July Open Thread

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420 thoughts on “July Open Thread

    1. Stubblefield is a woman and a social justice feminist. The person she repeatedly raped is a man, indeed a powerless black man. This is why, even despite Stubblefield’s criminal conviction, no one pays attention. Don’t expect philosophy’s rabid SJW crowd to diminish its hysteria and frenzy soon.

      1. Why doesn’t this argument from publishing integrity trump those issues?:

        “The continued availability of the abovementioned article would imply that the Editors of Disability Studies Quarterly and the Directors of the Society for Disability Studies find the unique word of D.J.’s rapist to be sufficiently trustworthy for maintaining the article as part of the repository of peer-reviewed published research. Such trust in D.J.’s rapist would not appear to satisfy the minimum conditions of scientific integrity of an article for a peer-reviewed academic journal.”

        1. In whose mind might any such argument “trump” those issues? This is all about power. You incorrectly assume that those in power – academic feminists, or academic SJWs more generally – are capable of ordinary reasoning, or understanding/weighing up evidence, or treating people as equals. But they are not capable of reasoning, or understanding evidence or treating people as equals. Simply observe them. They’re rabid bigots.

          1. Well, the sense I get is that disability studies is a (relatively) new field, and pure self-interest for a new or burgeoning field would requires that its practitioners observe the minimal disciplinary expectations: establishing conferences, starting publishing outlets, maintaining a reliable body of literature, having a means to correct mistaken findings, etc. If faulty research can’t get corrected due to failure to act by its practitioners, then such an omission counts against the field as a scientific or academic discipline.

  1. What are the odds that one of the shoddy referee reports on the paper being discussed over at DN was our singularly unhinged friend?

    1. Just another panel in Weinberg’s anti-trans (or anti-RM) agenda. Does anyone honestly think it’d be “news” for any other kind of paper to get rejected on shaky grounds or no grounds at all? Shit happens every day, and doesn’t get front page treatment on DN.

    2. 1/everyone in philosophy of gender

      That’s not even a dig at them. There might be problems with gatekeeping, but this is just a bad paper. I’m into the drama though.

      The best part is how he keeps saying that his philosophy of gender paper doesn’t have to engage with any prior work in philosophy of gender, because it’s mostly feminist and why would he talk to feminists? From now on all my papers are getting a footnote that says “By not ensconcing itself in the existing literature, this paper takes a fresh approach that is a virtue for a general audience. Sometimes it’s worthwhile to make a clean start.”

      1. Wait actually this is the best part.

        “Reviewer 2: ‘The authors claim it is obvious Joe should count as transgender. … it’s far from obvious that this person would be considered ‘transgender’ – at least, I don’t think he would be so considered by very many transgender people I know.’
        Demetriou: ‘God forbid philosophy challenge our categories.’

        Again, this is one of the two cases they use to motivate rejecting the GLAAD/APA definition. It’s a huge problem if it “challenges our categories,” because their argument depends on it being so obvious that we’re willing to accept some seriously counterintuitive conclusions.”

        It’s OK Dan, I forget what I write in my papers too.

      2. The best part is that he posted his reply to the referees from a rural Cameroon village without stable electricity.

        Dan wiped the sweat from his bronzed, manly brow. He was exhausted. A vision of a tall glass of bil-bil and a bowl of peanut soup flashed through his head, but he pushed it away. He had a mission. He had come to Cameroon to help people, and he wouldn’t turn away now.

        He never expected to end up here, with so much depending on him. But earlier he had seen young men from the village getting ready for a traditional dance. “You are practicing gender exaggeration,” he told them. “It is a form of transgenderism. I have a paper about this.” They nodded, impressed. But then—he remembered. They had rejected it. Rejected his paper! They said… they said he had to engage with the literature! He burned with noble anger. “They’re suppressing free speech!” he said, giving the village water pump a righteous kick. “Gate keeping! Stifling views they find troubling! It’s ideological censorship! Who will stand up? Who will fight this oppression, fight for the little guy, for the philosophers who can’t publish on topics they know nothing about?”

        A bird sung from a nearby bush. The sun warmed his face and courage grew in his belly. “I will,” he said. “I believe in the importance of principles, in consistency, in reasoning in ethical debate. I will fight! I will show them. You don’t reject a paper by Dan Demetriou!” The young men watched him, awed by the hero in their midst.

        Now he was here, fingers aching, typing… typing… the freedom of the discipline on his shoulders. He wouldn’t stop. Couldn’t stop. The lights flickered. “This is a matter of justice!” he shouted to anyone that might hear. “Do whatever it takes!” One last crushing, majestic reply (Exactly which premise is shown false by our being “out of touch,” you craven ideologues?) and he hit post…

        And it was done. He let out the triumphant whoop of a true warrior.

        His host, Tonta, came in looking hopeful. “Is there good news, Dan? You can replace the water pump?” The lights went out.

        “Better,” said Dan, his sonorous voice filling the darkness. “I saved philosophy.”

        1. This would be more amusing if the gatekeepers weren’t suggesting a research program be questioned because some people might feel offended by its results.

        2. ^A well-done roast.

          Still, if you don’t think there’s a gate keeping problem in feminist philosophy/gender studies, then I suspect you’re not paying attention. Given that (a) many, many professional philosophers reject the core elements of the dominant paradigm in these areas and (b) there exist eceptionally strong incentives to publish everything you think about anything, the literature should contain far more dissenting views on these subjects, where a dissenting view is not the kind expressed in a paper where you accuse other feminists of being soft on race/disability/gay issues by “gently suggesting” that their work may have “problematic implications” for various and sundry progressive political projects.

          1. eh, I don’t know about that.

            I don’t think there’s a noteworthy absence of work criticizing the subfield itself. Subdiscipline paradigm attacking stuff isn’t very common in philosophy in general. Lots of people think metaphysics is fundamentally confused, few people are writing about it. In this case, I would have trouble specifying the core elements of the dominant paradigm in feminist philosophy that people consider objectionable. That gender/sexuality has a significant influence on your perspective and life experience? I don’t see anything analogous to the claim that metaphysical claims are unverifiable and so meaningless, or that we have no reason to expect our intuitions to have any bearing on metaphysical facts. Even the conversations around those claims petered out fairly quickly and the metaphysicians were mostly left to do their thing.

            There’s a noteworthy absence of nonfeminist responses to feminist arguments, but I don’t think it’s because of gatekeeping. I don’t know a single nonfeminist who has tried to publish a reply to a feminist argument or who even regularly reads feminist work. I know I don’t, though when I’ve encountered it I thought it was interesting enough. All the criticism about feminist philosophy that I’ve heard and read has been very general, and I’ve never gotten the impression that people were very familiar with it. (Including your comment about the “gentle suggestion.” I see that in SJW conversations, but none of the feminist philosophy I’ve read was like that.)

            I’ve honestly never heard of a case where someone who was abreast on the relevant literature couldn’t publish a dissenting view. Maybe it’s happened. If I heard about it, I’d strongly object. But gatekeeping isn’t what explains the lack of nonfeminist dissent on these topics. Feminist philosophy is just ghettoized. I’m sure feminist philosophers would like it if their work was more widely read and discussed, even critically, just like other philosophers.

            1. If ‘ghettoized’ means that it’s shoved off to the side by being unfairly discriminated against, then I don’t think that’s true at all. Rather it’s generally just not very good–and often downright terrible. Is something ghettoized if it isn’t very good and, as a consequence, people tend to ignore it?

              It’s also highly politicized, and most philosophers hereabouts think that philosophy shouldn’t be driven by politics.

              1. Didn’t mean to attribute any particular cause, just that it’s isolated and not read or engaged with by the mainstream.

                I’m a little skeptical, though, about it being isolated because it’s just not very good. Like I said, I thought what I’ve read was pretty interesting. (Okin on Rawls, Langton’s “Speech Acts and Unspeakable Acts,” McGowan’s “Conversational Exercitives and the Force of Pornography,”…) I didn’t agree with all of it but the quality seemed completely normal and it was all very provocative, which is something we normally value.

                I’ve often heard that it’s not very good, but like I said, the criticism I hear is very general, and it’s not clear to me that people are actually very familiar with it. What have you read that you thought was downright terrible?

              1. As he notes, the typical mainstream philosopher has never tried to read a feminist paper. And the reason for that is that a few meta-feminist philosophy papers argue that that there are limited contributions men can make to the field? How does that work? Does everyone have psychic access to the contents of those papers?

                I googled a few of feminist “scholars” that he cites as discouraging men’s participation, and several of them are literary theorists, not philosophers. That’s completely misleading. Of course they’re more focused on personal experience than argument, they’re doing literary theory. If he wants to make conclusions about analytic feminist philosophy, it needs to be based on analytic feminist philosophy.

                1. Analytic Feminism: All men are rapists. All accusations are true. Believe the accuser. No women lie. No women rape. Due process is sexist. No evidence is needed to substantiate an allegation. Killallmen.

                  Did I forget anything?

        3. just when i was ready to give up on the pmmb gems like this come around. thanks for making me chuckle, anonymous snarky stranger!

  2. The DSQ situation is especially amusing in the light of the simultaneous ‘Just to show that I infinity disapprove of Pogge, I’m never going to cite his work again’ babbling among the Moral Majority.

          1. How can we have a proper moralizing contest if you insist on trying to be “fair”? (As if fairness were anything but a neoliberal tool of masculinist hegemony.)

            Anyway, it’s too late. By endorsing the weak, ineffectual punishment of killing him, you have revealed yourself to be a rape apologist. I will no longer assign your work in any of my classes and I will immediately unfriend anyone I discover to be assigning your work.

                1. The American Philosophical Association, Statement of Policy, 2016
                  “In our world, there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph and self-abasement. The sex instinct will be eradicated. We shall abolish the orgasm. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty to the Party. But always there will be the intoxication of power. Always at every moment there will be the thrill of victory; the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever.”

    1. That brings up some interesting questions: do the DSQ articles in question get cited? Does Stubblefield, in general, get cited?

      I wonder if retraction watch will do a follow-up on the DSQ situation.

      1. Stubblefield’s paper gets cited, but only to exemplify “fad interventions,” “malpractice,” “abuse of human rights,” “pseudoscience,” a “discredit method,” a “lie,” and so on. These are mostly works by social scientists and medical practitioners. I could be wrong but I think she’s been ignored by philosophers.

  3. Simone de Beauvoir groomed schoolgirls for sex, and was banned from teaching at French lycees for kidnapping a schoolgirl. Should her work be assigned?

      1. Compared to Beauvoir, Pogge is a saint. Were she to do what she did now, Beauvoir would be serving life sentences in jail for molestation, grooming and statutory rape of schoolgirls. As well as raping them, Beauvoir also passed them on to a man, Sartre, to rape them. But note that this feminist philosopher icon will not be criticized, while Pogge gets publicly hung out to dry for writing a letter, sharing a hotel room and taking an airflight.

        1. Up until very recently sexual perks were part of the deal of being a senior academic. If every male philosopher who ever screwed their students was kicked out of the profession half the profs over 40 would be gone. The Rutgers department would be totally empty — pretty funny that Yale gets tagged in the Times for being unusual in this respect.

  4. Re: http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2016/07/nick-bostrom-thinks-ai-robots-could-take-over-the-world.html

    It seems weird that Leiter is mentioning a fatal accident mainly as a joke. Also, it seems weird that he refers to ‘the actual issues’, contrasting these with concerns about AI and the future of humanity, without any kind of argument or reasoning. As though we are meant to be able to rule out dangers just based on our “common sense” ideas of how the world is, or something like that.

    Since comments are closed on that post I thought I’d draw attention to it here and ask, what do people think?

    1. I think I prefer when Leiter posts the kind notes from his anonymous fans at other institutions. They are truly inspirational.

      1. He is insecure. This is endearing and human. Leiter fights his battles alone mostly, which is a sign of courage; it is risky and requires determination and a sense of integrity – that is, refusal to bow down to the current idols. In contrast, the philosophy profession itself is filled with moralistic herds, moving en masse, like shoals of fish, ever aware that deviation means punishment. So, for these kinds of reasons, it is appreciated when others pass on some small note of encouragement.

        1. “Endearing” and “human” are surely terms I never thought I’d apply to Brian Leiter. But events of the last two or three years have changed everything, and they are now quite apt.

          1. He’s almost sort of cute, if you get the lighting right, squint just a little, and let the melodious shrieks of SJWs lull you into a sultry stupor.

    2. “there is something very odd about sci-fi fantasies about domination by robots occupying philosophers when there is actual domination by states and ruling economic elites throughout the developed world. Imagine if equivalent intellectual energy were expended on the actual issues?”

      Clearly by “the actual issues” he means the “actual domination by states and ruling economic elites,” where “actual” is contrasted with hypothetical. Seems pretty reasonable to me.

        1. In fact if you think about the dominating robot problem carefully enough you’ll see that it is really a dominating state and economic elites problem.

      1. Really!? I’ve worked extensively in computational linguistics and am painfully familiar with how bizarrely certain approaches can go wrong. AI is almost certainly much worse. Plenty of Nick Bostrom’s stuff is totally daft, and he routinely picks hysterical scenarios to illustrate his points, but it isn’t all totally insane.

        These issues are obviously going to become enormously important at some point, and the rate of progress in these fields is so unpredictable we literally have no idea when this point will be. It makes perfect sense to have a few people (and only a few people) start thinking about these issues now.

        People here need to take a good look in the mirror before they whine about anyone not focusing on the “actual issues”. Seriously, how many people here can honestly say that anyone outside a philosophy/literature department has been seriously influenced by their work? Maybe 50%, at best. To be clear, I don’t like Bostrom’s work, I just find criticizing it on these ground absurdly hypocritical.

  5. On Daily Nous, Derek Bowman shares with us that “in my experience desk rejections are ubiquitous”.

    No surprise there.

    1. I almost never have any idea what to make of such surveys.

      Very small response rate, and non-responders are less likely to have been victimized.

      There’s obviously an ideology prevalent on campuses that encourages exaggeration of such things. Needless to say, I have little idea how much effect it might have on such responses.

      It seems extremely counterintuitive that “TGQN” students would have the highest victimization rate for e.g. rape–and *significantly* higher than female students. It’d be interesting to know what the explanation is for that.

      I find the reported rates pretty incredible…but, then, I’m kind of naive.

      Even if the actual rates are half or 1/3 of what’s reported, it’s all pretty astonishing and horrifying to me.

      1. Explanation: People have weird, violent and aggressive sexual hangups, and they think that TQGN people do to.

  6. The old way: “As soon as the prospective graduate students visiting Northwestern University’s philosophy department reached the top of Chicago’s lofty John Hancock Center, the cocktails began to flow. Later that evening, everybody had dinner at a prominent professor’s high-rise apartment, where the partying continued well past midnight.”

    The new way: “Those raucous recruitment weekends were once routine in the department. But the big, boozy nights are over. Now prospective students spend an early evening with professors at a local Thai restaurant. No one orders alcohol, and the director of graduate studies often brings her children.”

    The new way sounds boring and cheap.

    1. The way of the future: all faculty members will be screened as part of the interview process to ensure that they are good people with proper pro-family values. Candidates will be asked if they intend to have families again, but this time will be more likely to be hired if they say yes, because having a family is believed to be correlated with having positive values about the proper relations with students. It will be normal for babies and children to be brought to all philosophical events, as part of every department’s family-friendly atmosphere and as a way of ensuring that nobody is ‘discriminated against’ by the cost of daycare. Topics that could be upsetting to children, such as famine, capital punishment, torture, rape, and the nonexistence of God and Santa Claus will be strongly discouraged, and graduate students will soon come to see that these are just not good research programs for the departments of the future.

      Site visits by the Transatlantic Hatred-Opposing Union for Growing Healthy Toleration of People Of Lesser Integration in the Collegiate Experience (THOUGHT POLICE for short) will be regular, and will ensure 100% compliance with THOUGHT POLICE opinion, speech and behavior protocols. Violators of these protocols will immediately be exposed to their colleagues for a bracing encounter with hatred, then they will become unpersons and never be heard from again. The PhD machine will readily find a replacement for such people within hours, and life in the department will quickly go back to normal with the new colleague. Thanks to the enforced uniformity of opinions, ideas, and behavior, nobody will ever notice the slightest difference between the new colleague and the old colleague.

      In this way, Innovative(TM) and Pathbreaking(TM) philosophers will continue to be a driving force in the world for millennia to come.

      1. It’s always good to see the evidence for yourself, instead of relying on biased testimony in the suits and countersuits, isn’t it?

        1. Or you could mind your own business and refrain from forming opinions about Peter Ludlow in the first place. There’s always that.

      2. Conspiracy theory 1: someone wants to make sure that LLH is humiliated and never gets a job.

        Conspiracy theory 2: someone wants to make sure that PL is humiliated and never gets a job again.

  7. Three years ago Jesse Prinz went to Syracuse to give a talk on his book about consciousness.

    The book has a weird cover:

    Prinz said he didn’t like the cover anymore, because people couldn’t tell what it represented, and someone had said ‘it looked like a victim of violence against women.’

    During Q&A Janice Dowell said she was now obsessed with the cover, and she wanted to ‘very, very kindly and gently’ suggest that he should change it. Then she added as an afterthought: ‘or, you could keep it, but make it a man!’

    There were a hundred people in the audience, and more than a few of them must have noticed her astonishingly unselfaware sexism. But nobody dared to say anything.

    1. JFC, are you really trotting out this hyper-formalizing use of “sexism” again as if it weren’t so fucking old it creaks? Dude, enter the fucking world will you and realize that the history of real-life experiences and social structures of men and women are different as are the history of their representations, so that Dowell’s suggestion of gender-flipping the representation is not “sexism” but an situated intervention into an already-one-sidedly sexist anti-woman history. Seriously dude this “lol the feminists are the really sexists when they suggest gender-flipping” shit is so very sad.

      1. With all of the ludicrous buzzwords, I can’t tell if this is the sincere work of an ideologue or very well done parody. Poe’s Law in action!

        1. I agree with 1:43 pm that Dowell’s comment isn’t really fairly described as sexism. But it is typical of Dowell not in a good way either. Everyone know she’s a trailing spouse, you would think she’d be more self-aware.

          1. No. But reacting more negatively to violence towards women as compared to that towards men is the status quo and not some sort of “punching up”.

          2. No. Wonder Woman is there demanding equal treatment. But Janice Dowell was saying that if the picture featured a male apparent victim of violence rather than a female one, that would be less disturbing, and nobody said otherwise in a room of 100 people.

            If that isn’t blatant and at least mildly disturbing sexism to you, you’ve definitely drunk the Kool-ade.

            1. In my experience, misbehavior of this kind has been largely perpetrated by females. I was once asking a question at a seminar and was interrupted by a woman because it was a good time for her to make a dick joke. Another time a woman interrupted someone else’s question to make a gross generalization about how male philosophers only spend time with their children when they aren’t off fucking graduate students. Completely inappropriate for a man to say. Totally fine for a woman to say.

              I’m not sure if it’s really “sexism” in the gross dehumanizing sense that women are often discriminated against, but poor taste comments like that get old very quickly.

      2. Not oppression because “situated intervention” and so punching up. What a disgusting illiberal mindset these people have.

          1. LOL. I remember that setting off a shitstorm of hilarity and stupidity on a blog a few years ago. Keep clutching those pearls.

        1. Funny thing is, Cappelen’s dedication in that book is not up to date anymore. I heard that it was one of those “mutually beneficial” relationships. You wouldn’t find this academic incest in the sciences.

          1. It is perfeclty normal in the sciences for people to have relationships, and it occurs all the time, with a very high proportion of professors (male and female) married to former students, post-docs, etc. What you do not find in the sciences is the unhinged feminist psychosis and hysteria that is ruining philosophy.

              1. Well, I have tended to defend Rage Machine from those who are rude to the mostly harmless purple-haired buttercup. And the ongoing “asshat/unhinged” spat between Rage and El Grincho de Chicago is amusing.

  8. Ms. Lopez alleged, among other charges, that Professor Pogge had groped her and made a series of inappropriate remarks, referring to her as “the Monica Lewinsky to my Bill Clinton.”

    lololololol

      1. I really want to know what Pogge was thinking when he said that. Did he think it was smooth? Seductive? Cool? Was he hoping for a cigar moment?

    1. If I understand this, Janice Dowell prevented someone’s work being published. She has successfully blacklisted another academic, because of rumors. Is this not something a normal academic profession would unite against?

            1. That seems sort of unlikely to me. This doesn’t look like the kind of thing Hawthorne would have agreed to contribute to. (It’s Routledge, it’s a handbook, and given this it’s unlikely he’d be enticed by the prospect of writing about contextualism.) my guess would be someone les senior. Troy Cross?

              1. Is Ludlow not considered the obvious choice here? He’s published on contextualism. There is no indication the target of Dowell’s censure is someone in addition to those already highly publicized. Plus, he has contributions in volumes that is coming out only now, e.g. this.

                1. A distinct possibility, but it seemed strange to me that Ichikawa would have invited Ludlow in the first place given Ichikawa’s leanings and the scandals surrounding Ludlow. This would seem to depend on the timing of the invitations. I don’t think the project started before stories about Ludlow began to circle. (Maybe I’m wrong on that point, but could we agree that Ichikawa wouldn’t have been likely to invite Ludlow unless the invitation went out before things started to kick off?)

                  1. Confirmed author on Routledge Book from 2015 summary includes this

                    “Epistemic Standards Operators” (Peter Ludlow)

                    1. Interesting! Did Ichikawa invite Ludlow after the shitstorm had already started? Weren’t there stories in the press in 2014?

                  2. Ichikawa was pals with Ludlow, see their FB party photos together. Ichikawa has his own reputation as a sleaze, Dowell seems to have missed out on that.

                    1. Remember when Ichikawa was suggestively informing everyone at conferences that he’s in an open marriage?

            2. The idea that John Hawthorne is somehow punished or taken down a peg when his paper isn’t published in Ichikawa’s Contextualism volume is pretty funny.

        1. Not so good when she comments on Lauren Leydon-Hardy’s text messages with Peter Ludlow… she was way off the reservation there

        1. I mean this comment:

          If I understand this, Janice Dowell prevented someone’s work being published. She has successfully blacklisted another academic, because of rumors. Is this not something a normal academic profession would unite against?

  9. What is going on with John-Michael Kuczynski? He is flooding PhilPapers with self-published “books”.

    This one’s abstract is my favorite:

    John-Michael Kuczynski (2016). Papers on Formal Logic. reateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
    This volume brings together some of Dr. Kuczynski’s most important work on mathematical logic. The crushing power of Kuczynski’s intellect is on full display in these paper, in which he introduces the neophyte to the basic principles of set theory and logic while at the very same time articulating new and important theorems of his own.

    1. Philosophical Dictionary

      JOHN-MICHAEL KUCZYNSKI (2016)
      Abstract
      A dictionary of terms specific to analytic philosophy, written by the world’s leading mathematical logician and analytic philosopher. Clear definitions, with explanations of the corresponding concepts, are given of such expressions as algorithm, entailment, function, functionalism, model (in both the scientific and the mathematical senses), and virtue theory.

    1. Manne: As Christina Hoff Sommers observes, though, my aim was less to provide an account of how we do think about misogyny than to explore how we ought to think about it—what philosopher Sally Haslanger calls an “ameliorative analysis.”

      Humpty Dumpty: “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

      1. Inigo Montoya to Dumpty/Manne: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    2. I agree with little of what Manne says in this piece, but I have to say that she is a very skilled writer. I look forward to reading her book on misogyny.

  10. Who is the ancient Greek who’s name has come to mean “false pride” or something like that? I used to know, but brain out of order.

  11. “Still, one suspects that a ROBERT Lange would have been spared much of this.”

    It boggles the mind that even Manne and her ilk find this form of reasoning cogent. Basically, it’s “I suspect that a man would have been treated differently in the same situation, based on my patriarchy theory. This confirms my patriarchy theory. ”

    Also, she spends the article arguing that misogyny doesn’t imply hatred of women. The perils of not knowing Greek words or looking them up, I guess.

    1. What troubles about the Mannes and Dotsons of the philosophical universe is not the truth allergic identity politics they substitute for argumentation. Indeed, we’ve had similar types on the margins of the discipline for decades (e.g., Bruce Wilshire). No, what troubles me is that so many otherwise competent philosophers are enabling them in their move from the margins to the center.

      1. Christina Hoff Sommers has a good reply to Kate Manne’s extremism,

        “In fact, Roberta Lange has a male (and white) counterpart in Colorado: Steve House, chair of the state Republican Party. He also made decisions about delegates that riled up voters. He received even more angry, profanity-laden messages than Lange did. He was called a “cheating scumbag,” a “worthless fucking piece of shit,” and a “corrupt fucker.” Not only that, but three party members allegedly threatened to spread rumors that he was unfaithful to his wife. Is it reasonable to say that in Lange’s case the vitriol was an example of the patriarchy lashing out at an unruly woman, but in House’s case some other force was at work? No, it is not. Female candidates get their share of sexualized attacks, but Manne’s analysis is too convoluted and abstract to help us understand or address it. What is more, sexism does not appear to be an obstacle to getting elected. Somehow the misogynist patriarchal order allows women candidates to win at the same rate as their male counterparts.”

        https://bostonreview.net/forum/logic-misogyny/christina-hoff-sommers-christina-hoff-sommers-responds-kate-manne

      2. Well put, Lysias. I agree: the enablers of this pseudophilosophical quackery are just as much to blame, and there are many more of them than the perpetrators who couldn’t think straight if their lives depended on it.

        And all this just at a time when we need to show the world that philosophical education is something worth preserving. We need to bring the curtain down on this whole episode as quickly as we can. Defending these people and calling the dreck they produce philosophy is not OK.

    1. “Correction: We’ve received word that Johnson and Willaford prefer to be identified as black women, rather than “women of color.” Our apologies.”

      TLDR: We’re NOT going to identify and work toward achievable goals, collaborate with people who are gross, have cooties, or disagree with us in a minor way on some tangential issue, define our terms and issues in a coherent and consistent way, or focus our activism on the world beyond the web, and you can’t make us you biggit.

    1. Blah, blah, blah. This is the most cherry-picked heap of bullshit I’ve seen in some time. I’m sure you’ll get some takers at Daily Nous or Feminist Philosophers, though. They don’t care how unrepresentative the stories are that you tell them, so long as the answer is orthodox enough. And yeah, a woman criticized a book cover and was called a bunch of names. But you leave out the important parts, like that she specifically said that she would be satisfied with a cover in which (she felt) a man was being harmed rather than a woman. Fuck’s sake, get some objectivity. But you won’t, you’ll just keep on whining and never questioning yourself. So it’s off to Daily Snooze and Pseudofeminist Pseudophilosophers with you.

      1. I don’t think the Open Letter is about that particular incident.

        Are there any philosophers among the signatories? None whose names I recognize.

  12. Oh the irony:

    “For well a decade and a half, I’ve been teaching Homa Hoodfar’s work. Her amazing article on Muslim women’s veiling is a model of complexity and nuance, really delving into the many and varied attitudes women take to veiling, and shattering the myths of a monolithic oppressive Islam…”

    “Hoodfar, who has done so much to deepen non-Muslims’ understanding of the complexities of Islam and gender, is now imprisoned in Iran. Please sign the petition to free her.”

  13. Any news on the whole Benatar affair? What happened to the student that accused him of racism? Has African philosophy been vindicated?

  14. Any news on Naomi Dershowitz and Nicole Dular and their alleged harassment of Syracuse faculty? What happened with those allegations? This was discussed at an older metablog and then deleted.

        1. You’re going to be eating a lot of pop-corn 7:21. I wouldn’t expect any juicy updates on this total non-story.

      1. Yes, if someone has been driven out of his job and career and home by a deranged, petty, lying and attention seeking nobody and a bunch of sociopathic feminist goons, but then seems not to be wholly destroyed a couple of years later, he deserves none of our sympathy. Instead, let us stalk him on Twitter for no reason.

          1. You go, nv! Keep stalking him via Instagram. Monitor his state of mind, and keep administering justice by exposing him to ridicule if his life seems to be going to well from what he posts. What a hero.

            1. Huh? I didn’t do any of those things. What are you talking about?
              This comment section is full of people who are full of shit.

    1. Yes. He had to pack it up, sell it, and move to Mexico. His old friends and colleagues have almost entirely abandoned him. Surely, any minimally decent person will understand that he ought to be left in peace .

        1. Yes, you always could. And you could also pick peanuts out of poo for dinner, and you sound like the kind of person who would.

      1. “His old friends and colleagues have almost entirely abandoned him”

        Bullshit. Ludlow maintains a constant banter with his 10,000, or whatever it is, mates on FB. Cut the crap.

        1. That may be so in a superficial sense, but all his “closest” philosopher friends have abandoned him. There’s no way Jazz Tranley would be posting pics from PL’s high rise apartment anymore, e.g., something he once did with gusto

          1. Ludlow simply moved his playboy life from Chicago to Mexico, and hasn’t lost anything, other than the friendship of 6 or 7 people, whom everyone else regards as idiots.

            1. Ludlow “hasn’t lost anything” apart from his 190K a year job, the 300K a year job he was going to get at Rutgers, and a few hundred thousand in legal fees. That’s a large nothing. Unemployed and out of the profession. I gotta think those groupies and floozies are all going to ditch him when the money runs out.

  15. There’s this pic of John Hawthorne and Christina Dietz on PL’s Instagram, reminding one of Heather Lockwood’s explosive allegations about how PL introduced them, “offering to “pass off” a student girlfriend whom he was dating at the time of the incident with the Northwestern undergraduate to another senior Philosophy Professor in the U.K., and allegedly offering to write a letter of recommendation for the student’s application to a university in London”

      1. A question Heidi Lockwood, Jason Stanley, Jonathan Kvanvig, and “Philosopher X” should have thought about!

      2. “If someone brings you word that so-and-so is speaking badly about you, do not defend yourself against that which was spoken, but answer, “Yes, indeed, for he/she didn’t know the rest of the flaws that attach to me; if only he/she had, then these wouldn’t be the only flaws he-she mentioned.”

    1. damn! That girl is smoking hot. Makes you understand why guys bust their ass to climb to the top of the philosophy hierarchy…if you can make it it’s a really nice life…flying around the world to recite claims you pulled out of your butt, dining in fancy restaurants with starstruck girls in their 20s eager to hobnob with the top guys…if you can judge just by groupie quality academic philosophy seems to have it OK.

      1. Thanks, no@thanks. Now send us your name and a picture of your girlfriend so that we can evaluate her and discuss your no longer private life.

      2. i’m getting a hard-on just thinking about all the pristine, hairless, aromatic fresh peachy high-grade pussies i will be getting when i climb to the top of the profession

    2. It still shocks me that this thing ever even existed. I mean, what do you have to be smoking/whatever to think that it’s a good idea to gather a bunch of gossip, write it down, and then put it in the public record? Really?

    3. Congratulations, you just drove a woman off of social media. But it’s actually about ethics in journalism, isn’t it?

  16. Sorry, but I have this feeling that academics – no matter their subject – cannot be taken seriously if they take part in those public displays of narcissism (instagram, excessive facebook posts, etc.). Not only is it always embarrassing to post pseudo-spontaneous pictures of you paired with semi-intellectual references, but I find it especially bad when grown-up academics do it. You would not see Lewis, Kripke or Williamson engage in this shit. Just like teenagers with their new iphone….

    1. Kripke might if he could figure out how to use an iPhone. (Guy couldn’t master the tape recorder back in Princeton.)

  17. Can we review who the feminist philosophers bloggers are?
    Magical Ersatz is Elizabeth Barnes.
    Jender is Jenny Saul.
    Philoadria I Kathryn Pogin.
    Who is Monkey? The others?
    Also who was the mystery “law philosophy” person who blogged briefly?

        1. Maybe it’s because she called Jennifer Lackey a fag hag in private texts that were leaked online. Janice Dowell mistakenly confirmed that these texts were legit.

          Lackey of course was LLH’s academic owner.

          1. Lauren Leydon-Hardy harassed Peter Ludlow out of his job with false accusations. She then very publicly tried, but failed, to get Laura Kipnis fired.

            1. Yes but the Moral Majority wouldn’t make her an unperson for that. They were the ones who instigated her.

    1. Sinn, it is not a sin to be obsessed with gossip. But most of us know who you are in real life, so why not just come out? You are guaranteed lots of scoopy dirt from your checkered past.

  18. Martha Nussbaum has more wisdom, smarts, and humanity in her botoxed forehead than the entire FP gang put together.

  19. In the last few weeks some FPs here have been witch hunting not only Hawthorne, but even his wife (I think she has a very young baby too), who has now shut down her social media account. She is not any kind of public political activist who might be involved in public debate, but an entirely private person, and she’s being harassed online by FPs. Maybe that’s a more telling indication of what it is really like to “be a woman in philosophy” now – be subjected to mockery and harassment from feminists.

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to learn that this is happening (I’ve witnessed it a couple times before), but can you link to any evidence that this actually happened?

      1. First, there are comments here for the last month or two trying to “out” various philosophers. These comments are from one or more FPs. They include several names, and one person being repeatedly defamed is Hawthorne. You can find these by searching. Second, there are similar comments above in this thread attacking Ludlow, Hawthorne and Hawthorne’s wife. These are again from one or more FPs. And third, now Hawthorne’s wife has closed her facebook account. Despite being a private person, she’s being publicly harassed by FPs. It’s a kind of doxxing.

          1. I see none. And “FPs” — or those affiliated with the Feminist Philosophers blog, at any rate — have in their own way condemned this kind of gossip-fueled witch-hunting. That was my read of the Lockwood situation, at least; she was removed from the blog and basically shunned as soon as her affidavit came to light.

            1. Is any of this alleged condemnation of Lockwood by feminists public? I’d find evidence of that useful and encouraging.

          2. No evidence whatsoever. For all we know, the person who is trying to pin those comments on FPs may very well have written them him/herself.

  20. Anyone know why Bryan Frances left his full professorship at Fordham recently, and where (if anywhere) he ended up?

    1. No idea why Frances resigned, but I do know (because Frances said so on a Daily Nous Thread shortly after) that it was for the same “personal reasons” that had caused him to resign at Leeds and that he was back on the job market. I can’t imagine what “personal reasons” would compel a person to resign a full professorship and then immediately go back on the market looking for a job, except a plagiarism scandal, drug abuse or diddling the undergrads.

      The sexual harassment angle seems most likely, but I don’t know the guy. (Or are there plagiarism allegations about him I haven’t heard about?) At any rate, I have no proof Frances is a serial sexual harasser. But I can certainly say it would be prudent to be incredibly suspicious of him, i.e. think twice about inviting him to a conference where undergrads would be present, or interviewing him as a job candidate.

      In that interview that Leiter linked, Frances said: “We actually don’t have any moral requirements whatsoever. That’s just a fiction . . . I feel that there’s no real basis for these rules other than that they make society run a little smoother. And I don’t want to go to prison. That’s about it.”

      That’s pretty creepy in context.

      1. “I can’t imagine what “personal reasons” would compel a person to resign a full professorship”

        Maybe he was being bullied and harassed. This is the standard reason why people leave their jobs. A friend of mine told me just yesterday that he left an top financial job 15 years ago (and moved quickly to another) because his boss was repeatedly bullying him. Another friend of mine told me she left her job in the civil service because she was being bullied (she said her boss there was a “sociopath”). If you cannot “imagine” this, then you live in an extremely privileged environment.

        1. I’m confident Frances was not being bullied in any way. He was in the middle of a sabbatical and then one day his email address didn’t work and he had disappeared from Fordham’s website. That certainly doesn’t sound like a voluntary resignation to me.

          1. Don’t be a moron. If someone leaves, for whatever reason, then at some point, the email is switched off and name is removed. No reliable conclusion can be drawn from this, you moron. And if you feel “confident” of your smearing paranoia, that merely strengthens the point that you don’t know how academia or reality works. In fact, your description of the incident actually makes it sound exactly like he was being bullied.

      2. 10.15 wrote

        The sexual harassment angle seems most likely, but I don’t know the guy. (Or are there plagiarism allegations about him I haven’t heard about?) At any rate, I have no proof Frances is a serial sexual harasser. But I can certainly say it would be prudent to be incredibly suspicious of him…

        I think that’s the most disgusting bit of casual smearing I’ve ever seen on this blog, and that’s really saying something.

        (I don’t know B Frances, btw.)

        1. I agree. From the little I know it was personal issues connected with children/family. If that’s true, then whoever smeared him above should be very ashamed. I doubt they will be though.

      3. Um. Crucial context:

        “We actually don’t have any moral requirements whatsoever. That’s just a fiction. And that makes me feel absurd too, because on the one hand, I really do live my life according to some semi-reasonable moral principles. I try not to be a dick to people; I try not to kill people. But on the other hand, I feel that there’s no real basis for these rules other than that they make society run a little smoother. And I don’t want to go to prison. That’s about it.”

        Not so creepy.

    2. Hey scandalmongering feminist randomly smearing imbecile,

      News flash: not everyone in academia likes it. Many people who become professors find that, after the struggle to get a position has abated, you’re stuck with a lot of phony and petty people nowadays in jobs that don’t really reflect a love of wisdom in the way they did a generation and more ago.

      Shit-flinging psychopathic imbeciles like you are a very big part of the problem, as is an administrator-led academic system that allows scum like you to rise to the top of departments and professional organizations.

      Read Bryan Frances’ s books and you’ll see that he’s the real deal. He cares about the issues and about fair argument, unlike 99% of the sheep under 50 you see on the market and in the profession nowadays. He’s not one of the faceless, mindless clones who just churns out the bullshit. People like that are now often happier outside of traditional academic life.

  21. 1577 Deans are asked to resign by YÖK. Turkish ministry of education suspends 15,200 staff. Purges continue:

  22. I don’t understand what the hell is going on with this paper. At all. I mean, I’ve seen some strange papers in mainstream journals recently, but this is just something else entirely, especially for Philosophical Studies (“An International Journal for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition”):

    “In the treatise called La nobiltà et l’eccellenza delle donne co’ diffetti et mancamenti de gli uomini Lucrezia Marinella claims that women are superior to men. She argues that men are excessively hot, and that heat in a high degree is detrimental to the intellectual and moral capacities of a person. The aim of this paper is to set out Marinella’s views on temperature differences in the bodies of men and women and the effects of bodily constitution on the capacities necessary for political deliberation and rule. I situate Marinella’s argument in the context of an ongoing debate about physiological differences between the sexes, begun in antiquity and extending into the Renaissance. That debate is important for several reasons: as part of a broader discussion of the nature and worth of women, as determining influential interpretations of ancient authorities on matters of physiology, and as anticipating later discussions of the relation between the sexed body and political roles. This paper considers Marinella in dialogue with a number of interlocutors, elements of whose work can be found in her own: Aristotle, Mario Equicola, Galeazzo Flavio Capra, Ludovico Domenichi and Torquato Tasso.”

    1. Yikes…. This will be great for philosophy’s public image. And at Phil. Studies! I’m flabbergasted. It seems like things are really crumbling fast these days… or something?

        1. Calm down pearl-clutchers. Surely this is just standard history of philosophy: “here’s what seems like a kooky idea from ye olden days, but if we pay attention to it in its proper context it actually tells us something non-obvious about the world around it, its forebears, and what came after.”
          Why the palpitations?

          1. The palpitations are because some people just can’t cope with the fact that Phil Studies is publishing an article about women. The horror!

            1. I doubt this explanation is altogether right, with respect. For my part, I would still be balking at this if it were about an obscure old treatise by an at best marginal philosopher concerning worthiness differences between *different classes of males* based on considerations of blood temperature.

              1. Indeed. This piece is more unexpected-or-strange than sexistly-objectionable. Phil Studies just doesn’t usually publish historical material, much less historical material about temperature differences in bodies.

          2. Because:

            ‘The journal is devoted to the publication of papers in exclusively analytic philosophy, and welcomes papers applying formal techniques to philosophical problems. The principal aim is to publish articles that are models of clarity and precision in dealing with significant philosophical issues.’

            I certainly think the choice to publish the article in question does and should raise suspicions about whether the journal is failing with respect to this aim.

            One wonders what Fiegl and Sellars would have thought.

    2. Maybe one of the editors is being blackmailed because he had a consensual affair with a grad student twenty years ago.

      Or maybe it’s brain damage.

  23. “I think that’s the most disgusting bit of casual smearing I’ve ever seen on this blog, and that’s really saying something.”

    On the topic of casual evidence-free smearing, it’d be useful to collect some of the FP gang’s most disgusting smears of various philosophers in one place. It could be a webpage called “What it is like to be witch hunted and smeared by philosophy’s feminists?”

    1. There’s no evidence whatsoever that the person who wrote that as an ‘FP”. But there is excellent reason to believe it appeared on the metablog. So maybe what you mean is that it would be a good idea to collect some of the metablogs most disgusting smears of various philosophers in one place.

      1. The person harassing Hawthorne and his wife is a feminist.
        The person who casually smeared Frances above is a feminist.

        Feminists in philosophy have ruined and destroyed people’s lives with witch hunts, smears and false accusations. Let’s put together some of their disgusting smears and lies about philosophers, with the consequences of their actions for their victims.

        1. Come on. We all know you’re the person who posted that shit, 2:49. You may think that its super clever to post awful shit on blogs and then blame it on feminists, but unfortunately for you you’re not as smart as you think you are.

              1. Ok, Now it becomes clear. You’ve been told to stop harassing a professional philosopher and his wife, who apparently has a young baby, and to stop casually smearing another professional philosopher as a “serial sexual harasser” (“think twice about inviting him to a conference where undergrads would be present, or interviewing him as a job candidate”). Then you respond with “liar” when this is pointed out.

                Why don’t you just stop harassing this philosopher and his wife, and stop the casual smears of professional philosophers?

                1. No, it;s clear that you’ve been caught playing stupid games in order to smear “the FP’s” using innocent bystanders like Hawthorne and his wife as collatreral damage and you are trying to point the finger at anyone who isn’t you.

                    1. “Last time…”

                      …you’ll blame something on people with no evidence? Thank god for that.

                    2. Well, if the femphil harassment/smearing of Hawthorne and his wife, or anyone else for that matter, starts again, there will be opposition to it.

  24. “Well, if the femphil harassment/smearing of Hawthorne and his wife, or anyone else for that matter, starts again, there will be opposition to it.”

    Really? They have this cesspool to do it in and anyone who does it here acts with impunity.

    1. How does being opposed to smearing and harassment constitute a “cesspool”? There has been opposition above to the femphil smearing and abuse directed at Frances, Hawthorne and his family. And there generally has always been constant opposition at the metablogs to philosophers being smeared by femphils, with false accusations of what amount, in some cases, to serious criminal offenses.

        1. Some feminists have been taking advantage of the Metablog for anonymous smearing. As long as we have feminists in our profession, this kind of thing will happen.

  25. How long will FemPhils continue to plagiarize Michelle Obama’s speeches?
    This disgusting and immoral practice must stop.

  26. Ironically, the best way to save Philosophy Talk is to remove philosophy from its name, rebrand it as a generalist, interdisciplinary intellectual magazine — which it already is in substance.

  27. BL has a poll at his site that ‘proves’ nobody is voting for Trump. Of course nobody would trust him with this information.

  28. Have Chris Bertram or Jazz Tranley written something about the latest Islamist attacks. Something along the lines of “colonialism, Muslims are oppressed, do not intrumentalize those incidents,…”?

  29. I’m disappointed by the Leiter blog discussion of voting. The same tired arguments, no better presented than on a non-philosophy blog, and both sides failing to address the other’s key point.

    I’m sympathetic to both sides, so I want to try to present them in a way that allows their main point to stay in view, and I’d like to hear the critics of both.

    Candidate Bad is in your view a very bad candidate. Candidate Awful is in your view a great deal worse. The voting moralist says you have a duty to vote for B. The voting skeptic says you do not, any vote is permissible. (Let’s leave aside a third option, that you have a duty to NOT vote for either.

    I’m most sympathetic with, but not entirely decided for, this skeptical argument: your individual vote will not change the outcome, so there’s no duty involved. (We can add: there is very little chance that enough people will be persuaded by the voting skeptic to change the outcome, so “what if everybody did it?” is an irrelevant counter)

    Now the opposing argument I’m sympathetic with actually acknowledges the skeptic’s main point, which rarely happens in these discussions. The moralist can say: my individual vote doesn’t change the outcome of this election, but might do so for future elections. Elections are collective actions, and over time what I say and do and the voting behavior I promote can, with others’ help, influence future collective behavior. The skeptic promotes a view that leads to apathy, and precisely among a thoughtful, intelligent segment of the population, increasing the electoral efficacy of thoughtless voters who vote blindly and dutifully.

    I’m not convinced because I think most individuals’ behavior isn’t causally important enough to make a difference in collective behavior. I’d make exceptions: people of influence might be wrong to endorse voting skepticism, but most of us aren’t. I’d add that those of influence still only have a duty to not generally promote skepticism, it’s still permissible for them to privately not vote or vote for anyone they want.

    This argument for the moralist might also cut both ways, since some skeptics hope than no voting and protest voting will have positive long term effects. So if they’re not effecting this election badly, and may be improving future ones, the moralist again seems mistaken.

  30. One vote can make a difference and does more often than people realize. Especially in congressional elections. See this for example: http://mentalfloss.com/article/59873/10-elections-decided-one-vote-or-less

    I have a colleague in the political science department who studies campaigns. What people don’t realize when they don’t vote or the worse of two candidate gets elected is that there are a lot of changes that occur.

    Political appointments to important committees like education boards matter. If you don’t think that the worse candid can’t be much worse, you are not living in the real world.

  31. …should vote for congressional and local candidates. So let’s qualify the discussion to apply only to presidential voting.

    I’m not sure where you get the idea that I think “the worse candidate can’t be much worse.” In this case I think the worse candidate is disastrously worse. But so what, if my voting behavior does nothing to prevent the disaster?

    (By the way, everyone please leave the “you’re not living in the real world” level of arguments out, whichever side your on. You might take them to Leiter’s thread, which exhibits that level of argumentative rigor and charity)

  32. Great comment over at DN:

    “It’s telling, perhaps, that Magical Ersatz divides women in philosophy into two groups: women who are feminists and women who do feminist philosophy. Have I misunderstood something? Do women who aren’t feminists have a place at these events? Are they even women?”

    1. I thought that was a misinterpretation. ME wasn’t dividing all women in philosophy into those two groups — she was only saying that those two groups have ‘delicate’ differences, and that the latter are sometimes hostile to the former. Which I’m sure is true.

      What’s really been telling is Jessica Wilson’s targeting of Uckelman on Daily Nous. I was somewhat impressed by the FP reaction to and discussion of Uckelman’s posting; Wilson’s party line bile is more like what I’d expected.

      1. Why are you calling it ‘party-line’, though? It’s an outlier, in all of the discussion of seen of that post – at FP, DN, and elsewhere.

        1. Well, that was what I expected, so maybe read ‘party line’ within the intentional context ‘what I expected’. That is: I meant to be distancing my present judgment from what I expected. See?
          Although I do think there’s still a good sense in which Wilson’s response is ‘party line’. It’s just that it turns out that line is toed and enforced by fewer members of the party than it might appear. (Is that right — is the kind of line in ‘party line’ the same as the one in ‘toe the line’?)

      2. That whole thread brings to mind the old Mencken line that a misogynist is a man who hates women as much as women hate one another.

  33. For your reprehensible retrograde sentiments, you are hereby sentenced to re-education on the consequences of “It’s 2016”!

    1. Yeah, that one. (For some reason I didn’t notice this comment until after I posted at 10:24AM.)
      Is Clare Mac Cumhaill the only woman who’s going to put her name to agreement with or defense of Uckelman’s posting? I guess Kate Norlock gets some credit.
      I hope Uckelman has thick skin.

  34. Leiter writes, “As longtime readers know, I’m skeptical that the underrepresentation of women in philosophy is due to the “argumentative” nature of the subject, lack of female authors in the canon or on syllabi, and the like.”

    There is no “under-representaiton of women in philosophy”, because the word “under-representation” falsely presupposes a normative standard. But no such objective standard exists. Under conditions of freedom, which prevail, people *choose* to do what they please and what interests them, and some of these choices are almost certainly sex-linked (i.e., due to innate sex-linked differences). Why does it need to be explained, over and over again? The majority of undergraduates and postgraduates in higher education are women (about 57%) and this has been true for decades. The majority of undergraduates and postgraduates in many, in fact most, disciplines (most social sciences, law, medicine, biological sciences, almost all humanities) are women. One cannot infer that statistical deviations from 50% are caused by a discriminatory practice – that is simply a propaganda myth based on no evidence. No evidence of any kind exists anywhere, to substantiate such claims.

    1. Right, 7:54. Haslanger is an idiot of epic proportions. And that makes her self-importance, and that of the other imbeciles who have taken up her cause, all the more cringeworthy.

      I wish Leiter had had the integrity and circumspection to point out what he surely realizes by now: that there is also no reasonably basis for thinking that there is a sexual harassment problem in the profession. He still seems to think he can buy his way into the affections of some feminists by throwing a sop to them at the right time. Either that, or he still somehow believes what he’s saying. But how could he?

      1. How do you know there is no “reasonable basis for thinking that there is a sexual harassment problem in the profession.” Leiter has been in or around academic philosophy for, what 30 years? Maybe he has a lot of evidence? Maybe, because he is clearly sympathetic to that, he gets reports that confirm that impression. What is your contrary evidence?

        1. “How do you know there is no “reasonable basis for thinking that there is a sexual harassment problem in the profession”.”

          Because there is no evidence. That’s how one knows. Absence of evidence.

          1. Similarly, how do we know there is no reasonable basis for believing in UFOs? Well, because there is no evidence. That’s how we know. And telling me you have “seen” a UFO is not evidence.

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            2. Actually a person telling you they had seen a UFO would be evidence. Defeasible evidence, but still evidence.

        2. Anon443, what possible evidence could Leiter have acquired? Let’s suppose, very charitably, that he knows very well and reasonably trusts 10-15 people who have told him that they, personally, have been sexually harassed, each one by a distinct member of the profession (no friend-of-a-friend stories, all reliable stories). Then, _at best_, Leiter knows that there have been 10-15 sexual harassers among the thousands of sexual harassers in the profession. And remember that he’s the kind of person who makes a point of knowing these things, and he is well known by many.

          In other words, even on a charitable interpretation of what his evidence could be, he might have secondhand but fairly reliable reports that maybe 1% of people in the profession, but probably much less, have been sexual harassers. But it’s almost certainly way, way less than that, since harassers tend to be repeat offenders and the odds that every single person he knows well enough to trust reported being harassed by distinct harassers is next to zero.

          So, unless Leiter is committing the fallacy of extrapolating rashly from anecdotal evidence, he just has no basis for thinking that. Moreover, we know for a fact that many, and perhaps the majority, of people in the profession have never been harassed and don’t know anyone who has been. I know many women in philosophy who say that they have never experienced, firsthand or even among their friends, anything remotely like sexual harassment. Sarah Uckleman, a woman who has been in philosophy for a long time, has openly said now that she has never had an experience remotely like that. So what about those data points? If the discipline is particularly rife with harassment of women, how do you explain that?

          Nobody — and I mean nobody — is denying that there is some sexual harassment in philosophy as there is anywhere else. There is also academic dishonesty, backstabbing, hiccuping, jello eating, transvestitism, and many other things that are spread across the general population. That’s not the issue. The issue is whether there’s a particular problem in philosophy. And anyone with half a brain at and the courage to face the facts can see at this point can see that there’s no evidence at all that there is any particular problem in philosophy, whatsoever. The feminist case is built on a house of cards that everyone can see is a house of cards. The entire thing is a massive fraud and a big black eye on the reputation of philosophy, since we’re supposed to be good at critical thinking. Apparently, though, many of those who have infiltrated our ranks put other things first, like brown-nosing to powerful and privileged women to make themselves feel better. I hope we can change that fact and really clean house on this one.

          1. @10:55- Why is the issue “whether there is a particular problem in philosophy”, as opposed to just whether there is a problem in philosophy? I’ve seen reports that archeology has a harassment problem, particularly related to field work. I’ve seen reports that astronomy has harassment problems, exacerbated by the fact that students need connections to particular researchers yo even have access to the equipment they need. Just because a problem is present in multiple disciplines does not mean there is no reason for a discipline to focus on their particular corner of the world. The underlying fact of harassment may not be unique, but the ways to address it may vary from discipline to discipline.

            1. Well, for one thing, 11:20, it’s because several shitheads are spreading it around on the mass media that philosophy has a particular problem with sexual harassment. And that’s causing a huge deal of harm to the profession. It’s as dishonest and hurtful as saying “Black people have a problem with farting in public” when there is absolutely no reason for thinking that black people do that any more than members of any other ethnicity.

              But for another thing, there just isn’t any good reason to think that there is any general problem with sexual harassment in academia in general. If the rates in philosophy are no worse than the rates in other academic disciplines, then the evidence suggests that the rates are pretty low compared with what one would expect.

              Facts like these are useful in avoiding misleading people about what things they need to pay attention to. At present, many people think there should be an increase of kangaroo courts and erosions of standards of evidence at university to combat what they’re told is a very serious problem. And many women are getting the impression that philosophy is hostile to them and that they should stay away, when there is no good reason for thinking that.

              1. So you think people shouldn’t say that philosophy is particularly bad for sexual harassment. Fine. But that’s a very small part of the discussion.

                What do you mean by the claim that there isn’t any problem with sexual harassment in academia? You can’t mean that sexual harassment never happens. You can’t mean that it happens sometimes, but it’s not a problem when it does happen. So..?

                1. So, 3:16, my position is that there doesn’t seem to be any reason to direct such a high proportion of our attention to solving the ‘problem’ of sexual harassment in academia. Yes, it exists, and yes, it’s bad that it exists, and yes, it should be stopped. But the same is true of many other things in academia, which each, individually, do far more harm to people than sexual harassment or sexism do. If people just considered sexual harassment, or the presence of women in the profession, to be issues that deserve maybe 1% of the energies we expend thinking about and resolving nonphilosophical problems, that would be enough or more to represent the proportion of the problem in comparison to other, very real problems (like plagiarism, eroding standards, exploitative treatment of TAs and adjuncts, threats to departmental budgets, the plight of those on the job market, the proper direction and social role of philosophy, the possibility of universal standards for undergraduate philosophy courses, etc. Instead of 1% or less, issues about women in philosophy make up easily 50% or more of the conversations we have about the profession, and much of that discussion is predicated on assumptions that make no sense outside of contentious (and sometimes provably false) feminist theory.

                  Moreover, what I’m saying entails that the false claims of a general problem are causing a smaller version of the problem itself. Many women must stay away from philosophy programs or walk around in a state of paranoia and terror, not engaging much with others, precisely because of the hysteria whipped up by the academic feminist writers and others who swallow the party line. And for the sake of women in the profession, this should stop.

                  Those are some substantive things I’m saying.

                  1. You make an interesting normative claim:we should spend our energy thinking about and resolving issues in proportion to their seriousness or importance. I’m inclined to think this is false – at least one reason why you might think it is false is that there might be very important issues which seem irresolvable, or very important issues in philosophy that are not necessarily issues that philosophers are best placed to do something about. But I would be interested to see your argument for this claim. (Also, do you think it applies to individuals? I’m assuming no, because if it is true that individuals should spend time and energy thinking about and working on things in proportion to their importance, then probably very, very few people should be doing philosophy. So do you think it applies to groups? If so, what’s the relevant group? Is it OK for philosophers to think about sexual harassment even if there is a more important issue, like the exploitation of TAs, if there are people in other areas (like, for example,unioniists, working on these issues? Do you think that the more important issues have lexical priority, so that we should spend all our time thinking about the most important issue first until it is resolved, and then move on to the next important issue?

                    You also make an empirical claim – that “issues about women in philosophy make up easily 50% or more of the conversations we have about the profession”. I’d be interested to see how you arrived at this figure.

                    In any case, if what you say is true, then a better strategy might be to stop engaging in discussions about this and thus contributing to the problem of too many discussions being about these issues. You’re unlikely to convince people to stop discussing it by scolding them for not discussing more important tings. You are probably better off starting, encouraging and participating in discussions about those more important things.

                    1. 10:16, the 50% estimate is just an estimate. But look at the topics and comments under discussion at Daily Nous, Feminist Philosophers, NewAPPS, the APA blog. Look at the initiatives of the APA, etc. Maybe it’s really 40%, maybe it’s 70%. It’s way, way, way out of proportion to the actual importance of the topic, regardless.

                      Yes, I accept the normative claim that we should not devote disproportionately high percentages of our time and energy to discussing things that are of relatively low importance to some clearly very important things. This obviously does not, contrary to what you imply, entail that no attention at all should be given to the more minor issues. Why do I think this? Uh… why wouldn’t it be true? If your house is burning down, you don’t spend much attention to putting your dirty dishes in the sink. If 50 people have been harmed in an accident, some of them very seriously, you don’t pick out one or two people at random among the least hurt and give them more than 50% of the medical attention. If you need to sell 100 widgets in a week to keep your business afloat, you don’t spend 3 days on the phone with someone in an attempt to get him to pay $50 rather than $49 for a single widget. And on and on and on.

                      Spending huge amounts of time and energy on relatively minor problems also tends to undermine overall concern about those issues. If someone had told me about a sexual harassment case ten years ago, I would have got up in arms and tried to do something about it. At this point, I know that if I’ve heard about it from a non-friend, there are easily a hundred people already working around the clock on solving a problem that needed at most 3 or 4 people’s attention, and that there will soon be a thousand more waiting to add their signatures to pointless petitions, etc., so that I don’t really need to do anything. Instead, the intelligent and thoughtful among us find these things a tedious distraction now, not a serious call to action needing our attention. More people and more attention are clearly not needed. It is only the self-righteous who tend to get involved anymore.

                      Would it be wise for me to follow your advice and solve the problem by not commenting on these issues? No. Your reasoning is poorly thought through. What’s happening now is that hundreds or thousands of people are mindlessly flocking to these issues despite their already receiving a huge amount of attention. What is desperately needed is for their doing so to lose its superficial moral sheen. Exposing the emptiness and moral inappropriateness of what they are doing will help reduce the extreme surfeit of attention to these issues. Merely failing to talk about the problem will not do that. So your reasoning clearly fails.

                      Should I ALSO get involved in discussing issues? Sure. And I do. This is just a minor issue for me. But it’s a very important one.

                      I hope that you, too, will devote much more of your attention to the serious issues in closer proportion to what matters and isn’t already receiving way, way too much attention by members of the profession.

              1. Probably. But I’ve never been called that to my knowledge. Neither am I transgender. But I am an millenial! You know, us spoiled millenials who inherited the worst job market (in and out of academia) and work for free at unpaid internships, or toil away at dead-end jobs, while we pursue out careers in our free time? I’m one of those assholes.

  35. There’s an easy way to see the problem with what you are saying:

    Moreover, we know for a fact that many, and perhaps the majority, of Catholics were never abused by priests and don’t know anyone who has been. I know many Catholics in who say that they have never experienced, firsthand or even among their friends, any sexual abuse a the hands of priests. John Smith, who has been a catholic his whole life, has openly said now that he has never had an experience remotely like that. So what about those data points?

    Those so called ‘data points’ really obviously do not show that the Catholic Church did not have a problem with sexual abuse and the covering up of said abuse.

      1. Who said that there was? You’re right that I did use the word “problem” but taking one word that a person used, quoting it, and sticking it in a sentence that doesn’t represent what they said is pretty dishonest.

    1. 11:08, I appreciate your engagement, but this isn’t a problem for what I was saying.

      There is reliable evidence that many people in the Catholic church engaged in child molestation at very high rates. There is also ample evidence that the higher-ups in the Catholic church, when confronted with reliable evidence, systematically tried to cover that up, and succeeded in doing so with the collusion of politicians and the courts. This is not mere anecdote. There are mountains of evidence supporting all this.

      Conversely, what we’re talking about as ‘evidence’ in the sexual harassment case above is nothing more than speculation about what one person, Brian Leiter, may have been told by some people. There are no mountains of evidence here. And we also know from the Ludlow and McGinn cases that anyone even accused of sexual harassment, with far worse evidence, are faced with brutally harsh measures and are drummed out of the profession. Far from covering up for them, the profession has united in animosity toward these people. So there is every reason to believe, if anything, that those in the profession known to be harassers are dealt with extremely seriously. In the Ludlow case, he wasn’t even allowed to present his evidence before he was disciplined. And power and status are no impediment to being taken down on the basis of mere allegations in philosophy.

      Given all this, there is very strong prima facie reason to think that there is no serious problem with harassment in philosophy. The burden on those making the case that there are must be very high. And we have seen many times that those who claim that there is a problem are relying on very weak reasoning and weak or nonexistent evidence. That is not the case with the Catholic church. Moreover, there are many feminists in philosophy who have said, repeatedly, that there everyone in the profession is or knows a woman (or many women) who have been sexually harassed. That is clearly bullshit. But even without that bullshit claim, the probative value of the existence of many women who have never had any sexual harassment experiences or even heard about them is very strong, while the corresponding people in the Catholic church case lack that value.

      1. But there is also ample evidence that universities systematically cover up sexual harassment.

        “And we also know from the Ludlow and McGinn cases that anyone even accused of sexual harassment, with far worse evidence, are faced with brutally harsh measures and are drummed out of the profession.”

        You can’t draw that inference just from those two cases. What about Pogge, for example? We know that he was accused of sexual harassment at Columbia. We know that this was investigated, and we know that far from being drummed out of the profession, he went on to get a plum job at Yale. So it’s simply not true that anyone even accused of sexual harassment is faced with brutally harsh measures and drummed out of the profession.

        1. “But there is also ample evidence that universities systematically cover up sexual harassment.”

          OK, let’s see some of that evidence, please.

          As for Pogge, yes, we know that he was accused of sexual harassment of Columbia before the feminist takeover of the profession and that that was investigated, and that he was not fired as a result and that he went on to teach at Yale. And so? What does that show about the pre-feminist-takeover period? That it was lax against sexual harassers? No. It would have been one thing if the investigating committee at Columbia had received clear evidence that Pogge had committed sexual harassment against his students or others under his authority and then ‘covered this up’ or failed to disclose the incriminating evidence to the search committee at Yale. Is that what you have evidence of? No, even you only say that he was accused of sexual harassment. In the pre-feminist-takeover period, people distinguished between accusations and guilt. Now, under the feminist takeover (including the feminist reinterpretation of Title IX, forced down the courts’ throats by Russlyn Ali), merely being accused is the kiss of death. Or do you know of anyone who has been accused of sexual harassment 3-4 years who hasn’t been drummed out of the profession?

      2. Any minimally intellectually honest argument that sexual harassment is a special problem in philosophy would start by providing a well-grounded estimate of the base rate in academia at large. Does anyone know of any discussion of this issue? I thought not.

        1. It only matters if there are many people claiming that it is a ‘special’ problem, or that we should take the measures they propose because, and only because, it is a ‘special’ problem. But it doesn’t need to be a special problem to be a problem that we should do something about. 11:20 above made a good point about this.

          Think about plagairism – I’ve got absolutely no idea what the base rate for plagiarism is, or whether it’s worse at my university or in my discipline (or better) than elsewhere. But plagiarism is still bad. And I still spend time discussing with my colleagues how to deal with it when it happens. I still warn my students against it. I still put stuff in the syllabus about it. The university has still spent time developing procedures to deal with it. But when I discuss it, I usually discuss how to deal with plagiarism in philosophy classes, not plagiarism generally – that’s because I work in a philosophy department. The fact that I usually only talk about how to deal with plagiarism in philosophy papers doesn’t mean I think that it’s a much worse problem in philosophy than elsewhere. It’s because I work in a philosophy department.

          Perhaps it would help to think about it this way: what do you think we should do differently if, say, we discovered that the rate of sexual harassment in philosophy was lower than the base rate?

          1. 1:58 am here. The analogy with plagiarism is a useful one. Presumably you don’t have people in your department with vested interests who are constantly publicizing the “plagiarism problem” in your philosophy; if you did, investigating the base rate would be a pretty reasonable thing to do. If philosophy doesn’t have a substantially higher rate of sexual harassment than other disciplines, that defeats a major source of support for the claim that philosophy, *in particular*, has a “woman problem”. So presumably one thing “we” should do differently is be a little more circumspect about shouting from the rooftops about how bad the problem is.

            1. But the point is that done of the things we do about plagiarism as philosophers depends on the claim that philosophy has a particular problem. It doesn’t matter whether plagiarism is worse in other disciplines, we should still do the things we do. So, what are the things people do about sexual harassment that you think they shouldn’t do?

              And if it were the case that I though plagiarism wasn’t being effectively dealt with by the mechanisms in place – for example, if I thought that people were regularly getting away with serious plagiarism, then I would think it would be worth having public discussions about the plagiarism problem. For example, Germany does seem to have a plagiarism problem in the field of medicine. And there are people publicizing it. See http://retractionwatch.com/2016/02/11/why-plagiarism-is-such-a-problem-for-german-phds-qa-with-debora-weber-wulff/.

              This comment is particularly relevant here:

              W: Do you suspect plagiarism occurs more commonly in medical dissertations from Germany than elsewhere? If so, why?

              Weber-Wulff: I have given up making estimates or predictions, because I tend to be wrong. I did not think that the amount of plagiarism that has been documented to date would be found! And there are so many more that have not been documented, because no one felt like documenting them yet. All I can state is that there is plagiarism, and far too much of it, unfortunately.

              1. But the point is that [n]one of the things we do about plagiarism as philosophers depends on the claim that philosophy has a particular problem. It doesn’t matter whether plagiarism is worse in other disciplines, we should still do the things we do

                Hm, I think you’re wrong about this. Some things people want to do depend on the assumption that philosophy has a *special* problem. Returning to the actual problem, sexual harassment, if philosophy does not have any *special* problem then we should stop looking at the *special* features of philosophy and trying to change them. For instance, we should drop the concern with the (allegedly) combative nature of philosophy.

                1. ” Some things people want to do depend on the assumption that philosophy has a *special* problem”
                  OK. Which things?

                  “For instance, we should drop the concern with the (allegedly) combative nature of philosophy.”
                  I don’t think this has anything to do with sexual harassment. People sometimes cite this as a reason for why there aren’t many women in philosophy. But I don’t think anyone cites this as a special feature of philosophy that contributes to there being especially high levels of sexual harassment in philosophy. Do you have reason to think otherwise?

                  1. Oh, well, maybe you’re right. It is often rolled into the ‘climate’ issue (see NYU’s colloquium ‘be nice’ rules, for instance), but arguably the issue of sexual harassment is separable from other climate problems. I don’t know whether that’s true, honestly. You seem fairly confident that it doesn’t have “anything to do with sexual harassment”, so you might know more about this than I.

        2. Of course there is a “special problem” of sexual harassment in philosophy. What are you living under a damn rock? Give power to a bunch of dudes who were virginal “mathletes” and chess nerds in high school and throw the odd hottie into the mix and what do you expect to happen? You think balding lard asses like PL or involuted dweebs like JH or chinless creeps like TP would get any in the real world? Give me a break.

          1. Great reasoning, 3:07. Is that how you ‘earned’ your PhD in… let me guess… continental/feminist philosophy?

            1. Seems pretty knock down and air tight to me, 3:07. The special ecology of sexual harassment in philosophy: semi-autistic nerds with keys to the candy store. Sorry if that is too close to home for you. (Plus, balding lard ass, LOL).

      3. I agree with you that what we should look at is the evidence for the claims that “many people in the church engaged in molestation, and many people covered it up” and similarly the claim “many people in philosophy have sexually harassed other members of the profession, and many people have covered it up.”

        I’m just disputing the idea that the existence of many people who have not experienced either molestation at the hands of a priest or sexual harassment by a philosopher is evidence for the claim that there is no problem. It just isn’t. Because not only is it the case that the claims “there is a sexual harassment problem in philosophy” and “many women in philosophy have not experienced harassment or had someone they know personally tell them about having been harassed” compatible, it is likely that even if A is true, B is true. Just like it is very very likely that many, many Catholics did not experience molestation at the hands of a priest nor have had someone they know personally tell them about it.

        What matters is this: are there allegations of abuse/harassment? Are these credible? Not ‘are there testimonies of not-harassment.’

        1. 2:14, I’m not sure how much we really disagree. I agree with you that the fact that some people have not experienced or heard about something doesn’t imply that that thing doesn’t exist. But it at least suggests that the thing is happening at a far lower rate than most people on the philosophy blogs, and pretty well all the feminists, have been suggesting.

          Suppose you find yourself in a foreign country and you’re not told what country it is. You spend years there, walking the streets, living in a total of three cities and going about your business normally. During that whole time, nobody speaks Russian to you, you never overhear Russian conversations, and you never even hear reports of others in the city speaking in Russian. Don’t you think that would be SOME good evidence against the claim that the Russian language is widespread in the country you’ve been living in?

          1. “t a far lower rate than most people on the philosophy blogs, ”

            I don’t think I’ve ever seen any claims about the ‘rate’ at which sexual harassment is happening. So, two questions: what kind of rate do you think the people you are talking about are suggesting sexual harassment happens, and why do you think what they say suggests that?

            1. Let’s suppose we start at 0 cases ever, and see if a feminist loony like you can push it right the way up to 1.

              1. Provide evidence. For example, name one “sexual harasser” and provide evidence.
                I don’t mean individuals who have been falsely accused, of whom there are many. But provide evidence of one example.

                The only known case anyone has identified is the feminist philosopher, Anna Stubblefield, who repeatedly raped a non-verbal disabled man, was convicted in a court and is now in prison.

              2. “To many of us, they are clear enough.”

                Sure. And, likewise, to “many of us”, America is being invaded by Mexican and Muslim rapists. Is that not “clear enough”? So, ban them and burn them.

                What difference is there between Donald Trump’s bigotry and your repulsive feminist bigotry, scaremongering and lying?

                1. Are you such an idiot that you can’t see 3:55 was offered in opposition to the claim that feminist philosophers never said philosophy has an especially bad sexual harassment problem? Ranting lunatics like yourself only make things worse for reasonable folks who think there has been scaremongering in philosophy.

                    1. 3:55 was opposing the claim that feminists have never claimed philosophy had an especially high rate of harassment. If anything, he or she was arguing against the feminist position. I’m half convinced that you are just a false flag by bloggers who hate this place. My other half just thinks you are singularly unhinged.

                    2. Philosophy has a culture of false accusations driven by feminist hysteria, and a culture of special privileges and preferential treatment for women. The amount of “sexual harassment” is zero. This is mainly because this is academia, and academic men tend to behave like little girls. True, there is some sexual harassment of men by women, aiming to exploit men for career purposes. Other than that, none.

              3. Well, the entire blog ‘What is it LIke’ doesn’t imply anything about rates. No website targeted at a certain audience does. It’s not intended to be a survey. It’s not intended to collect that kind of information.

                In the Salon article, Saul specifically says she doesn’t know whether sexual harassment is worse in philosophy than in other fields. She doesn’t say anything about rates either.

                The Slate article is by someone who is not a philosopher. You can’t really hold feminist philosophers responsible for the rubbish that Schumann writes.

                The Gawker article is, well, a gawker article and doesn’t say anything about rates either. Some of the comments do though.

                So you’re claiming that “the thing is happening at a far lower rate than most people on the philosophy blogs, and pretty well all the feminists, have been suggesting.” and your best examples are an article by Rebecca Schumann and a couple of anonymous comments on gawker?

                1. Hi, 9:30.

                  I don’t know how you can hold that the ‘What is it Like’ blog implies nothing about the rates of sexual harassment. If I profess to tell people what it’s like to be a woman in philosophy, and if almost all the stories I tell are about people who have been sexually harassed, I’m saying that what it’s like to be a woman in philosophy is typically to be sexually harassed. And the blog was pretty clearly set up to send that message. In other words, the message it sends is that the rate is high. But the way the blog operates, it’s bound to give a very high ratio of hits to misses. People very seldom write in to places to say that absolutely nothing interesting has happened to them or anyone they know.

                  The Salon article by Saul involves claims that she was “deluged” by stories of sexual harassment. The very title of the article is “Philosophy Has a Sexual Harassment Problem.” Do you really think that’s neutral about the rates of sexual harassment in the profession? Do you think it’s consistent with that title that the rates of harassment are very low, or comparatively very low?

                  You say of the Slate article, “You can’t really hold feminist philosophers responsible for the rubbish that Schumann writes.” Well, given that Schumann got all her ‘facts’ from reports, interviews, blog posts and articles written by feminist philosophers, I disagree.

                  You say that the Gawker article doesn’t say anything about rates. Hmm. Let’s look at the title of the article, for starters: “Philosophy Departments Are Full of Sexual Harassment”. Yeah, that really says nothing at all about whether sexual harassment rates in philosophy departments are extremely high, extremely low, or somewhere in the middle.

                  You’re scraping the bottom of the barrel here. Time to concede.

                  1. Exactly. The idea that writing an article titled “Philosophy is full of harassment” doesn’t imply that philosophy is worse than other fields is laughable. If wrote an article titled, “Feminist Metaphysics is Full of Shit”, would anyone think I was just expressing a particular aspect of my larger view that all metaphysics is equally full of shit?

                    1. “Feminist metaphysics is full of shit” implicates that the speaker doesn’t also think other metaphysics is full of shit, in typical contexts, because of the maxim of quantity. We assert the stronger claim rather than the weaker, especially if by doing so we can also satisfy the maxim of manner (by using a shorter sentence: “metaphysics is full of shit”, when we can. So when someone asserts the weaker (and longer) sentence, that implicates that they cannot do so without violating another maxim, in this case quality: the speaker doesn’t think other metaphysics is full of shit.

                      “Philosophy is full of harassment” would work the similarly in some contexts. For example, if the dean of the faculty asserted it in a meeting of the deans, there would similarly be an implicature that other departments are not, or that the dean has some special knowledge of harassment in philosophy. But if there is some other reason to focus on philosophy in a given context, then the implicature vanishes. That’s because the maxim of relation explains why someone would assert the weaker claim: the stronger would include information that is not relevant in the context.

                      Grice rocks.

                  2. Yeah, that’s so right. In my department, we discovered that one of the professors was sexually harassing his undergrads. But I pointed out that we didn’t know whether the other departments had more professors that were sexually harassing their students, or fewer, And until we knew that, we didn’t know whether we had a problem or not. What a relief! And it turned out that on average, departments across the university had 1.3 professors sexually harassing their students. What a relief! We didn’t have a problem after all, so we didn’t have to do anything about it. Because, as you say, it’s only a problem if rates are comparatively high.

                    1. 5:22 bears a clear sign of the Femtroll: a ridiculous straw man attack, immediately evident to all but herself. Mark that well, friends. Mark it. For you will see it surely wherever she goeth.

      1. Obama was Wall Street’s favored candidate in both elections. Check the facts, they’re in the article.

        Relevant to this thread is this passage in the article:

        More serious examples come in the nasty world of academic hiring. I know more than a few real-life stories wherein liberal and supposedly multicultural PC has provided an all-too convenient reason for an elitist academic hiring committee not to make a job offer to an accomplished Left scholar and highly rated teacher who happens to be a white male from a working class background while offering employment instead to an unskilled and unaccomplished scholar and poorly rated teacher who happens to be a politically milquetoast white female from an upper-middle class background. Similar hiring travesties occur in activist and nonprofit career markets

  36. “Of course there is a “special problem” of sexual harassment in philosophy. What are you living under a damn rock?”

    In the real world, people laugh at these absurd allegations. What did Pogge do? Well, he wrote a letter, took an air flight and sat on a chair. What did Ludlow do? He went on a date, shortly after he’d had an affair. What did McGinn do? He exchanged some sexual emails with a graduate student who reciprocated and encouraged him in doing that. Philosophy does indeed have a serious problem — a culture of hysterical false accusations, removal of basic standards of fairness and a hysterical tendency to drum people out of the profession on the basis of unproven false accusations. The right to be treated as innocent has been removed.

    And these three are the examples which feminists wish to claim are convincing or compelling, though they are not. It doesn’t even mention the examples where the false accusations have been recognised to be false, despite the victims of these false accusations having their lives and careers damaged or ripped apart.

    1. How are things under that rock? Nice and shady? A few worms? Either you are completely out of it– in which case, sorry!– or you’re lying, in which case, bad boy! But for anyone who has seen those folks– “balding lard ass” and “chinless creep” and many others– up close for years, knows what the deal is.

    2. I have been attending Southern for 4 years and the naughtiest thing I have experienced was between two women at Blue State Coffee today. One was a philosophy prof and the other was a liberated student looking for adventure. I could not stop listening in… should have been recording.

  37. Discussion about women in philosophy at heterodoxacademy is heads above anything I’ve seen at daily nous or feminist philosophers. Wonder if the usual suspects will weigh in.

    1. Nah, they’re too busy talking about when were word-raped four hundred times or about their skiing plans for the summer, at a safe space for upper-class women.

  38. “You think balding lard asses like PL or involuted dweebs like JH or chinless creeps like TP would get any in the real world?”

    Perhaps you are a different person, but femphils have been warned above about this public smearing and harassment. “JH” is code for the professional philosopher, his wife and child, that femphils like you have been publicly harassing above. Why don’t femphil zealots like you just crawl back into the sewer you came from, instead of publicly harassing people and their families?

  39. II just left Blue State Coffee in New Haven. I was shocked by the conversation I overheard between Jane Doe 1, and Jane Doe 2…. a philosophy prof and her student. If anyone thinks New Haven is a wholesome little town, I am here to tell you its much much more.

    1. …and just in case you think I’m a prude, my dad pressed helicopter rotors at Sikorsky for 23 years and he just told me he has never heard of women talking about sex the way these two were going at “Verbal Coffee Sex”. GET A ROOM sisters… you know who you are, next time I will make a video of you.

      1. Go report your eavesdropping someplace else. It is commonly known at Southern that a certain female philosophy prof encourages her female students to climb her mound. Its not very interesting actually.

        1. I have heard many rumors too, but I have no facts. Perhaps it makes no difference which kinds of sex are enjoyed by the female philosophers and students. Since I have no plans to visit New Haven Conn, I will keep my eyes on Russian submarines entering Helsinki South Harbour. You Susan can keep your eyes open to find these feminist philosophers seeking fresh women climbers.

    1. Anyone who’s likely to be interested will have read these. And the Peter Ludlow story has been rehashed thousands of times here and elsewhere, and no one is going to change their opinion, for better or for worse. So maybe give it a break for a few weeks, or few months? Maybe a couple of years?

      1. Yes. Stop.

        This is a lovers’ quarrel that really shouldn’t be public. With all the lies spread about both Peter Ludlow and Lauren Leydon-Hardy, it is not surprising that they’d take to anonymous blogs to try to sway public opinion one way or the other about their relationship. But one wishes they would. Just. Stop.

        1. Shithead, we know you’re the one who keeps posting the message and that you are neither Ludlow or Leydon-Hardy. Get lost.

        2. “This is a lovers’ quarrel that really shouldn’t be public.”

          Except one of the ‘lovers’ accused the other one of rape and was proven wrong. Oh, and she got away with it.

    2. Posting private text messages is illegal and wrong. Whoever you are, I suggest you stop doing it, or I’ll call the internet police and have them backtrace your ass.

    1. Jenny & Justin Trump gotta maintain law and order, and protect the profession from the plague of Mexicans and Muslims who are raping the little girls.

  40. “Look at the initiatives of the APA, etc. Maybe it’s really 40%, maybe it’s 70%. It’s way, way, way out of proportion to the actual importance of the topic, regardless.”

    Notice that what you’re doing here is exactly the kind of reasoning you’re objecting to. Asserting that a topic is important (or unimportant) and we should do (or not do) certain things, even though we don’t the facts.

    1. Sure we know the facts. Jenny Trumpista told us. The fact is that Muslims and Mexicans are raping philosophy’s girls, and only Jenny Trumpista can stop ’em. Build the wall. Make a safe space! Make philosophy great again.

    2. Uh… no, 9:20, this is absolutely not a case of our not knowing the facts. It’s a case of the facts being right in front of us and uncontestable. The people who don’t know the facts are those who assert that there’s a problem of harassment in philosophy but admittedly have no idea of the frequency or the base rate and are prompting us to take reckless and irresponsible action in spite of it.

      Again, let me spell this out for you. LOOK at the initiatives of the APA, etc., to see the frequency with which feminist issues are covered. There’s no speculation needed there. If you deny that they are at about the 40% or 70% rate, just look and count. Simple. The burden is on you because the position you’re implicitly taking — that hardly anyone in the profession cares or is undertaking any women-oriented initiatives — is prima facie imbecilic. The rest of us here see it. You’re grasping at straws and, frankly, embarrassing yourself at this point.

      1. As far as embarrassing yourself goes, no one here has, either implicitly or explicitly, taken the position that ‘hardly anyone cares or is undertaking any women-oriented initiatives.’

        And speaking of imbecilic, if you think that you get to make a claim about the frequency with which certain issues are covered and the burden of proof is not on you to demonstrate this but on a person who questions you to show that you are wrong, you don’t understand how the burden of proof works. If you make an empirical claim, the onus is on you to provide the evidence for it.

        1. I’ve provided the evidence. It’s right in front of you. It’s the frequency of articles and initiatives directed at the purported sexual harassment epidemic. The rest of us have eyeballed it and seen that it’s really big. You’re not one of them? You need an exact count? Great — get counting. All the evidence is right in front of you. Get out your chalk and start tallying.

          1. Try replacing ‘articles and initiatives directed at the purported sexual harassment epidemic’ with ‘sexual harassment’ and your problem is clear. If eyeballing is good enough for your empirical claim, its good enough for your opponents, and your whole argument collapses.

            1. Stupid idiot,

              You’re still missing the incredibly rudimentary distinction that I’ve repeated every single fucking time I’ve written to you.

              Here we go again, and for the last time. The feminist shitheads aren’t ‘eyeballing’ any agreed upon set of data to get an estimate of the frequency of sexual assaults. That’s because there is no agreed upon set of data. They don’t even pretend that there is. Conversely, there is no question whatsoever, and nobody with a fraction of a working brain would raise the question, of the frequency with which women-oriented causes or articles or posts are added to the well-known set of blogs and APA initiatives.

              Your idiotic mistake is akin to treating as equivalent a completely baseless estimate that half the people in the world have said the words ‘purple’ and ‘tree’ in the same sentence at some point, in English, and an estimate that about 40-70% of the people in a photograph you’re looking right at are wearing suits.

              At this point, it’s clear that you’re not interested in thinking. You’re just interested in resisting a conclusion you’re not interested in by making up sophistical objections. In the time I’ve taken talking to you, who are a hopeless case, I could have had several productive conversations with open-minded people who aren’t too committed to their foregone conclusions to change their minds or be reasonable. I will not waste more time responding to your idiocy. Only your own introspection will cure what ails you.

              1. Idiot,

                You keep giving yourself away. That and the fact that you get angrier and angrier whenever it is pointed out that you aren’t making any sense, and that you aren’t adhering to even basic philosophical norms of discussion.

              2. Good call, 12:18. This troll (methinks it’s the Femtroll, given her repetition of your ‘idiot’ in her reply) is wasting everyone’s time. You won the battle. Don’t lose the war by engaging with this moronic freak. Let’s all move on.

  41. How to start a dumpster fire that can not be put out… Just give anonymous internet access to a feminist philosopher with tenure. Her man hate will keep the rubbish burning indefinitely.

  42. “The other members of the Faculty are listed here below, in order of their academic precedence:** That is, according to the chronological order of the date of the foundation of the University from which the principle degree has been obtained, and then according to the precedence of the Degree. The University of Padua being the oldest, founded in 1222 A.D., it takes precedence.”

    https://www.studium-scholasticum.org/faculty/

    1. At the expense of women too, as both Alkon and Hoff Sommers point out. The feminists of my mother’s generation fought for equality, to be allowed to make their own mistakes, to be free from coddling.

      But of course, children rebel. In this case against being treated like equals, apparently. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      1. Contemporary feminists want to have it both ways. They want to be proud, independent women who don’t need no menz. But they also want men to be chivalrous and sacrifice themselves for the wimmin.

        1. Why does someone keep eating popcorn when people talk about things related to Syracuse? And why are people talking about Syracuse to a disproportionate extent? And why are all the Syracuse references about things that happened in 2013 or whatever?

  43. The enthusiasm for Christina Hoff Sommers is nauseating, and confirms my suspicions that this forum has lots in common with MRA sites.

    1. Build the wall! Together we can end the rapes of philosophy girls by Mexican jihadis. Vote for Jenny Trump to make philosophy safe again!

    2. I’m not surprised to see anti-feminist sentiments expressed here, what surprises me is that they are of the KotakuInAction variety.

        1. I’m not surprised that someone expressing what 3:40 is expressing can’t see the obvious disanalogy between what they are saying and what 2:36 said.

          1. I’m not surprised that someone expressing what 10:25 is expressing ignores the obvious analogy between what 3:40 is saying and what 2:36 said.

            1. I don’t think you understand how arguments from analogy work, dude. Pointing out that there’s a relevant disanalogy doesn’t entail denying (or ignoring) that two things may be analagous on some other respects.

              But I guess you just haven’t spotted the obvious relevant disanalogy yet. Think harder! I’m sure you’ll get it eventually if you try!

                1. Ah yes, the old ‘but it’s satire’ excuse that gets pulled out every time someone is told that they are misrepresenting the position of someone who looks they might not be a rabid MRA. Either it’s satire and you’re really shit at satire, then, or you don’t understand how analogies work. You choose!

                    1. Only “MRAs” would express concern at feminists here smearing and harassing the young wife of a professor. This, at least, is clear.

    3. The enthusiasm for Daily Nous is nauseating, and confirms my suspicions that this forum has lots in common with feminist sites.

    4. Sommers is a real academic philosopher, and has even published in the Journal of Philosophy. It can hardly be surprising — or objectionable, or somehow evidence of affiliation with unsavory alt-right crowds — that philosophers would know who she is and appreciate her work.

  44. The time has come for both male and female philosophers to submit to deep brain stimulation, just for sport. In the old days, doing philosophy provided plenty of deep brain stimulation. But today we can see philosophical inquiry replaced by gossip and indignation. Perhaps giant magnets attached to both ears will bring philosophers back from the holy wars. Here in Finland we have some fantastic FMRI tools with untested power settings. I heartily encourage such a setting for each of you.

  45. Haslanger is a tool. She did really complain about “masculine” terms like “rogorous” or “penetrating”. Here is a theory. If women would have made up up to 50% of graduate students, poor Yablo would have had a greater pool and would have not chosen her as a mate. Now she wants to deprive other mediocre women to be a spousal hire by making it harder to marry up.

  46. “Only “MRAs” would express concern at feminists here smearing and harassing the young wife of a professor. This, at least, is clear.”

    Ah, the old ‘taking one word from a post and quoting it completely out of context’ trick. So clever!

    1. So you think it’s important to “talk more about ‘rabid MRAs'” who are ruining the blog by posting anonymous accusations of sexual harassment and then pretending to be outraged in order to pin these comments on “the feminists”, then?

        1. Idiot,

          It’s not a theory. It’s a fact. We all think so. If you can’t see the evidence that’s right in front of you, then you need to go learn science.

            1. Why do you think it’s funny that people are using this blog to anonymously accuse people of sexual harassment without evidence, 2:20?

              1. I think it’s funny that you wrote, “It’s a fact. We all think so.”
                Then it got funnier when you told someone, whom you called “Idiot”, that they “need to go learn science”.

                I’m not going to explain *why* I think that’s funny. We all think so. And I am enjoying the thought of you going nuts trying to figure out why, too.

                This blog is a great gift.

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