June Open Thread



363 thoughts on “June Open Thread

  1. New Apps and Feminist Philosophers are moribund. How long before Daily Nous joins them on life support? Despite Justice’s willingness to indulge and promote nakedly political SJW nonsense, I predict that within the next 18 months he will eventually say or do something, probably by accident, that will prompt the opponents of due process to gang up on him. At that point, he’ll either quit making “you’re colonizing my sub-discipline” type posts and stick to posting professional news or he’ll take down the page. What say you meta-bros?

    1. Weinberg has already gone there. Rachel McKinnon claims to be boycotting Daily Nous because of the Germain Greer business, and complained loudly about Justin Weinberg at the Central APA this year to anyone who would listen. It is very likely that episodes like this will continue to flare up. Whether they bring Daily Nous into a moribund state seems less likely.

      1. Hm, I really don’t believe R McK is that influential. My sense is that Justice W is a lot more important.
        But this is just an impression; how would I know, really?

  2. Why are philosophers so idiotic when it comes to the question of intelligence? The number of comments at DN denying (and calling racist those who make) the claim that there are racial intelligence differences was truly shocking (“Ugh. White people”, etc). It’s like all rational faculties go out the window when topics that might make SJWs uncomfortable are broached.

    On that note, Vox (not exactly known for its right wing slant) had a couple of interesting pieces on intelligence this week:


    In light of the empirical research cited there, it seems virtually undeniable that IQ measures intelligence. It is a well established empirical fact that there are racial IQ differences. Yet somehow holding the conjunction of these beliefs — beliefs about empirical questions — is condemned as racist, no matter whether they are formed rationally in light of the empirical evidence. I find this stance genuinely puzzling and I’d be interested to hear someone try and defend it.

    1. Tye appears unwilling to keep his hands to himself when around young female philosophers. Would that make on a sex pest?

      1. Amia Srinivasan appears unwilling to keep her hands to herself when around older male philosophers. Would that make her a sex pest?

        1. No, it doesn’t. But your posting this identifies you as a loser. Take your MRA bullshit elsewhere, fucking scum.

    2. I missed that remark. But yeah, it’s absolutely true. He’s the most abhorrent case I’ve heard about in philosophy and I wish I had the political capital to name names publicly (alas for being untenured).

  3. The only sex pest in philosophy is Anna Stubblefield, who in fact is now in prison convicted of raping a man, despite Jenny Saul excusing this sexual violence as “incredibly complicated”.

    1. ……………………………………..________……………………

      1. What an embarrassment. Shouting insults usually means you’ve run out of ideas. I’m not the OP, but I also find it bizarre that the, by far, most egregious case of sexual misconduct is the one that has spurred the least reflection. Literally no reflection in many cases–as with Leiter who recently warned us that the Pogge case was going to be much, much worse than other cases we’ve seen thus far. Given what we now know, what Leiter wrote was plainly false, ridiculously false, in fact. It’s irrational to think we would have all these non-reactions if the genders had been reversed. Maybe I’m wrong about that, but throwing a tantrum doesn’t show it. I can say it’s been amazing to witness the disintegration of the profession from my armoured perch.

        1. “I also find it bizarre that the, by far, most egregious case of sexual misconduct is the one that has spurred the least reflection.”

          I don’t find it bizarre at all. Given that the most egregious cases are also likely to be the least controversial, it’s what we would expect. Unlike other cases, there’s just not much real debate to be had about whether what happened was wrong.

          There are also other features of that case which I think are influencing this, though. Like the fact that it was a very unusual situation in terms of the discipline. Most philosophers have interactions with students. Most philosophers are not going to be in a position of care relevantly like the position Stubblefield was in with regards to her victim, at least in their capacity as philosophy professionals. Similarly, if it turned out that there was a male philosopher who raped someone who was not connected to his role as a professional philosopher (so, not a student or colleague or something) that would be a terrible thing to do on his part, but it wouldn’t be a case that would tell us anything much about problems in the profession of philosophy.

                1. That’s because you’re being purposefully obtuse. Go read a paper or something. Try to become a better person.

                  1. You do know that everyone is laughing at you, right?
                    I have to admit — and I’m not proud of this — you are the main reason I read this blog. It’s like watching FOX news.

          1. Thanks for your reply!

            The sort of reflection I had in mind would start with the denunciations, soul-searching posts and comment threads, calls for resignations, and groveling apologies from the editorial board of Synthese, whoops, I mean DSQ. So why the comparative vacuum in the second case, and what does that say about the mindset of the philosophy blogosphere? That the behavior was more egregious should have lead to the loudest and strongest condemnations of the journal and the professional structures that may have been enabling. But which structures and personalities? And how exactly were they enabling: in what ways and to what extent? In the case of Pogge (etc) every detail is combed over in exquisite detail and there are searching dissections of behavior leading up to the allegations, including discussions of “grooming.” Why are there little to no comparable forensic discussions about this case? No interest? Nothing to learn?

            And what’s going on with the vetting process at DSQ? Was it just a flub with that one article, or is there a broader problem with how DSQ is managed? There was one little statement about DSQ investigating itself pending the outcome of the trial, and that’s it. The trial is long over. Can the DSQ board be trusted? Why can they be trusted? Should the journal be boycotted (should subscriptions be cancelled)? Censured? Disbanded? What professional costs should the board of DSQ pay, if any? And again, why no interest in these questions?

            Turning to the broader field of Disability Studies, is it run by cultists? Is cultism and pseudoscience within Disability Studies given a pass because they are political allies of the Identity Politicians? How dysfunctional must philosophy be such that a cultist nutjob could sustain a professional career? Should the philosophy profession be concerned it is providing a safe space for cultist pseudoscientists elsewhere? What other subfields may have been overrun? How can universities root out these ideologues and charlatans?

            What about the philosophy blogs devoted to disability studies? Why have they not taken leadership when it comes to discussing these issues? Is there already a consensus about these questions? If so, when did that discussion take place?

            Turning to the implications for the profession: how does this case challenge or not challenge narratives about sexual harassment being a problem mostly rooted in misogyny? Do feminists and others tend to ignore or downplay SH/A when it doesn’t fit this narrative? Why do they do that? Are chilly climates explanatory when it comes to SH/A in the profession, or does a case like this call for alternative frameworks?

            Given that the perpetrator was white and the victim was black, was race somehow a component in enabling the abuse? Are mostly white cultists in philosophy finding their targets within mostly black audiences? If so, why? How does that work?

            Don’t at least several of these questions occur to a reasonable person? Once again, thanks for your genuine and nonsnarky pushback.

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of these metabro types are devotees of TRP too. And GamerGaters. And voting for Trump.

  4. Not really fair, 10.24. Any unmoderated blog is going to have its fair share of loons. It just means sensible people need to even things out. I’ve never really understood all the fury about PMMMB being a cesspool etc. It doesn’t as such have a character. It’s like Twitter doesn’t have a character. Certainly some vile stuff gets posted here. To repeat: that’s completely inevitable on an unmoderated blog. But it’s at least an open question whether the ‘licensed’ philosophy blogs are preferable. Their predictability, conformism, pursed-lips finger-wagging etc sometimes make me want to chew off my own arm. Why would so many people who want to think exactly the same way go into philosophy?

    Anyway, sorry, didn’t mean to ramble. I actually had a point! The final comment on the ‘May II’ thread said, concerning anti-male bias in hiring,

    That never happened. The supposed UCLA document is a fraud perpetrated by the anti-feminist conspiracy theorists. Women are the ones who face obstacles in hiring, not men

    and it totally reminded me of the job market in the early 90s — which of course dates me. It was the first time in my life when I realised you could be shouted down and vilified by a majority just for saying stuff you knew to be true. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying it was a net advantage on the job market to be a woman. I’ve really no idea. But I knew — in the sense of, you know, knowledge — of several cases where deans had told philosophy departments that they would only be allowed to hire someone if it was a woman. This was just happening. It was also illegal. And again, I’m not saying that this was wrong in the grand scheme of things. Under the circumstances, it may well have been the least bad option, if philosophy wasn’t going to remain mostly a bunch of guys (anyone else getting the impression that ‘dudes’ is becoming kind of a slur, btw?) indefinitely. But man did it generate a lot of bad faith. People would just go apeshit if you said what you knew to be true. And I have to say it does make me think, in retrospect, of that great line about the Iraq War that Krugman once quoted from a classic blog post by Daniel ‘dsquared’ Davies:

    Good ideas do not need lots of lies told about them in order to gain public acceptance.

    1. I was just saying that to a colleague yesterday that “dude” has become a slur, as in “white dudes” rather than “white male philosophers,” or w/e. It’s obviously designed as racially derogatory and diminutive.

      1. 1.35 here again. I don’t want to get all ‘Help! I’m being persecuted!’ or anything. But some of its uses in these contexts have started to make me wince and feel a bit uncomfortable. I mean, it’s pretty clearly not affectionate. (Yes, I know I’m inviting snide remarks about wanting to be liked. Please don’t bother. You know what I mean.)

        Oh, and I meant to mention that the Philosophy Smoker used to have an expression for those accounts of deans insisting on women some of which I knew beyond doubt to be true: ‘zombie lies’! As in nothing could stamp them out. But that’s how it tends to go with knowledge: hard to suppress completely.

      2. I think you mean ‘derogatory’, not ‘diminutive’. Or ‘derisive’? ‘Dismissive’?

        I think this is right, but it’s hard to tell. When ‘dude’ is used negatively, wouldn’t the whole remark also come out negative if ‘man’ were used instead? Still, it has a sneering sort of quality or sound. (Doesn’t bother me at all, I just find the topic linguistically interesting.)

    2. Great post all around. It’s far preferable to put up with the loon factor here than the unbelievable conformity and stiffness of the establishment philblogs.

  5. Hey all you philosophers are really smart. You should form a business, make a BILLION dollars, then give donations to universities predicated on hiring only on merit, then watch the SJWs wail.

  6. So, despite the brief hysteria in the philosophy blogosphere, it turns out there’s no “witch” after all, given the triviality of the Pogge story – a plane trip and a letter that led to an argument. Why does this hysteria no longer surprise anyone anymore?

  7. Anna Stubblefield was convicted of rape in New Jersey, but not of a student, but of someone with whom she thought (perhaps delusionally) she was having a consensual relationship. She admitted to the sexual relationship. She will now go to prison.

    Thomas Pogge has been accused of sexual assault by a student. It follows a pattern of similar allegations of sexual misconduct, dating back to his time at Columbia. He denies everything.

    Colin McGinn was accused of sexual harassment of a graduate student and it’s now in court. He also denies everything.

    Can anyone spot the differences? (This question is not for the obsessed person.)

    1. Pogge has been accused of some behavior that could in some settings ground a charge of sexual assault. No such criminal accusation has been filed however. No request has been made that a criminal investigation begin. There are sometimes reasons why someone might not choose to ask for a criminal investigation. Many of those reasons, however, would also be reasons not to pursue a public campaign against Pogge and his employer and that has certainly happened. So why no attempt to pursue the “assault” allegation through the criminal courts?

        1. I don’t exactly understand the point of this particular exchange, but anyway there is no civil case filed against Pogge.
          There was a complaint, against *Yale*, filed with the Office of Civil Rights, but nothing has come of it so far.

          1. Correct. Above it is stated that “Pogge has been accused of sexual assault by a student” — no he has not. There is no such accusation against Pogge at all right now. There is a complaint that *Yale* discriminated against a former student but not complaint against Pogge at all.

        2. Of course the burden of proof in a criminal trial is what it is. What’s the reason for not pursuing criminal charges when you take yourself to be the victim of criminal acts? The fact that to prove criminal charges the standard of proof for such charges must be met doesn’t stop many others from pursuing such charges.

          1. It does all the time, do you not realize that it is usually the government who decides whether to charge someone with a crime? Every day prosecutors decide whether or not to bring a criminal case forward based on the evidence in light of the burden of proof.

            1. Yes I am familiar with American criminal law. One factor that influences prosecutor decisions about whether to pursue a criminal charge is whether an alleged victim reports the alleged crime to the police. Another factor that influences prosecutors is whether an alleged victim asks that criminal charges be pursued. Has this alleged “assault victim” reported the alleged crime to the police and/or asked that a prosecutor pursue charges? No. Why not?

    1. Hawthorne comes up now and again but he’s always struck me as pretty harmless. When he (and Williamson?) came up last time some people asked for clarification and none was forthcoming. What are you going on about?

      1. Hawthorne has been known to date graduate students. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but apparently it’s enough to get you a reputation. (There seems nowadays to be a strange blurring of standards where genuine sexual assault, making a clumsy pass at someone, and consensual dating are all generically lumped together in the category of “bad behavior”. I think it’s important to not go along with this conflation.)

        I have never heard even a single rumor along these lines about Williamson, and I think I probably would have if there were any out there.

        1. Well, shit, that’s it? I thought that was pretty true of every man of a certain age/generation. At least it’s not a surprise. I’d have thought he’d be much less dangerous than the other members of his cohort (many of whom you wouldn’t think to stay away from because they seem tame or protest too much but have their own stories). Meh, I don’t think dating students really rises to the level of stuff meriting discussion. Slightly worse than smoking.

          1. Sorry, I do. When you turn postgraduate interaction into endless drinking sessions, facilitating treating each wave of female graduate students as a buffett cart, then yes, I do think that is out of order, and adds to a poisonous environment. He might not be alone in this. But we shouldn’t just sweep it under the carpet.

            1. Fair enough. The thing you describe goes beyond the thing described above. (I assume you can date graduate students without the waves of buffet cart(s), the poisoned drinks, etc.)

            2. When it comes to Hawthorne, “endless drinking sessions” is an understatement. I think he’s changed though, he married a grad student and they had a baby!

        2. This strikes me as exactly right about the running together of quite different things under the heading of “bad” behavior. Hawthorne dated a few graduate students at Princeton. Princeton’s rules permitted this. Some people who think Princeton’s rules should not permit this want him labeled a problem case because of it.
          From what I know the same is true of Tye. He has definitely dated graduate students at institutions where this is permitted. Why this gets run together with cases of sexual harassment escapes me unless the idea is that it counts as harassment even though the institutions where it has taken place don’t count it as harassment.

              1. What is allowed by the rules of this university or that and what, for the good of its minorities, the profession should reward could turn out to be quite different. Just sayin…

          1. Are you assuming that the people who think of this as harassment think that it’s harassment just because Tye dated students? Couldn’t it be that Tye did that AND created a kind of hostile or otherwise problematic work environment? (Not saying that I know the details of the Tye case but the people I heard these rumors from weren’t exactly puritans. I’m not against dating students, per se, but I do think that it’s tricky to do that while also not creating the kind of work environments that the institution would take to be problematic. That’s why many people don’t date students until they aren’t students.)

            1. Right. The cases where people seriously date one student don’t seem all that problematic (so long as it’s not your own student). The worrying cases are where a person repeatedly dates lots of students, and seems to treat these relationships very casually, despite the fact that the fallout from such things can often be pretty bad for the student if/when the relationship ends.

            2. If Tye’s behavior created a “hostile work environment” then those subjected to that hostile environment should report this to the proper administrative office at Texas. That is the proper remedy for violations of Texas policy and creating a hostile work environment is definitely against Texas policy. Has there been such a complaint against Tye? Or is the idea that people don’t like that Tye dates students and so want to pretend that there is some other problematic behavior because they don’t like that Texas allows such dating?

              1. Dunno. That’s what I was trying to figure out above. (People who think dating students is automatically an offense or people who think there are good and bad ways of doing it.)

  8. Let’s just say he likes to blur the boundary between the personal and the professional A LOT with graduate students, and leave it at that…

    Fwiw, Williamson clean as a whistle

    1. Others have a different take on Williamson (above), so perhaps I was premature in leaping to his defense

          1. There is no need to hedge. I am suave, and you and I both know (and hence can correctly assert) it. The fact that neither suavity nor knowledge are luminous is obviously compatible with these things.

            Hawthorne, on the other hand, is a difficult case. Though certainly he either is or is not suave (just as he either is or is not bald), tragically we shall never know which.

              1. –How was it for you?

                –In making this comment, it is hard not to feel like the headmaster of a minor public school at speech day, but… Must Do Better.

  9. “Can anyone spot the differences?”

    The difference is rape. The feminist philosopher Anna Stubblefield repeated sexually assaulted a diaper-wearing non-verbal severely disabled man whose mental age is that of a toddler. This is why she was convicted in a New Jersey court and is imprisoned. Despite this being clear-cut even when reported in 2014, the feminist blogger Jenny Saul excused this rape as “incredibly complicated due to the disability issues”. This is feminist rape apologetics.

    Two lessons from this: first, encourage feminist philosophers not to rape. Second, encourage feminist philosophers not to excuse rape. In this way, the problems we see in the philosophy profession caused by feminism – i.e., feminist rapists, feminist rape apologists and feminist harassers – may begin to be solved.

    1. ……………………………………..________……………………

  10. I supported the gendered conference campaign, but Feminist Philosophers starting to lose the plot a bit with it. Are we no longer allowed to have 3 male keynotes? (the last two posts on the gendered conference campaign). As soon as you invite 2 men, must the third necessarily be a woman?

    1. 3) Are you saying the organizers of these conferences are malicious?

      We impute no blame to the organizers, and we can’t read their minds. All of our focus is on the effects…

      5) How do you know the organizers of an all-male conference didn’t try?

      We don’t know what organizers of conferences have done or what they meant to do. We know the outcome, and that’s what we are concerned with. (See (3) above.)…

      10) Why don’t you email the organizers instead of publicly shaming them on the internet?

      …We call attention to all-male conferences publicly because this is the best way to raise awareness of the phenomenon and its effects. We are very explicit that this is not about blame, and it is not intended to shame.

      (From the FP GCC FAQ)

      Oh Look! 9 Male Speakers

      (Blog post headline, FP, 31 May)

        1. “We call attention to all-male conferences publicly because this is the best way to raise awareness of the phenomenon and its effects. We are very explicit that this is not about blame, and it is not intended to shame.”

          This is some Trump-level bullshitting: baldfaced, shameless and bold. What the GCC people hope readers will ignore is that authorial intent doesn’t control the effects of speech. You can say “I’m not intending to shame you! I’m not intending to shame you” all you want, but when you write posts like those that regularly appear on FP the effect, of course, is a blaming and shaming one. Sexism, as feminist philosophers are well aware, works like this too. Speech can have sexist effects even if unintended. This is a well-known feature of slurring language, too, and because these features are so well-known (basically, saying you don’t intend to bring about X has little to do with whether your speech acts bring about X), I doubt that it was written in good faith.

      1. The posts and comments are always “blame and shame” and then when someone asks about this the FP bloggers always refer to the official claim that they are not about blame and shame, just awareness.

      2. We are very explicit that this is not about blame, and it is not intended to shame.

        (FP GCC FAQ)

        What a great day for learning about all-male keynote lineups. This one is, ironically, about solidarity. With Thomas Pogge, but so far as I can tell no hot tub. That’s something anyway.

        (Blog post, FP, 31 May)

        1. The GCC is paranoid delusionality. For conferences with, say, four keynote speakers, the probability of an all-male lineup is about 1 in 3 (i.e., 32% = 0.75 x 0.75 x 0.75 x 0.75). The FP tendency to highlight a statistically frequent event as somehow indicating something sinister is an example of paranoid delusionality.

  11. At best, people like Hawthorne and Tye are “sleazy”, and unfortunate for the philosophical environment in which they are the ‘big fish’. It’s not a stark choice between Pogge and “nothing to see here folks…” And we should be worried about how they taint departments, even if their actions do not border on the illegal or violate institutional rules.

    1. Since when has Hawthorne this reputation? Tye is famous for it, probably more than for his work but our Catholic metaphysician?

  12. Why do people have to fixate on the alleged personal failings of these philosophers? We are happy to ignore the personal failings of Aristotle, Frege, whatever, why can’t we do the same for Tye and Hawthorne? These are the giants of our profession. They are our professional treasures. What I’m seeing is the destruction of legacies. And I think it’s orchestrated. I don’t know why or who’s doing it.

      1. The planet is likely to be uninhabitable by the next century, so I think worrying about who is reading what in 2000 years is pretty much a waste of time.

    1. “And I think it’s orchestrated. I don’t know why or who’s doing it.”

      It’s not a secret: it’s Saul, Schliesser, Lockwood and others.

    2. The obvious example would be Heidegger and his anti-Semitism. If we’re going to cast out “problematic” philosophers from the pantheon, he’d surely be the first to go.

  13. Tons of professors date grad students. Though I think it should be discouraged, it isn’t assault/harassment/etc. in and of itself. For example, some nut here kept bringing up Nussbaum. Sure she’s been with students. Who cares. She’s hardly the only one even at Chicago. Connant has, Finkelstein has, Lear has, Callard has. The last one was pretty egregious. She gets her husband a spousal hire as a lecturer. Then she cheats on him with a grad student. They get divorced and she marries the grad student. She even gave a public lecture to the undergrads about what it is to fall in love (basically justifying her behavior to the undergrads). All of this caused all sorts of problems in the department. But despite being wrong in all sorts of ways, it wasn’t assault/harrasment/etc.

    1. From the fact that you called Callard’s behavior ‘egregious’ I infer that you do care about these things happenings and would strongly prefer if they didn’t. If so, I don’t think you are in disagreement with most of the posters here.

      1. Sure. But there are lots of reasons to disapprove of certain behaviors. What Pogge did (if the accusations are correct), wasn’t just dating students. It would constitute harassment. But dating grad students can still cause all sorts of problems and I think it should be discouraged even if it isn’t harassment. I’m not sure I’m in favor of Universities banning it. But if they do, I don’t think it is crazy.

      2. only a philosopher would infer that. (for what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?)

      3. not that it matters on an anonymous blog (obvs) but to be clear:

        while (a) I find salacious gossip about philosophy professors entertaining (like most people, I should think), and (b) I very strongly believe that the moral judgment internalism presupposed in the above inference is a manifestly implausible view that has been the source of no end of confusion in moral philosophy (and suspect that it enjoys the acceptance it does largely because abandoning it would leave many moral philosophers with little to do), I do in fact believe that sexual misconduct by philosophy professors is a very serious matter that causes a great deal of harm and needs to be curtailed.

        1. When I read your use of ‘needs to be curtailed’, I inferred that you disapprove of sexual conduct by philosophy professors. Are you suggesting that, because judgment internalism is false, I shouldn’t have done that?

          1. Neat–I didn’t expect you (or anyone) to reply!

            To answer your question: no, given the context, you should’ve definitely inferred that, since the principal reasons why sexual misconduct by philosophy professors should be curtailed are moral reasons. (I assume you meant to write “sexual misconduct” rather than “sexual conduct.” Insofar as there are reasons for negative attitudes about the latter as such, they are mainly aesthetic, and overridden by much stronger considerations.)

            What I’m mainly objecting to is the inference in the other direction, from an expression of moral disapproval of something to the preference that it be otherwise. I morally disapprove–deeply disapprove, I suppose–of many if not most posts on the metablog (the Stubblefield person should be a relatively uncontentious example) but am still wholeheartedly glad they exist. They are basically harmless but hilarious, and in many cases hilarious in virtue of precisely the features I find morally objectionable.

    2. The thing with Nussbaum is that, even if she did fuck some students, that would be infinitely less bad than if a older man fucked younger female students. The reason is simply that, given her beauty and grace, and the general tendencies of human males, it’s hard to imagine how any male in her circle could fail to secretly fantasize about her. Far taking anything valuable away from the grad student/junior person by an act of sex (as in Pogge’s case), she would be transferring something of value to the lucky male grad student. Therein lies the difference.

  14. For those concerned about the Out Graduate Schtupping Campaign, please refer to our FAQ:

    “We call attention to graduate schtupping because this is the best way to raise awareness of the phenomenon and its effects. We are very explicit that this is not about blame, and it is not intended to shame.”

  15. Or on the topic of Chicago philosophy and the blogoshphere, how come Nussbaum has a joint appointment in the Law School and the Philosophy department and Leiter does not?

    1. Because before he said mean things about Scratchy he said mean things about Pippin’s Nietzsche work, and in real publications too, and Pippin had a fit when Chicago hired him. Academic politics 101.

      1. Oh, so that’s why Leiter had his student Shinhababu attack Pippin in NDPR. It was really embarrassing . . . Shabubu had no idea what Pippin was up to and made a fool of himself.

        1. That Pippin book on Nietzsche was a stinking pile of shit. If that’s the one Leiter attacked, he got that right.

      1. That’s not really all that interesting either. I guess I liked the last iteration because it was a good place to practice debating with hostile interlocutors. But whatever. Maybe this sort of forum has served its purpose for me personally. Therefore, the blog is obsolete.

  16. A less boring topic. Who are some of the “anointed” philosophy job candidates from recent job market cycles, and how have they done? You know the kind, candidates who got shout-outs at LR and multiple offers at TT posts in top-20 departments without teaching experience or a PhD or research accomplishments. Did they live up to their promise? Were the king-makers right in anointing them so early in their careers?

      1. 2008 was the latest, I think. There have been other anointed philosophers (prestigious postdocs and numerous tenure-track offers from ranked departments) since then, though, and it’d be interesting to see how they’ve done.


      Here are the names from Leiter’s 2008 list and where each of them is now:

      David Baker (PhD, Princeton). Now tenured at Michigan. SUCCESS.

      Agnes Callard (PhD, Berkeley). Still untenured at Chicago. Medium research activity. MIXED.

      Matthew Kotzen (PhD, NYU). Tenured at UNC. SUCCESS.

      Japa Pallikkathayil (PhD, Harvard). Still untenured at Pitt. Very little research activity. MIXED.

      Seth Yalcin (PhD, MIT). Tenured at Berkeley. SUCCESS.

      That’s a batting average of 3/5, with no abject failures on the list. It is troubling to learn that the two who have failed to reach tenure even eight years after the PhD are both women. Leiter was basically correct.

  17. Institutional questions about the Stubblefield case. Since Nuremberg there has been an enormous amount of concern about the rights of dependent humans. Much of this concern has been codified in the ethics standards for various medical and scientific professions, governing not only their daily practice but their research efforts involving human subjects.
    What took place with Prof. Stubblefield and her completely dependent subject couldn’t possibly have happened in any medical school department or clinical psychology department. Worries about the rights of subjects are in the air every day in those areas.
    What in God’s name were Prof. Stubblefield’s philosophy colleagues thinking about her bringing that completely dependent person into their environment? How is the presence of someone who can’t speak, or control their bladder and/or bowel function, a normal occurrence in such a department? Prof. Stubblefield was not a licensed professional of any kind.
    Had these extremely basic questions been raised by any of Prof. Stubblefield’s colleagues, perhaps followed by an email to Rutgers’ Institutional Review Board, the subject and his family would have been spared a great deal of suffering, and likely Prof. Stubblefield wouldn’t be in jail.
    The questions above will receive due attention in the family’s pending lawsuit against Rutgers. The university failed in its responsibilities. I hope it pays big time.

    1. This is so much better than the usual “STUBBLEGHAZI” trollering in these here parts. +1 for that. I would be extremely surprised, however, if any of Stubblefield’s colleagues had any idea about the fact that she was raping a disabled black man in her office. Think of it this way: do you know what your colleagues are doing in their offices? In the off hours?

      1. If a colleague repeatedly brought underage children who were not his or her own to their office, should this raise any questions or concerns in the minds of witnesses? How is the case of a nonverbal adult who needs assistance with eating and who can’t control their bladder or bowels different?

        Other questions, in the spirit of “Mediocrates” on 6/3, above: Did Prof. Stubblefield make any public presentations at Rutgers of “data” that she would have gathered from her interactions with her subject using Facilitated Communication? If so, this would raise serious questions about Rutgers’ ability to protect human subjects: apparently they can’t even guarantee that all faculty doing research are obligated to have it approved by their Institutional Review Board. Rutgers should face the loss of Federal funding.

        1. Just to clear something up that tends to be overlooked in all this: Anna Stubblefield was not part of what is commonly known as the Rutgers philosophy department. She was at Rutgers Newark, which bears about the same relationship to the main campus and department (Rutgers New Brunswick) as UC Santa Cruz bears to, say, UC Berkeley.

          Even if there are problems with the IRB at Rutgers Newark, that shouldn’t have any effect on federal funding for Rutgers University at the main campus.

        2. If a colleague was bringing children who weren’t his own into the office, I’m not sure I would know about it. I have better things to do (like posting to anonymous message boards) than police my colleagues’ use of office hours.

        1. FWIW, most other Bersoff fellows have done much better for themselves, especially in publishing research.

  18. Jennifer Diascro (Political Science) was granted tenure and promotion at the University of Kentucky, but then went on to accept a post as Assistant Professor at the American University in DC. AU eventually denied Diascro tenure, and she has blogged about the denial, including her own tenure portfolio, external letters, a devastating recommendation to deny tenure from her former chair, and her reply.

    People who read blogs like this will probably find the whole thing interesting.

    1. After a quick perusal I’ve got to say that I don’t disagree with the chair’s letter. It did look like she had lost interest in research.

  19. In the discussion of Neil Sinhababu’s post over at Daily Nous there was a mention of a new journal for X-Phi and the suggestion that it might be increasing in reputation because it’s being published in Nous and PPR. Here’s a question. I’ve been asked to referee a handful of such papers and the ones I’ve read have been awful. However bad they are, they get into a journal at some point or other. Who’s refereeing this stuff? My guess is that it’s typically going to be boosters. I think this really is a shame. Journal space is scarce and it takes almost no thought at all to pay people a few pennies to take some surveys, write up the results, and clog up the submission system with mindless junk. But, hey, that’s just one guy’s opinion.

    Curious to know if others get asked to referee X-Phi, whether they’re on the inside or outside if they do, and what others think about the presence of X-Phi in top journals. I’m worried that once it’s ‘in’, there’s no quality control because the insiders are generally not doing philosophy, don’t see a difference between writing up poll results and actually engaging with/coming up with arguments, and won’t act like proper gate keepers. (Granted, I think 9 times out of 10, a proper gate keeping would involve saying that the submitted work didn’t contain any philosophy and shouldn’t be published in our journals.)

    1. We used a subtle questionnaire, with 500 professionals, to see if their judgments are deontological, virtue ethical or utilitarian. We analysed the dataset using a computer program our nephew, a computer geek, told us about, but to be honest, we don’t understand it (it’s called Autoregressive-ANOVA-Integrated-R-Lab+, and the guy down the hall showed us to switch it on and click the columns). This gave 30% of each, while 10% of respondents told us to grow up and fuck off. We would now like $10 million to continue our experiments, with a focus on investigating the normative opinions of those who told us to grow up and fuck off.

        1. The questions were based on a trolley-problem style setup, featuring a boxing ring, Lauren Lady Hardon, Rage Machine, an explosive dildo, a tub of vaseline, and an audience of invitation only Moral Majority onlookers live-blogging the event on Twitter.

          1. Nm. I’m no longer interested. You had me with “subtle questionnaire”. But you lost me with the whole naming names thing. I’m one of many young women (in any profession) who knows what it’s like to go through what that person went through. I don’t know what it’s like for every anonymous prankster and his mother to have an opinion about it. But it doesn’t seem like too much fun.

            I’m not going to continue this conversation.

    1. \begin{sarcasm}
      Shall we celebrate by burning his books in front of KU Leuven?

      1. Not sure he had any books save for the ones he stole!

        “The highlight of the story happened some years later when an impressive list of books which previously belonged to the library of the Faculty of Philosophy was found for sale at a bookshop in Hasselt. An investigation revealed that the antiquarian bookshop had bought the ‘personal’ library of Martin Stone for the price of a modest holiday for two.”

  20. Late to the naming party here, but shaking my head about the fixation with Tye and Hawthorne. Sure they’ve made mistakes. Hawthorne was dragged away by campus police for drunken hammering on the door of an undergrad lover at Syracuse. Tye is a serial creep. But then there’s Lepore. And Bealer, and Searle. They’re in a completely different category of bad.

    1. Give your full name, 5:00. Then we’ll dig up dirt on you and publish it. Or do you not like having your own dirty laundry aired in public? Or maybe, just maybe, you realize that most of these speculations are bullshit? People like you are pure scum.

        1. Give us your name, 5:03, or shut the hell up.

          There are intelligent comments here on trends in philosophy. That is the reason the blog exists. We need a place to discuss the ideas behind the moves that are being made.

          What we absolutely do not need is online speculation about particular people who have not entered the public fray to discuss these issues. It is always bad and sometimes even libellous. It has got previous versions of the site shut down. It is crass and trashy, and anyone who publicly posts suggestive claims about philosophers like the above is garbage. Save it for the National Enquirer. Leave the metablog for genuine discussions of issues. If you think you know of real information about professional wrongdoing by prominent (or not so prominent) philosophers, take it to their department chair. Keep it the fuck off the blogs. Christ, you people, exercise a little professionalism.

          1. +1, 2.27. Just as surely as the real names and moderation at DN bring out people’s vanity and narcissism, anonymity here brings out their fetid malice.

            1. No fetid malice, my dear Watson(s). Just a small twinge of regret for protecting open secrets, and a newly awakened sense of moral decency. My allegations are based on evidence or investigations, not speculation. So they’re not libelous. Note the American spelling, 2:27. But, alas, I can’t reveal my identity because it would compromise informants who are bound by either fear or confidentiality agreements. What better place to spew some truth and relieve myself of a burden than this cozy little blog-hole? {ahhhh}

              1. 3:21, you sick imbecile, they’re not “open secrets” if most people don’t know about them. And we don’t, and it’s really none of our business. The idea that you have some sort of moral decency is a joke. You feel it’s moral for you to come here and cast insinuations about named people, but not for you to name yourself because it would “compromise informants”? What horseshit. Again, keep it to yourself.

                If you’ve got “evidence or investigations” backing you up, then provide them to the relevant authorities. If the authorities have already looked into the matter and the participants have agreed to keep things confidential, and they nonetheless confided in you — dubious though that is — then you, also, have to keep it to yourself. Or do you not understand what confidentiality means? Finally, if you want to blow the whistle on investigations that you think have been covered up wrongly, then do what any honorable whistleblower does and stand by your allegations in plain view, while providing your evidence and explaining the clear moral case for violating a confidentiality agreement. But you do none of these things. You aren’t a person of “moral decency.” You are repulsive scum.

                Moderator, please delete the unsubstantiated attacks on the people 3:21 has mentioned and block his/her IP address. This is an abuse of the blog.

                1. Hear, hear. Let’s not give the blog a bad name. Keep it clean, folks. No naming and shaming except of people who have done things in the open. This ain’t no gossip blog. Keep it clean.

                2. 3:47, me thinks you doth protest too much. That shrill tone really doesn’t become you. “Block him or her! Block him or her!” Think before you start screeching for the moderator. Do you really want this to be another zone of censored speech? {{}}

                  1. Do we want this to be a zone in which rumors and allegations are thrown around? Absolutely. There is no place for that trash.

                    This is really Civics 101. Free speech is not a good in itself: it’s a means to an end. A free and healthy society should allow for the airing of politically incorrect views, particularly when they are supported by arguments, in order that we might be able to debate them intelligently and consider the rights and wrongs of the situation and the best way forward. That is often not permitted on other blogs, like FeministPhilosophers, NewAPPS, or of course Daily Nous. That’s why this blog is important.

                    But that does not entail, and the importance of free speech does not cover, anonymous and baseless insinuations and accusations of particular people. Free speech does not, and should not, protect against libel, slander, and rumor. Those things are trash.

                    There are plenty of cases of people openly saying or endorsing things on other blogs, through the APA, etc. that it is our proper business to discuss here. And it’s good that we have this blog for that purpose. The shitheads who have repeatedly caused other iterations of the blog to go under when they abused it in order to spread rumors and filth about people are no friend to the Metablogs. They are the trash that needs to be taken out. And I strongly suspect that you are one of the people, or maybe the only person, who fucked this up in previous iterations and got it taken down.

                    So, yeah, bring on the censorship of baseless rumors, accusations, and the outing of private matters. It has no place here. Fuck off with it.

                    While you’re at it, brush up your Shakespeare. “The lady doth protest too much, methinks” is meant to connote a speaker’s view that the subject is covering up insincerity through too vehement assertion. Since you’re not suggesting that I’m secretly opposed to censoring gossip, your use of the phrase is meaningless.

                    1. Oh of course I’m not suggesting that you’re secretly opposed to censoring gossip. I’m suggesting that the reason you’re too vehemently objecting is that you’re secretly opposed to the naming of something that is not a baseless rumor because it has negative consequences for… you. Do you really want me to fuck off and bring the truth to the light of day, in a truly public sphere instead? Does any wise philosopher really want the full truth to be known? {the fool doth think}

                    2. Hey, shit for brains gossipmongerer, I don’t know who the fuck you think I am, but I’m not any of the people you mentioned. There is no dirt to be had on me.

                      I know this is really, really hard for a sociopathic fuckup like you to understand, but the reason the majority of people hate gossipers and slanderers and would like to see their skulls cracked in is not because we’ve got something to hide. It’s because we’re decent human beings participating in a society that creepy shitbirds like you go around defiling. Is that a case of collective self-interest? Maybe so, maybe not. But it’s something far above anything that people like you are capable of. And that’s why you’re hated here, and let’s not forget that fuckwads like you are the reason why the other versions of the metablog have been shut down and, if you keep this up, why this one will be, too.

                      For the last time, fuck off. We’re sick and tired of your shit. Go start your own blog if you want to gossip. Or take a walk off the roof of a building or something. Just don’t drag other people down with you with your naming and shaming bullshit. Cut it the fuck out.

      1. Apparently, they did something to fall afoul of a sociopathic troll with a vendetta. But what it is, I don’t know.

    2. You know how, when you encounter a bad driver on the road, there’s a certain odd satisfaction to pulling up alongside them and seeing that they conform to your stereotype of what bad drivers look like? As a casual observer unfamiliar with many of the figures mentioned in this discussion, I’m finding that the same is true of creeper philosophers.

  21. To put it vaguely, the inclusion of Lepore narrows 5:00 AM to a small party of competitive, back patting, back stabbing insiders.

  22. Who would know the creepy behavior of someone at Syracuse and then at Rutgers and then .. Connect the dots, follow the money, etc. etc.

      1. Ok then, here we go. W…h…o… w…o…u…l…d… k…n…o…w… t…h…e… c…r…e…e…p…y… b…e…h…a…v…i…o…r… o…f… s…o…m…e…o…n…e… a…t… S…y…r…a…c…u…s…e… a…n…d… t…h…e…n… a…t… R…u…t…g…e…r…s… a…n…d… t…h…e…n… …….. C…o…n…n…e…c…t… t…h…e… d…o…t…s…,… f…o…l…l…o…w… t…h…e… m…o…n…e…y…,… e…t…c……. e…t…c…….

        1. There’s someone upthread being justifiably annoyed with your naming and shaming shitty behavior, 2:13, 6:54, 10:04, etc., but I say this with the greatest kindness: – you need to see a doctor.

  23. Those ACLS fellowships, is it something to boost the cv of minor figures? None of the awardees strike me as the best of younger scholars in their respective fields…

    1. Not everyone applies for them; some projects don’t fit a grant app format; there are variations in referee boards so that an app submitted one year might be declined but would have been accepted with another referee board; etc.

    2. Are you saying that you’re familiar with ALL their respective fields? (I’m familiar with only one of the fields, and the guy who has got the award is definitely very well-respected!)

        1. I do know one of the fields and I think the winner in that field is a sensible choice. I don’t know if she’s the absolute top person in her generation — I assume that’s not the criterion though.

          1. Yes, the person’s standing in their field is not the criterion of selection, which is the quality of the application relative to other applications in that year’s pool (and, presumably, some historically relevant minimal standard of quality — being the best in a pool in which none of applications are above a minimal standard would one hopes result in no selections that year).

  24. How come this thread got all angry and pious all of a sudden when a certain group of names were mentioned?

      1. They aren’t innocent, they are, indeed, all sexual harassers, though some are clearly worse than others.

        1. What a disgrace you are. You make false allegations, and the individuals you are defaming have no right to defend themselves. Can you take this behavior back to the feminist cesspool where it belongs?

          1. You’re the disgrace. This blog is where truth-tellers come, they’re not welcome at the GroupThink blogs. And it’s true that Tye is a sexual harasser, that Bealer was forced out for sexual harassment, that Hawthorne walks the line and so on.

            1. I knew Bealer quite well. He and Tooley were my dissertation advisors. I worked for him and saw him socially for many years. We used to lft weights together.
              I never saw anything n the least bit untoward from him, nor did I hear even a hint of it. I have close friends that worked with him at Austin as well, and they will say the same thing.
              I’d really like to see sme evidence for this rather astonishing claim.

              1. This is clearly libel, since Bealer obviously has never been inside a weight room. Expect to be served with papers later this week.

                1. Heh, he wasn’t very good at it, and he stopped when he injured his back doing something he came up with from his a priori theory of exercise kinesiology. I warned him but NOOO.

    1. Defamation and libel are false claims about individuals. These individuals are being targeted. This is what one expects from the feminist cesspool. But it is opposed here.

      1. “This is what one expects from the feminist cesspool. But it is opposed here.”
        This just isn’t true.. The feminist blogs don’t let anonymous people spread rumors about particular, named individuals because they are moderated. So if you ‘expect’ it from the ‘feminist cesspool’ then that says more about you than about any past behavior from those blogs. And you can’t really say that ‘it is opposed here’ either. I’m sure a lot of people who post here oppose it. I certainly do. But it doesn’t make sense to claim that an unmoderated, anonymous blog has a point of view.

                  1. In other words, there are in fact no cases of this kind of thing on the blogs in question. All these assertions about what happens on FP and WIL are just a (poor) attempt to smear those blogs while distracting from the fact that this blog is the only philosophy blog on which people spread malicious gossip of the kind under discussion.

                    1. There is at least one good reason to think that nothing of the kind has happened on those blogs. Given that on the Thought Catalog post the person was pretty much immediately identified in the comments, and given that this very thread shows that at least some people on this bog are perfectly happy to spread rumours, it would be very surprising if, as the poster asserts, FP and WIL have either named people or given sufficient info to identify people there has never once been any discussion or speculation here about the people named or identified in those alleged posts on the metablog.

        1. Indeed, feminists themselves have distributed outrageous rumors with the direct intention of hurting the innocent, knowing the innocent has no right of reply.

            1. Moral reasoning not your strong point, it seems. What morally justifies feminists harassing and harming innocent people?

              1. Are you being willfully obtuse? I didn’t say anything about moral justification. I just asked you how you knew that the subjects of the rumors were innocent.

          1. “knowing the innocent has no right of reply”

            What does this even mean? Of course people have a right of reply. No-one can stop anybody making a public statement about something.

              1. So your story is that feminist blogs have spread rumours about people they know to be innocent, with the deliberate intention of harming that innocent person, and that the person in question has been threatened with dismissal if they make any kind of public statement?

                At this point you are just making things up. Even there was a case where a feminist blog spread rumours about someone (which, let’s be clear, no-one has provided a single example of) you would also have to have knowledge of the intentions of the blog writers, and inside knowledge about what has gone on in the accused’s university.

                Pretty much everyone agrees that blogs shouldn’t be used to spread anonymous rumours about individuals. Unfortunately this is that has been happening here. But making up shit about other philosophy blogs that you can’t substantiate isn’t helping.

                1. The intention is to hurt the innocent person. This is obvious. No sane person with a basic respect for other human beings would distribute outrageous rumors about someone without proof (and even with proof, it would probably still be wrong). The intention is therefore to harm and hurt others. This is what feminists do.

                2. The real question is, ANNA STUBBLEFIELD. Why does nobody ever talk about her? Tell me that!

                  ANNA STUBBLEFIELD
                  ANNA STUBBLEFIELD
                  ANNA STUBBLEFIELD
                  ANNA STUBBLEFIELD.

                  ANNA STUBBLEFIELD.

  25. Its not like anyone is saying that these people have had affairs with undergraduates or anything. No one is saying that at all.

    1. No one is saying that one of these undergraduates is now a well-known philosopher at a prestigious university either.

  26. “There is at least one good reason to think that nothing of the kind has happened on those blogs.”

    Those blogs have distributed lies about innocent people. You are a liar.

    1. “Those blogs have distributed lies about innocent people.”

      What was that about smearing people without evidence or proof again? You have not produced one single piece of evidence for the claim quoted above. And the person you are calling a liar has given a good reason to think that it is not true. They’re not lying about that reason. (And because you seem to be confused – even if your claim is true, it does not follow that the person presenting that reason is lying. It can be true that some reason is a good reason to believe not-p even if p is in fact true).

  27. I’m sorry. I think the discipline has just swept all these issues under the carpet for too long. And I can’t take reasonably the “you’re smearing people without evidence” line: as soon as someone is wrongly mentioned, e.g. Williamson (above), people quickly move to correct. The people who have so far been named are NOTORIOUS so far as this seedy underbelly of the discipline is concerned. If we, as a discipline, do not have the maturity to address this out in the open, then it will keep on going on until we do.

    The alternative is not to take the moral high ground, but simply to stick your head in the sand.

    1. Exactly.
      If we do not have the maturity to engage in anonymous gossip and spread unsubstantiated rumors calculated to damage other people, then how will we ever claim the moral high ground?

        1. “What we don’t understand…”

          Really? Well, I never heard those rumors before. Oh, right, I guess it doesn’t matter if MORE people hear them. If there’s a nasty and false rumor that’s been spread to 10 people, and then some psychopathic shithead puts it on a blog where it’s read by thousands, I guess that doesn’t constitute a bad action. I mean, if the rumor’s out there, it makes no difference if it’s heard by another few hundred or thousand people. Does it?

          What the hell moral system are you using to get this result?

    2. I see. So let me get this straight. Someone says or implies in an open thread that Philosopher A is a sexual predator. This allegation gets spread around, because, you know, everyone loves to be ‘in the know’ and be seen to be in the know. This destroys Philosopher A’s reputation. But we don’t need to worry about that happening to innocent people, because there is a rock-solid defense that all innocent people have. Because, you know, there are other people out there who will know that Philosopher A is actually not a sexual predator (because, of course, those people are sure that none of the mysterious cases the anonymous gossipmongerer has in mind are true, since they follow Philosopher A around at all times, 24/7). And these people are also aware of all the places, online and offline, on which Philosopher A has been unfairly smeared. And they then correct the record wherever it’s been put wrongly. Moreover, all the people who hear the correction to the original claim, which is 100%, will immediately believe that the correction is correct and that Philosopher A is innocent. Nor will a single one of the people who hears the false smear be left with any lingering negative association whatsoever.

      Wow. What a brilliant system. I can’t see any point at which the reasoning falls apart. Surely, this will indict the guilty and spare the innocent. What a wonderful way to take the moral high ground. Why did anyone ever bother with evidence or due process before? What a waste of time.

      Seriously: have your head examined. In the meantime, stay off the blogs.

      1. Just keeping count of this feminist troll’s smears and lunacy upthread, the people being smeared by this sociopath are: Williamson, Bealer, Lepore, Searle, Nussbaum, Tye, Hawthorne, Srinivasan. Intelligent people only need to watch this feminist lunatic in action to see the delusionality. Take it back to the FP/WIL cesspool.

        1. Some of these are smears (Williamson, Nussbaum), some are definitely not smears (Bealer, Searle, Tye), some I don’t know (the rest). Again, the point of this blog is to air the truth in defiance of Group Think. Some of you seem to this this is the place for anti-feminist Group Think. It is not.

          1. No, idiot, the point of this blog is NOT to spread around rumors in defiance of group think. And if it were, you would be making the matter worse, since what you say, if anything plays into the hands of the advocates of group think. You are a fucking moron even on your own perverted terms.

            The point of this blog is to facilitate critical discussion of policies, proposals, and arguments put forth on other blogs. That is all. Absolutely no part of its purpose whatsoever is furthered by spreading or originating rumors about people’s sexual proclivities.

            As you’ve been told by many people many times now, the place for you to pull your shit, if anywhere, is on What Is It Like or Feminist Philosophers. But far better to put a sock in it. Just never again do it here.

            Once again: what you are doing is not only a poor fit with what we are doing here, and not only immoral, but it puts this blog in jeopardy. Stop. Now.

          2. “Again, the point of this blog is to air the truth in defiance of Group Think.”

            The technique of spreading rumors and smearing folks, irrespective of evidence or basic respect for the victims’ rights, is straight out of FP/WIL manual, as they admit. The list of philosophers being smeared by you, or you and whoever might be helping you is, again, Williamson, Bealer, Lepore, Searle, Nussbaum, Tye, Hawthorne, Srinivasan: these are professional philosophers, and are owed a duty of respect, and certainly do not deserve to be subjected to this FP/WIL treatment. You look even more foolish for trying. You wish to gossip about other people’s private lives, insinuating it does not meet your approval? Well, the polite answer to that is, no one gives a damn what you do and don’t approve of. The less polite answer is: fuck off back to the feminist cesspool, as you’ve repeatedly been told.

            1. You really undermine yourself with all the bullshit about FP/WIL. It’s stupid for several reasons – first you’re just flat out wrong that this kind of thing happens on those blogs. Second, you’re trying to turn this into something ideological when it really isn’t. The vast majority of people, feminists and anti-feminists alike, agree that it is wrong to spread rumors like the person on this blog has been spreading. You’re just using this bad behavior for your own purposes, which is deciding (on no evidence) that it is somehow ‘femimist’ to do this, that the person must be a feminist, and using this as an excuse to smear those blogs – and the people who run them – based on no evidence whatsoever. The rule that people ought not to smear the reputations of others by spreading rumors based on no evidence applies to you as well, you know.

          3. Agreed. Some are likely smears (Williamson, Nussbaum, Srinivasan). Some are not smears (Bealer, Searle, Lepore, Tye, Hawthorne, McGinn, Ludlow, Pogge). And then there are those who haven’t been named. Yet. {Truth will out}

    3. I’m still waiting for a shred of evidence. “NOTORIOUS soe far as this seedy underbelly of the disciplne is concerned” will not cut it it. Trust me, I know the seedy underbelly; I went to Boulder.

  28. Someone here really likes the expression “cesspool” and really hates feminists. One thing I’ve learned from this blog.

      1. Yeah, except that most people who have referred to the metablogs as a cesspool are protesting *against* the criticism of feminism. Oops.

        1. I don’t think Leiter is super happy about feminists in philosophy. I think he blames them for his “downfall”. But he can’t say that publicly, because it would make him even less popular. He might come here to let off steam. And given the way he has gone after particular individual women, I wouldn’t be shocked to find out that he is in fact writing a number of the angriest-ragiest-guyiest comments on this blog and its previous iterations.

          1. “given the way he has gone after particular individual women”

            Exactly. Praise the lord that Scratchy escaped from The Grinch’s clinches on a scooter.

  29. “And then there are those who haven’t been named. Yet. {Truth will out}”

    You’re nuts. Really. This naming and attacking people reflects extremely badly on the feminists around here. Can’t you take this stuff back to FP/WIL?

    1. Oh my god, how many times do you need to be told this? What that dickhead is doing does not reflect badly on feminists, because there is no reason to think that person is a feminist. You might as well say that what they are doing reflects badly on Catholics. And saying ‘take this back’ to FP/WIL makes no sense, because this kind of thing *does not happen* on those blogs.

      If you want to talk about things reflecting really badly on people, it reflects really badly on you that you are using the fact that an anonymous person is being a dick on the metablog to smear the reputations of the people who run WIL/FP. If you want to criticize those blogs or those people, criticize them for things they actually do, not for something a person who you have no reason to believe has any affiliation with those blogs is doing, and not for something that has never happened.

        1. Yes. I am seriously denying that FP and WIL have ever spread anonymous gossip about named, or clearly identifiable, individuals in the manner that has occurred on this thread. Despite being asked many times, you have not provided one single example of this alleged ‘smearing.’ . (And no, reporting on or linking to stories that have already been widely publicized elsewhere, or are otherwise in the public domain (like a lawsuit) does not count, in case you were about to mention Pogge et al – in any case, if you want to count this kind of thing as ‘smearing’ then your case for singling out FP and WIL completely falls apart, given that that case was widely discussed on many other blogs, including this one).

          1. You want examples of WIL smearing philosophers. I can’t comply with your request without doing something wrong. Do you not see that? This should be plain as day, but maybe it isn’t.

            If I gave you an example of a WIL story that is false and identifiable, I’d be repeating the very offense WIL is criticized for, repeating anonymous false slurs against identifiable individuals. For example, WIL publishes smear against philosopher who meets description D. Exactly one philosopher meets description D, Prof Z, I know that only Z meets D, and I know the smear is false. If I publicly announce “oh, that smear was about Prof Z, and it is false, because…”, I’d have wronged Prof Z in just the way WIL has already wronged Prof Z: by spreading smears against Prof Z. Getting specific in a public form about the problems with WIL is nearly as morally problematic as WIL itself and the anonymous smears on this blog, since it requires repeating the smears.

            1. 1. If the person is identifiable, the damage has largely been done. But sure, there is some reason to refrain from repeating things.
              2. But you haven’t even given any details of the kind of identifying info given. OK, so you think they identify a particular person – what details do they give that would be sufficient to identify someone? Field? Name of department? Location? All of these? I’ve regularly checked that blog, and I have never seen any info that would allow a person to identify an individual.
              2. But It seems incredibly unlikely that there are any stories in which the individuals are identifiable, given that Pogge was very quickly identified in the thought catalog story. If there were, as you say, examples of WIL doing similar things, it seems very, very surprising that such stories have not been discussed here. Especially given that there are clearly people here who a. are obsessed with those blogs and b. are happy naming individuals. Do you expect us to believe that there are in fact multiple instances of posts on WIL in which the person in question is identifiable, and yet for some inexplicable reason everyone has been really good about exercising discretion in discussing these cases, but only these cases?
              3. In anonymously smearing WIL and FP without evidence, you are doing exactly the thing you are railing against: you are accusing specific people (the people who run WIL, for example) of serious wrongdoing (libel) without any evidence whatsoever. And it’s even worse – you haven’t even made an attempt to anonymize the details – you’ve accused specific people. And unlike those blogs, there is no vetting whatsoever of your comments. Do you not see this?
              4. You’ve also specifically named FP. But they don’t even write the same kind of posts as WIL. So we’re meant to believe that FP has posts that describe anonymous accusations against clearly identifiable individuals, despite the fact that no-one has ever mentioned this before now, and despite the fact that they don’t solicit anonymous stories, and the identity of the people who write the blog (even those who write under pseudonyms) is well known?
              5. WIL actually requests that the details be anonymized, and states that they may anonymize further. If you think they have not done this sufficiently, then why don’t you email them with the specifics and ask them to remove or further anonymize a story? Even if it were true that there was a post which identified a particular individual, they have clearly stated that they take measures not to do so. It seem you have a bizarre theory under which they actually endorse smearing identifiable people, but instead of setting up an entirely anonymous website for people to do this (which would be pretty easy to do – see the metablog) they set up a website in which the person running it is well known (opening themselves to libel suits) and specifically request that people who send in stories anonymize details. It would be not difficult to do a much, much better job of smearing identifiable people. The fact that they don’t do this undermines your claim that this is their intention.

              1. “I’ve regularly checked that blog,”

                The WIL blog is an anonymous slander website. It was set up to deliberately smear people.

            2. You seem to have trouble with the distinction between use and mention, and the distinction between accusations and defense from accusations. Basically, this comment is a mess. Stay in school.

          2. Heidi Lockwood’s affidavit is full of anonymous unverified gossip that is spread so irresponsibly, Lockwood must have intended the targets (Garthoff, his fiancee, etc.) real harm. If you don’t believe me, read it. It is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to feminists who spread this crap, trust me. The only reason FP and others got upset with Lockwood is that she made it all public, but that crap is par for the course for FPs. She got in trouble for not covering her tracks, not for lies and gossip.

            1. Is Heid Lockwoods affidavit anonymous? No. Does it appear on WIL? No. Was it widely reported on elsewhere? Yes.

              “It is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to feminists who spread this crap, trust me.”
              Why should we trust you? You have given to reason to believe that there is, in fact, an iceberg.

              All along you have been singling out FP/WIL as places where people go in for anonymous smearing of identifiable individuals. And the best example you can come up with is an affidavit that never appeared on WIL, is not anonymous, and was reported on both DN and Leiter, and is otherwise publicly available. It may not even be on FP either – when I searched, it only came up on Leiter and DN. So your only example isn’t even an example of the thing you are trying to establish, and we’re supposed to just ‘trust you’ that it is the ‘tip of the iceberg’ and ‘par for the course’? Come on.

              1. Don’t be too quick to blame, 3:04am: at least we’re making progress. The reason 1:23am gave for not providing an example would be that it would further spread a false rumor, and so be morally wrong. 2:41am doesn’t seem to have this qualm, it’s just that they got a bit tangential by providing a public example, not from FP or WIL. Perhaps 2:41am, not having the same scruples as 1:23am, could be persuaded to provide an example of the type under discussion from FP or WIL, since those are the sources being accused of hosting such posts.

                But there might be a more fruitful way to move the conversation forward. I strongly suspect that whoever is making the claim that FP and WIL make anonymous posts accusing people by name is just wrong about that. If so, they should just admit their error and move on to a more substantive position.

                What may (or may not) be true is that there are people who “know” the open secrets about various people, and that they are now passing this “knowledge” around more than before. BL has claimed to have heard rumors he believes to be true. Other people have commented about knowing open secrets. IF some of these people are talking to each other more behind the scenes, it’s not surprising that more of the rumors bubble to the surface and eventually get to people who are willing to post anonymously but publicly, like the person who posted in this thread.

    1. I don’t know 12:48, got some dad bands you’d like to share with us? Or some critiques of “affective [sic] altruism” you can link to?

      1. Leiter is a serial killer, so is Nussbaum, Williamson and the whole NYU department. You heard it here first.

  30. OK, you want a new topic? Here is one that’s meant to be philosophical but it has an empirical component and also has political applications.

    Are we more likely to be successful in mitigating the damaging effects of climate change if we are a democracy or if are an olligarchy?

  31. I guess no one is taking this question seriously. The question is, assuming that extreme wealth inequality in the United States and elsewhere is causing us to move away from, rather than towards, genuinely democratic collective decision making, does this mean we are more able, equally able or less able to do the things we must do to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. If you think it is a stupid question, please say why. I realize most people who work in political philosophy will be thinking about questions of justice when they consider plutocracies versus democracies. I am asking a question about their respective capacity for addressing a particular kind of problem.

    1. Not a silly question at all but seems unlikely philosophers would have anything useful to say about it. Philosophers have no expertise about the causes of things or in this case what political structures are effective when it comes to implementing policy.

      1. Fair enough, and I thank you for the response, but how about political structures that are effective for creating (as opposed to implementing) good policies?

  32. WIL published a fabricated story in October 2013. It was widely discussed on social media. It was later taken down, but the intended effect of it was to incite a mob.

      1. “An additional worry is that in one case (known to us), the submission of a completely fabricated story was promptly published on What Is It Like to Be a Woman in Philosophy?—apparently without any independent verification.”

        Neven Sesardic, Rafael De Clercq (2014) “Women in Philosophy: Problems with the Discrimination Hypothesis”

        S&D also say WIL asks that accusations should be made anonymously rendering the testimonials less trustworthy. Despite it’s shakiness as a source of evidence WIL is commonly cited in academic work.

          1. Here are a few examples, 5:46. There are many, many more beyond them. In fact, philosophy is rarely discussed in the mass media these days without some reference to WIL or to articles that indirectly accept the WIL stories as a credible source.

            1) http://www.salon.com/2013/08/15/philosophy_has_a_sexual_harassment_problem/

            2) https://www.buzzfeed.com/katiejmbaker/yale-ethics-professor?utm_term=.cpAXEjGqN#.rh9K3Vbye
            (“in recent years, there have been calls for greater transparency as an increasing number of schools have been accused of shielding high-profile faculty from the consequences of their actions.
            “We’re currently going through a fraught and difficult period, as people are learning that they can’t get away with the behaviors that used to be taken for granted as normal,” said Jennifer Saul, the philosophy department chair at the University of Sheffield and editor of the blog What Is It Like to Be a Woman in Philosophy, which has posted anonymous stories about sexual harassment since 2010.”)

            3) http://gawker.com/5787195/philosophy-departments-are-full-of-sexual-harassment

            4) _Philosophical Feminism and Popular Culture_ by Sharon Crasnow, Joanne Waugh
            (“Haslanger was in graduate school during the 1980s and so we might be tempted to dismiss her experience as due to the “old,” traditional ideas (and perhaps, pld, traditional, and hence, unenlightened philosophers) — ideas that predate the feminist revolution and sexual harassment lawsuits. A quick trip to the blog, “What Is It Like to Be a Woman in Philosophy?”, undermines the plausibility of that explanation…” (p.113))

    1. Did they incite a “lynch mob” of “miscreants” and not “leave the discussion to the grownups” Brian?

    2. I don’t see how that could be true. Philosophers have no special expertise about the causes or effects of things.

  33. If either FP or WIL have slandered people, then that is a matter for the justice system. The relevant individuals can lay a complaint. In the meantime, the rest of us should a. stop spreading anonymous gossip smearing the particular individuals who run those blogs by accusing them of deliberately smearing others in order to incite mobs, etc b. suspend judgment about whether the proprietors of FP and WIL have slandered people until all the evidence has been properly considered by the relevant legal authorities, rather than engage in an ill-informed (and fairly pointless) trial-by-internet.

      1. But the only evidence that has been provided for this is the word of an anonymous commenter on a blog. It’s not even clear what the story was about, and why that anonymous commenter thinks that it counts as slander. Given that this is the only evidence, and slander is an accusation with serious consequences for a person’s reputation, the right thing to do is to suspend judgment.

        1. WIL is a blog where the stories are “accusation[s] with serious consequences for a person’s reputation”, and where “the only evidence that has been provided word of an anonymous commenter”. According to 2:01, “the right thing to do is to suspend judgment”.

          If this is true, then why does WIL exist?

          1. How is that relevant? It doesn’t matter why it exists. It’s still true that when people make accusations that have serious consequences for a person’s reputation, the right thing to do is suspend judgment. WIL, by the way, does not contain anonymous accusations with serious consequences for a person’s reputation, because there are no people named or otherwise identified in the posts.

            1. “WIL, by the way, does not contain anonymous accusations with serious consequences for a person’s reputation, because there are no people named or otherwise identified in the posts.”

              WIL does “contain anonymous accusations with serious consequences for a person’s reputation”. This has happened. So it would be a good idea for you to stop saying things that are untrue.

              1. ‘This has happened”. Why should anyone believe a word you say about this?

                What would be a “good idea” is for you to stop anonymously and publicly accusing the people who run those blogs of slander in order to damage their reputations when you do not have a single shred of evidence.

                1. It happened in October 2013. A fabricated story was published on WIL, and then removed. it was widely discussed on social media, and this discussion was reported back to the victim. The intention was to incite a mob.

                  1. Look, even if we take your word for that – which there is no reason whatsoever to do, you could easily be fabricating this story – what you have is one instance, on WIL, in which the story was in fact removed. So even if it were true (and even if it were the case, which you haven’t stated, that the story was about sexual harassment and the reason it was removed was because the person was easily identifiable) , you have been smearing FP and the people who run it based on something that happened nearly three years ago on an entirely different blog. And one instance *in which the post was subsequently removed* is hardly sufficient to establish, as you claim, that this kind of thing is “par for the course” or “straight out of the manual” or whatever else you have been claiming. In fact, it is evidence for the opposite – the fact that it was removed is evidence that WIL does not wish to slander particularly people.

                    1. “… even if we take your word for that …”

                      If WIL is sent some allegation, then why does WIL “take their word for that”? What is the moral justification for public libel?

  34. “An additional worry is that in one case (known to us), the submission of a completely fabricated story was promptly published on What Is It Like to Be a Woman in Philosophy?—apparently without any independent verification.”

    Neven Sesardic, Rafael De Clercq (2014). “Women in Philosophy: Problems with the Discrimination Hypothesis”

    They also mention that WIL requests accusations be made fully anonymous, and though this makes the testimony less trustworthy, it is commonly treated in academic work as if it were reliable. To answer 2:43’s question: it exists to whip up a climate of fear and anxiety. It’s Victimology 101.

    1. Right, but they do not provide any details about the story – even if the story was about sexual harassment (which is not stated) there is no reason to believe it named or identified a particular individual. (And there is good reason to believe it didn’t – if it did, it seems likely that the authors of an article critiquing WIL would mention it, because this would be a very serious criticism). So, again – there is no evidence whatsoever that WIL (much less FP) regularly slander people. It now looks like everyone has realised this and is trying to pretend that the criticism was about different things all along (like whether the testimony is reliable, whether it should be used in academic work, whether it contributes to a climate of fear and anxiety) which is pretty dishonest.

      1. Me again – I agree with the first part of what you write, 12:00. WIL in fact goes to great lengths to ensure anonymity, though S&D regard this as a bug rather than a feature. Please don’t assume “everyone” automatically endorses this or that comment! The posters are diverse in opinions (and attention!). As far as we know, there is only one person (me) who thinks WIL is basically a propaganda tool. I stand by that, but I don’t claim to speak for the OP.

        1. Personally, I feel that having an anonymous online slander website, WIL, is an excellent way for a profession to work. So excellent that it should be endorsed by the APA. After all, anonymously libeling people is the height of professionalism and morality. Why should anyone care what’s true or false when you can anonymously libel folks with no accountability whatsover?

  35. As an experiment, I submitted a few stories to WIL a few years ago. They were all fabricated (highly exaggerated versions of rumors turned into anonymous vignettes), but every one was published. There is absolutely no vetting or verification. I stopped taking the site seriously once I discovered that first-hand.

    1. The problem is that everybody here is in the same position with regards to your own comment. There is no vetting or verification. You could easily be lying about your experiment.

      But assuming you aren’t, did you submit the story anonymously?

    1. 1:50 pm, did you really not pick up the irony in the phrase,
      “the massacre of degenerate young people in Orlando by a 2nd-Amendment-freedom-lover affiliated with ISIS.” Really?

            1. By which I don’t mean that it was offensive or anything just that it wasn’t funny. It was flat, which is you know whatever, except for the whole coming onto an anonymous blog to laugh at his own not very well turned attempt at humor.

              1. I guess that demonstrates that you’re a degenerate piece of shit.

                (…I’m just being ironic, of course. Me so FUNNY!)

                1. “Me so FUNNY!”

                  So, the indefatigable and irony-deaf Leiter-hater who posts here also makes jokes out of the speech pattern of Asian immigrants. Noted.

                    1. Idiot,

                      The “Me so…” trope originated as, and remains, a mockery of Asians who can’t speak English properly. It appeared in 2LiveCrew albums (“Me so horny”) as a takeoff on a scene in Full Metal Jacket, and was roundly condemned as offensive to Asians even then.

                      Just use your head for a second. What’s the joke in “Me so funny?” It’s that you’re misusing language in the way an Asian immigrant who hasn’t mastered English would. That’s the problem with it. Or do you think that’s good humor?

                      SJW hypocrisy yet again, Leiter hater.

                    2. Apparently June 19, 2016 at 9:58 pm thinks that the only people that can’t speak English properly (and thus the only people you can mock for failing to speak English properly) are Asians. And he seems to know very intricate details about how to mock Asians.

                      …but *I’m* the offensive one! That’s interesting. Or perhaps this is just more hee-lare-ious Leiter-style irony! (Who knows? It’s soooo subtle!)

                    3. Again, idiot: the joke “me so…” is specifically a mockery of the speech patterns of ASIANS who are not yet able to speak English. People of other nationalities don’t speak like that when learning English. It’s a clear ASIAN stereotype. And if you look at the origin of the meme, it has to do with mimicking, yes, ASIANS who struggle with English.

                      Anyone can make a mistake. But it takes an IDIOT to keep at it when anyone else would have given up (and maybe apologized for being offensive to Asians).

                      Such is the Leiter hater.

                  1. Immigrants’ got nothing to do with it. It’s from “me so horny”, a line from a Vietnamese character in Vietnam in a movie set in Vietnam. Possibly still offensive… but get your facts straight, and get off my lawn.

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