal country. Nobody has any TP, so in that sense, they are all equally smelly.

  25. When the hell is that Thomas Pogge bombshell going to drop?! Step forward with information, oh brave anonymous internet peope.

      1. Okay, so does anybody have any evidence that Stanley is an actual sexual harasser, or do people just insist on calling him that because he is obnoxious? This accusation is made a lot, and I would like to know.

        1. I don’t know about sexual harasser, but I do think he jumps to conclusions more often than he ought.

          1. It’s curious that we’ve come to the point where we’re more interested in the former than the latter. One can be a bad person or even a criminal without being a bad philosopher or a philosopher at all, and vice versa.

        2. Of course! I read it in a comment section on the internet. That’s the highest-quality evidence there is.

          1. What do you think of the evidence used in a New Jersey court to convict feminist philosopher Anna Stubblefield of repeatedly raping a disabled man? Perhaps it’s all “incredibly complicated”, as Jenny Saul put it? After all, did he not give consent to be sexually assaulted, via a oujia board?

        3. The rumors began when someone made an anonymous-but-here-are-a-few-details comment, and because this is the metablog people immediately thought it was JS. It wasn’t.

          I think it was something like “the NC people are all friends with this person who is a well known sexual harasser. seeing them congratulate him on his recent wedding on facebook made me sick.” JS wasn’t actually recently married.

  26. OK, so now you can be suspended from school for ‘sexual misconduct’ on the basis of a complaint from a third party, even if the alleged victim insists that everything was consensual and you did nothing wrong:

    I wonder why the Moral Majority have gone all quiet about Title IX?

    Maybe it’s the same reason they’ve gone all quiet about the APA Site Visit Program, viz, even they can’t spin this as anything but a massive Mongolian clusterfuck.

    1. You are a male chauvinist pig as all white males are. Has anyone of them written anything so far about the rise of rapes in Europe? Naahh…

      Idiots like Saul and Tranley grow old and then die and with them their particular brand of idiocy. As long as the real majority has some say, these preening assholes stand no chance to overhaul the system.

  27. By the way, can anyone remember when Tim Maudlin took Tranley to task for his comments about the Templeton foundation? That was nice to read…

  28. It’s a great tie to do philosophy at the pilos, we have a new coverage of Amy Olderberg;s much needed philosophy movement as covered on some wonderful ground by Daily Nous. Look out for more posts!

  29. And we finally have an entire front page at FP (10 posts) without a single comment. Looks like it’s going the moribund way of NewApps.

    1. Seems a pity. Such a good and useful website, always truthful and fair. Maybe if feminist philosopher Anna Stubblefield had an internet connection in prison, she could make some comments to liven things up?

  30. As a dude I have to say I’m sincerely of the opinion that women ought to receive some preferential treatment in hiring, grad admissions etc. The reason is quite simple: in general, women are more moral people than men. Women are far less likely to be *evil* than men (that guy who has ‘become a parody of himself’ can fuck right off). More importantly, women are far less likely to be cynical, to play career games and be *intellectually dishonest* (in the way people like Stanley, Williamson, Hawthorne are intellectually dishonest) to the detriment of philosophical progress. Philosophy need more women not so much because of social justice considerations but more for its own good.

    1. Not a joke. Buzzfeed staff have been emailing philosophers for weeks to track down story details. Another big story still in the works too.

  31. “Martha C. Nussbaum, a professor of law and philosophy at the University of Chicago, said that since learning about the accusations Pogge faced at Columbia, she has chosen not to invite him to conferences and workshops. She also declines to participate in projects he is involved in.”

    Have Martha Nussbaum’s relationships with students been examined?

  32. I might be missing some details of the case. Has Pogge been found to have violated Yale policy? If not, why are people calling for Yale to fire him? It looks like he was accused of violating Yale policy but then found not to have done so.

    Some of the complaining parties seem to be upset that he has hooked up with younger women from other universities who were attracted because of his fame. This isn’t the sort of thing for which anyone should be fired is it?

    1. The panel at Yale found his conduct unprofessional but did not find him guilty of harassment, only of misusing Yale stationary. Of course, that doesn’t mean they were right to have done so. The events with the student fall into a grey area because the truly objectionable stuff happened just after graduation (a matter of weeks) but when she was about to hold a fellowship with his institute (of what nature and for how long seems to be under dispute). He is alleged to have made a pass at her then and, after being rebuffed, of having withdrawn the fellowship. What seems not to be disputed is: when she was a student he had her to his house alone; biked with her alone, and engaged in flirtatious conversation. After she graduated, he offered her a fellowship, took her to Chile and booked a single room for them both (did or did not grope her), flew back with his head in her lap, and then stayed in her apartment, all while she was about to be a paid fellow of his and just after she graduated as his advisee. Oh, and he was found guilty of sexual harassment of an undergrad at Columbia, which Yale knew, and he had at least one (and allegedly many) affairs with young female scholars whose work he promoted with little familiarity.

    2. Martha Nussbaum hooks up with younger male students at Chicago, and no one blinks an eyelid. Maybe the Buzzfeed reporter should ask Nussbaum directly, “Have you had sex with male students at Chicago – yes or no?”

      1. I don’t get it. Why should someone ask her that?

        Cool that people are fabricating malicious stuff about Nussbaum here. I thought the famous male philosophers were going to be the only targets.

          1. Okay, so nobody is going to give any link to something supporting this Nussbaum rumor, right?

  33. Is it fair to say that Pogge has been signalling throughout his whole career? Is his whole oevre just a tool to get into the pants of easily influenced students?

    1. How could any self-respecting sexy and socially just student resist a sexy and socially just professor, whose famous book is called Sex & Social Justice?

  34. So what the FUCK if Nussbaum hooked up with young male students? Was that UNJUST for the young male students? Come on. Think about it. If you were a young male student, would you NOT want to hook up with Nussbaum – even if there’s no career advantage of any sort to be gained? It’s fucking Nussbaum! I bet all your neckbeards DREAM of hooking up with Nussbaum. Now imagine you are an attractive young FEMALE student. Would you want to hook up with Pogge if there’s no career advantage of any sort to be gained? Of course not. So even if the Nussbaum rumor is true, that’s still infinitely less bad – if not a positive good – than the Pogge affair.

  35. I liked the part where he lamented the dip in his productivity. It’s as if errant space debris briefly occluded the brilliance of a gas giant.

    1. “I liked the part where he lamented the dip in his productivity. It’s as if errant space debris briefly occluded the brilliance of a gas giant” LOL. Truly.

  36. Pogge didn’t do anything wrong. What’s described are simply consensual relationships between adults. But shall we do as these toxic feminists demand? Shall we suppose consensual relationships between adults are somehow wrong? Ok: let’s see the big front page story from Justin Weinberg on the famous moral philosopher Martha Nussbaum and her sexual liaisons with students …

    1. Wrong. If the accuser’s story is right, he at the very least sexually harassed her when she was an employee of Yale, and perhaps a student. On his own account even, he engaged in extremely shady behavior in the weeks after her graduation and creepy behavior while she was still a student. And of course he was in fact found guilty of sexual harassment at Columbia. Stop trying to change the subject to Nussbaum.

      1. If the allegations are true then he’s guilty of sexual assault. Although I understand why you mentioned it, I really don’t think he should be fired for creepy behavior. Sexual assault and sexual harassment are a totally different story.

    1. I think you meant to write, “I wonder if Nussbaum’s victim will ever speak out, or whether he feels -too- intimidated because I’m a fucking twat”.

  37. I think Pogge has acted absolutely disgracefully. But just ostracising him isn’t enough:

    1. “You got me into a huge amount of trouble, Fernanda, as I am not authorized to give out jobs to people on my own,”

    Did Yale Faculty IN THE PHILOSOPHY DEPT ETC know this shit was going on? Surely, as this quotation evidences… I want Faculty like Jason Stanley et al to indicate what they knew BEFORE this all blew up on Thought Catalog.

    2. “The lawyers also included statements from professors who had witnessed and been troubled by Pogge’s conduct with young women at conferences, as well as details about five other women, students at other institutions in countries from India to Norway to whom Pogge had supposedly offered plane tickets, hotel rooms, letters of recommendation, and job opportunities “even though he barely knows them and knows less about their work.”

    “One was a young Chinese student whom, Pogge told Aye, he had a relationship with. In a recording obtained by BuzzFeed News, he admitted that he wrote the woman a letter of reference despite never having had any real “intellectual contact” with her.”

    “Another Chinese woman wrote a statement for Lopez Aguilar’s lawyers saying Pogge offered her flights and a job despite being unfamiliar with her work. “To be honest,” she wrote, “I hadn’t worked with him that much that would qualify for me to go to work with him. Almost everything was a little inappropriate.”

    Who the fuck allows this to go on on their behalf? Yes, the job market is bad, but references on your behalf when they don’t even know your work? Was this only a scandal when things turned sexual, or WAS THIS ALREADY A SCANDAL? Jan Boxhill was thrown under the bus for much less…

    1. This is a key part. Being charitable, perhaps some of the students he targeted came from countries where bogus recommendations and similar corruption is common or even acceptable. It’s obviously acceptable enough here that Pogge’s colleagues didn’t call him on it.

      A commenter at DN mentioned that virtually all grad students at Yale quit working with Pogge as soon as stuff started leaking a few years ago. I’m guessing that’s more about not wanting worthless and toxic recommendations and advising associations than it is about personal fear of harassment. At least the students had some limited scope to deal with it. But it’s a huge problem that faculty turn a blind eye without recognizing that having even a few people who offer their patronage for bogus and self-serving reasons corrupts the whole system.

      This all reminds me: whatever became of the McGinn grad student suit? Was that ever resolved?

    2. Pogge’s predilections have been an open secret for a long time, and no one at Yale philosophy could have reasonably been in the dark about this when they hired him. Any ignorance would be culpable and negligent. Worse, Pogge is not the first or the last serial harasser that Yale has snapped up after a disgraceful exit from another department. Yale is in good company, at least, since USC, Rutgers, and many other “great” departments use a similar hiring strategy. It is disgusting.

      1. Hopefully someone will be asking Yale faculty some tough questions. Jason Stanley may be just the person for the that job, actually, since he’s tenured, out-spoken, and arrived at Yale well after they hired Pogge and other predators. I know Jason reads this site, since he talks about it on Facebook sometimes, so here’s a suggestion: Jason, please use your power for good and work to change the culture of an institution that would hire someone like Pogge.

        1. Weird that Stanley is buddies with the alleged harassers like Ludlow and Pogge, but once the allegations become public he is the first to lead the charge against them. The idea that he’s the right person fix shit like this is laughable. I’d rather see another APA site visit nuking than more selfish, posturing bullshit from Stanley.

  38. Right, so as that shows, Pogge hasn’t done anything wrong.

    Curious about when the Nussbaum investigation will be starting?

  39. So the thought-leader of what is right and just turns out to be another cultist douchebag. Next they’ll be saying the priesthood is corrupt.

  40. What heartens me about the Pogge case is that Yale went out of their way to protect him, like they think philosophy is still prestigious. I don’t think they got the memo about the welders.

    1. I did look at it, but it don’t not seem very good at all, but I suppose that is consistent with what you wrote.

    2. “I am far more comfortable trusting the testimonies of multiple women over one man”

      If he’s smart, Donald Trump will be using this kind of argument to bash Hillary Clinton over the coming months. Dozens of women have accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault, harassment and rape over the years. Clinton herself is also accused by the same women of full and knowing complicity in Bill’s crime, including attempts to threaten and silence the accusers. Believing these women instead of their powerful detractors is a matter of good epistemology and justice!

    3. lol — so any time you can get more than one member of a favored victim group to accuse a member of a disfavored group of anything, it is ‘testimonial injustice’ not to believe them. (Unless of course the accusations involve a prominent member of the Democratic party). How many philosophy courses do you need to take to swallow this bullshit?

  41. Can’t believe how weak TP’s reply is. Really? A fucking polygraph test? Most scientists agree polygraph testing is pseudoscience.

    1. Poor femloons. Given that Lopez Aguilar’s allegations have no evidence to support them, are inconsistent, have even been rejected by a panel, including a Federal Judge, and Lopez Aguilar’s financial/revenge motives are obvious, it looks like Pogge won this round.

      1. There is one fairly obvious problem with Pogge’s account. He contends that both he and she knew that the crucial job offer letter was given to her purely to secure an apartment, and was not in fact an actual offer of a job. Why then is she listed on the website in July 2010 as a fellow? There would be no reason to do so if, as he alleges, the job offer was merely given to her to secure an apartment. According to the buzzfeed article, he also emailed colleagues – there was no actual link to this, but it would be so easy to prove or disprove it would be a bizarre thing for a journalist to fabricate. Why would he do this, if the offer was merely to secure an apartment?

        IMO, the website seems pretty damning. The date of it is before she allegedly ‘turned against him’ so it can’t be explained away as part of the ‘payoff’ because this, according to Pogge’s letter, happened sometime after the 30th of August 2010.

        This also makes no sense: Pogge alleges that she asked him for the fake letter on July 21. But according to this email ( discussions about the apartment and an arrangement covering housing costs was taking place in May. I just don’t see how “don’t worry, we’ll work it out, I even have some money of my own’ in May squares with his claim that the offer of a job was always fake, he never intended to pay her, and both of them knew this.

        1. Yet another oddity: Pogge claims that it was ‘remarkable’ that she presented herself with the fake letter on August 30th in part because she had not signed and returned the offer letter. Yet the letter states that she should confirm acceptance by signing and returning it to Pogge or someone I’m assuming is an administrator by September 1st. (See last page of this: Given that he, according to his own description, was in Latin America, she could not return it to him. It would not be that odd to turn up a few days before a job began in order to sort the official paperwork, especially if you had already given an acceptance over email to the person who offered you a job (as Pogge confirms), and were already listed on the website.

          1. The other person mentioned – Matt Peterson – was a fellow at the GJP. But this also casts doubt on the claim the letter was a total fake. If it was, and Pogge never intended to offer her a job at all, why the hell would he include the name of a colleague? There would be no reason whatsoever to do so. If you’re faking a job offer, then why not fake an offer to work only on your projects and make sure the paperwork includes only your name? It would be stupid to insert the name of a colleague. Why involve them in your fake job offer scheme?

          1. Haha. So he’s decided what project she will work on and cc’d her in on an email sent to someone else which asks her to send a picture and a blurb for the website, and we’re still supposed to believe that the job offer was not a real job offer? What bullshit.

      2. The only version that is actually inconsistent is the third, which (given the use of the third person pronoun) looks to have been written by someone other than Lopez Aguilar. And the only thing that is inconsistent about that is the timing – the claim that the attack happened during senior year, rather than shortly after. Otherwise, all the claims are consistent – it’s just that the attack (a groping) is described variously as an unwanted advance, an attempted rape, and a physical attack. It’st true that ‘attempted rape’ is probably too strong a description, but again, that looks to be from a third party. And given that the panel was Yale panel who have a pretty obvious interest in protecting a star faculty member, that rejection by itself is not particularly convincing.

        1. Given the presently available evidence, I believe Pogge’s relationship with Lopez Aguilar was *somehow morally suspect*. I am suspending judgment about the nature and extent of Pogge’s apparent wrongdoing.

          Nevertheless, it is clear enough, based on Lopez Aguilar’s testimony, that Pogge didn’t try to rape her, even if he did, in fact, engage in unwanted touching. People on the Title IX/New Consensus side of these discussions frequently and casually substitute “rape” (or its cognates) for terms that pick out significantly less serious kinds of bad behavior. I find this telling. It’s evidence that much of this discourse is political, truth-opposed, and unconcerned with seeing that justice is done.

          An anecdote: I have a friend who made a joke that could be construed as a rape joke. It was a shitty thing to do and out of character for him. Although he quickly apologized, he deserved some kind of social sanction. The sanction he received, from some members of our (former) social circle, was to be described first as a rape apologist, then as having committed sexual assault, and finally as an out-and-out rapist. Naturally he was ostracized as a result of being described as a rapist. I see the same dynamic playing out in internet discussions of sexual harassment in philosophy. It’s absolute nonsense and needs to stop. If you want people to “believe victims,” then you need to accurately describe their injuries.

          1. This is all quite true, Lysias, but the Buzzfeed article never mentions rape or attempted rape. It is mentioned in Pogge’s reply, apparently quoting some person other than Lopez Aguilar describing “our” senior year. It does seem like a reckless description to include in anything formal (much less, public) but it’s not clear from his reply just how that account is being used. Like in your friend’s case, once the ball gets rolling, things can escalate beyond even what the accuser intended (if that is what happened here).

            A second point, more general, not particularly related to the Pogge case: while it’s pretty clear to me that mis-calling things rape that are not rape almost never is justified (at least, no justification springs to mind). When it comes to “attempted rape”, I think things are less clear. I’ll give an example from my own experience: as an undergraduate, many years ago, a fellow student who I didn’t actually know asked, after class, if he could come over to study for an upcoming test. I thought that strange, but said yes, because I was generally interested in meeting new people. He came to my room in my small residence hall, bringing a 6-pack. Shortly after we started studying, he started groping me. I first responded by pulling away, but he got more physical and I switched to clearly saying stop and no, etc. He ignored that and started undressing me, pinning me down, grabbing my wrist and pushing my hand down his pants. At that point, although he was larger and stronger, I was strong enough to push him away hard and that finally got through to him, he stopped and left.

            Now, at no time then, now or in between did I consider that “attempted rape”. I thought he was a clueless jerk who believed the “hard to get” schtick because it served his purposes. And I didn’t have to do everything in my power to make him stop. I had to fight hard, but I’m sure, if I had screamed, help from other residents would have been immediately there. I’m sure he would be aware of that, too, so that figures in to my thinking it wasn’t attempted rape. He wasn’t trying to force me into sex, he was trying to convince me in a really jerky and unconvincing way. But looking back on the degree to which he was physically aggressive and the fact that I had to literally fight him off, I could imagine another person, perhaps someone smaller than my 5/8″, in that situation calling it attempted rape. Or I can imagine in one of those surveys, where they describe behaviour but don’t label it, that situation might get classified as attempted rape. I think in general, it’s better to just describe what happened and not try to label it as harassment, rape or whatever.

  42. Pogge’s version of events makes very little sense. According to him, then, everything was hunky dory with their relationship until she decided to turn up for a job she knew didn’t really exist in order to get him to pay her a year’s salary of 2000 a month. But why would someone who is, by his own description, from a very wealthy family and who had a full time job just decide, out of the blue, to screw over (and destroy her previously good relationship with) a person who was writing her letters of recommendation? And that she was so cross at missing out on 22 of the 24000 that she would then spend years trying to ‘take down’ Pogge with false sexual harassment claims? And that coincidentally she happened to accuse a professor who had a history (from Columbia). Very interesting last line, by the way: note that he says that ‘no-one at Yale and no-one at the institutions he’s visited since joining Yale’ has accused him. What about before?

  43. The doc says that emails substantiating the claims are appended, but they weren’t in the link I clicked on. Anyone?

    1. He didn’t post them. I’m guessing he won’t, since the few emails Buzzfeed published already seem inconsistent with his version.

      In a few days he’ll probably say he was waiting to get his lawyer’s approval before posting but has actually been strongly advised against it, even though he reeealllly wants to.

  44. Another inconsistency:

    From Pogge’s letter, in May 2010:
    “We agreed that…should no suitable position materialize, she could be affiliated with my Global Justice Program. She initially indicated that she would be happy with an unpaid affiliation, but later expressed a desire to be independent from her parents by making at least $1300 a month…I responded that I would help her “we’ll make it work out, don’t worry.”

    From his email, August 30 2010 (
    “You got me into a huge amount of trouble, Fernanda, as I am not authorized to give out jobs to people on my own.”

    If he’s not authorized to give out jobs on his own, why did he promise her an affiliation with the GJP and promise that with regards to money, he would ‘make it work out’?

  45. So, based on what there now is in public, for anyone with common sense, Lopez Aguilar’s claims are incoherent nonsense and there’s no evidence of any sexual harassment. It’s simply a wealthy, self-entitled, ambitious woman seeking revenge and a financial reward because they fell out. Based on the evidence, Pogge is justified in being outraged at this. It’s little wonder Yale has protected him from this mistreatment.

  46. For those of you who weren’t reading this blog back then, last time the McGinn story was in the news, I offered to do the equivalent of an AMA here. I’m happy to do it again.

    Basically, when I was still legally a minor, I found myself in a situation that was a lot like some of the sexual harassment cases that we hear about in Philosophy. There were no civil or legal proceedings, so I have and had no motive to lie about this. I don’t want to talk about any salacious details, and I can’t speak on behalf of Pogge’s accusers (obviously), but otherwise ask me anything.

  47. I was legally a minor in the state where it happened. If the question is about stat charges, yes, I was young enough that the relevant stat laws would have applied. Unless you have a specific question, I don’t see how this is relevant.

  48. False accusations are now rampant in philosophy. How does this help anyone’s cause? Even Brian Leiter was accused of “torturing” someone. David Barnett was forced to resign from Colorado for simply defending an innocent student. Laura Kipnis was put through a frivolous Title IX investigation at Northwestern for merely writing an essay. Many other examples. No one benefits from this culture of hysteria and false accusations.

    1. Unless they put their names out prominently as they fan the flames of hysteria and mayhem. Then they can benefit privately while causing harm to many others and to the profession in general.

      And they all put their names out prominently. That’s their MO.

      1. Really? False accusations never help anyone?

        Hm. So: a college-aged woman has sex with a male classmate consensually, then her mother reads her diary and threatens to disown her own daughter. it’s of no help to the daughter to say it was rape?

        A woman is discovered by her boyfriend to have had sex at a party with several men. She has nothing to gain by telling him it wasn’t her fault, they raped her?

        A woman wants to hurt a man who refused her advances, dumped her, spurned her in some way. Accusing him of rape is of no help there?

        A woman wakes up in the morning and regrets having had sex with someone. She wants to tell herself and her friends a coherent story in which she never wanted to, anyway. It helps her not at all to interpret an originally consensual encounter as nonconsensual on her part?

        A woman wants rid of her boyfriend under favorable terms for her. Accusing him of rape seldom helps?

        This seems very implausible. In fact, all these things are known to have happened on many occasions.

    2. Everyone agrees that Barnett and Kipnis were wronged. No one took seriously that Leiter’s nasty e-mail constituted “torturing.” That case was a perfect storm of PGR-haters, feminists pissed about BL’s sticking up for due process in the Ludlow case, and random folks BL dissed (lots of them obviously). Cases like Pogge are not cases of hysterical accusations, the women retained a lawyer, has filed a civil rights complaint. Some witch hunts target witches. Maybe this is one.

      1. I think what no-one took seriously with regards to BL is that the person who described him as ‘torturing’ meant literal torture.

  49. The part of report from the original panel on the plane ride is a total joke. His excuse was that it makes ‘mechanical sense’ to sleep on someone’s lap in a row with an empty seat. So I imagine he has also done so in the past when travelling with male colleagues? It might make sense if the other person is a good friend or family member. Not if they are a colleague or student. And they noted specially that she did not take measures to exit the situation. She was on a really long plane ride. What was she supposed to do? Any attempt to move out of that situation would be incredibly fucking awkward, especially seeing as he was not only much older than her but that she was also relying on him for employment. That’s sexual harassment 101 – the whole problem with doing shit like that to people you have professional power over is that it’s not very easy for them to refuse, in the way that it would be if you were a stranger (and that the fact that they didn’t refuse or make a fuss is not evidence that they were OK with it).

      1. Yeah, she kind of did that. And then he took away the job he’d promised her.
        That’s life!

      2. Hmm. If my two options were: A. totally derailing my career or B. putting up with some creepy old dude putting his head in my lap for a few hours, then I think I would choose B. It’s also totally rational to choose B. But if a person chooses B, this doesn’t mean they’re OK with it. It means that they have: 1. been presented with a choice they should never have been forced to make in the first place, and 2. are probably making what seems like a reasonable decision at the time. But the important part is 1: it is wrong for people in positions of professional power over others to put the subordinate in a position where they have to make that kind of choice.

    1. Vincent: Have you ever given a foot massage?
      Jules: Don’t be tellin’ me about foot massages. I’m the foot fuckin’ master.
      Vincent: Given a lot of ’em?
      Jules: Shit yeah. I got my technique down and everything, I don’t be ticklin’ or nothin’.
      Vincent: Would you give a guy a foot massage?
      Jules: Fuck you.

  50. Hi guys. If the allegations against Pogge are true, then he acted wrongly for a phil. prof. I think we can agree on that. It was not consensual. But the feminists and the Daily Snooze crowd are all too eager to condemn any advances towards students. They want to deny white middle-aged men their sexual pleasures with fresh girls, because they think it’s gross and creepy. I think we can also agree as Metabros that it’s possible to have consensual sexual relationships with students, and that there is nothing wrong with such relationships as long as we make sure to not get involved in one or more conflicts of interests resulting from it.

    1. “because they think it’s gross and creepy”

      Or maybe it’s because they’re jealous. I’d guess two thirds of Puritans are jealous, and the other one third is asexual.

  51. Does anyone know anyone with a Ph.D. in Philosophy from California Institute of Integral Studies who has a job? Male or female?

  52. The DN discussion of the Pogge case, as of previous scandals, is little more than assorted Moral Majoritarians competing to find the most tediously long-winded way of saying ‘I am a really, really, really, really, really good person.’

    Speaking of tedious and long-winded, the Balloon has of course also weighed in, and garnered the usual round of applause at FP. I was amused by one commenter at DN, who begins by invoking the Balloon’s critique of the ‘culture of silence’ in academic philosophy, and goes on to opine

    The response to false accusations made in the public sphere isn’t to point out that you were never found guilty in a court of law…; it’s to pursue a suit for slander or defamation (which Leiter notes Pogge hasn’t done).

    So it’s evidence of guilt that Pogge has not sued — and yet the Balloon himself is notorious for having suggested that anyone accused of sexual harrassment who responds by suing for defamation is thereby guilty of retaliation and should face co-ordinated professional shaming and shunning from the Moral Majority, even if they are found by the court to have been defamed! And of course it’s a constant theme with the Balloon, Scratchy (see his recent DN comment) and FP that it’s apologism for sexual misconduct even to await a legal verdict before forming a view about someone’s guilt of harrassment or assault.

    Shorter Moral Majority: if she’s a witch, she’ll float; if not, she’ll drown.

    [Should-go-without-saying-disclaimer: Pogge seems to be a scumbag.]

    1. “The DN discussion of the Pogge case, as of previous scandals, is little more than assorted Moral Majoritarians competing to find the most tediously long-winded way of saying ‘I am a really, really, really, really, really good person.’ ”

      We all know about signaling. What I would like to know is your theory by which these discussions are “little more” than signaling. What is the other element, and how are you judging the interaction of that element with signaling?

      1. Please see my comment at 4.16 below. Overall I get a very strong sense that a normal level of moral concern, undistorted by the crise du jour or a desire to advertise one’s righteousness, would not generate that level of earnest anxiety over questions like whether people should stop citing Pogge in their work. It’s the same kind of sense that the Balloon’s breast-beating (‘stain on our profession’ etc — please) is overdone, and overdone for a reason; that’s maybe an even clearer case. I’m sorry if I come across as a cold-hearted cynic. All I can say is (as it seems to me), once you develop an ear for this sort of thing, it becomes pretty unmistakable. Not to mention unbearable.

        1. “I’m sorry if I come across as a cold-hearted cynic. All I can say is (as it seems to me), once you develop an ear for this sort of thing, it becomes pretty unmistakable. Not to mention unbearable.”

          Speaking of signaling, if only the rest of us had your experience and your sensitivity, we could cut the crap and grasp the foibles of the lesser beings as you can, right?. Probably because we’re not willing to pay the price in Weltschmerz that you are.

          1. Ouch! Nice job of turning the tables — now I‘m the posturer! I don’t mind admitting that your punch-line about Weltschmertz actually stung a little — in spite of my jaded palate and thousand-yard stare.

            Point taken — to an extent. I was perhaps implicitly claiming too much credit for my higher state of enlightenment. It should probably all go to the tireless work behind the scenes of Father Time. Plus, there’s a limit to how much signaling you can do anonymously.

          2. Also: ‘This is our collective neglect (and shame). No amount of prestige, recognition, and fine words we offer each other can remove this stain from our discipline.’ Really? Surely you don’t have to fancy yourself as Clint Eastwood in Pale Rider to roll your eyes at this kind of thing.

            To amplify what I said below, this kind of high-minded, big-picture, WE ARE ALL GUILTY stance, apart from affording some kind of obscure unacknowledged gratification, tends to distract from the morally pressing issues raised by our actual interactions with other individuals. Exhibit A: T Pogge.

            1. Point taken about the “we are all guilty.”

              About the table-turning, well, I’m only human and couldn’t resist an invitation like that.

              1. Absolutely. Hats off. Flattered anyone’s even paying attention.

                The last thing I would like to make clear is that I do in fact know how to spell Weltschmerz. (I should know — it’s my middle name, after all.)

  53. The Inflated One claims, “Presumably we had not heard about the Columbia case in print before because most such cases involve non-disclosure agreements”. Anyone who’s been paying attention knows that this claim is plainly false. Columbia’s finding against Pogge has been an open secret and has also been noted in print for years on predecessors to this blog and the Thought Catalog thread. Besides, Yale definitely knew about it and hired Pogge anyways. Universities do this all the time, hiring predators because they are famous.

    So this later claim is more correct: “professional philosophers did too little, and much of it only too recently, to protect other young women. This is our collective neglect (and shame). No amount of prestige, recognition, and fine words we offer each other can remove this stain from our discipline.”

    If other well-known allegations of misconduct (reminders of a few of these can be found in this very thread) are taken seriously instead of marginalized or ignored, maybe this stain can eventually be lifted. I’m literally sick and tired of the usual calls for “due process” and “suspending judgement until the facts are in”. It’s time for some heads to roll. Doing that will require the dethroning of some of the most powerful and influential philosophers working today, however, so I’m not holding my breath.

    1. “I’m literally sick and tired of the usual calls for “due process” and “suspending judgement until the facts are in”. It’s time for some heads to roll.”

      Name names if you want, so long as you have the courage to use your own. But let due process run its course. There are more things in heaven and earth, etc.

      1. Name names? Besides Pogge, predators have already been named in this thread and others. No one seems to want to do anything about it. This is exactly as ES says, to our collective shame.

        1. Huh?
          Many people want to fire the alleged predators and make sure they never get another job in philosophy. This is very, very obvious, so it’s hard to understand what you could mean by “no one seems to want to do anything about it.”

    2. 11.44 here. The Balloon’s later claim is more correct… but don’t you find the hand-wringing and self-flagellation a little overdone? Do you, personally, feel you could have done more ‘to protect young women’? Honestly, I don’t. And I don’t mean to imply that it’s not really bad for the victims in all these cases that the people who could have done more, didn’t.

      Academic philosophy is not a pre-modern village; there’s plenty that goes on that most people don’t know about. The person I mentioned upthread, who was all furious on FB about the very suggestion that anyone in the Colorado dept could be described as ‘innocent’, was super-pally, on FB, with a notorious harasser who’d spent a fair amount of time in her own department. I think she just didn’t know. I certainly hope she didn’t! But by the same token, some, maybe many, people in Colorado didn’t know.

      Surely the main point of all this wailing about collective guilt is the gratification of the speaker. ‘It would be great if more people were like me — but even I‘m not doing enough!’ It’s also bad for the ‘climate’. It distracts attention from the real villains — not just the harassers, but the people whose ‘silence’ really did enable them.

      As for being sick and tired of calls for ‘due process’ — I might agree, depending on what you mean by the scare quotes. Calls for ‘due process’ might be by definition alibis for fence-sitting, special pleading, etc. But I don’t think we can have too many calls for, you know, due process.

        1. Sorry, it was the April thread. I was ‘Oakeshott’ at 6.59 on April 22.
          I’d rather not name names, if you were asking for that.

    3. After jokingly suggesting to a colleague that the best way to avoid hiring a harasser would be refusing to hire a straight man, she reminded me that some of these predators fall into neither category. Doing a responsible senior search, i.e., not hiring a predator, next year is going to be difficult.

  54. On a side note: a prominent member of both the philosophy and law professions has said that, upon merely reading of the accusations against Pogge, without even hearing his response, she will no longer invite him to conferences and workshops.

    In doing so, she has made clear that she lacks even a rudimentary respect for the basic tenets of justice or philosophical warrant.

    What Pogge is alleged to have done is, if he did it, a black mark on the extra-philosophical character of at least one philosopher. But what this other member of the profession has admittedly done is a black mark on the philosophical character of at least one philosopher.

    1. At this point, they’re not ‘mere’ accusations though. From the information we have, he was sanctioned by Columbia (required not to be in a building when the student was) and the things he himself he has accepted as fact (sharing a hotel room, sleeping with his head in the lap of an undergrad) are pretty bad. It’s reasonable to suppose that Nussbaum was at least aware of the first of these.

      1. Was she still an undergrad when they shared the hotel room shared that flight? I thought she had graduated by that point.

    2. You make it sound as if MN decided recently (“upon reading” admits of an interpretation that it is upon reading the Buzzfeed article) to boycott TP. But that boycott has been going on for a long time:

      “Martha C. Nussbaum, a professor of law and philosophy at the University of Chicago, said that since learning about the accusations Pogge faced AT COLUMBIA, she has chosen not to invite him to conferences and workshops. She also declines to participate in projects he is involved in.” (emphasis added)

      1. Right. Nussbaum, in her own words, is disinviting him on the basis of accusations. Not findings, but mere accusations.

        1. Well, as I’m sure you will acknowledge, given your interest in the full truth, Columbia thought enough had been shown to forbid Pogge from even entering the Phil Dept building while his accuser was there. So that’s a “finding,” right?

          “In an affidavit quoted in Lopez Aguilar’s federal complaint, a Columbia professor who was on the faculty at the time wrote that Pogge “had written a series of sexually harassing emails” to a student, “and there had also been some physical interaction between them.” Pogge was later “forbidden by the university administration” to enter the philosophy department “whenever the student had classes there.” ”

  55. Anyone else find that the emails Pogge attached are less than helpful? I agree with him in that they seem to indicate that his recinding the junior fellowship offer was probably not retaliation for being snubbed. It seems more like it’s retaliation for her inadvertantly embarassing him in front of his Yale colleagues and overlords. Being seen to make an offer he had no standing to make was probably embarassing, but his reaction in blaming her seemed way over the top. Why was this such a Big Deal instead of just a minor faux pas? I don’t know, but some guesses: (1) Yale was needing to crack down on how funding was used and accounted for because of some outside pressure, either general or because they were being watched. This was just the kind of thing they didn’t need happening, (2) Pogge in particular had a history of sketchy use of funds and appointments, so this was a black mark in an area that was already getting a bit too black for him, (3) It wasn’t a huge deal, but he could wash it clean for himself by putting the blame on her (misguided student scraping advantage where none was offered). Might as well, because his reasons for appointing her had nothing to do with either wanting her work or really being interested in promoting her education. He wasn’t crushed by her rejection, so he wasn’t exactly retaliating for that. But her rejection meant he had no particular reason to not sacrifice her appointment to smooth this bump in his road.

    Can’t help but think that a little explaining at the time would have made this all a non-issue. I mean, I still think he had been seriously harassing her in Chile (the single room, the climbing behind her on the chair(ew), the sleeping in her lap(wtf?), but that seemed to have basically stopped, and she seemed to be OK with it now being on a proper professional footing.

    1. Right,that email did seem weird. What is the thing she ‘destroyed in an hour’ that took him months? It couldn’t be his relationship with his colleagues at Columbia, because he’d been there much longer than a few months.

    2. They also seem really unhelpful given they seem to contradict his own story. He sends her an email on 8/29 telling her to ask Redacted and Redacted if there is space for her in the Prospect St office, and telling her that his office is available to work in. But his letter makes it seem like he was not expecting her at all, because he believed she had another job and she had not signed the offer letter. But it’s just obviously not true that he was not expecting her at all – he’d just had a discussion with her the day before about office space. He doesn’t exactly lie in his letter – he just says it was ‘remarkable’ that she showed up, rather than that he actually wasn’t expecting her. But what he does say is pretty misleading.

  56. Can’t see what Pogge is meant to have done so far. Perhaps someone can explain.
    Pogge stayed in hotel room and took a flight with a woman, who was not even a student. Had an affair with another woman, who was not a student. The correct answer to all this is: so what?

    1. It’s hardly a coincidence that Yale has taken the same view as well. So what rational justification is there for all this hysteria? It seems to be nothing but the usual pattern of hysterical witch hunting, driven by a smallish number of loonies in the philosophy profession.

      1. From Leiter’s blog today:

        We are also told by too many sanctimonious posturers to link to that one must always “believe” (alleged) victims. This is idiotic general advice, regardless of the victims or the alleged wrongdoing. Those who claim to be victims sometimes lie, dissemble or misremember, just like other human beings. While observers without much information should err on the side of caution and consideration for possible victims, they have no reason to accept any complaint at face value.

        But this is particularly idiotic advice to trot out when, as in the case of Fernanda Lopez Aguilar, the evidence in support of her allegations doesn’t require us to invoke an irrational principle of deference. Consider what is now on the table by way of evidence: the fact that Professor Pogge was sanctioned for sexual harassment at Columbia University; the fact that he confirmed in correspondence with ‘Aye’ a general modus operandi in pursuit of young women of color that she described in detail (much of this conduct may have been lawful, but it was certainly creepy, and creepy in a way that is on a continuum with all the other allegations); now Fernanda’s allegations of sexual harassment (including allegations that are not in dispute, such as the fact that Professor Pogge asked his female research assistant, who had just graduated college, to share a hotel room in a foreign country, and that he slept with his head on her lap during a lengthy plane ride–normal professionals don’t do shit like this, period); and now, just today, more testimony about creepy behavior by Professor Pogge towards an undergraduate.

        All of the preceding more than suffices to defeat any presumption of innocence in the present instance.

          1. Yeah, that’s a nice posting, well put.
            He’s an irritating motherfucker, but he does make some good points.

    1. And all of you still went to this shitbird’s talk over mine (commentator and I enjoyed an otherwise empty room), despite it being an open secret that he’s a creepy pervert. Where’s the justice man?

  57. Two questions for the insiders
    – What is the approximate date of Pogge groping Delia Graf?
    – Did Pogge’s affair with Bascara occur after the 2012 investigation by Olivarius’s firm?

    1. – Delia Graff (now Delia Graff Fara) was an undergraduate at Harvard in the early-mid 1990s, so the groping would have been in that range.
      – Yes.

  58. Where is that list of “Pogettes” that someone made, philosophers who’ve traded flirtatious/sexual interaction with Pogge for career favors? Can someone re-post that?

        1. Ok, so I googled these people. Valentini has 13 articles in great journals and an OUP book, I’m not sure she needs any favors, Lu seems to have no association to Pogge other than she’s an asian woman who works on global justice. I call BS

      1. This is by her own admission, mind you. Read the article for evidence, Bascara clearly thought that an affair with Pogge would help her career.

        1. Is there some way of getting more information about these cases of sexual career favors? Jenkins and Nolan is one, as Jenkins got a nice job on the back of Nolan’s prestige. Must be plenty of other examples of women riding the sexual gravy train, far beyond the “Poggettes”.

    1. This kind of comment seems to assume that if it’s wrong for Pogge to give out “career favors” for “flirtatious/sexual interaction” then it’s wrong for students to make just that exchange. I don’t believe that this alleged symmetry holds, though and thinking that it does ignores the power relations between faculty and students. Because of their power faculty have extra duties that students do not, for example, to not make dodgy exchanges with students. Relax. Give these women a break. I doubt any of them are eager to be reminded of their relationship with Pogge and what he did for their careers.

      1. Manipulating another person for personal gain is what the sexual gravy train involves. It involves adults. If you wish to say, “oh no, the children …”, that doesn’t work. because it’s false. *Both* sides have power, and often a woman has much more power than the other person. To pretend otherwise is to tell obvious lies about human reality.

        1. I don’t think any of the cases involve children, but they do involve students, and faculty have different obligations than students do precisely because they are in a position of *institutional* power. In this context, it is the *institutional* power relations that matter, not relations that obtain because of someone’s youth or beauty or wealth or race or gender. Or do you deny that?

          1. First, *you* are treating students as children. They are adults. Second, what matters are *all* power relations, including economic status, beauty, race, gender, physical strength, intelligence, connections, who daddy is, etc. If you do not understand why these are aspects of power, then go spend a few years in the real world and come back when you understand these things. Third, students have considerable *institutional* power – as the poor snowflakes can complain and get what they want. But perhaps you mean the colossal power of an office and a computer? I’m also not sure what “different obligations” you’re referring to. Perhaps we belong to different universes. They have identical obligations. Obviously you wish to break this equality. Others will resist, strongly.

            1. I’m not 7:03, but your claim that faculty and students have identical obligations is clearly mistaken. What you’re confused about is this: it is the case that a faculty member has an obligation not to offer professional favors, and a student has an obligation not to offer sex in return for professional favors. This kind of obligation is symmetrical. But this is nothing like the cases under discussion. There is no evidence whatsoever either that Pogge offered professional favors in return for sex, nor that any students offered sex in return for professional favors. Rather, we have a case in which it looks like Pogge withdrew professional benefits in response for a refusal to grant sexual favors. There is no symmetrical obligation on behalf of a student. Similarly, a faculty member has some degree of obligation not to confer professional benefits to those whose work deserves it rather than those taculty member is personally fond of (though of course this happens all the time, and just as often – if not more so – it is the male students who are chummy with male faculty who get professional benefits as a result of a personal relationship or rapport, rather than female students). But there is no corresponding obligation to refuse professional benefits if you merely suspect the person is conferring them because they happen to like you. if you get on well with a faculty member, and they offer you some benefit (like a commentator slot at a conference), you are not required to turn it down because you suspect the fact that they like you personally entered into their decision.

              1. +1

                This is a good example of the “rational, dare I even say philosophical, disagreement and discussion” mentioned downthread.

    1. About the sexual gravy train in philosophy – are you supportive of women using men to get what they want? Or maybe you think this needs to stop? Or maybe you support the sexual gravy train, but you think no one should discuss it, and that any discussion should be silenced?

      1. I think that any “sexual gravy train” would be a bad state of affairs, not to be “supported”, but the only people who are blameworthy for that state of affairs are the faculty involved, not the students. Naming the students is probably itself wrong. So yeah, no one should discuss it, except to name and shame the faculty.

        1. I can’t believe you’re serious. Exchanging professional favors for sexual favors is shameful, but exchanging sexual favors for professional favors is not? Can you explain?

    2. Race to the bottom:
      Actually, this particular Open Thread has been a weird mix of bottom-feeder bile and rational, dare I even say philosophical, disagreement and discussion. I guess other months have been too, but this one is particularly salient for some reason.

  59. The sexual gravy train occurs when individuals trade sexual appeal for professional favors. Of course, anyone is free to defend the sexual gravy train or to criticize it, if one so wishes. As it happens, I do not criticize it: it reflects the decisions of adults. Defend it or criticize it, it helps to be consistent. Both parties are party to the mutual benefits of this arrangement. Such sexual gravy train arrangements exist throughout all of life, all professions and all academic professions. Claims about “power” are bullshit, as everyone knows; in practice, the phrase means “opportunity for revenge”. All involved know the score. And the deliberate infantilization of one party, treating them as not responsible for their decisions and actions. convinces no one.

    1. Precisely. Women use sex to get what they want out of men and now the feminists have given them another cheat to use: if they don’t get it one way then they lie and pretend they were harassed to get it another. And on top of that they lie about what is going on, as that woman did in that comment on Leiter. Or is she really so stupid, self-important and self-deluded as to think that what she had to say was soooo interesting to him? Don’t flatter yourself, dearie. It was because you were pretty. The big cheeses don’t spend their time talking to the boys, do they. Women who use their sexual attractiveness to get attention and then pretend that isn’t what was going on should be confronted with their own responsibility for what they do, rather than being allowed to get away with bullshit claims about being victimized by the man who responded.

      1. “if they don’t get it one way then they lie and pretend they were harassed to get it another.”

        Who’s lying?
        I think you’re making this up. You’re the Nussbaum Nut, right? Fess up.

    2. Such arrangements do not permeate all of life, all professions, and all academic professions: high school teachers are not allowed to sleep with students, even if students are over the age of majority, doctors cannot sleep with patients, attorneys cannot sleep with clients. There are many professions that have adopted ‘rules of conduct’ or had them placed upon the profession by lawmakers. My guess is that you would be opposed to such rules for professors on the basis that your entire dating pool would disappear, e.g., you’re a fucking creep.

      1. You mean “i.e.”, not “e.g.”. Now what you assert is paranoid gibberish. Universities are not high-schools. The individuals are adults. Universities are also not hospitals. The individuals are not “patients”. I personally am not interested in “dating”, you weird sexist. But if man-chasing females wish to chase men for professional reasons, then who is to say no?

        1. The claim that high school teachers are not allowed to sleep with students, doctors cannot sleep with patients and attorneys cannot sleep with clients is not ‘paranoid gibberish’ – these are easily checkable factual claims.
          “Universities are also not hospitals. The individuals are not “patients””
          The person at 6:32 did not either claim that universities were hospitals, or that the individuals are universities were patients. The implicit claim is that the relationship between professors and students is like the relationship between doctors and patients in a respect that is relevant to the question of whether a university professor may permissibly have a sexual relationship with their student.

          1. Eh? The claim that universities are like high schools is paranoid gibberish.
            The claim that universities are like hospitals is paranoid gibberish.

            Universities are not high schools; they are not hospitals.
            They are universities.

            1. “The claim that universities are like high schools is paranoid gibberish.”.

              So if someone says that universities are like high schools because both are places where people go to learn things, according to you that would be ‘paranoid gibberish’? It appears you do not know what either of those words mean.

              Universities are like high schools in some respects, and unlike them in others. The claim is that the relationship between a professor and a student is like the relationship between a doctor and a patient or a high school teacher and a student in a certain respect that is relevant in the context of the discussion taking.

              “Universities are not high schools; they are not hospitals.
              They are universities.”

              Given your reading comprehension skills, we can only assume you have never set foot in either a high school or a university. But to repeat, no one has said that universities are high schools, or high schools. No on is denying that universities are universities.

                1. Universities are not hospitals unless they are university hospitals.

                  But I suppose the people who have written the entries on that list are just spouting paranoid gibberish. When will people understand that universities are not hospitals? How many times will the Nussbaum nut have to repeat himself before the insanity ends?

                  At least he’s got himself a new task for this afternoon. Beginning the long job of frantically deleting deleting all the wikipedia entries on university hospitals.

                  1. Universities aren’t high schools; students aren’t children. Universities aren’t hospitals; students aren’t patients. Learn to deal with reality.

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