June Open Thread II


365 thoughts on “June Open Thread II



    I respect Erin Kelly for coming forward now, but that was 32 years ago. Had she come forward sooner, perhaps Delia Graff Fara would not have been molested. And had Delia Graff Fara come forward sooner, perhaps these more recent, and much worse, cases would not have occured.

    I am no fan of anonymous gossip, but there is a trend: someone has to PUBLICLY say something, about something they KNOW to be the case before action is taken: think about every recent case, McGinn, Ludlow, Pogge, etc.: someone has had to take the hit for them to be outed. And I would be far more comfortable this being tenured faculty than postgrads or even undergrads…



        What is your objection?

    1. Great. Then you be first. Give us your name and we’ll contact everyone at every university you’ve taught at until we feel we’ve gathered enough evidence that you might plausibly have made a sexually inappropriate remark. (Trust me, we can always find someone). Then we’ll start an investigation into it. Can’t be any harm in that, can there? If you’re innocent, your name will be cleared, right? And while the investigation is going on, we’ll publish the fact that you’re being investigated for sexual assault. We’ll publish it everywhere we can. No harm in that, is there? Not if you’re innocent!

      Then, whenever you’re applying for a position or an award or are being considered for promotion, or anything else, people will google your name and see that you’ve been investigated for sexual harassment. They’ll also find whatever people allege about you. But how can that harm you? You’re innocent, right? Surely, everyone will know it was nothing. I mean, it would never, ever, ever happen that something you said or did could be misreported in some way, leading to a broken telephone situation, or that someone with a gripe against you would ever say anything unfair about you, or that an investigator could misinterpret some evidence, or that any website that publishes the allegations or the fact that you were investigation would not also publish enough to fully exonerate you, or that anyone’s suspicions would remain about you after reading the exonerating material.

      Right? What could go wrong with this system? So go ahead, give us your name. Let’s try it out.

      Or do you think that, just maybe, it would be playing with fire?

      Hmm. Put your money where your mouth is, bud. Show us how safe it is for innocent people by trying it yourself if it’s so harmless.

      1. The feminist method is identical to Donald Trump’s method of demonizing Muslims, Senator McCarthy’s method of demonizing intellectuals, Joseph Stalin’s method of demonizing any opposition and Hitler’s method of demonizing Jews.
        Their blog FP should be called Fascist Philosophers.


        What is your objection?

          1. Lawyers love them. NDAs serve institutional interests rather than interests of future students. People who care about future students should stop signing NDAs and accepting hush money. Realistically, that’s not going to happen, though..

  2. Dara Rachelle Bascara, also known as “Aye”, continues to allege that women graduate students engaged in sexual “quid pro quo” arrangements with Thomas Pogge. These are women he wrote letters of recommendation for, academics who presumably now have jobs based somewhat on those letters.

    Who are these crooked women? When will they be publicly named as enabling parties to Pogge’s racket?

      1. The person who posted above me, who ended his comment with “Who are these crooked women? When will they be publicly named as enabling parties to Pogge’s racket?”

        1. G. E. Moore, trust your intuition on this one.
          You know you have a hand, and that ‘crooked women’ guy is Stubblegazi guy.

    1. Conceivably someone might not sign because they doubt the claims in multiple ways, or because they believe that public attacks like this are immoral – which is true: they are immoral.

      1. Hear hear.
        I think Pogge is very likely guilty of serious stuff, and almost certainly a sneeze, but I would not and will not sign. I won’t join the Mob. It’s really bad for philosophy.

          1. Only partly, lots of normal people here who had nothing to do with the 2014 events: Laurie Paul, Keith DeRose, Don Garrett, Michael Della Rocca, Stephen Darwall, Berit Brogaard.

  3. The Revolution is so on. From a comment on Jezebel:

    “How about we start outing people who do this rather than protecting them? I see that the one that caused me (and lots of other people) the most personal trouble is nowhere outed on the internet, so here goes: C.D.C. Reeve, Plato scholar and philosopher of sex, is a widely-known creep, who creepily chose me as an undergraduate thesis student, and made my thesis meetings into awful torture sessions of one-sided flirting, as a result of which I fell into a deep depression, spending much time crying on the floor in the library, and thought I had no choice but to drop out of school. He clearly got pleasure out of seeing me feel trapped, nervous, confused. It was weirdly almost worse that he didn’t try to touch me, because if he had I could have made a formal complaint—but what could I do about constant sexual innuendo that me feel helpless and stupid, as if all my achievements in school were a sham, that the good grades I’d earned in his classes were nothing but pre-payment for this?

    In a great stroke of luck he left for a new job at UNC half-way through my (Spring-Fall) thesis-year, and with a new (strict but non-creepy) advisor I was able to write a thesis and graduate with honors. Now I am on my way to tenure at an R-1 school (in another field) and I am ready to say: fuck that creep. I spent years trying to forget it but what I need is to be angry because I need to remind myself that he was wrong about me.”

    1. “as a result of which I fell into a deep depression, spending much time crying on the floor in the library”

      people say things like this, but I find it hard to imagine. “Much time” (hours? days?) crying on the FLOOR of the library? in many, many years spent in institutions of higher education I have never seen a student crying on the floor of a library. why wouldn’t she just go home? and why “on the floor”?

    2. The quoted comment troubles me, not so much because I doubt the testimony of the person who posted it, but because in the rush to anonymously cast aspersions on “creeps,” aggrieved former students will invariably brush aside the distinctions between predators, harassers, creeps, weirdos, dicks, assholes, egomaniacs, introverts, people on the autism spectrum, otherwise nice people who think acting like a dick is good pedagogy, elderly scholars who no longer understood how to interact with the young, decent people with controversial/retrograde political opinions, and people who just don’t glad-hand their students.

      Legitimizing online “call out culture” in academia will likely result in a more vituperative version of ratemyprofessor. On the upside, most of the entries will respect basic spelling and grammatical conventions.

    3. One of the replies (from “Chrrsty”) to the Reeve story is interesting, as it seems to be saying that the claims made about Ludlow are false.

      “People can talk and if enough people talk, that must be evidence of something, I guess. But the reason we cannot just out people on the Internet is that it avoids due process. Yes, I know the majority of rape claims are not false, but false ones DO happen and we need some (better) process to vet those claims. I say thisfrom personal experienceas I happened to work closely on the Northwestern case and know most of the claims in the media are not true. You can only get this kind of information from reading thousands of documents (emails, texts, etc.), etc. and putting the pieces together, not from a single person’s blog comment. Outing people on the Internet can be useful for some things, sure, but to really effect change we need to see the whole picture of some of these cases.”

    4. I’m very much against developing a practice of anonymous witch-hunting, especially about this sort of thing. And I’ve kept my mouth (or keyboard) shut about this for years. But, the accusation being out there now, I really can’t resist confirming it–for whatever such an anonymous assertion is worth. Which, I suppose, is nothing… Yes, C. D. C. Reeve is absolutely a piece of shit serial sexual harasser. I recognize that the current climate fosters false and exaggerated accusations. So I don’t expect anyone to believe anonymous accusations. But perhaps this comment will prompt people to at least look into the matter. That sonofabitch has gotten away with it for too long.

  4. I do wonder why the initial list of petition signers includes more than one well-known problem case. That supports the idea that this is, at heart, more about ganging up on someone who’s down than justice.

    1. Yeah, I’m sympathetic to the comment by ‘no props for this’ at DN, although I was a bit perplexed by the remark ‘Zero props for turning right back around and cashing in your fem cred with someone just like him, but better at it’, which seems freighted with dark significance, as also hinted at by ‘Someone else’s victim’ further down the thread, who seems to be claiming to understand it.

      I don’t know about ‘problem cases’, but the signatories certainly include people who cover for very bad behavior if they have anything to lose, ie when it’s not just a matter of seeing and being seen in their private box at Moral Majority Opera Night. One of them is still a colleague of someone who harassed me, badly, as head of my department. I went to him with a detailed account and appealed for help — not interested. Come to think of it, he didn’t even have anything to lose — he was just terrified.

      1. One of the female signatories of the Pogge letter harassed a female student of mine, leaving the student crying.

  5. I’m surprised to see the principles articulated by Kagan in the Yale news coverage of the open letter on Pogge. Does Kagan really think it’s unprofessional to share a hotel room with a former student? He has colleagues who have done this. He has many professional friends who have done this. He even has professional friends who share houses with former students on an ongoing basis. Is he going to publicly criticize these philosophers too?

    1. I had the same reaction, 9:29. Apparently, this is what it has come to: even serious professional ethicists will participate, with no justification or even consistency, in the expansion in the range of what counts as immoral or unprofessional when the heat is on.

      I hope Professor Kagan comes to his senses and withdraws his public remarks. He is setting a very bad example here. Failing that, I hope very much that other prominent ethicists will publicly take issue with Kagan’s claim. But I’m not holding my breath on either.

      1. I think you all are being pretty uncharitable to Kagan, What we have is a few comments from an article discussing a particular case in which he says those things are inappropriate with a former student. It seems very, very unlikely that Kagan thinks such actions are always inappropriate with former students, regardless of context, and likely that he thinks that these kinds of actions are inappropriate in cases relevantly like this one, given that we have only a few of his quotes from a conversation about this case.

        1. OK, 3:56. But don’t you think his comments, as quoted, really give support to that other interpretation? If this isn’t what he meant to say, then I sure hope he clarifies his true meaning before all hell breaks loose.

          1. No, I really don’t think his comments do give support to the other interpretation. I think it would be really odd, for example, to think that those comments alone in the context they were given give us good reason to think, for example, that Kagan thinks you should not share a hotel room with a former student who is now your wife, or a former student who is also now a colleague, or a former student who you have known for twenty years but is now your bridge partner at an away tournament, etc. The Op says “I’m surprised to see the principles articulated” – I think the mistake being made is that he is not articulating principles – it’s not like he is trying to give necessary and sufficient conditions for when a behaiviour counts as inappropriate. He is having a conversation with a journalist, in the context of talking about a particular case, and we only have those comments which the journalist chose to print, but which have been printed as part of an article on this particular case.

            1. Afraid I must disagree, 9:49. From the article: ‘“The things about going to the conference with a former student and sharing a hotel room and he admitted to sleeping with his head on her lap. That is not appropriate behavior,” Kagan said in an interview with the News, referencing allegations made by Lopez Aguilar in May 2011 to Yale’s University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct. In his 2011 response letter to the UWC, Pogge did not deny either action.
              “It’s not the way one should act towards a prospective employee or former student,” Kagan added. “If he’s done what he said he has done, I strongly disapprove of his actions.”’

              “It’s not the way one should act toward a… former student” is a general pronouncement about dealing with former students, and clearly not a specific pronouncement about this particular former student. And as a general pronouncement, it really does entail the odd things about former students who are now colleagues or spouses. The most charitable reading I can see is that Kagan is saying, perhaps without thinking much, that one can never rightly marry a former student, and that one should not share a room with a colleague of the opposite sex.

  6. Reading the Open Letter, the only thing they are committed to specifically regarding Pogge is “We write, then, to express our belief that the information now in the public domain—including that provided by Pogge himself in the aforementioned email correspondence—suffices to demonstrate that Pogge has engaged in behavior that violates the norms of appropriate professional conduct.”

    Engaging in behavior that violates the norms of appropriate professional conduct. That’s super subjective and a very broad category. Perhaps someone signed it because he thinks it’s inappropriate per se to have a relationship with a student–even if there’s no conflict of interests? Or because it’s inappropriate to put your head in a student’s lap during a flight. All kinds of more or less silly moralities are possible here. Or because you shouldn’t write a fake statement of employment. Etc.

    At any rate, I don’t think the evidence in the public domain supports sexual harassment. It’s just too weak. I would need multiple independent testimonies from different students and I need to know exactly what categorize as sexual harassment by Pogge, because merely creepy behavior just isn’t that. And they need to have come forward before the Thought Catalog article surfaced, because that article can inspire others to come forward for personal gain. And suppose we take the complaint of the 90s to be a conclusive reason: c’mon, that’s 20 years ago. One can forgive him for that. I’m not saying there’s no evidence at all, but I think it’s too weak to reach the conclusion that Pogge is/was a sexual harasser in recent years. Not just looking at the number of independent cases, but also what they actually allege.

    What do you guys think?

    1. Well, for one thing, the person in the airplane story (as I understand it) wasn’t even his student at the time. She was a former student. That is very important.

      Would any serious person call someone unprofessional merely for doing something affectionate with a FORMER student?

      Perhaps a case can be made that in the case of someone who makes a habit of tracking down former students and making unwanted moves on them is thereby being unprofessional. But surely, the mere fact that someone has at one point doing something affectionate with someone who was at one previous point one’s student is not, in itself, unprofessional. Not by a long shot.

      1. There is a big difference between a former student who you are not likely to have a future professional relationship with and one you have offered a job to, and who you are currently writing letters of recommendation for.

        1. He says she already had a full-time job elsewhere. Is that true or false? The “job” if there even was one, was at most a brief consulting gig. People are going on as if he’s the lecherous boss chasing Dolly Parton around her secretarial desk everyday. No, it is not wrong to share a hotel room with a grown woman who is not your student and not your employee.

      2. I think the student/former student thing needs to be parsed a little more carefully, if the point of that distinction is to avoid quid pro quo or coercion or intimidation or whatever.

        If two people find they are getting interested in a romantic relationship, but one is in the other’s class, they wait to the class is over, the grades are in and have the relationship. No problem.

        If two people were formerly student/professor, but run into each other later and one is sorta interested in a romantic relationship and brings it up as such, no problem.

        But this wasn’t very similar to either of those. She is his undergraduate student. Spring of senior year, he offers to pay her way to a conference on the subject they are both interested in, paying her to be his translator. Semester ends, off they go. In the course of that, he arranges for them to share a room. While there, he slips behind her onto the back of the chair she’s already sitting on (who does that, except someone already in an intimate relationship of some sort). On the way home, he sleeps with his head on her lap.

        Now, if they had talked and decided to pursue a romantic relationship, fine. But, if this is just slipped in to what he proposed as a working trip, then no, it is unprofessional. I think one thing to keep in mind is that serious students think of their professors as their professors across semester boundaries. I know I did. If there was someone I was studying with, I considered them my professor, even if I didn’t happen to be enrolled in a class with them some semester. I certainly considered that to be the relationship, if I was a research assistant or otherwise being paid to work for them in our mutual research area of interest. Is a romantic relationship impossible in that situation? Of course not, but it takes an honest conversation. One just hitting on the other (in either direction), especially in a work context, is nit-picking in a very self-serving way on what it means to be a “former student”.

        In any case, Pogge offering professional perks to people whose work he doesn’t know is already highly unprofessional. If there is a pattern of him offering these perks almost exclusively to women, then that adds another layer to the problem.

        1. OK, but my recollection is that he denies the chair incident and only admits to the airplane incident in which (according to his story) she asked to rest her head on him while she slept on the plane. IF that’s what happened, and she was no longer his student, then I don’t see the problem. And if this is what he admits to, and the judgment we’re making about him is that even if he only did what he admitted to doing, then this doesn’t seem to be a pernicious type of ‘former student’ connection.

          1. You both make good points; I don’t think you’re really disagreeing. At least, I feel like I agree with both of you!
            There’s a range of reasonable doxastic reactions to what’s been made public. It is not reasonable to think Pogge has done nothing wrong at all, but if we take the most Pogge-friendly state among the reasonable ones, he is guilty of being creepy, and of writing recommendation letters for young women he’s romantically interested in. But it’s fairly likely he’s done worse, possibly including actual assault.

            What Kagan said, if taken literally and without any further context, is an extreme and implausible position. If the other letter-signers held it, they would also have to write letters condemning the behavior of several (I can think of three off the top of my head) very well-known, well-placed women in philosophy.

            1. Thanks, 9:00, you have written an interesting comment.

              I have few questions for you.

              First, what’s wrong with being ‘creepy’? I though that’s a word to discriminate against guys who are unpopular with the girls? If a guy who’s popular amongst women does something towards a woman he seldom gets called ‘creepy’. He gets called ‘sexy’ or something. Isn’t ‘creepy’ precisely the kind of word that one should associate with double standards?

              Second, writing recommendation letters for women he’s romantically interested in. What’s the evidence that he did that? Just a question, because I can’t find the evidence.

              You also say it’s likely he’s done worse than what you say is evident on the most Pogge-friendly attitude. Why do you think that’s likely?

  7. Who are you people? What Kagan said makes self evident sense for anyone who is actually a functioning professional academic and not simply a logic-chopping caricature of an analytic philosopher. The woman had graduated something like two weeks before the trip, hotel room, and head on lap, and was transitioning to his quasi-employ as a research assistant/postdoc. This is not the private behavior of a former student and her once-upon a time professor in a context separate from professional regulations and norms. It is in a space saturated by these very regulations and norms. That’s why Kagan expressed his disapproval. Anyone who actually is a functioning professional would agree.

    1. Erin Kelly and Delia Graff Fara have both engaged in sexual relations with philosophy colleagues. Are they guilty of professional misconduct?

      1. I don’t know exactly what those people supposedly did, so I don’t know if they’re guilty of professional misconduct. Stop deflecting. Some people here act like random Trump supporters who, whenever they’re confronted by some piece of uncomfortable information about their hero, immediately retort “But Hillary… [e-mail server/Benghazi/murder of Vince Foster/etc.]” The topic here is Pogge, and whether what he did was unprofessional. If you think it wasn’t, say why not.

        1. “Those people” published “creepy stories” about Pogge on Leiter’s blog. Their sexual relations with philosophers are well known in the profession, one of them even took the last name of her conquest (who later left the profession).

        2. I’m not a participant of this discussion, however my comment is this. What was given above by 3:38 is a rational argument, with two premises, whose conclusion is that Pogge’s conduct wasn’t misconduct:

          (P1) If Pogge’s doing X is misconduct, then person A’s doing X is misconduct.
          (P2) Person A’s doing X is not misconduct.

          (C) Therefore, Pogge’s doing X is not misconduct.

          Which of these premise is false? The first simply says there ought to be no double standard and it should be common ground for reasonable people. So the crucial premise is (P2). A natural reply is: you don’t *know* if (P2) is true.

          However, that epistemic issue is what 100% of these discussions are about: the total, abject, egregious failure of the philosophy profession to adhere to very simple rules of epistemic evaluation and simple moral presumptions and norms of respect concerning others. Instead of establishing facts based on evidence and restrained moral evaluation, there is rumor and hysteria. If you don’t know that claims are true, then you have no grounds for asserting the claims or for acting on them.

          1. Then it’s up to the person supposedly making the argument to fill in what X is supposed to be. Without that, I cannot evaluate the truth of the consequences. Not just talk about how what they did is “well-known in the profession” and darkly talk about somebody’s “conquest.” I don’t follow all of the gossip in the profession, and it’s easy (and lazy) to charge people with hypocrisy rather than engaging with the case at hand. Maybe some of the people making accusations against Pogge themselves engaged in misconduct with students. I don’t know about that, because I don’t even know what they’re supposed to have done.

            1. “it’s easy (and lazy) to charge people with hypocrisy rather than engaging with the case at hand”

              No it is not. It is *central* to how concepts of morality and law actually apply.

                1. 4:48, I’m a new interlocutor, but you sure are a shithead if you need an argument for that.

                  Here goes anyway. In order to determine whether some normative moral or legal principle is right or wrong, one has to consider its extension. A principle should be rejected if it says or implies that permissible things are impermissible or that impermissible things are permissible. So the easiest way to test a principle is to look at cases we already accept as permissible and see whether the principle wrongly gives them as impermissible, or vice versa. In order to make a case against a proposed principle, we need to show that by the principle-proposer’s own standards, the principle is wrong. Hence, a central part of the way we make progress on normative legal and moral questions is for one person to propose a principle and for other people to see whether there’s something even the proposer accepts as permissible that is impermissible according to the principle, or vice versa.

                  There you go.

                2. It is not my job to teach you these concepts or to improve your critical thinking skills. Out of kindness, however, I suggest you might google the phrases “jurisprudence”, “precedent (common law)”, “universalizability”, “equality before the law” and “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”.

                  1. What the fuck does that have to do with hypocrisy?
                    Only a true idiot, a really stupid person, thinks that hypocrisy is central to how the concept of morality is actually applied. Seriously, it’s one of the dumbest, most clueless things ever written on this blog.

                    1. No one is discussing “hypocrisy”, you thick moron. They’re discussing bias, discrimination, and why moral and legal principles should be universally applied. Now fuck off.

              1. “[Charging people with hypocrisy] rather than engaging with the case at hand” is *central* to how concepts of morality and law actually apply.”

                It is? Eh. Depending on how they’re deployed, charges of hypocrisy as just as often textbook examples of a fallacy (tu quoque). It’s possible to use a supposed double standard as the basis for a valid argument, in the style of 4:10 above. But then you actually have to make the argument by filling out why the cases are relevantly similar, which hasn’t been done. All we have is a vague snark that some of the people accusing Pogge have done bad things too. And I, at least, am not guilty of any sort of hypocrisy, because I have no idea what sort of behavior 3:38 is talking about, and so I have no opinion about Pogge’s accusers. I concede that it’s possible that some of them may have done bad things, although I’m not going to rely on PMMB as a source of info.

                1. Don’t be silly. Obviously, they’re not “relevantly similar”.
                  Pogge is a man – and, by definition, guilty and should be executed.
                  Kelly and Graff Fara are women – and, by definition, angelic angels from angel heaven.

                  1. Erin Kelly and Delia Graff Fara are both married to other philosophers, with whom they have children. So there you have it, sexual relations with other philosophers. Indeed, to pick up on the theme of Pogge’s interest in the “exotic other”, interracial sex.

    2. That doesn’t seem right, 3:19. Look again at what he said.

      ““It’s not the way one should act towards a prospective employee or former student,” Kagan added. “If he’s done what he said he has done, I strongly disapprove of his actions.”’”

      On your reading, Kagan is only objecting to the fact that she was, while not at that moment a student or employee, in a transitional phase between the two positions. But if he had had that in mind, then he would have said, “It’s not the way one should act towards someone who’s a prospective employee AND a former student.” But he didn’t say that: he said OR.

      1. Let’s assume that this is a distinction with a difference for Kagan, that he carefully chose his “or.” Fine. Any functioning professional would still disapprove. The context here is not “former student” as such. It’s “former student,” undergraduate advisee as of a mere two weeks before the set of incidents Pogge admits to (setting aside what she alleges that he doesn’t admit to). It may not be sexual harassment per se if the the student has just graduated, but it is wildly inappropriate, as again any functioning professional would recognize. This is not behavior you’d want from a colleague.”Strongly disapprove” does not mean “bring up on charges,” it means express a kind of revulsion to a violation of a well established and legitimate professional and moral norm.

        1. Well, I would certainly hope and expect that Kagan would know and respect the difference between AND and OR. They’re pretty significant, and even lay people tend to notice those differences.

          On your new interpretation, Kagan is simply saying that it’s wrong as a rule for a professor to be involved with a former student WHO WAS UNDER ONE’S TUTELAGE ONLY TWO WEEKS EARLIER. But then why wouldn’t have just said that? He didn’t say “That’s not how one should act to someone who has very recently been one’s student.” What he said was “It’s not the way one should act towards a prospective employee or former student.”

          Also, I don’t know if the more limited prohibition you mention is really so powerful. Yes, I can imagine many cases where it would be bad. For instance, if a professor makes a habit of tracking down and hitting on students who have just finished a course, that seems unprofessional. But how about this: a student happens to run into a professor after the grades are in, or perhaps makes a point of contacting him or her. The student invites the professor to have coffee. Perhaps during this meeting, the student admits to having had a thing for the professor for some time. Or perhaps they become friends first, and then something else happens. Or whatever. And the professor reflects on the fact that he or she didn’t do anything at all inappropriate during the time that he or she and the student were in a faculty-student relationship. The only question is whether it’s OK to do something now. There’s no reason to think that this student would otherwise take further courses with the professor, and the professor would never allow that, anyway. It seems to me that if something like this, initiated by the student, happens even within a week or so of the student completing the course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. There’s no question of a quid pro quo; there’s no possibility of biased grading; there’s no chance that the student (or the professor) feels trapped and unable to act with full consent, either accepting or declining the other’s invitations or advances.

    3. I’m genuinely curious, but could you provide some clarifications as to what, in your view, is wrong with logic-chopping analytic philosophy? Are you saying that it’s wrong to request evidence to support one’s views? Are you saying that there is no fact of the matter, that it’s all relative, that the realist philosophy that we have learned to love and practice rests on false presuppositions? If so, then could you provide some clarifications as to how it happened that so many smart, intelligent philosophers got it so wrong?

      1. No, I love and do analytic philosophy, with evidence, and facts of matters, and might be realist if you define that term the way I do (BvF’s way). I said “logic chopping caricature” you doofis. Try to read the actual words. You know the kind of caricature of an analytic philosopher would stick entirely to the narrow question of rules and rule following (all of which would be conceded by somewhat like Kagan) and ignore the moral norm question. . I know it was fun to be a mathlete and all in high school, but this is the real world not a chess game.

    4. Well, there are two questions. One, do reasonable people agree with Kagan that Pogge did something wrong? And two, do reasonable people agree with the very general claim that Kagan made (or anyway, was quoted as making)?
      The answer to One could be “yes” even though the answer to Two is “no”. That’s not logic-chopping. It’s an important distinction that should be marked.

      1. Hi, Agreeable.

        Good point. This accuser of ‘logic chopping’ seems to be a moron.

        Also, before we say whether we agree with Kagan that Pogge did something wrong, could we please have a clear explication of what we are assessing? What is the exact act-type in question, please? Otherwise, we don’t know what assumptions are being made about the particular case, etc.

      2. Careful, an important qualification is: Should people agree with Kagan that Pogge BY HIS OWN ADMISSION did something wrong? For myself, I believe (A) it’s obviously not wrong to share a hotel room or sleep in the lap of a former student if there is no supervisory relationship SINCE there is no danger of exploiting a supervisory relationship. I’ve seen nothing here or elsewhere to make me change my mind, but I am open to reasonable discussion, and (B) it’s obviously not wrong to do the same with somebody who is not your employee or workplace subordinate (again, Pogge says she had a full-time job and his offer was fake; even if it wasn’t fake, 2K is not much of a supervisory relationship; in any case, I am not wrong to share a hotel room with a friend who I am paying 2K to e.g. design a website for my company). This isn’t a caricature of logic-chopping, it’s just common sense. It’s also common sense that we ought not take Pogge’s account at face value, and my points above do not exonerate him. Obviously this is only his side of the story.

      3. Right, the answers are obviously ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ But the silly thing is that it appears that peopleare trying to side-track a discussion about what Pogge did by nitpicking one quote from an article and making out as though there are people who really thiink that there are no circumstances whatsoever in which it is appropriate to share a hotel room with a student. It’s not important to have a whole discussion about whether it is, because no-one thinks that. I know that the fragment of a quote from Kagan could be read like that, but it’s ridiculous to assume that he thinks that, or to treat a short quote from a news article as though Kagan is articulating a principle or giving necssary and sufficient conditions. It might not be logic chopping, but it’s a variety or a certain kind of behavior that’s not uncommon – pedantically focussing on some small issue or claim that no-one really believes in order to draw focus away from the actual case at hand.

        1. And the actual case at hand is what, exactly? Please describe _exactly_ the action or set of actions whose moral status we ought to be discussing here. Being affectionate with a former student? Having several lovers in different cities, all of whom are students but not one’s own students? Offering a quid pro quo to a student in exchange for sex? Or what?

        2. 5:16 here. The reason I don’t think my points are nitpicky distractions is because they bear on the rationale for public shaming and ostracism. Consider Crooked Timber where there’s a long-winded piece about how we should sign the letter because no belief is ever 100% certain and besides we have good and convincing evidence of misconduct in the public realm (i.e. the internet). What is this good and convincing evidence? She doesn’t say; so the crucial part of her argument is simply passed over. I return the charge of derailment back to you (4:00) and this blogger at CT. If the “in his own words” claim isn’t meant seriously, then why am I to reasonably conclude he was wrong? What am i missing that makes it non-ridiculous that strangers on the internet are in a position to know that? And I am not accusing you of saying it is always wrong to share a room with a FORMER student (I urge you to note you deleted that important bit). I am asking why IN THIS CASE it was wrong for HIM to do that.

  8. At Leiter Reports, student fucker Christopher Peacocke recently announced that Pogge’s old department was hiring a Lepore fucker. It was also announced that Rutgers has made an offer to another professor fucker. Why is all this celebrated as career advancement rather than condemned as unprofessional?

      1. Hi, 4:00. I’m new to this conversation and don’t know anything about these cases. Nor do I really think it’s my business.

        You seem to be saying here that 3:49 has characterized romantic or sexual liaisons as consensual when in fact the student did not have consent. If that’s right, then what basis do you have for thinking it? Do you have direct knowledge of these cases?

    1. Not so long ago Columbia hired one of Leiter’s rising stars, a former NYU grad student who was dating an undergraduate.

    2. I have personal knowledge that Christopher Peacocke has at one point in his life made a poo and then destroyed the evidence by flushing it in a toilet.



  9. I agree with anon 3:46 AM’s parsing of the situation. It wasn’t the nonobjectional situation some of the others on this thread claim. I also agree with 3:46 AM (and others) by saying I don’t have a problem with those other situations (mentioned by 346) of a professor meeting a student…they seem fine to me (although we would be very naive to think the SJWs in charge would agree those are okay. FWIW my mom married her professor in a situation SJWs online regularly claim is VERY objectionable…been married over 30 years and had me! Oh no! My whole life should not have happened!)

    So if someone wants to say hey (for reasons like 3:46 gives) this is unprofessional, perhaps Pogge should have some punishment handed down, what should we say then (I’m asking)? I’m fine with that situation and such an insistence on punishment. But this thought he is monstrous, “dangerous”, should be banned from further conferences forever, his work ignored forever, or that merely meeting non-students in different cities is a major character flaw (as HuffP piece implied but, what about an NBA player who meets women in different cities? Or a female traveling model who meets men in different cities? Or anyone who ever used the thing they were good at to attract someone, ever, in any situation?) Those are the claims that require, in my opinion, much more evidence than the (good imo) argument about how unprofessional he was in the situations under discussion above.

    Please reflect, for a moment, on the claim that (given the current situation and mass condemnation of Pogge) Pogge would be “dangerous” at a conference with a hot tub. To those who say it: try to have some perspective on what “dangerous” really means and that your life might be so easy you don’t really know what that word means. Little Yazidi girls getting burned alive in a cage by (redacted due to the importance of being nice) really face danger! Real danger! The chance that a very well off Ivy League bound philosophy student may be within a mile of a hottub of this 60-year old man who is now widely hated by near everyone…ummmm not really.

  10. Don’t we need more literature on moral preening? Possible future book titles: Moral Preening: A Defense; Varieties of Moral Preening; Moral Preening: Perspectives From Evolutionary Biology.

  11. The signatories to this letter about Pogge… What a monumental parade of hypocrisy. One can imagine the thought processes of the signatories. (a) If I sign I’m a hypocrite because I’ve schtupped students/professors xyz, and perchance double-teamed a few (and with almost no resistance). I might get called out for that. On the other hand (b) If I do not sign it will make me look unsupportive and thus guilty. What’s a hypocrite to do?

  12. I won’t be signing the anti-Pogge open letter, and I resent the attempts to bully me into signing. I’m not on the tenure track, which is a great reason to not sign things, amiright? But anyways, it sucks that colleagues are trying to pressure me into this. It also sucks that I can’t say this under my own name, but oh well.

    Also this site sucks too, but where else can a tipsy philosopher rant before going home for the night?

    1. I know, it’s like a fucking loyalty oath. (Disclaimer: fuck Pogge, what a douche, etc.) I’m scrolling through the names, mostly just nodding along, uh-huh, uh-huh… Every now and then I see the name of a friend and I’m like, NOOOOOO!!!


  14. Moderator, please block Scatofem from these threads. This is a clear an obnoxious case of trolling.

    1. Is it as “clear an obnoxious” as a feminist sexually assaulting a diaper-wearing man wth a mental age of 5? Or is it “complicated,” as all feminists believe, because they get all the jobs, like Martha Nussbaum?

  15. Why I did not sign the letter: reasonable dissent
    [PS: I do not know Pogge personally; I do not care much for his work – in my view, it betrays a great deal of shallow argumentation]

    Thanks to Ingrid for the opportunity to engage in a civil way and set out some reasoning that is not covered in the points above. I believe there is a case for reasonable disagreement with your conclusions and I want to set it out. I apologise for length.

    1. I do not like joining lynch mobs. In this case, the call is for the whole relevant academic community to take part in ostracising a particular person, yet no due process for judging that call and the action it calls for has taken place. No indication is given of the point and consequences, intended or otherwise, of this action, its proportionality, and no opportunity for a proper defence and careful examination of the evidence (some of which has been provided by newspapers, but not all), in relation to the kind of punishment that this letter represents: public collective ostracism. The letter uses the word “condemn” but what is a direct public collective (mass even) condemnation of a named individual, other than a public ostracism?

    2. Now the claim seems to be that due process has failed and so we must take matters into our own hands. As I explain below, it is unclear in the letter itself what particular failing we are being asked to compensate for and how we are aiming to compensate for it. The letter is in fact quite purposefully blurry on such matters (see 5 below). There is an important distinction between declaring one’s belief there has been a failing of due process or justice and declaring one’s participation in collective punishment of an individual person. I personally thought OJ Simpson was obviously guilty, more than obviously, guilty as heck of the murder of Nicole; I think that the institutions we entrust to carry out due process are imperfect and this was part of the reason he won his case. However, it does not follow that I will get together a group of people to engage in collective punishment against him. Whilst existing institutional and legal processes might be improved, and I work and argue for them to do so – legitimising direct collective punishment would require a much more wholesale level of breakdown of institutions. Yet this is what we are being asked to do through this letter – engage in a collective punishment against an individual becuase we are not happy with how their case has progressed.

    3. The only point of the letter seems to be to collectively shame/ostracise someone in addition to the institutional and legal actions already taken against him, and so it seems to be asking that everyone takes part in a direct collective punishment. Yet, I do not subscribe to the view that collective and non-democratically-legislated punishments that fail to conform to basic legality (rule of law) on any reasonable reading are legitimate. For sure, write about why the individual is guilty of actions that institutions refuse to punish (although the letter does not actually say that explicitly – see below), so long as you can back it up, but the collective letter goes beyond that into punishment by ostracism, and I am not aware of an argument for why failure to take part in collective punishments in constitutional democracy amounts to a moral wrong. This is especially true when the purpose of that collective punishment, its proportionality, and its focus, etc., are unclear in the very text we are being asked to sign.

    5. The letter is itself fundamentally unclear. It implies fault with institutions (Yale and Columbia) but does not go into any detail or depth about this, and focuses its moral ostracism on Pogge as a person. It is in my opinion carefully worded to be unclear in fact.

    The Buzzfeed article to which the letter refers says the Yale panel found “substantial evidence” that Pogge had acted unprofessionally and irresponsibly, noting “numerous incidents” where he “failed to uphold the standards of ethical behavior” expected of him. But the panel voted that there was “insufficient evidence to charge him with sexual harassment,” So is the position of the letter that Pogge should be so charged? If it is, then it should say so—it does not say so. If it is not, then what is it saying? Is it concentrating only on the “unprofessional” behaviour part, which in the panel finding falls short of sexual harassment? If it is then the letter we are asked to sign is just underlining that finding. It is then saying that

    The letter says: “According to those who have reviewed the complaint, it includes dozens of pages of supporting documents alleging that Pogge has engaged in a long-term pattern of discriminatory conduct, including unwanted sexual advances, quid pro quo offers of letters of recommendation and other perks, employment retaliation in response to charges of sexual misconduct, and sexual assault. Included in the complaint are affidavits from former colleagues at Columbia University”

    That is mealy-mouthed: “According to those who have reviewed the complaint”. If the letter had the courage of its convictions (which it claims to demand of potential signers), then it would say “We (insert names here) have reviewed the complaint and we find that the following specific allegations are true (insert list here)”. It cannot do that because that would make any of the named people subject to legal actions for defamation if they could not substantiate their claims. Which prompts a question about signing up to insinuations rather than clear claims. Instead, the letter moves from this section insinuating support for allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination to a section condemning “unprofessionalism” as the breach.

    Note that the above-quoted para says clearly “supporting documents alleging”. So the letter cannot bring itself to even make the allegations itself – which makes them insinuations in context – or to stand by them as explicit accusations. But on the basis of this, all right minded academics are asked to engage in the collective punishment.

    So what, explicitly, are we being asked to sign up to: is it the “unprofessionalism” allegations as harmful (the only one’s the letter explicitly stands behind rather than insinuating – and the ones that Yale has itself found), or is it the sexual harassment allegations at Yale (or beyond)? If it is only the ones it explicitly makes, then what is this letter adding to anything. If it is the ones it only insinuates but does not bring itself to make, then how do I know exactly what those are and what exactly I should condemn, beyond the existing findings against Pogge by Yale and Columbia, and why is condemnation an appropriate public requirement when someone has been found guilty of those actions? I condemn all such actions as found by such panels, so why am I asked to single out Pogge?

    It continues “We write, then, to express our belief that the information now in the public domain — including that provided by Pogge himself in the aforementioned email correspondence — suffices to demonstrate that Pogge has engaged in behavior that violates the norms of appropriate professional conduct.” This is mealy-mouthed because it is not explicit on which norms it wants us to sign up to agree have been violated. That some norms of professionalism have been breached has already been institutionally established anyway – by Yale, by Columbia which disciplined him according to the letter itself. So what are we making up for? We are not told in the slide from “look at all this paperwork that alleges…” to “ we condemn”, whether we are condemning some additional actions to the indicted unprofessional ones.

    Finally: “Based on the information that has been made public, we strongly condemn his harmful actions toward women, most notably women of color, and the entire academic community.” But again, are we being asked to sign a letter that condemns someone for actions that have already been found wrongful by Yale and Columbia? (non-professionalism, and harassment at Columbia). In which case why don’t we just put together all the professors who have been found to be in breach of professionalism standards in this way and write a letter about them – why participate in collectively punishing one person via public ostracism and not all, and what is a proportionate punishment in each case? The letter does not talk about proportionate punishments, and consequences, so what is it adding? All those kinds of questions, which are questions of due process are ignored by the assertion that people have a moral obligation to sign the letter.

    Note too that the letter does not say what we should do other than collectively publicly ostracise. It does not even call on the institutions involved to take actions that they have failed to take (the most it stretches to is saying it “hopes” the current legal processes will be speedy). So it personalises the matter without saying why and how the existing actions against Pogge run so short that it behoves a crowd of academics to engage in a public collective punishment.

    6. The only conclusions I can draw is that the letter is asking people to engage in the worst kind of “virtue-signalling”. I understand that people who supported Pogge’s ideas, and his career, almost unconditionally because they echoed personal convictions, may feel betrayed, and is could be a form of catharsis. But I was not one of those, and I don’t think even his supporters need to feel guilt for the transgressions on which he is already indicted (they are his own). I also don’t think that virtue signalling is harmless when it turns into this kind of collective punishment (albeit a vaguely stated, and vaguely defended one). I also think that demanding that your fellows engage in direct collective punishment (mass ostracism) is a very worrying instinct, and condemning them for not joining you in participating in that verges on making very large and unwarranted assumptions about their motivations and is also a form of undue group pressure.

    In conclusion: I believe there is not only a reasonable case for dissent, I believe it is the principled position on letters of this kind. Show me a letter saying “Yale, Columbia, get your act together!” and I’d be more sympathetic. But I’ve always hated lynch mobs, real or digital.

  16. I’ll just leave this here:

    Guysguysguys I pooped yesterday and may poop again today. Brian Leiter also poops. Take that, metabros!

  17. Re: Jason Stanley

    Does anyone else find him tremendously annoying? Since he imbibed the SJW Flavor-Aid, I keep seeing his name everywhere, but I don’t have the interest in his area to look into his actual academic work. Is his work genuinely important, or is he just another person who knows how to play the academic game really well?

    Dude seems very in love with himself and very good at holding his finger up to see which way the wind is blowing. What’s the deal on Stanley …. any dirt on him personally? Any insights on his work? Anyone loathe his ugly mug as much as I do?

    That dumb book he wrote on propaganda seems like an embarrassment.

    1. Stanley wrote a semi-important booklet about “interest-relative invariantism” in epistemology. It’s just a fad and will be forgotten soon. It is the usual “important development” in philosophy that centers around an idea so outlandish that churning out cleverly argued papers is an easy endeavour.

      Nothing he has written will be of any relevance in 20 years time. Others have written better stuff on the same topic and his work gets worse with every publication. Prime example of a everybody’s darling who got there because of connections and being a party-goer. To this day I wonder why someone like Richard Heck has not the same standing as Stanley, although their initial careers are very much comparable.

      1. stanley is someone whose writings *exude* intellectual dishonesty. it makes sense that he and TW are frequent collaborators. their views on this or that philosophical matter are very ‘tenable’ by the internal standards of analytic philosophy but at the end of the day offer zero intellectual nourishment.

        1. the only stanley I know is the propaganda book, which imo shows insufficient concern for truth to rise beyond bullshit even to the level of dishonesty.

    2. There is soooo much dirt on Stanley. If you dug it up he would make Pogge look like a choir boy. But that is the point of Stanley’s leading the attack on Pogge, it seems. It deflects attention from himself.

    3. Everyone finds Jason tremendously annoying. He’s not a predator though, just a self-centered cokehead who has no filter on Facebook, at all.

      1. “not a predator”. Sure, just someone who fucks students and used to brag about it, but now is Mr. Righteous. And just someone who double teamed a Rutgers undergraduate with another professor and bragged about that, but that’s not a predator, right? Because the student/victim was an exotic dancer too, so she probably wanted it. It’s just good moral profeminist fun.

        1. No rational person calls someone who isn’t going to serve multiple sentences in prison for serious crimes a “predator”. People fuck each other. So what? Why all this reactionary, right-wing, puritan religious bullshit about “predators”?

          1. Well, to listen to the hardcore feminists like Jason Stanley, using one’s professional status to coax sexual favors out of women junior to you in the academic hierarchy counts as predation. It’s not really a stretch, by their own logic.

            1. Is Bill Clinton a “predator”? How many of philosophy’s feminists have been involved in campaigning against him?

                  1. I have never managed to avoid underestimating the gulf between how smart the social justice warriors are and how smart they think they are.

        2. Anonymous June 25, 2016 at 4:39 am, wrote:
          ““not a predator”. Sure, just someone who fucks students and used to brag about it, but now is Mr. Righteous. And just someone who double teamed a Rutgers undergraduate with another professor and bragged about that, but that’s not a predator, right? Because the student/victim was an exotic dancer too, so she probably wanted it. It’s just good moral profeminist fun.”

          Did this occur some time between 2007-2010? Did the other professor’s surname begin with an ‘L’, and did the student’s given name begin with a ‘J’?

    4. Insufferable in person; mercifully I don’t see his Facebook, Twitter, etc. Can’t tell any stories since that might give me away, but he is “dirty” by the standards he now espouses. The public record is enough to give away the game here: he was super tight with Ludlow and all his extracurriculars until he saw the winds had changed. Then look how quick he dimed out his buddy and became interested in “social justice” applications of philosophy.

  18. You say you want money out of politics?

    But of course you understand that running political campaigns costs money. What you object to is the buying of influence. What you object to are candidates who will do the bidding of their deep-pocketed donors, whether corporate or individual. Now along comes Donald Trump who funds himself and is beholden to no one.

    Has he not gotten the money out of politics? He has, in the only sense of this phrase that means anything.

    Why then are you bitching? I assume you are not a benighted lefty in the tank for Hillary. Why won’t you support the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, the peoples’ choice, the only one who can beat Mrs. Clinton?

    You say your conscience won’t allow a vote for a man with his many deep flaws? But your conscience will allow four to eight more years of leftist infiltration of the government, including the loss of the Supreme Court for the rest of our lives?

    Are you NeverTrumpers even trying to think clearly?


  19. Anybody have any fucking clue what this tweet by Jason Stanley means?

    1. Presumably he is parodying Yale’s recent decision to keep the name of a Yale residential college “Calhoun” college on grounds that keeping the name Calhoun compels Yale students to confront the history of slavery in the US.

  20. In the earlier June open thread, someone mentioned that Martha Nussbaum has had sex with her students. Is this true, and is it common knowledge?

    She took what seemed to me to be a very vindictive approach against an eminent fellow philosopher who allegedly wrote a pornographic novel under a pseudonym, using the occasion of a philosophy paper she was writing to “out” him as the author, and pillory him for, in her view, objectifying women in the book.

    It just seems odd for her to actually engage in highly questionable sexual behavior vis-a-vis her grad students, and yet engage in such unforgiving tactics that seemed calculated to harm the philosopher’s career over a fictional story that she claims he wrote.

    1. Nussbaum: “To those who are unfamiliar with the oeuvreof Laurence St. Clair, it is probably sufficient to point out that St. Clair is a pseudonym of James Hankinson, scholar in ancient Greek philosophy and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin, who wrote this novel [“Isabelle and Veronique: Four Months, Four Cities”] for a standard hard-core pornographic series, and was later publicized as its author.”

      More on that novel and Hankinson: http://www.utwatch.org/archives/theothertexan/no2_harassment.html

      1. “Professor Dan Bonevac was offered the same information when he took over as the chairman of the Philosophy Department in Spring 1991. At that time he stepped in to prevent Hankinson’s appointment to Graduate Advisor. Bonevac said that he did not know if the charges were true, but that he did not want to investigate any further because he “just didn’t want to know the truth.” He has never asked Hankinson about the novel or about the sexual harassment complaints from McGill and UT. Bonevac hopes that “it’s all in the past now,” although he admits that he has received complaints from at least two women who “felt uncomfortable” in Hankinson’ s class.”

        Business as usual…

        1. The website, which obviously has a strong pro-feminist slant, editorializes about what Bonevac allegedly said, including a startling alleged confession on Bonevac’s part that he “just didn’t want to know the truth”, which would surely have been a bizarre thing for a philosopher to say. But what was the context in which Bonevac said it? Or did Bonevac say it at all? If so, where and to whom? We are given no reference to any other interview or other source. Moreover, if you Google ‘Bonevac’ and “just didn’t want to know the truth”, there is absolutely nothing other than this website itself.

          And yet there are people stupid enough to believe these claims on the basis of mere accusation.

          Business as usual, indeed.

          1. Journalism is different from mere accusation. If you have reason to believe that the writer of that article is fabricating quotes – a very serious charge – then you should present it.

            1. 6:39, you’ve managed to commit a straw man fallacy and the fallacy of appeal to ignorance at the same time.

              I didn’t say that the writer fabricated the quote. I said that the writer provides no source for the alleged quote and gives no reason for us to believe that Bonevac even said those things, and provided insufficient context for us to know whether the quotes, if they are accurate, really support the interpretation she is trying to convey. There is no need on my side to present evidence for that, since the evidence is right in front of you. Read the editorial and tell me where the writer gives any source for the quotes that allegedly came from Bonevac, or any way of reading the full conversation or paragraph in which those words were allegedly said. You’ll see for yourself that they don’t appear in the editorial or in footnotes. Hell, I even went beyond that and googled the alleged quote myself so that I could see the supposed original story in which Bonevac said that. But again, there was nothing.

              The burden is on you. You go find us evidence that Bonevac actually said these things, and the exact context in which he said them, since the snippets of conversation woven into the editorial you presented are too short to make it possible to know what he is even allegedly talking about.

              But if you’ve got nothing at all but this editorial, written by an amateur with presumably no journalistic training, no reputation as a journalist to put on the line, making no claim to have even conducted an interview with Bonevac, providing no source at all for the quotes, unsupported by any other documentation, and published in an amateur newsletter published by a dissident ad hoc council of graduate students at one university, and that’s enough to make you trust what the writers say, well, I think that speaks for itself.

              1. Until I see him say those words in front of me, and have proof that the world isn’t a hologram, and a 100% foolproof refutation of skepticism, I see no to change my beliefs about something I prefer to believe. That’s the philosophical spirit.

                1. Right, 3:11.

                  Because anyone who doesn’t trust the unsubstantiated claim of a graduate student writing an editorial, quoting from something she doesn’t cite, where the original is nowhere to be found, is just like someone who refuses to believe in the external world because it might be a hologram.

                  What a fucking IDIOT you are. Just take a minute to process that before you contribute again.

              2. Again, you don’t seem to understand how journalism works. Journalists do not regularly print supporting documentation along with an article, for example. As for the evidence, the evidence that he said thosevthings is that he is reported as having said those things. Or do you always insist on listening to original recordings of interviews with subjects before you believe anything a journalist writes?

                1. Idiot,

                  She’s not a professional journalist writing an article for publication, staking her professional reputation in the process. She’s a grad student writing an editorial. She doesn’t even say she interviewed him, and it seems unlikely that she did.

                  Holy fuck, you’re an idiot. Really: think before you write again. Just… think.

                    1. Unless I see the ARG sign an affidavit to the effect that he is the ARG right in front of me, and I have proof that the world isn’t a hologram, and I get a 100% foolproof refutation of skepticism, I see no reason to believe that there is an ARG.

                    2. Um… he’s one of many people who thinks you’re an idiot? I’m another. You’ve really got to lay off the straw man fallacies, Femtroll. They kill every case you try to make here. Just assume friendly advice there.

                    3. 3:24, some of us have figured out not to blindly trust everything we read.

                      Come back when you do, too. This is a painful waste of our time.

    2. I don’t understand what motivation Nussbaum had to publicize Hankinson as the author. Being a fairly prominent scholar who is widely read, Nussbaum surely knew that his authorship of the novel would become far more widely known among his colleagues than it heretofore had been from that odd UT newsletter. Had her only intention been to discuss the relevant point concerning objectification in pornography, she could have just used the St. Clair pseudonym. Therefore she clearly intended to harm him, by naming him rather than simply using his pseudonym. I find that very odd.

  21. Bonevac’s words seem perfectly sensible to me. He didn’t want to know whether H wrote the novel because it’s none of his business whether H wrote it, and clearly H didn’t want to be associated with it. why should the department chair need to know whether a philosopher wrote a novel totally unrelated to his academic duties or scholarship?

    1. That actually makes sense, Anon. I can imagine some feminist grad student or whoever asking Bonevac “Are you aware that H wrote this novel? What do you have to say about that?” and Bonevac saying, “I don’t know if he did, and I don’t want to know”, because writing a pornographic novel in one’s spare time, however objectionable, doesn’t fall under the jurisdiction of one’s department chair. And yes, I can also imagine that feminist grad student, not having been briefed on the standards of journalistic integrity, reprinting the quote from memory and changing it to “I just didn’t want to know the truth.”

      1. That analysis makes sense. And even if this “interview” was covered in some other source at the time, it’s not surprising, given the date, that there is only this account on-line.

        What I wonder, tangentially, is this: it seems the topic of Hankinson’s novel only became much of a concern because of the other allegations of harassment. That’s not surprising in the context of a person’s casual and personal assessment of whether an acquaintance (neighbor, colleague, whatever) is “creepy”: did you see how he acts? yeah, well you should see what he writes… etc. But, is it the kind of thing that would ever count as relevant evidence in any kind of official evaluation: whether to hire, censure, fire, take legal action, etc?

        1. It’s an interesting question, 5:31.

          Is there are relevant difference in this respect between being a professor and having some other job? Let’s say a taxi dispatcher, or accountant, or whatever. writes porno novels in his spare time. Then, there’s a complaint about on-the-job sexual harassment. Would the fact that the accused person wrote the novels be counted as relevant?

          If so, then I think we’re getting dangerously close to saying that your full rights to write these sorts of novels are in letter only.

          1. No, I don’t think using the fact of writing a porn novel in assessing someone who’s accused of harassment comes close to infringing the person’s rights. I mean, either it’s evidentially relevant, or it isn’t. If someone can show it is, then it’s fine to use it as evidence. Of course, if it’s not actually evidentially relevant — if there is no actual correlation between an interest in porn and a tendency to harass — then it shouldn’t be *used* as evidence. (That seems to me to go without saying, but unfortunately it probably doesn’t.)

  22. If there is any lesson to be learned from the Colin McGinn, Peter Ludlow, and Thomas Pogge imbroglios, it is that PHILOSOPHERS HAVE NO FUCKING GAME.

    It is so sad to read the excerpts and summaries of the McGinn correspondence, and the Ludlow text messages, and the various reported accounts of Pogge’s various amorous and erectile advances, and see how ridiculously inept these men are with the opposite sex.

    Can you imagine McGinn’s humiliation? He had, prior to those revelations, a pretty decent reputation as a philosophical bad-ass. But when you read about his awkward advances to this grad student, it is appalling how painfully awkward he was. All that stuff about “hand jobs,” “maybe we should have sex twice,” etc.? And he lost his career without even getting his dick wet???? Ludlow, the same thing really. All those text messages (presumably released by him) made him look like the happiest little puppydog when he was hanging around with this girl (again, like McGinn, he didn’t seem to get his dick wet) and making these really sad attempts to get her to clarify her relationship with this studmuffin boyfriend she still had in her life. No game, my friend. And Pogge …. I have no words. Just pathetic. Inept, weak, awkward … completely bumbling in his attempts to turn his vaunted philosophical status into some poontang.

    Guys, you need to be a lot more COOL than McGinn, Ludlow, and Pogge are. All of these guys were completely, embarrassingly inept in their seduction attempts. It is always sad to lose your career over sex; it is about a million times sadder to lose it over a FAILED attempt to get sex.

    1. On the other hand, Ludlow got text messages implying that his game wasn’t so bad:

      Nov 13, 2011, 10:44 AM from Lauren Leydon-Hardy: I love you so much.
      Nov 13, 2011, 10:46 AM from Peter Ludlow: I know that, Silly. xoxo
      Nov 13, 2011, 6:55 PM from Lauren Leydon-Hardy: Dude, so much love.

      Nov 23, 2011, 8:40 PM from Lauren Leydon-Hardy: I can promise you that you will always have me in your life.
      Nov 23, 2011, 8:40 PM from Lauren Leydon-Hardy: And that I’ll always love you. So much.
      Nov 23, 2011, 8:41 PM from Peter Ludlow: I promise back.
      Nov 23, 2011, 8:41 PM from Peter Ludlow: So much.
      Nov 23, 2011, 8:41 PM from Lauren Leydon-Hardy: Good promises.
      Nov 23, 2011, 8:42 PM from Peter Ludlow: The best.

      “Ironic”, that Ludlow will always be in Leydon-Hardy’s life and she will always be in his. Philosophers will never forget what they did to each other, and Ludlow’s life is forever changed from their relationship.

        1. There’s a PDF floating around the internet somewhere, of Ludlow’s entire (?) text message history with (one of?) his accusers.

      1. I guess he forgot his own lessons. He comes off as a desperate puppy dog who’s never been with a woman twenty years his younger.

    2. I don’t think that’s too surprising. One of the reasons professors have to prey on students is precisely that they generally are not competitive in a normal dating environment.

      1. Right. Everyone else chooses to “prey on” other people. Because pursuing an interest with someone = being a predator.

  23. “If there is any lesson to be learned from the Colin McGinn, Peter Ludlow, and Thomas Pogge imbroglios, it is that PHILOSOPHERS HAVE NO FUCKING GAME.”

    That’s as may be, but the more important lesson is that, in light of how extreme the punishments applied to all three, if these three rather tame series of incidents (McGinn, Ludlow, Pogge) are meant to corroborate philosophy’s much vaunted “sexual harassment/assault” problem, then the philosophy profession has collectively lost its mind.

    There is an epistemic duty of requesting appropriate evidence before forming opinions and a moral duty of treating others with respect and fairness. Feminists do not accept either duty, and have whipped up hysteria in their urge to persecute witches. Almost no one has spoken out against this ongoing hysteria, Leiter being a occasional laudable exception.

    1. Not are they meant as corroboration of the pandemic of sexual harassment in the profession, but they are pretty well the sole evidence on offer of the pandemic. The Colorado Site Visit Report and the what is it like blog are the remainder of the evidence.

      I can hardly express the profundity of my disappointment with my peers in the profession, that they, who should be role models of philosophical thinking, have abandoned all epistemological standards or never had any to start with but somehow got their degrees and positions anyway. What a disillusionment.

      1. “they are pretty well the sole evidence on offer of the pandemic. The Colorado Site Visit Report and the what is it like blog are the remainder of the evidence.”

        Perhaps some of us believe that there is a problem with sexual harassment in philosophy because we have been harassed ourselves and we have witnessed the harassment of others. Surely our own personal experiences of harassment count as evidence that sexual harassment happens in philosophy.

        Of course, there might be a problem with sexual harassment in philosophy without its being a “pandemic.” I’m not exactly sure who thinks we have a pandemic on our hands. Some of us think that any amount of sexual harassment is too much sexual harassment.

        1. I agree that even a tiny amount of sexual harassment is too much sexual harassment, and that there is at least some sexual harassment. It would be very surprising if there were no sexual harassment.

          However, if there is relatively little sexual harassment, then it is best to deal with the problem on a case by case basis, by instituting normal, sensible policies about it and communicating policies, etc. Most of what is going on now is that it’s become trendy to talk about a huge problem in the profession, to throw all rules of due process and all epistemic and moral standards out the window because of this deeply, deeply pressing problem that somehow justifies acting like crazy loons and reducing philosophy blogs to gossip rags and replacing careful deliberation and investigation with the actions of mobs. That’s the problem, and the mere fact that _some_ sexual harassment exists no more justifies doing that than the existence of _some_ murders justifies vigilante justice mobs.

          Given what the social justice warriors are doing and proposing, the evidence for a pandemic of the sort that justifies extreme emergency measures is incredibly scant. That in no way denies that some people, perhaps including you, have experienced or know second-hand about particular instances of sexual harassment.

          1. Two or three murky incidents, indeed highly contested, in a population of, say, 50,000 academics, is not a “problem” anymore than people occasionally getting pushed in a bar is a “problem”. The FP/WIL hysteria of the last four or five years is propaganda for which there is no evidence. Like McCarthyism, it uses scaremongering propaganda and witch hunts to intimidate, to promote fear and to enhance the power of a selected group of political activists.

            1. You think that these 2 or 3 “murky incidents” are the only examples of sexual harassment that people are thinking of when they suggest that there is evidence that the profession has a problem with sexual harassment? Maybe YOU don’t have evidence of other incidents, but it hardly follows that no one else has evidence of other incidents. And I’m not suggesting that the WIL blog provides evidence. I’m suggesting that plenty of us have sexual harassment firsthand. Are you suggesting that our firsthand experience of sexual harassment is not evidence?

              1. From the evidence we have seen, we know that lying and maliciousness are common, and we also know that ordinary evidential constraints on the distribution of falsehoods are no longer in operation. Given the prevalence of lying and maliciousness and the absence of any concern for evidence, one therefore needs to treat any claim with considerable skepticism.

              2. 9:36, this is 5:02.

                I take what you say seriously, but I don’t see how it can amount to what you want it to amount to.

                Let’s suppose that, in addition to the three cases we’re talking about, you’ve personally been harassed by three people (that seems awfully high, but OK) and that you heard from people whose character and painstaking accuracy and care in interpretation you are assured of that there are, say, four more such cases. You then have evidence that there are ten cases of sexual harassment. Is that an acceptable number of cases? Of course not: there should be no such cases. But that’s very far from being a pandemic or major problem, and it doesn’t justify the measures that have been proposed and put in place.

                1. “I’m suggesting that plenty of us have [experienced] sexual harassment firsthand.”

                  Bigot. Shame on you, you appalling human being.

                  1. Idiot at 4:27 and 12:27,

                    I’m sure you’re amusing yourself by thinking you’re satirizing the rest of us. But the wild inaccuracies in your straw man portrayal have been shown to you, conclusively, many, many, many times. Short of physically hammering the message into your skull somehow, I don’t know what else we have to do to get you to see that your contributions are just frustratingly irrelevant derailments. But they are. And the reason has been explained to you over and over and over again.

                    Time to stop now. We get that you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about and that you think you’re the smartest person on the blog. Go away, or stay and listen. But please, no more of this straw man garbage. You’re just not paying attention, and your metablog privileges are up. Thanks.

                    1. We get that you think you own this blog and get to decide who does and who does not have ‘metablog privileges’, 12:41, and that you think it’s funny and clever to call people idiots, and that you think that there is only one person who disagrees with you and a vast army of people who share your views and that it somehow lends authority to your views to pretend that you speak for this vast army, but christ, you’re a wanker. Can you please, for the love of god, learn the difference between a strawman argument and a person taking the piss?

                    2. Idiot,

                      You’re not taking the piss. You’re misrepresenting our positions on purpose, so that your slightly less idiotic partners in crime can rant about the metablog. You’re also being a pain in the arse.

                2. I’m not the person you’ve been speaking to, but I think you make a mistake in reasoning here. I think that many of us are in a position like this: we have either been harassed at, or heard about credible cases of harassment at, all or most of the programs we have personally been involved in (as a grad student, undergrad, etc) and have heard credible reports of harassment from people at other programs. So, take your example in which the person has evidence of ten cases of sexual harassment. Is it reasonable to conclude that there are in fact only to be ten cases in philosophy, and so it isn’t a major problem? I don’t think so. It seems incredibly unlikely that your fictional person has heard of all of the cases that exist. In my own case, I know of cases that were swept under the rug at all of the institutions I have personally been involved with. It seems unlikely that I happen to just be incredibly unlucky with the programs I have wound up in, given that we have public evidence of things being swept under the rug (Pogge, Colombia) and that I have heard credible reports from people I trust about cases at other institutions.

                    1. The mark of the Femtroll! She has no original ideas, so she just mimicks, unsuccessfully, the last person who talks to her. Take note.

                  1. Hi, 2:12. Thanks for the interesting ongoing discussion.

                    I understand your point, but I don’t think that your conclusion follows. I’ll explain why.

                    While it may be true, for all I know, that you have been harassed by many people, and that you also have credible acquaintances from your various programs who say that they had similar experiences to you (and I’m going to assume for the sake of argument that you really are talking about what used to qualify as sexual harassment, and not some newer definition of the term according to which just about anything is sufficient to qualify as sexual harassment), it’s important that there are very many other people of both sexes who have never been harassed and who haven’t heard harassment stories from anyone else.

                    Suppose, for instance, that Lucy is a student who, during her undergrad years, had her ass grabbed by a professor, and then heard many other stories from other credible students in which they were asked to show their professor their tits in order to get a higher grade. Then Lucy goes to grad school, and notices that one of her professors uses the word ‘he’ rather than ‘she’ when speaking of people in authorative positions. Many other students are similarly uncomfortable with this.

                    There are two main lines of explanation for the undergrad experience. First, it’s possible that this really is a representative sample of what philosophy professors or departments are like. Second, it’s possible that it’s an outlier. The second explanation seems prima facie more plausible, for two reasons. First, the fact that there are so many people who have gone through several programs (undergrad, then grad, then teaching at another one as a postdoc, then getting a TT job) and have never experienced or heard directly of any of these stories, Second, it really flies in the face of what we otherwise know about philosophy professors. Just go to Daily Nous and you’ll see prominent people tripping over themselves to condemn any philosopher guilty of sexual harassment, Just look at how many people signed the fucking Pogge letter. This is clearly a profession that, by and large, detests and condemns sexual harassment. That is hardly consistent with a world picture in which, lurking behind every corner in every department, there are scads of serial harassers at work, routinely being covered up by all their colleagues.

                    It’s much more plausible that there are a few isolated places where one or two harassers are at work, and that you found one of them by bad luck. I’m not saying we should be blase about that, but we also shouldn’t pretend it’s evidence of a pandemic. If someone lives in a complex where there are over 50 heroin addicts in 60 apartments, we don’t conclude that 5/6 of the world/s population are heroin addicts. That’s just bad statistical reasoning.

                    Finally, while people say that the Pogge case was ‘covered up’, that’s really far from clear as more information comes out.

                    1. “This is clearly a profession that, by and large, detests and condemns sexual harassment.”

                      Since the first 160 names on the Pogge letter included several serial harassers, I wouldn’t say that the profession detests and condemns sexual harassment. I would rather say that many philosophers want to be seen as detesting and condemning sexual harassment.

                    2. I think you’re making another mistake here. You are treating these two epistemic positions “I have never heard of any sexual harassment at my dept, therefore there hasn’t been any’ and “I have heard of/experienced sexual harassment in m dept, therefore there has been some’ as on a par. But they are not. Just because a person has never heard or experienced such a thing, it doesn’t follow that it doesn’t happen. In every department there are bound to be many people – probably the majority – who were’t sexually harassed. And there are likely to be large numbers of people who also haven’t heard of any sexual harassment in their own departments. It doesn’t follow that such things don;t happen.(To take an example, think of a clear-cut case like Sandusky – there were bound to be lots of children who were’t assaulted by him, and who didn’t see or hear anything (simply becasue he had contact with lots of children over his career). But this fact isn’t evidence in favor of the claim that he didn’t do anything, in the same way that a person experiencing or hearing of an incident is evidence in favor of the claim he did assault people.

                      “If someone lives in a complex where there are over 50 heroin addicts in 60 apartments, we don’t conclude that 5/6 of the world/s population are heroin addicts. ”

                      Sure – but if, in all of the apartment complexes I have lived in, at least half of the people have been heroin addicts; and if, when I talk to other people who live in apartment complexes, a lot of them say ‘yeah, there are heaps of heroin addicts in my apartment complex” then I have good reason to think that a lot of apartment complexes have a problem with heroin. Especially if I also know that it’s the kind of thing people go to great lengths to cover up – so it’s likely that there are other cases that aren’t widely known about.

                    3. Hi, 3:14.

                      I’m curious to know what your falsification conditions are. Under which circumstances, if any, would you agree that there are only localized sexual harassment problems? It seems that all possible evidence for you falls into two categories:

                      1. If you hear someone say that he or she has experienced sexual harassment, you count that as evidence for your hypothesis of a pandemic.

                      2. If you hear someone say that he or she has not experienced sexual harassment, and is close to many people who assure her that they have not been sexually harassed, then you dismiss that as not giving important evidence (as we’ve now seen).

                      GIven that methodology, pretty well anyone would conclude that there’s a sexual harassment pandemic, so long as he or she has encountered one or two people have been sexually harassed. But clearly, that’s not a fair way of assessing the matter.

                      So, again: what hypothetical evidence could come your way that would convince you that it’s just a local phenomenon? Or would you maintain your belief no matter what new evidence comes along?

  24. Am I the only one here who gets the feeling that this board has become four or five people circulating around Rutgers philosophy (current or ex members of the department), passing truly vile slander about Lepore and Stanley, including perhaps Lepore and Stanley themselves? Geez guys, go write an article together or something.

    1. More likely, it’s a manifestation of the same Rutgers envy that motivated the SPEP report, etc. I smell an outside job.

  25. I used to like Justin at DN before these Brexit comments. The close-mindedness, digging in his heels rather than apologizing for his mistakes, plus belittling of the opposition makes it seem like all the “haha let’s have fun doing philosophy” thing is just a sham.

    1. the main differences between Leiter and Weinberg as I see it:

      (1) Leiter is an asshole; Weinberg is a tool.
      (2) Leiter is a pugnacious Marxist, as is only to be expected of assholes from his generation in academia; Weinberg is a priggish identity-politics neoliberal, as is only to be expected of tools from his.
      (3) Leiter is at least okay at philosophy, and might have been very good if his assholishness didn’t incline him to read Nietzsche in the most boring possible way. Weinberg is shitty at it.

  26. “Leiter is at least okay at philosophy, and might have been very good if his assholishness didn’t incline him to read Nietzsche in the most boring possible way.”

    What is a more interesting way to read Nietzsche? Or can you point to one or more scholars who are working on Nietzsche in a more interesting way?

    1. In my view, Leiter’s fine on Nietzsche. Not that there’s any need to “interpret” Nietzsche. If anything, it’s a good idea to avoid reading Nietzsche’s “interpreters”, since Nietzsche, like Spinoza and Wittgenstein, tends to attract thick nutcases. Walter Kaufman is fine. Read Nietzsche. Genealogy of Morals and BGE are both stunning.

      1. “Walter Kaufman is fine.” You appear to be the one who isn’t very good at philosophy. Maybe not even OK. Really, are you out of high school yet?

          1. Great banter.

            Leiter’s Nietzsche work *is* very good. He’d probably be included in my list of top 5 working Nietzsche scholars (which– and why wouldn’t my view on this be of interest to you…– would probably also include Ken Gemes, Bernard Reginster, and Peter Poellner.)

              1. Perhaps you might explain how Nietzsche is meant to be connected to the systematic sexual harassment and assault of hundreds of little girls in philosophy since last week? If you can’t, you should apologise right now for distracting attention away from the serious issues confronting the profession.

              2. I don’t doubt that Leiter would promote himself anonymously on this board, but I’m also pretty sure he wouldn’t be familiar with the “Great banter” meme. On the other hand I also never thought I’d see philosophers use the term “SJW,” but here we are.

                1. and I never thought there would be more SJW philosophers than there are days of the week, but here we are.

                  1. Seven seems like a low threshold to clear. There are probably more philosophers who are also furries than there are days of the week. At any rate, the discussion in Leiter’s comments section a while back in which a bunch of middle aged academics tried to decipher the meaning of “SJW” was one of the more amusingly inept exchanges I can remember there.

  27. In most of the articles about Pogge he is described as having behaved towards “young graduate students” in various unprofessional ways. Is the idea that it’s ok to do this to older graduate students but not towards younger graduate students? Also, does anyone know the cutoff in age for being a “young” graduate student? Some of the graduate students involved with Pogge have been in their early 20s, some in their mid-20s, and others in their 30s. Is the evaluation of his behavior supposed to be worse, all else equal, when it concerns a 22 year old compared with a 32 year old?

    1. Yes good point. I think it’s all part of the new infantilism. The legal age of consent may be 16 (or north or south of that depending on the region), but in academia, this is outdated. You may be twice that age at 32, but if you’re in a graduate program, then you’re a vulnerable child who needs to be protected from sex with grownups. Yes, of course, there are serious issues with the appropriateness of sexual advances within the profession and quid pro quos. But beneath that, the New Consensus wants to stop what they see as the molestation of children in their 20s and 30s. And just as someone who molests 9-year-olds generates more outrage and disgust than someone who has sex with teenagers among the general public, among the New Consensus it’s much worse to have sex with an infant in her 20s than with a slightly older child in her 30s.

  28. Re 2:16, I disagree. The specifics of the dirt is far too insider-y to come from the usual anti Rutgers/NYU/Gourmet Report crowd. Whether or not they are true, the Stanley, Lepore allegations above come from someone who used to know them well, is very pissed off, and has nothing to lose. I think we know who that is.

        1. Wrong. McGinn was never part of that hard partying, bro philosopher crowd. Wrong generation. But you’re close.

          1. The busted and fired bag, obviously. Who was hanging out and drinking and shtupping students with that crowd and now is no longer a professor of philosophy because of it? Who knew what, when? There’s a whole lot of very specific information above that only a few people knew. So who among them has nothing to lose?

            1. I think I know who you mean now. But was he really in with that crowd enough to know about Stanley’s activities, whatever those were?

  29. Both Lepore and Stanley for sure had sex with students, undergrad and grad, over the years. Anyone part of their crowd knows this. But so have lots of senior male philosophers. Very few will ever get in trouble for it. Probably only the creepy harasser types will get caught up in these internet auto-da-fes, the ones with willing partners not so much.

  30. Ludlow was apparently trying to use his undergrad intro philosophy classes as a harem. Totally inappropriate and worthy of getting fired. He was taking a freshman student out, getting her drunk (illegal to start with), taking her back to his place, and trying to make out with her! I imagine this was not the first student he had tried this with either. Imagine you were a parent. Would you pay $50 K to send your 18 year old daughter to university just so her fifty-something professors could get her drunk and feel her up? Yes, I realize that her fellow students will also try to do that, but at least you’re not paying them to do it, and they’re age-appropriate.

    Use some common sense here. Sleazeball behavior is not completely about narrow questions of consent.

    1. That’s shocking and appalling. I hesitate to go so far, but possibly even problematic. No 18 year old has ever married anyone older. Certainly no 16 year old has ever married a man older than 16.2. So clearly that is all problematic; and it’s neither appropriate nor age-appropriate. Has no one protested against this creepy evil old male man being problematic and inappropriate with a non-age appropriate victim?

      1. don’t try that pompous snarky shit with me, you ass. I date younger women, and it’s fun for all concerned. But you know what I don’t do? I don’t hit on the college interns I supervise and try to paw them after work. Back when I taught philosophy in a university, I didn’t invite my impressionable 18 year old students out after office hours and do shots with them hoping I could get them to stagger back to my apartment and feel them up. Every sensible person knows this is sleazeball behavior and it’s not generally tolerated in professional settings.

            1. “I date younger women, and it’s fun for all concerned.”

              I think it’s brave of you to admit being a creepy old sleaze with a sexual interest in “younger women”. Are you requesting a stay of execution, to prolong the “fun”?

    2. No, the claim that he took her out and tried to get her drunk was discredited. So was the claim that he tried to make out with her. Read Ludlow’s deposition. He provided receipts and the contact information of witnesses who make clear that Ha was the one who ordered the drinks, that the total amount of alcohol she drunk that evening was at most 1.5 units of alcohol over many hours, and that moreover that he did not kiss or try to kiss Ha in the elevator, as she claimed. He even offered to show the investigator the security footage from the elevator, to prove that she was lying about this as she clearly did on many other points. At no time did they make out, though they slept chastely together at her request. Also, she told him she was older, so he had no clear reason to think his paying for her drinks was illegal.

      As far as the evidence seems to show, here’s what happened. Ha invited Ludlow out to see some art shows she thought he’d be interested in, given what he had discussed in class back when she was his student. He accepted. As they went on their gallery tour, stopping at various pubs and cafes on the way, she made a sexual/romantic suggestion to him. He ultimately made cigar that it wasn’t going to happen, and suggested he drive her to the station. She was upset and asked to stay and talk with him, and later, to sleep in his bed. He let her do so but slept on the sofa. She was distraught and asked for him to be with her. He went to bed and held her. They were fully clothed and weren’t sexual. Later, she was having serious psychological problems and blamed him. She told her story — the one you heard — to the investigator. Ludlow heard it through the investigator and offered evidence that clearly discredited it. The investigator ignored the evidence. Later on, Ludlow’s attorney cross-examined Ha and it became clear that Ha’s story was not even internally consistent.

      1. This reminds me of a question I had before: How did underage Ha manage to order her drinks? If she had a fake ID, I’ve never seen it mentioned. I would think Ludlow’s team would mention it as proof he had reason to think she was older. Around here, anyone who possibly could be under 40 gets carded, even if they are with older people in a mixed age group. Does that not happen in Chicago? She sits there and orders her drink, and the waiter doesn’t ask for ID?

        1. Bartenders are just as likely to ID people who look underage and have drinks bought for them. Remember also that these were places with table service.

          1. I don’t get your point. Yes, bartenders card any one youngish having drinks bought for them, as do waiters at table service, at least they do where I live. None of that explains how Ha got the drinks. Do Chicago places just not take carding seriously? Did she have a fake ID? Does she look 50? Was she not even at the table when the drinks were ordered? It seems weird that accounts have made a big deal about whether she wanted the drinks or had them “forced” on her, but don’t mention how an underage person got the drinks in the first place.

            1. In what sense is Ha underage? This sounds like nonsense to me. Most people in bars are aged 16-24, so it’s really bullshit, isn’t it?

                1. What? For a start, why should anyone 18 or above not be allowed in a bar? And a large proportion of those there are under 18 anyway. So what universe are you broadcasting from?

                  1. In most countries, including all the advanced democracies except one, the legal drinking age is 16 or 18: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Dominica, Germany, Malta, Morocco, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, etc.

                    Astonishing, in the United States, it’s 21 (along with those bastions of modernity, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Iraq, Kiribati, Micronesia, Mongolia, Nauru, Oman, Palau, Samoa, Sri Lanka)

                    The US is a truly fucked-up country.

                  2. The issue is legal drinking age. People can be in bars but must be 21 to buy alcohol. Since places lose their liquor licenses for violating this, they tend to be hyper-vigilant about checking IDs for any alcohol purchase, in my experience. But I live in a smallish town with a large university. Maybe in a city, they aren’t as paranoid about checking everyone.

                    1. “People can be in bars but must be 21 to buy alcohol.”

                      Only in the US.
                      Everywhere else, this would be considered an outrage and would cause a revolution.

                    2. Uh, yeah, I think pretty much everyone reading this knows that in most countries in the world, a 19 year old can legally buy a drink in a bar. But why anybody thinks that’s relevant is beyond me, since Chicago is in the United States.

                    3. Maybe because it’s so astonishing to the vast majority of normal people that the United States maintains such bizarre policies. And it is relevant because, obviously, in practice, almost no one will conform to such an extreme policy.

                    4. “in practice, almost no one will conform to such an extreme policy”

                      Do you know this to be true? As the person who first brought up the question, I find this surprising, because it’s definitely not true where I live. Businesses ask for ID consistently and hedge their bets by carding people who easily look 10 years older than the 21 age cut. Even in mixed groups of people in their 50s with their adult children in their mid-20s, the adult children were carded. Some people do get fake IDs to get around it, but mostly people just do their drinking at private parties or in other ways away from the carders.

                      So, in the actual scenario under discussion, ie public bars and restaurants in the US, the question still stands. (fwiw, I don’t see this as a Big Deal question, but it just stood out to me as a gap in the record that either side could have exploited for their own POV)

  31. What are the odds that Anonymous is Ludlow himself? He seems super into every detail of this case. Dude has a lot of free time to surf the web now. Actually, he always has, as much of his “research” for the past 15 years or so has involved obsessively playing computer games. If you look at his WIkipedia page it is also clear that he spends a ton of time lovingly editing it — it looks longer than any living philosopher that I’ve seen.

    That would also account for all the stuff about Stanley that pops up on here. Gotta be annoying to read over the top moralizing on Facebook by some guy you’ve double-teamed strippers and snorted coke with.

    1. Peter Ludlow’s got loads of dirt on loads of philosophers, including his old buddies at Rutgers. If you’re out there reading this, Peter, please unload that dirt under your own name. That is the only way you can bring down the people who brought you down. Anonymous whispers here and there ain’t gonna do it.

          1. Since when does “working at” = “hanging out with, old friends and advisors of, conference-bro drinking buddy with, etc etc.”?

      1. Hey, moron: Stanley and Lepore are not the people who brought Ludlow down. Stop throwing baseless rumors around. You’re just making up garbage here.

        Also, Ludlow was a visiting professor for only three months at the Rutgers University Center for Cognitive Science, not even the philosophy department. That hardly makes the regular faculty at the Rutgers philosophy department into Ludlow’s “old buddies at Rutgers.” you’re really talking out of your ass.

        1. Wow. Who’s the moron? You really have no idea about any of this, do you, including the relation between RuCCS and the Philosophy Department or the professional/personal ties and history of the people we’re talking about …

          1. Hm, yeah, they are definitely old buddies.
            And Rutgers was in the middle of hiring Ludlow when the shit hit the fan and they backed out.

              1. 9:55, when, you ask? From the early 90s to about 2014, the precise moment he was drummed out of the profession.

    2. Hi. I’m not Ludlow and never even met him. But I do have an interest in sorting out fact from fiction in these cases. So, yeah, when Leiter posts legal documents filed by or against Ludlow, Pogge, and McGinn, I read them start to finish.

      Apparently there are others here who unwisely and unjustly believe the party line without fact checking. Pity.

      Go to Leiter and read the documents for yourself. There is absolutely no way Ha’s account is true. I don’t know about Ludlow’s, but at least it’s not flat out impossible.

  32. Help!

    Just had a conversation with a self-professed “critical theorist” who flatly denied that there is anything that could constitute something as “human nature” as if there is nothing that sets humans apart from other objects. How can that happen at a university? Oh, and he professed to be a fan of Zizek… -.-

    1. The two claims are logically independent of each other. You can say there is no such thing as “human nature,” in the ordinary sense of a suite of psychological properties universal to all members of the species, while still holding that there is much that sets humans apart from other objects (our genome, for example). A human is not a tennis racket but neither is a dormouse. So before accusing others of sloppy thinking–especially the standard straw man of the Zizek reading Critical Theorist– try for some rigor and perspicuity yourself..

        1. Fuck of you philosophically *and* scientifically illiterate douchebag. Take a logic for babies and intro to the philosophy of science and then come back to post here.

      1. Rather dumb comment to be honest. Human nature is more encompassing than just human psychological nature. So much for rigor and perspicuity on your part. But even if we grant your rather narrow conception of human nature, it is quite clear that there are universally shared psychological features among humans. Otherwise academic psychology would be a very narrow and according to its own goals flawed discipline. DO you even think before you write bullshit like this?

    2. Why bother having a conversation with a “critical theorist”? Would you accord any significance to, or be surprised at, the equally thick and stupid opinions of a creationist, a scientologist, a Tumblr feminist, a religious evangelical, a believer in “rape culture”, or a social justice warrior? What can a creationist, a social justice warrior, etc., tell you that isn’t simply intellectually retarded gibberish? Admittedly, some of these ignoramuses have a niche in universities; but aren’t you selective in how you interact with retards?

      1. What can someone who insists on categorizing people according to minimal criteria completely uninformative about a person’s total view or style of reasoning tell you that isn’t simply intellectually retarded gibberish? You are brainwashed.

          1. Indeed. (Said she, worriedly thinking about the book she is writing and the potential for being found out and shamed, or worse, being misunderstood by Nietzschean-level sophisticates and shamed).

  33. So people with degrees in philosophy actually use the word ‘retard’ as a noun.

    Just curious: if I met you and had a conversation with you, would I realize you’re the sort of person who calls people ‘retard’, or is that aspect of your… personality reserved for anonymous internet comments?

      1. And the use of the word “retard” in such a manner confirms the worst stereotype of analytic philosophy: that we’re boorish chess nerds lacking in the most basic social competence. It’s philosophers like you that give us all a bad name.

        1. On the contrary, it is comforting evidence that some philosophers are not retarded and hysterical social justice loons.

          1. So I suppose that you’re fine with nigger, kike, and spic? Do those establish your non-social justice loon bona fides too?

            1. “So I suppose that you’re fine with nigger, kike, and spic? Do those establish your non-social justice loon bona fides too?”

              It’s petarded to be hoist by your own retard.

          2. “Retarded” is both a widely used clinical term (“Your daughter has Down Syndrome and is likely to be mildly to moderately mentally retarded”) and a widely used, insulting way to say “stupid” (“Oh my god, how retarded was that?” and “Don’t be such a retard.”).

            There are lots of people who are mentally retarded, or who have friends or family members who are mentally retarded, who dislike the use of “retarded” as an insulting way of saying “stupid” and “retard” as “dumbass.” Is this so hard to understand?

            It’s far from the biggest problem in the world, but discouraging that usage is (IMHO) quite reasonable.

    1. That really was brave! She risked her life telling us that story. Good for her. I especially liked the part when she had to jump over that burning trench and then barehandedly intimidate a polar bear.

      Seriously, I agree with all the commenters.

  34. what is “untenured lateral”? Does that mean you a different kind of tenure clock, or is it not tenure track at all?

    1. From the above article about this SJW, Maggie Lam,

      “- Maggie Lam calls her roommate “Becky” a “white devil” and who “smelled like a skinny white girl.”
      – She describes a sexual romp with a blue eyed white man, “dry humping” him until leaving him with “blue balls” because she doesn’t want a “Scott Pilgrim-esque romance.”
      – She denounces “white, patriarchal rape culture.”
      – She criticizes progressive white students as participating in a “white savior circle jerk.'”

      1. And throughout it all, we can hear her frantically shouting. “Look at me! Hey, everyone! Look at me! I’m interesting! I’m important! If you don’t love me, you’re a racist and my friends will hate you! Lookatlookatlookatme!”

          1. Nope. Mattress girl Emma Sulkowicz is a bigoted manipulative liar and harasser. This SJW is a feminist bigot who assaulted someone.

  35. Bigoted and racist SJW assaults man, as described in this article


    Idiot above (d.w.) claims this racist feminist bigot assaulted him because she’s “Asian”. Actually, you thick moron, Asian women don’t go around assaulting people. But that doesn’t imply this particular racist SJW didn’t assault someone. She did assault someone. Go away and learn to think.

  36. Disoriented after reading conflicting accounts of the Deduction of the Pure Concepts of Understanding, I stumbled upon a 3000+ page annotated translation of Marx’s ‘Capital’ http://content.csbs.utah.edu/~ehrbar/akmc.htm. Its translator offers commentary informed by Critical Realism. O Sages of the Internet, what does Critical Realism tell us about the relation of thought to the world? Does it have any philosophical merit?

    1. Femtroll lunacy in full flower there. Not surprising feminist loons got the messages taken down and then got pmmb closed down.

  37. Assholes, feminazis, philosopybros that should be shot out of canons, and rubberneckers,

    Happy 4th of July.

    Let’s hope there’s no need for a July open thread.

    1. Wow. The principle of non-contradiction contains within it the law of the excluded middle. Quick, someone tell Kleene!

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