In my previous posting, no one challenged my view of 0.999… NOT equaling to one. And the bowling ball.
So maybe I should stick in your craw a little more recently? Try this on for size:
I think there may be a publication opportunity opening up for you. You could probably Sokal Hypatia with that shit.
Yes, you may open thread III. Good girl!
Hypothesis: The Hypatia debacle was crafted, or at least amplified, in order to deflect attention from a real (and threatening) issue: the baselessness and viciousness displayed in the driving out of a certain former Northwestern professor from the academe.
I think it’s more about Ketland.
It has been established at great length in a previous thread that the point of this (and other) debacles is to distract from WINEberg’s distancing from Kark-ryn Pogge, who has been devoting ever more attention to The Daily Ant JUST AS Wineberg starts avoiding it in his so-called (but not really) heap o’ links. The only heap of links her, to be honest if I must, is Justin himself.
Jeff has a forthcoming paper that proves, with pure Logic, that any hole really is always and without exception a goal, even when scoring that goal requires leaving your wife for someone who previously sexually assaulted you.
It’s going to be one of the best papers in this year’s volume of Hypatia.
Coursier sexually assaulted Ketland after he and his wife split up and he had gone to live with a friend, “Matthew”, who described Coursier’s violence and stalking in a witness statement.
After Coursier assaulted him, she then stalked him for several more years. She stalked his wife too.
Did he have his sexual relationship with her before or after she assaulted him?
What a moronic question. When someone is sexually assaulted they break off contact. What the fuck do you think someone does when they’re assaulted?
This kind of behavior from you just makes you sound insane.
I’m not the person you’ve been speaking to, but actually people do all sorts of things when they have been assaulted. It’s a common mistake to assume that everyone reacts in the way you suppose – intuitively it seems like it must be right, but it isn’t actually supported by the evidence. Here’s a starting point if you are interested:
The person you’re responding to was almost certainly trolling, pretending that the view they express is commonly held here. Everyone (even the average poster here) who has followed these cases is aware that victims often maintain contact with their assailants, and often do not immediately break off contact, for lots of reasons. Thanks for trying to do a good deed, though.
Hey blog owner, could you please edit the link out of the above comment, or if not, edit out the comment? Thanks. (I’m the author of the comment,and I included something I probably shouldn’t have).
So what you are saying is that women are so hysterical that they send loving texts and continue their relationships after they’ve been sexual assaulted. The better explanation is that such women are liars.
The thing about your trolling is that it’s just way too obvious. There’s at worst one comment a month even close to this until the place gets brigaded, and then it’s suddenly 15% of all comments.
Amusingly, this comment was immediately followed by several from Benjamin Blanchard. Guys, space them out if you want to fool anyone.
That’s begging the question somewhat. Your better explanation would only be a better explanation if we have evidence that, as a matter of fact, people who have been assaulted do not behave in the way you describe. But that is precisely what is at issue.
There are other cases like this in which people behave in what seems like a counter-intuitive way – take for example the case of Elizabeth Smart, who has several opportunities to run away but didn’t. Now, this probably seems pretty counter-intuitive to people who haven’t been in that situation. But the best explanation of that case is not that Elizabeth Smart is a liar, but that there is evidence that her reaction is a common one for people in her situation.
Similarly, there is evidence that it is not uncommon for people who have been sexually assaulted or abused to continue relationships with their abusers. This response is similarly difficult for those who have never been in that situation to understand. But it’s not something that philosophers need to engage in armchair speculations about best explanations – there’s plenty of evidence about this kinds of thing. So yes, it does seem strange – but it is not uncommon. And one plausible explanation is that it’s part of a minimization attempt. People don’t want to believe that they have been raped, especially by a partner or someone they trusted. So they engage in denial about the fact and so continue the relationship, in order to maintain the belief that they weren’t raped.
While none of that is in dispute, the fact remains that many assault victims do actively break off contact with their assailant and experience severe trauma as a result of the assault and for long periods afterwards.
We have plenty of evidence that women who later claim to have been assaulted when originally they continued the lovey dovey texts were liars. Recently it’s been every week a new one has turned up when light is shone on a kangeroo court. Evidence from Canada shows false accusation rates between 19% and 42%. http://www.recorder.ca/2017/03/28/unfounded-cases-cleared
People who have been genuinely assaulted don’t pretend that they haven’t because, as anyone who has actually been assaulted knows, it is not something you can pretend about. People just aren’t that stupid. All this stuff about minimization and denial is just nonsense made up by anti-male feminists. It is now being exploited by malicious women who pretend they were assaulted and use the feminist nonsense as an alibi when confronted with the fact that their own behavior gives them the lie.
This thread began in connection with someone remarking about Coursier’s sexual assault on Ketland in 2010 in Scotland. His flatmate’s statement, which I have a copy of, is clear. Ketland distanced himself from her and banned her from visiting. But she then began stalking him.
Haslanger: “In short, can we move the conversation away from the particular case of Prof. Tuvel’s paper and talk about how our profession can be more respectful and more innovative, how can we stop alienating and marginalizing those who are legitimately frustrated with the profession, and how we can resist the fear mongering of the current political context and build tools needed for a more just and peaceful society?”
loosely translated from the Newspeak:
Let’s not get into who launched mass, nasty, anti-philosophical attacks against whom and just get back to the business of politicizing the discipline in the way that motivated this train wreck in the first place.
It’s clear to everyone who those people were. She knows it, they know it, we all know it. Guenther and co. will stay on the fringe; Kukla and Lance lost serious face. The really important thing is that more mainstream identity-politickers will have less incentive to join in: a week ago “liking” things like Nora Berenstain’s or calling Tuvel a Becky was a pretty good way to virtue signal; now this is much less clear. Debra Satz’s and Matt Kotzen’s messages to Leiter made it clear where the mainstream of the discipline lies.
I suspect if people tried to push the issue further, it would give the identity people an out and make it harder for prominent observers to get involved without putting too much on the line. I don’t think attacks like the one on Tuvel are going to happen any time soon, if only because it’s clear that if one did the pushback would be even stronger. Best to leave it at that.
So, you’re telling me you still won’t discuss ants on this? Amazing. Truly amazing.
2:06, This kind of doublespeak from Haslanger is priceless.
How about the Christians among us, Sally? Are you going to do anything to stop alienating and marginalizing them from the profession? Or are you going keep pushing your antichrist agenda by bullying everyone to kowtow to your demented version of reality, an abominable monstrosity of social engineering and mind-control where normal human values are redefined as hateful?
Alex Jones, is that you?
I for one want to hear more about this ANTaschrist agenda.
You’re still not me, but I have to say, that’s a decent pun!
There is a new Philosophy Phriday, fresh off the presses!!!
We thank Justin Wineburger for becoming increasingly antlightened! There is hope that shines yet!
Haha! Ha! Does he actually eat burgers? How much burgers does he eat!
I would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to Justin Weinberg (formerly WINEberg, for drunkenness on powerplay) for my public attacks on him. I am apologizing because he has now caved to my attacks, as appropriate, with including The Daily Ant on the Heap of Links. All y’all metal bros thought you were pathetic fringes on the disciplinary boundaries – very true but it is now also true that Justin listens and he listens well.
I want to be clear that the Blanchard Brothers have no relation to my Brothers Karamazov. However, in Notes from the Underground, I did say this:
“With the anthill, the respectable race of ants began and with the anthill they will probably end, which does the greatest credit to their perseverance and staidness. But man is a frivolous and incongruous creature, and perhaps, like the chessplayer, loves only the process of the game, not the end of it.”
How true, even today! I am sad to see it.
Recall David Benatar’s efforts to have his response to a nasty Hypatia review — for which one whose co-authors eventually publicly apologized — published in the journal:
“In December 2014, I approached Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy,to ask whether they publish responses to (their) book reviews. The editor replied promptly and pleasantly, indicating that they do not. While I understand such a policy, it has an unfortunate upshot. Because Hypatia is unlikely to publish reviews that are as hostile to orthodox feminist books (and the authors of those books) as [xxx] and [xxx]’s review was to The Second Sexism, the policy of not publishing responses to reviews has a differential impact. It also means that Hypatia readers are unlikely to read helpful correctives to the excesses of the orthodox views likely to be found in that journal…”
Here’s something the moderator can do–let BB and his brother do their thing, and once or twice a day cull their comments from the blog. I predict that a week or two of that will discourage the guys, perhaps with occasional tending afterwards. That’s a modicum of moderation, but it cannot reasonably be interpreted as censorship as no views are being expressed by the Blanchards. (And I take for granted that we do not need a theory of when a view is really being expressed to see that the Blanchards do not meet it.) So this solution does not transgress the spirit of the blog, and it solves the problem. Less than ideal, I admit, but we are not dealing with ideal thinkers here.
You should leave the comments from the earlier threads, however. Given the way the Kipnis and Hypatia malfeasances are coming into wider discussion, it will be good to have a record of how the Blanchards behaved.
“You should leave the comments from the earlier threads, however. Given the way the Kipnis and Hypatia malfeasances are coming into wider discussion, it will be good to have a record of how the Blanchards behaved.”
This is important. The record of BB’s and unspecificed alleged JB comments here will be looked at seriously and with great scrutiny for years to come, just as this blog and its former iterations have already had such far-reaching effects on scholarship, hiring committees, and general public perception.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that our culture agrees it’s completely acceptable for white people like Benjamin and Joshua Blanchard to use the N word in silly forums. You know, because they have good intentions.
Well, and they’re winsome.
Hi Anonymous! Just popping in to confirm that that person was not me. Ok, carry on with ants and so on!
Sure it wasn’t. You only post the lighthearted Hitler memes.
It is an axiom of axiology that a Hitler meme is in the same ballpark as racial slurs.
I didn’t say it was, though I’m not as cavalier about them as you are. I also think you hate this blog enough to post both.
I just cannot stop laughing at Rebecca Kukla’s claim that Sir-Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” is “a towering, maximally mainstream icon of black culture.”
Towering! Towering, I tell you! Just like those big butts that I love, about which I cannot lie.
Oh and keep in mind that “Baby Got Back” samples the “me so horny” line from Full Metal Jacket, which is actually an honest to god, genuinely offensive caricature of asian women. If anyone would like to initiate a petition against Rebecca Kukla for this grave offense, I will happily sign it anonymously!
Remember that in the video, Mix-a-Lot is literally standing on a towering butt: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xk98uu_sir-mix-a-lot-baby-got-back-1992_music
New hires at UC Irvine
I don’t understand Coliva’s choice. why would you ever leave Italy to move anywhere else?
Hey someone stole my title.
That’s a large set of hires at Irvine, but mostly non-philosophers, right? Just noticed that philjobs “appointments” has a list of hires
I really appreciate Chloe Taylor’s interventions at Daily Nous. But this struck me as, uh, kind of intense:
“Rebecca has certainly been harmed. I am almost entirely certain that I would have committed suicide a day ago if this had been me…”
Jesus christ, if asshats like Mark Lance and Rebecca Kukla can push you to suicide, you are already in way too deep.
How often has “transgenderism” appeared in the pages of Hypatia prior to the Tuvel’s article and how often has “Caitlyn (formerly Bruce) Jenner” been used in academic journals and books (perhaps even including one International Journal of Transgenderism published by Taylor and Francis)? The answer may not surprise you.
But they have a policy now about it. Hastily assembled, confusing, and rather ad hoc, but a policy.
And the real question is, what is a species? Species concepts are very complex, and there are really no hard boundaries! So differentiating between some ant species is very difficult. Sad!
Right, “what” is exactly the question. Determining “what” is often quite difficult.
Not a “what” but a “who”. Species are individuals (spread out in space and time). Have some respect.
“How often has “transgenderism” appeared in the pages of Hypatia?”
How often has it appeared in the International Journal of Transgenderism?
And how often have ants been discussed in either journal, as they should be? NEVER, I’m sure! -_-
I don’t know! I hope someone will investigate this.
Someone keeps attempting to troll Ben B with who-what-why-when question… only to produce yet more ant material on this blog. Are some people on this blog as dumb as they are vicious? Can we please get back to the basics here, folks? Think: Glaucon’s poems. Think: Funny anecdotes that don’t humiliate people. Think: respectful discussion of actual philosophical claims.
Ketland fucked his crazy student and she killed herself. We all feel sorry for his poor wife.
I thought Coursier assaulted him.
He says that but also says they had an affair, and often gives the impression there was sexual contact only the once.
I thought Coursier stalked his wife?
I think his wife also complained to the university about the vigilantes who drove them out of their home in Oxford too.
Was this before he fucked Charlotte?
Ah. Anon. Anon = Broodingson. Broodingson is back with her creepy stalking of Ketland. He doesn’t want you, dear. You’re just going to have to get over it.
I thought Coursier wanted a quick fuck, went to the flat and sexually assaulted him? Wasn’t that several years before the vigilantes harassed his wife out of town though?
What the Kettleman often neglects to mention is that he went back to the Coursier well much later in Oxford. He and his wife were having trouble, so in search of quick sex he went to the stalker who had sexually assaulted him in the past, who he knew to be suicidal and in love with him. Just a harmless couple of days convincing her that they could be back together, so that he could get his end away. What could go wrong?
A total fabrication.
I wonder if this is a vigilante who feels guilty about sticking a pitchfork into a child?
“he went back to the Coursier well much later in Oxford. ”
Be the change you want to see in the metablog.
Yes, this is proper thinking. If we want to see the formicid future, we must live and act as if we already live in those times. And, carry the respect and love that is necessary to thrive in such a colony!
This is a comment by Mark “Chuck” Norris Lance from the Facebook thread Leiter linked to: “I have read the paper carefully and think there is much more wrong with it than bad terminology. That said, I do think this could have been a chance for everyone to learn, and I honestly do not feel any ill will towards Tuval – who I know nothing about beyond this paper. Lots of people have written papers as bad as this – I have – and she is unlucky both at having not gotten competent editorial review and at having been taught that this sort of cavalier – in the sense of not knowing the area she is writing about – abstract, disengaged, philosophy stance was ok anywhere and about anything. (At least I’m assuming that she was taught this because it is a common feature of our profession and she certainly embodies it here.) So she picked literally the worst topic to apply a rather common methodology to and not having senior gatekeepers do their job properly. And the result was doing real harm to vulnerable people.”
What is wrong with the horseman stance? What is the harm done? Can anyone explain the unexplainable?
Titles of bad papers by Mark “Chuck” Norris Lance that would have been published if a sensitive gatekeeper had not seen the problem:
“What Is It Like to Be a Retard?”
“Human Trafficking: What’s the Big Deal?”
“She Had It Coming: A Qualified Defense of the OJ Simpson Killings”
“Oh My God, Becky, Look at Her Butt!: A Dialogue on Vagueness in Thigh/Ass Distinctions” with R. Kukla
He sure did a good job spelling her name.
ZOMG I doubt that even Chuck has written anything else quite this condescending. The really unlucky person here is surely Chuck himself, in having been taught that the philosophical ‘abstract, disengaged stance’ is all very well in its place as long as you don’t try to adopt it in cases deemed out of bounds by a small band of moral vanguardists (which has happily come to include Chuck himself), and that it can count as grounds, not only for criticism, but for demanding retraction of a paper that it does ‘real harm’, without one’s ever having to specify at all what this harm consists in. Chuck’s teachers did him a real disservice here.
(Or am I missing something? Serious question: has anyone come across any specification worth taking seriously of any actual harm Tuvel might have done by publishing that paper?)
In other news, it’s good to see the jaw-droppingly inane ‘Becky’ FP comment thread (and especially R Kukla’s bizarre babbling therein) being brought to a wider audience by a link in a comment on Leiter. Especially noteworthy here is the ‘executive privilege’ whereby Kukla and her ilk claim immunity when they endorse cultural phenomena with much clearer connections to what they would screamingly denounce anyone else for coming within a mile of. I mean, for example, Sir Mix-a-Lot’s ‘me so horny’ sample, pointed out in this thread by 5.27 above, and the use of ‘Becky’ as a term of aggressive sexual harassment against white women, pointed out by the most recent comment (11.27 May 6) on the FP thread itself. Which brings us back, full circle, to Chuck: ‘real harm to vulnerable people’, anyone?
From the FP thread:
If “Becky” is simply an insult, then the people using it are just being mean. But as S and Rebecca Kukla have already pointed out, it has a specific racialized history and it’s used to playfully (and yes, exasperatedly and insultingly) refer to a particular kind of oblivious and prestige seeking white femininity. The term is being used as part of a critical commentary, not just as an insult, and when we dismiss that we’re also dismissing (and demonizing) the race-based criticisms it’s part of.
tl;dr: It’s OK when we do it.
tl;dr: No ants.
New comment in the thread: ““Becky” doesn’t just mean “white girl who is the object of some disapproval”. It also means “white girl that gives lots of oral sex”. Unlike Prime, I don’t find it’s use humorous, especially as it is constantly thrown out at me as I walk down the street.”
OK, which one of you posted this?
That’s the comment I was referring to at the end of my own comment. I think it’s for real. But maybe you’re joking? I’m so confused!
I was joking when I asked. But reading it again, I’m now less confident that it’s real. Confusing indeed. I mean, you give 15 BJs to guys on your street and suddenly you’re ‘Becky.’ What’s the world coming to?
Consider a violinist, kidnapped by a society of music lovers…
Ok, so, thoughs on the Kipnis-ants connection? Why is Kipnis silent on the most important organism of the past 140 million years or so?
Ok, so you have no thoughts. But I’m expecting others will!
Maybe she is futilely waiting for the end before she comments.
Reading FP and asshats like Mark Lance makes me want to leave the profession even more. However, it also makes me realize that if reasonable people start exiting the profession, Lance and other idiots will just continue to take over. We can’t let that happen.
The only way to improve the lives of unreasonable people is to consider and internalize the formicid perspective. Can you do this? I didn’t think so.
This is pretty funny:
836 <<== the number of signatures of the Hypatia open letter. Madness. We're doomed, people.
Academic philosophy is filled with lunatics? Who’d a thunk it!
This is clearly a flawed hypothesis, least of which because it does not include myrmecological evolutionary patterns.
When Sally starts slanging the ha
She rivals the great Yo-Yo Ma.
His bowing’s expressive
Her posting’s trangressive
Though this one approaches Poe’s Law.
The problem here’s not the profession.
It’s Hypatia’s macroaggression.
But if one’s friends sign the letter
Changing the subject is better,
And then focus on philo-oppression.
There clearly are many opposed
To the off-lining solution proposed.
You can’t stand the bullshit?
Then perhaps don’t add to it.
Big surprise: the comments are closed.
This is a good one
Would have liked more ant content, but, I can give some credit given that this was an entirely vertebrate endeavor.
Honestly, I don’t think this is very good. For example, it makes–in a much less extensive way–the same kind of BS charge against Charles Murray that Tuvel’s critics are making against her. Instead of engaging with his arguments, the author just calls him a bigot, and says that we ought to be worried about him instead of Tuvel. But read some interviews with Murray–he doesn’t seem like a racist. He made some plausible arguments, which may be right or may be wrong, but in any case are strong enough to be taken seriously.
And, again, I think rather too much is made of the fact that Tuvel is a woman, a feminist, and untenured. This is just the New Consensus nonsense again–though used in defense of someone who happens to deserve defending. It employs, rather than challenging, the PC / “social justice” / identity politics framework. Granted, the author *does* defend the quality of Tuvel’s arguments…which is good…but it’d be better to just stick to that point. Combined with the shot at Murray, it seems like the author is suggesting that it’s ok to witch-hunt someone like Murray, but not ok to do it to someone like Tuvel. This is quibbling over targets instead of arguing against the practice of taking such race-and-sex-based potshots at all.
TL;DR: Literally not even one ant here. Carry on.
“This is quibbling over targets instead of arguing against the practice of taking such race-and-sex-based potshots at all.”
Can someone post a link to where Rebecca Kukla opines about Beckys?
A rule of thumb: anyone inclined to engage in such patently dishonest intellectual gyrations should probably not consider philosophy as a career.
That can’t be the prudential ‘should.’ In the past week we’ve seen plenty of very well-placed people doing even worse.
The only thing we should be worrying about is proper prudants. Duh!
Depressingly good point.
Kukla and Lance might go down in history for being more known for their facebook posts than their articles.
Great article posted by Leiter:
What is the “real harm to vulnerable people” caused by Tuvel’s article that Mark Lance speaks of?
Sadly, this proved not to be true. I used command-f to search that article, and did not find any ants. Unfortunate… to say the least.
This would not be so sad, if it weren’t for the great potential of these and other philosophers to achieve truly myrmecological heights.
Lark Manse at DN:
“(Also, smaller point: thanks for using your real name. I have a general – though obviously defeasible – practice of simply ignoring blogs that allow for anonymous comments because they go the way this thread has almost every time.)”
Lark won’t read blogs that allow for anonymous comments, except, obviously, for when he does. I do hope he makes an exception for the metablog!
Only if and when this blog attains its ant-given potential!
Proposition: How about we discuss ants for a while and then move on to other topics?
(Of course, I realize this proposition is only in my favor, given that to discuss ants is to discuss into infinity)
OK. I always wondered whether ants sleep. Do you happen to know the answer to this, BB?
Oh, you missed the parenthetical!
I guess if I were BB, I would worry that someone will tell his advisor what he’s doing with his time.
His advisor has already been informed.
If I were Peter Ludlow, I’d send BB a thank you card for keeping the behavior of Lauren Leydon-Hardy, Kathryn Pogin, and others at Northwestern on everyone’s mind. That controversy could very well have been completely eclipsed by the Hypatia open letter fiasco.
This is bad even for the prison planet guy
Prison Planet is obvious cointelpro, by this was actually pretty good.
It does summarize the depraved society we live in.
he actually connected transgenderism to transracialism long before Tuvel.
give him an assistant professorship at some college.
Hmm. Maybe Schliesser actually is an idiot.
One possibility: a bunch of people literally believe that there is a cabal within professional philosophy that determines the profession’s course.
Another: a bunch of people have noticed that they have colleagues who tend to get their way by crying racism and sexism at every opportunity, and those colleagues have finally done so in support of a cause for which it will not be tolerated.
I would have expected him to understand invisible hand explanations, but maybe not.
Right Eric, because the public implosion of the cabal on a point of dogmatic ideology is evidence there is no cabal. What a putz.
What a preening idiot. On his blog he didn’t even condemn the Hypathia meltdown. Like Haslanger, he desperately looks for ways to change the subject.
Also remarkable, he views his proposal for professional near-ostracism of people who had even been accused of harassment as a *Millian* response. As in John Stuart Mill.
Eric Schliesser thinks JS Mill was a vigilante. This illiterate gibberish is from a professional “historian”.
This is what happens when we let ourselves be fooled by an attention-seeking blogger who wants us to confuse his notoriety with scholarly recognition. Pathetic indeed.
Yeah, um, clearly a feminist cabal does run philosophy. As it should! Anyone think about how 100% of ant workers are female? Well, you could of and should of thought about it!
I’m thinking this is clear now.
The use of this expression is an apt reflection the state of professional philosophy in 2017.
Well, it would, if BB were involved in professional philosophy.
so I have my R1 job, good pay, no reason to complain etc.etc. But I can’t stand them anymore.
since they already won, I would be happy to move to a different department and even a different country. US/Canada/Western Europe seem to be doomed (except, perhaps minor colleges in flyover America, where I would never like to move to).
is there any job in places outside of the above (Eastern Europe perhaps?), where there is decent food, reasonable salaries, and a culture that has (hopefully) not been destroyed by social justice nonsense?
(it’s a serious question. what is the philjobs equivalent for Poland, Hungary, etc.?)
I felt the same way and moved to a country in Latin America (there were other reasons as well). I’m pretty happy here so far.
Hang on a minute! That’s all a bit apocalyptic isn’t it? As someone said early in this thread:
Guenther and co. will stay on the fringe; Kukla and Lance lost serious face. The really important thing is that more mainstream identity-politickers will have less incentive to join in: a week ago “liking” things like Nora Berenstain’s or calling Tuvel a Becky was a pretty good way to virtue signal; now this is much less clear. Debra Satz’s and Matt Kotzen’s messages to Leiter made it clear where the mainstream of the discipline lies.
Something similar goes for the Kipnis business. Sure, the FP / Moral Majority crowd weren’t embarrassed in the way Kukla and Lance have been over the Hypatia disaster, but no-one could credibly smear Benj and Jessica as eg ‘alt-right’ (Chuck’s hilarious new designation for people who disagree with him), and most of the people in philosophy whose opinion matters got the message that Kipnis was onto something and a lot of what has gone on under the auspices of Title IX was completely horrific.
What’s being shown, pretty clearly, is that the loudest and most intimidating voices in the profession are not the majority, and the clearer this becomes, the less capacity they have for intimidation. People are starting to openly laugh at the more extreme elements of the tendency, and the prospects of people like Kukla, Lance, MacKinnon, Schliesser, or even Weinberg actually taking over the profession are slim to non-existent. There are too many people like David Wallace around.
Thanks 4:33. This is basically my assessment. One reason for lower confidence in it, though, is that since younger philosophers are as a rule more cautious about joining the fray, it’s possible they skew toward the dipshit side of things and we just don’t know it yet.
“most of the people in philosophy whose opinion matters got the message that Kipnis was onto something and a lot of what has gone on under the auspices of Title IX was completely horrific. ”
That’s why more than a hundred of the most influential movers and shakers expressed support for Jennifer Lackey & co. when she posted her anti-Kipnis stuff on Facebook, right? An en masse surrender to the mighty Benj & Jessica!
If we look at the real world, we see there are perhaps two or three people who had second thoughts. Ludlow is of course lucky Kipnis took up his cause and she did this because the same people tried to smear her and fire her. But has she convinced others in the philosophy profession to change their mind? The evidence suggests that the answer to that is a resounding No.
I’m not on FB so I didn’t see the Lackey anti-Kipnis stuff or who ‘liked’ it. But are you sure there were ‘more than a hundred of the most influential movers and shakers’? Part of my point is that quite a few people look a lot more influential than they are, by dint of shouting louder and smearing more nastily than anyone else. I’m not trying to refute you; I’m just suggesting that the evidence you cite might not count as conclusive to someone not already begging the question against my view.
As for ‘en masse surrender to the mighty Benj & Jessica’, I can’t find where I alleged anything like this in my comment.
I was kind of kidding on the Benj/Jessica remark. Apologies. They’re trying. Good luck to them both. Lackey’s FB update with the long thread got about 110, maybe 120, people endorsing it; maybe 20 or more shares too. Look through the list. All the usual social justice crowd, and they have a ton of institutional power in many places, and most of the elite places. It would be infelicitous to name them, but one can guess. For contrast, Kipnis’s FB updates on her book and other related issues get tons of support. But this is much wider, throughout academia and outside outside, to novelists, filmmakers & journalists.
So it seems to me that the good news is that people outside the philosophy profession really are finally starting to sniff something rotten in the state of Denmark with the conduct of the social justice crowd. Leiter has, to his credit, come round to the right view about Ludlow. But I think the bad news is that the push back in relation to cherished villains is going to be slow, as indicated by reading the responses on Lackey’s thread. Does anyone think the DN/FP crowd are going to make something like a public mea culpa? I don’t see it, at least not yet.
Snap poll! Favorite hyperdiverse genus: Pheidole, or Strumigenys?
Fantastic comment reposted at Leiter, by one ‘Anon PhD’, originally in response to an inane post at Crooked Timber. Sample:
Let me also note that Lawford-Smith is not herself black and is every bit as privileged as Tuvel. This is also typical of contemporary (il)liberal discourse. Somehow the privileged “allies” find a way to take up all the air in the room in their expression of concern for the marginalized, even though the marginalized themselves often disagree as to whether or not this concern is warranted. As a trans person of color writes at Daily Nous: “we are not babies who need to be protected from the harms of disagreement.” How unfortunate that Lawford-Smith silences these voices.
Jonathan Ichikawa is getting his ass kicked on his blog. Check this out:
Apparently Itchy has a past participating in rape culture. See below:
This was rather difficult to fap to.
With a haircut and color that isn’t ludicrous! Who could’ve imagined.
I think he’s kinda cute. If he weren’t such a moralistic little shit, and married to another one…. But they do get into some funky stuff:
And check this out:
For people with such unconventional sexual lives, they take a weird pleasure in lecturing others on their sexual conduct.
yeah, it’s almost like they think there’s a morally significant difference between unconventional sexual choices and sexual assault
But Itchy celebrates sexual assault (see link above).
I watched the video. I don’t get it
But feminist philosophers defend sexual assault.
Holy shit that is brilliant. The phone bit was on point. And so many great lines.
“I’m just saying, trans or not she’s sexy as fuck. And no matter what your sexual orientation, skin color, you can’t be disadvantaged if you’re sexy as fuck.”
“Becoming trans is the only way a straight white man can have a say on sex, race, or any minority issue.”
“No, I don’t think gender is a ‘thing’. But I think you’re a fraud.
Yeah, but I identify as not a fraud.”
Good to see the Aussies still have balls.
Why is everyone here ignoring my towering, maximally mainstream icon of sanctimoniass culture, Baby Got Blog? Seriously, wtf is up with that? Your citation practices need to be improved.
I like my criticisms and I cannot lie
You other posters can’t deny
That I have publicly made criticisms
And those criticisms are correct …
Credit to Justin for giving a guest post to Tuvel’s friend Alison Suen which, among other things, massively embarrasses Haslanger.
And, wow, to Hasana Sharp, who just turned up the heat on the mob considerably.
So, the tide seems to be turning, noticeably if not yet definitively, against the Signatories. As evidence I’m thinking of Sally Scholz’s genuinely thoughtful statement, as well as a pretentious but nevertheless critical note on FB written by a Woman of Color, which was commented on appreciatively by some of the pants-wetting types.
I’ve also seen some notes on FB from a few talented but, shall we say, more career-oriented colleagues, that push back against the Signatories (prefaced, as it must be, by the rote paying of obeisance to identity politics, e.g., “Now, I know that my privileged identity means that I’m a bad, bad, mean, terrible person; but…”)
Lastly, there have been more than a few blog posts written by Whinebergian types meant to distract from the real issue, e.g. “Gosh, why is everyone so mad?” “Forget Tuvel, let’s focus the systemic (systemic!!) problems;”
To mix metaphors, all of this suggests to me that for those looking to jump on a bandwagon, it ain’t looking like Signatories’ is the right one. The smarter Whinebergians realize this, hence their hedged judgments and bad faith.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out, since a number of folks have very publicly made rather bold statements, e.g. that awful post at Crooked Timber in which the author compares Hypatia to a best friend who has done something “horribly misogynistic.”
To return to the original metaphor, if we suppose that the tide continues to turn, the Daily Nuisances will have to figure out how to walk this all back while losing minimal face. Whineberg was smart and never went all in, so this will be less of a problem for him. By contrast, I fully expect some, like Mark Lance, to go down with the ship. Godspeed Professor Lance, you served admirably!
However, does this mean that Whineberg et al will step forward with a robust defense of free academic inquiry against virtue mobbing? Will they call for sustained, critical reflection on the effect that their behavior is having on the profession?
No. I suspect instead that over the next few weeks we’ll be seeing a number of posts, somewhat like the Facebook post I mentioned above, written by Marginalized Persons, that, while OF COURSE in clear agreement with the usual identity politics dogmas, and OF COURSE agreeing that we must address the systemic (systemic!!!) problems, nevertheless conclude that the Signatories jumped the gun on this one. This will become the agreed-upon public line, though the diehards will continue in private to nurse their grievances.
Expect any such post to conclude with something like: “Now can we all please just be nice to each other? 🙂 “
Thanks for this. Seems about right to me.
One commenter at DN is keeping up the fight:
DraggingThroughtheMud · May 7, 2017 at 2:56 pm
I guess NY mag was right about this being a ‘witch hunt’, except now the hunt is for the associate editors.
Witch hunts that involve chasing down actual guilty people are the best! Here is one of my favorites: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUyWS6j5rS4
I would have thought that things were going to pan out this way too, until I read Kelly Oliver’s Los Angeles Review of Books evisceration of the anti-Tuvel hoard. It’s as unsparing as the nymag piece, but written by a highly placed continental feminist: http://thephilosophicalsalon.com/if-this-is-feminism-its-been-hijacked-by-the-thought-police/
Wow, that is one powerful denunciation.
That is an excellent piece. I’m not sure I’m ready to revise my assessment however. It’s no longer about (if it ever were) people’s beliefs; it’s about their identities. For Mark Lance and Rebecca Kukla to cave, it would expose (what’s already obvious to any normal person) them as frauds and wankers. I expect them to go out kicking and screaming, for a few more rounds at the very least
That was pretty self-serving.. “I was first, and I read it but they didn’t, and people attacked me too..”
Have you read her novels, btw?
Actually, I revise my assessment in this respect. I wrote, “I suspect instead that over the next few weeks we’ll be seeing a number of posts, somewhat like the Facebook post I mentioned above, written by Marginalized Persons…”
If this does come to pass, the posts will mostly be written by “allies” (read: largely, well compensated white folks), since this whole drama has mostly been about their voices, not the voices of their wards
I feel like what everybody needs is a good petition against some Christian schools to get everybody back on the same page again. Who’s with me?
Indeed! There’s always Christian bashing, when they can’t agree on anything else.
The good news is that a house divided cannot stand, and it is fun to watch the secularists devour each other.
They’re having a group-action problem, because they’re all beginning to realize what Christians already knew: at heart they’re all self-seeking anyway, and they’ll throw each other under the bus the moment they think it’s necessary.
That’s what we see here.
It must be a miserable existence living enalaved to a life of pettiness and the flesh and an obsession with pronouns and genitalia. Maybe some of them will finally come clean and come to God when they still have breath in their lungs.
Surely by now some of them must know deep down that they’re swimming in a moral and spiritual cesspool. I hope that they choose to come out of darkness and choose life instead.
Well, at least you’re honest enough to admit that you hate Him. Most people just pretend to believe He doesn’t exist.
Your remark just reinforces the sad reality that man is a strange creature. Only a man could freely choose to hate what is good and instead love what is evil, and ultimately to his own eternal detriment at that!
You still have time to save yourself, but I fear that your rage will only blind you. It’s all so unnecessary really.
And fuck you too.
There’s still time my friend, but the choice is yours.
A fresh start in Christ! It’s possible. The only thing stopping you is yourself!
You’re right. I am stopping myself from going anywhere near your miserable craven slave-god.
That doesn’t even make sense.
Why slander the very God who created you?
You’re only destroying yourself.
The same God that created bone cancer?
You’re going to die anyway. What’s it to you that some die from cancer?
Christ died a wise death than any of us ever will, and He never complained.
But just as you’re unwilling to pattern yourself after Him in life, so too in how you meet your death. Sad. The jokes and snarky witticisms won’t get you anywhere in the end.
Why did God create bone cancer?
I think God created bone cancer so Sufjan Stevens could write this song: .
“It must be a miserable existence living enalaved to a life of pettiness and the flesh and an obsession with pronouns and genitalia.
Yep, exactly. Surely by now some “Christians” must know deep down that any God worth believing in, much less venerating, could never be so petty as to actually give a shit about which pronouns His children were inclined to use or which genitalia they needed to feel comfortable in their own skin.
If you’re still sinning, you’re not one of his children.
See 1 John 3:8
And God made them male and female, but you don’t need to be told that; you know that’s true, you just rebel against it.
Why are all the good philosophy depts in the Five Eyes countries?
I don’t know; I’m not God.
YoungLife Troll is killing it
Get all the mocking in now when you still can…
You’re going to appear before the God of the universe when you die, and you’re going to have to give an account of your life.
You should get ready for that.
Also, before anyone trots out the vapid Nietzschean point about ressentiment, don’t waste your time.
Nietzsche was just a man, and he’s already made his own appearance before Christ, and in any case, you won’t be hiding behind his shirttails when you make your appearance.
Quoting him in this life isn’t going to matter in the end when you’re all alone before God.
What is God’s stance on ants? Asking for a friend.
Ants are good, of course. Men should be too, but often they refuse. Then they head to perdition. Woe to those who do.
When I’m all alone before God, I’ll ask him if he wants to suck my dick.
That is a very foolish and vile thing to say, and you know it. The worst part is that that’s exactly what you enjoy the most about having said it.
I remember when I loved darkness too. There’s still time to come clean and be pure again.
Wise decision: live a life patterned after DeVito and some other degenerate actors rather than Jesus Christ. What could possibly go wrong, right?
If the television screen says it’s normal and great, well, it must be right?
You need to stop worshiping the Golden Calf of television and realize that “entertainment” is brainwashing. The fact that you’re so cavalier about your own soul proves it works.
I’m lost. Are we talking about Colbert’s joke about Obama being Morsi’s cock holster?
Is there, like, a Kaplan course?
Kelly Oliver’s statement was really fantastic. Unfortunately she’s a one eyed queen in the land of the blind:
✓ “I recently participated in a seminar at Columbia University on Nietzsche and Irigaray.”
✓ Hunting Girls: Sexual Violence from The Hunger Games to Campus Rape: “Oliver locates their manifestation of violent sex in the growing prevalence of campus rape, the valorization of woman’s lack of consent, and the new urgency to implement affirmative consent apps and policies.”
✓ “Most recently, she has published three novels in The Jessica James, Cowgirl Philosopher, Mystery Series.”
Love that cover!
That cowgirl looks like such a Becky.
I’m going to need to see a DNA test before I decide whether to demand you lose your job for cultural appropriation.
Race is a social construction but you can’t change races because biology.
Ha! Good one.
I’m going to push back against “fantastic”…though I’m probably sounding like a broken record, but:
A little too heavy on the alt-PC how-dare-you-do-this-to-a-vulnerable(untenured, female)-feminist kind of arguments, and a little too light on the this-is-in-principle-batshit-crazy angle for my taste.
Defending Tuvel because of the groups she belongs to suggests an acceptance of the crackpot general framework that’s generating this sort of problem to begin with. That’s a battle plan for Pyrrhic victory, I say.
Agreed. The “how DARE you do this to an UNTENURED FEMALE” will become the new way to immunize yourself from any criticism
This is clearly right.
Friends and allies we need to demand a retraction of this murder-inciting racism: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/may/08/caitlyn-jenner-bruce-transitioning-kardashians-reality-tv-star
“She…point-blank refuses to retire references to “Bruce” or castigate others who use it.”
I know. In 2017, still? Really?
Real harm. This is causing real harm. It’s borderline violent.
She knows exactly what she’s doing with “castigate” there.
David Sobel, King of Misdirection.
On Kipnis: So technically, as it turns out, she was right about Leydon-Hardy and Ludlow being in a relationship… but what if she had been wrong? One can make a case that, when she alleged a relationship, she didn’t have quite enough evidence for that to count as a justified assertion…
On Tuvel: So technically, any credible principle requiring an editor to stand by her decision to publish a paper would require Scholz to refuse to retract the Tuvel paper… but we can imagine other cases in which an editor might be warranted in retracting a paper even if it doesn’t involve plagiarism or culpably shoddy scholarship… like… er… Hey, what if a logic journal accepted a paper that included a really complex proof, but then found out there was an error in the proof? And, wait… here’s another possible case…
Give me a fucking break.
(Sobel’s partner Janice Dowell signed the open letter demanding Hypatia retract Tuvel’s paper.)
Is this dull hack opining again? Where may we find his latest effusions?
Ahh, I found them, on the DailyNous thread.
Technically Tuvel was right about transracial individuals, but what if, unbeknownst to her, the transracial individuals she sees outside her window are really *holograms* that look identical to transracial individuals? If you cannot rule out this possibility, then retraction is clearly warranted.
Or, chromosomally, they were XYZ
You mock the XYZ?
I’m starting an open letter to the editors of Minnesota Studies. Retract “The Meaning of Meaning”. Hilary Putnam never cites XYZ folk. The failure of inclusion of the lived experience of *actual Twin Earthlings* perpetuates the violence against them.
Please support this letter — and if you find other instances of violence in ciswhitejewmale Putnam’s article or the ensuing Earth Supremacist literature please report them.
Everyone knows that the editor was right to stand by the peer review process. But what this Facebook comment presupposes is…what if she wasn’t?
Sobel on Britain’s declaration of war against Germany in September 1939: Okay, technically, this might have turned out in the end to have been the right call. But, you know, hindsight’s 20/20! First, why then? Why didn’t Chamberlain declare war when the Germans took over the Sudetenland, for example? What was so special about the invasion of Poland? But more important, what if Hitler hadn’t turned out to be a totally insane, mass-murdering megalomaniac? Chamberlain couldn’t possibly have really known that at the time. Shouldn’t he have had grounds for certainty, before helping to plunge Europe and the world into a six-year nightmare of unimaginable bloodshed and horror?
Sobel on Ali’s ‘rope-a-dope’ strategy against Foreman in Kinshasa
Sobel on Dylan going electric at the Newport Folk Festival
Anyone taking bets on Rage Machine’s construal of today’s Jenner interview? As far as I can see, it’s either:
Jenner’s affectation of indifference toward the quasi-genocidal crime of deadnaming is a totally predictable, grotesque betrayal of trans people everywhere, a typical expression of wealthy, white privilege, and (etc etc)
Jenner’s tragic inability to see the quasi-genocidal wrongness of deadnaming is a totally predictable manifestation of the false consciousness that inevitably afflicts trans people everywhere, leading them to participate in the erasure of their own identities, and (etc etc).
Which is it to be? I’m genuinely uncertain.
Why not go all in and just say both? If you have a reprobate mind already, you may as well flex it.
Oh boy. Leiter vs. Olberding on FP.
“I also worry that I will receive additional unpleasant email from him. Until yesterday, I was unaware that there are other bloggers at FP who have needed to resort to blocking technology in order not to receive his hostile emails.”
OMG I might get an email! Help! Call the ambulance!
These people are impossible to parody.
I have in general been happy with BL’s trashing of the “open letter” signatories and the Hypatia board. But I looked over Olberding’s posts as “Prof. Manners,” and I don’t see any reason for him to lump her in with the people trying to “destroy” Hypatia. She also posted a comment at DN: http://dailynous.com/2017/05/07/go-forward-guest-post-alison-suen/#comment-109030 . But that too does not put in the “destroy Hypatia” camp.
What is “lived experience”?
It’s what you have if you’re not a zombie.
Amy “Miss Manners” Olberding just keeps digging. Arguments have now been replaced by vague worries that “because Leiter has publicly named me, I will be held accountable for things that have little to do with me or with anything I have said.”
Translation: now when people Google me they will see Leiter’s blog, read the backstory, and correctly form the judgment that I was on the side of stupidity and malice.
And on the side of dissimulation. Now that we can all see how the chips are falling, naturally Amy Olberding wants to soft-pedal her original response. Olberding writes: “everything I have said about the Hypatia affair was incredibly benign.”
Well, read for yourself folks:
“The profession of philosophy has a host of problems that are amply in evidence in all of these debates. This list would, in my opinion, include: a long history of exclusionary practices coupled with free theorizing about lives utterly unlike those led by people allowed into the professional guild;”
In the context of the Tuvel debacle, that (and the rest of her statement) is *quite obviously* a defense of the mob, even if it is embedded in a (at that point, useless) plea not to savage Tuvel too harshly.
These folks really must believe that everyone else is too dumb to see what they’re really up to.
But then she goes on to say:
“Here, then, is my plea: Please stop symbolically conscripting Rebecca Tuvel into the role of personifying all of these systemic issues that attach to the profession at large. I here do not wish to weigh in on the quality of Tuvel’s scholarship; what I want is to urge that we cease treating her article and her as the personification of issues that are all over the discipline. I here issue no judgment of Tuvel’s work but ask that we all recognize this: Even if you judge Tuvel to have done all of the things that have been laid at her door, she would not be unique in any of them. The problems that have been attached to her, that she has come to singularly personify in all these debates, are ones that her own critics would, I think, freely acknowledge exist all over the discipline. Yet she has been uniquely singled out for public opprobrium.”
This implies that singling out Tuvel, and her article, as deserving some sort of special singling out for retraction etc., as the signatories of the open letter do, is not justified. And that is the main point point of her entire post–see the title, “Symbolic Conscription.”
You might disagree with Olberding that these ‘problems’ are really problems, and you might wish that she had come to a defense of Tuvel’s scholarship. But to read her post as a “defense of the mob” is really weird, when she explicitly says that Tuvel should not have singled out as she has been, even if you concede for the sake of argument that the mob is right about the shortcomings of her article.
What I read her as saying here is: “Don’t single Tuvel out. Instead go after *everyone like her*.” In other words, make it a universal pogrom, not a witch-hunt aimed at one malefactor.
Uh, I’m pretty sure that’s not what she was saying. See the DN link above to her comment on the post by Tuvel’s friend Alison Suen, where she urges people (esp. feminists) not to subject Suen to the same sort of nastiness that Tuvel was subjected to. She clearly disapproved of the way Tuvel was treated by folks.
See the ending of her “Symbolic Conscription” post:
“Behaving as if solving the “Tuvel problem” will alter the deep problems we have conscripted her into personifying is, I believe, to wrong her. But even if you disagree with me about that and imagine that what she has likely endured the last few days is wholly warranted by what she wrote, consider the litany of problems above, consider the litany of systemic problems we have conscripted her into personifying and ask whether addressing her solves any of those problems. I don’t think it does. Worse, it risks certifying as acceptable laying the mountain of our profession’s problems on one untenured scholar. […] Treating one scholar, one untenured woman scholar, as the symbolic personification of the profession’s ills – raising petitions against her work, engaging in public insult of her (see: Becky), and so forth – will not fix what ails us. It is a symptom of what ails us. And what ails us is legion.”
To think that AO’s point is that we should insult everybody, not just Tuvel, and should have petitions against everybody, not just Tuvel, is a bad misreading of the post.
You have misread my point. And hers.
That’s a convincing piece of reasoning!
It’s a problem that AO was simultaneously attacking RT by signing the petition and discouraging people from defending her by arguing (as prof manners) that the real issues were systemic and impersonal. Lehrer is right that she’s been hypocritical.
Are you sure Olberding signed that Open Letter?
I don’t think Olberding signed the Open Letter. But she also did not condemn the Associate Editors or the authors of the Open Letter. She acted as though there were bad guys on both sides, when in fact Tuvel did nothing wrong.
Did she not sign the letter? If so, what’s Leiter’s beef?
I’m pretty sure she didn’t, but I didn’t save a copy when it was up and now there doesn’t seem to be a signed version online. Or maybe there is — does anyone know of one?
Here’s the Open Letter: https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/alexis-shotwell-open-letter-to-hypatia
Olberding is not among the signatories.
Aha, I think I misunderstood a line from Leiter. He listed her as one of the obfuscaters, but not as one of the signatories.
“The problems that have been attached to [Tuvel], that she has come to singularly personify in all these debates, are ones that her own critics would, I think, freely acknowledge exist all over the discipline.”
10:25 above is right. Olberding is claiming that Tuvel’s “problem” (i.e. engaging in philosophical inquiry) “exists all over the discipline.” Given the context of the post, she’s clearly not defending academic freedom. Quite the opposite
The Open Letter, the “Apology”… The swiftness of it all.
Is it possible that this whole thing was a “mini-coup” attempt against the current Hypatia management (editor etc.)? Planned by a clique there currently not so much influential?
This passage from the editor’s statement: “The Associate Editorial board acted independently in drafting and posting their statement. That board is a policy board and plays no role in the day to day management of the Journal.”
There’s going to be a change of editor/editorial team next year. The nomination process has already began: http://hypatiaphilosophy.org/Editorial/index.html
Some people trying to influence things in a certain direction?
Who knows, perhaps if one scratches the surface of this showy outrage a bit, there’ll emerge a planned, ruthless power play.
Also, did the rebellious cabal on the board (a “majority,” but that could be six people) conspire with the author(s) of the open letter? Was this outcry & subsequent semi-retraction orchestrated?
Might be. In any case, it’s got to be a narrow circle, with members placed in both AE board and editorial board.
Consider this passage from the open letter: “We write with a feeling of urgency to make the Hypatia Editor, Boards, and scholarly community aware of the reception of this article.”
According to the Hypatia website, Shotwell’s in the editorial board. She’s petitioning herself, ffs!
I suspect sooner or later someone’s going to talk about what really happened behind the scenes.
Conspirators see the first stirrings of an outrage. They sense an opportunity and go for it. First they feed the fire a bit. Then someone from the Scholz group publishes “the intial uncritical response” on the FB page, stressing the need for rational debate etc. Once the mob is on, that can’t be enough. Nothing short of a humiliating “self-criticism” session will cut it. There comes the open letter with its primary demand targeted directly at Scholz and co.: “issue a statement taking responsibility for the failures of judgment associated with publishing this article and apologize for the initial uncritical response posted on Hypatia’s Facebook page.” A group of conspirators then take over the FB page and issue the apology, thereby trying to force the Scholz and co.’s hand. And so on.
Who gives a shit, anyway!
Oh, and at some point the Chicago Grinch intervenes. It seems they didn’t calculate the enormity of the backlash well enough.
Are you nuts? These people don’t calculate backlash. They’re full of unchecked self-righteousness. The fact that they didn’t think about how the Grinch would respond shows how distorted their thinking is.
I’m not sure what Leiter’s beef was, but if it was that Olberding was ‘defending the mob’ or urging people to ‘go after everyone like [Tuvel]’, I don’t think that can straightforwardly be right. Rather, the real problem with EO’s response to the Tuvel fiasco is very similar to the problem with Haslanger’s: prevarication and massive double standards.
EO is kind of in a bind (as is Haslanger). A huge number of her friends are presumably frothing at the mouth about Tuvel’s horrific violence against trans people and people of color, and signed or basically agree with the open letter to Hypatia. At the same time, she is too smart not to see that, even independently of rights and wrongs, throwing in their lot with these friends would be a losing proposition: their cause is becoming more toxic by the day, both in philosophy and in what passes for the wider intellectual culture.
Hence the sudden enthusiasm for bipartisan ‘peacemaking’, for not seeing ‘systemic’ problems in terms of an individual case (‘Please stop symbolically conscripting Rebecca Tuvel into the role of personifying all of these systemic issues that attach to the profession at large’), for one way or another just calling a halt to the whole discussion of Tuvel (‘I would like to enjoin the profession as a whole to cease with these degrading displays’), for rejecting ‘us vs them’ thinking (‘surely there can be more than the comically simplistic presentation of two sides here’), for compassion, for healing, and a group hug (‘It is possible to feel great concern and humanity for all who have been affected by this’). Thus she hopes to avoid the embarrassment of publicly joining in the fanatically ideological persecution of a young untenured female feminist philosopher, without alienating her many friends among the fanatically ideological persecutors. And she gets to look compassionate into the bargain!
Needless to say, this is indeed sudden. The FP bloggers are constantly seeing ‘systemic’ problems in terms of an individual cases: the high-profile sexual harassment scandals are only one obvious set of examples of that. As for ‘us vs them’ thinking — was there ever a more Manichean blog than FP? Throwing these extraordinarily well-established FP tendencies into instantaneous reverse is just too transparent. Who is she trying to kid? (Trick question. I’ve just explained which two groups of people she’s trying to kid.)
I can’t speak for the ideological loonies, but I doubt it will work on many of the majority who are horrified by what’s been done to Tuvel. It’s just not a fence-sitting kind of scenario. If you take the only clear-eyed line here — that what was done was just nasty, narcissistic, politically regressive bullying — it doesn’t really make sense to call for compassion toward the perpetrators, or to imply that the issue is in any way hard to adjudicate (‘There are a host of thorny and complex issues attached to the debates raging on social media and blogs elsewhere’ — yeah, no — ‘It is possible to see all of the issues raised here as incredibly vexed and radically difficult to address’ — possible, maybe, but also self-deceived and evasive).
In any case, there are numerous ‘tells’ making it clear that she doesn’t really get it. One small example: ‘I here do not wish to weigh in on the quality of Tuvel’s scholarship.’ If you think that’s relevant, you’re already fucked. The mob were calling for the paper’s retraction. Since it had already passed peer review, querying its scholarship is not going to do the job.
That’s more or less what Leiter’s problem with her posts was. On his post, he accused her (and her friends) of “the obfuscation, rationalization and dodging of the issues”.
Thank you for this, 3:09. I thought this was basically Leiter’s issue with her, but I hadn’t worked it out this clearly. I’m getting all these tortured responses from the FP crowd mixed up.
3:09. this makes a lot more sense than the ‘defending the mob’ line. And you’re right about Haslanger: she was simply trying to shift the conversation onto more favorable ground and away from a consideration of the the internet mob, without any acknowledgment that what they’re doing is wrong.
But I don’t think this is quite right about AO. If you want a full-throated denunciation of the mob, she sure doesn’t do that. She’s speaking to them, and she’s saying “hey, you’ve got some legitimate concerns about the profession, but what you’re doing to Tuvel is wrong.” At the same time, she unequivocally does say that folks are wronging Tuvel through their abuse and their petitions. And I took the ‘I here do not wish to weigh in on the quality of Tuvel’s scholarship’ to indicate precisely the opposite as you: she’s saying “even if you’re right about the scholarship, singling her paper out via a petition calling for its retraction is unjustified.”
I respectfully disagree. Olberding writes
I here issue no judgment of Tuvel’s work but ask that we all recognize this: Even if you judge Tuvel to have done all of the things that have been laid at her door, she would not be unique in any of them. The problems that have been attached to her, that she has come to singularly personify in all these debates, are ones that her own critics would, I think, freely acknowledge exist all over the discipline. Yet she has been uniquely singled out for public opprobrium.
She conspicuously passes up an opportunity to deny that the criticisms of the work are justified. And her own criticism of the mob does not seem to be that scholarly shortcomings are no grounds for demanding retraction of a peer-reviewed article. She could have said that, but she doesn’t. Her objection seems to be to the singling out, as being arbitrary. It’s not at all clear that she reserves a right to object in principle to a simultaneous call for the retraction of all articles that are actually harmful in the way that Tuvel’s is alleged to be, even as she brackets the question of whether Tuvel’s article itself is harmful.
Well said. And I hope Olberding and Haslanger read this. Some of the loudest voices in the profession are not the justice-minded people they present themselves as. It’s getting harder to pretend otherwise.
EO is kind of in a bind (as is Haslanger). A huge number of her friends are presumably frothing at the mouth about Tuvel’s horrific violence against trans people and people of color, and signed or basically agree with the open letter to Hypatia. At the same time, she is too smart not to see that, even independently of rights and wrongs, throwing in their lot with these friends would be a losing proposition: their cause is becoming more toxic by the day, both in philosophy and in what passes for the wider intellectual culture.
Haslanger & co are on a resentful power grab and have been so all along. It’s becoming clearer and clearer. I guess people like Haslanger and Barnes just can’t accept the humiliation of being classic female spousal hires.
Fucking hell. Aren’t there enough legitimate targets in this environment, that you have to discredit everyone who posts here with this nasty, poisonous bullshit?
Unless this is a deliberate false-flag attempt to discredit. In which case fuck you all the more.
Huh? Look at the beginning of their careers, not at where they are now. Yablo and Cameron got them their first jobs.
Yablo got Haslanger her first job?
Let’s leave the slander aside and get back to the legitimate criticism.
Even if that is how they got their first jobs, it doesn’t follow that their current actions are explained by an ‘inability to accept the humiliation’. And even aside from that , 4.09 seems to think that if s/he can establish that what was said is true, there is no further issue as to whether it’s a good idea to say it, in that way, and in this context. Seriously, are we in second grade?
Thanks. Errata: ‘AO’ for ‘EO’; and ‘throwing in her lot’ for ‘throwing in their lot’.
“Why Tuvel’s Article So Troubled Its Critics”
My God. The self-deceived sophistries and self-serving falsehoods in that piece are too numerous to be enumerated.
Just. Stop. Digging.
Or, possibly: Keep it up. I suspect that the people most disheartened by this kind of high-profile gibberish are the people whose public lives are made most difficult by it: prevaricating fellow-travellers like Haslanger and Olberding.
What I really dislike about that piece is what she says about feminist philosophy: that it ‘should imply a critique of the field of philosophy itself’ and that the field of feminist philosophy is a ‘subdiscipline that continues to struggle to break free from the longstanding habits of the broader discipline of philosophy.’
As someone who considers myself a feminist philosopher, I disagree. I think that work which applies the traditional methods of analytic philosophy to issues of concern for feminists, or while raising critiques from a feminist perspective, can be perfectly good pieces of feminist philosophy. The author appears to disagree with that, and that’s fine – we disagree, then, about the appropriate methodology to use when writing about particular topics. But what is not fine is to simply *assert* that feminist philosophy requires a certain approach, and then claim that because of this, articles which instead take a traditional analytic approach are ‘egregious’ or ‘fail the subdiscipline.’
This is, indeed, awful, but possibly even worse are the implicit presumptions of statements like
the overwhelmingly sexist, male, and white discipline has, once again, called out the feminists as irrational, hysterical, and immoral. To say that we’re engaging in a “witch hunt” couldn’t be more paradoxical when we, the feminist philosophers, have long been treated like the witches of the discipline.
For her to describe herself and her nasty, ignorant mob as ‘the feminist philosophers’ is a blatant lie. She cannot be unaware that the editor of Hypatia has said that ‘it is utterly inappropriate for editors to repudiate an article they have accepted for publication’; that Cecile Fabre, feminist fellow of All Souls, has said ‘Rebecca Tuvel has been, still is being, treated appallingly… This kind of behavior… is unforgivable’; that Debra Satz, feminist head of the Stanford Center for Ethics, has said ‘I regret to see so many rush to intolerance when confronted with ideas that they disagree with’; that feminist legal theorist Anita Bernstein has said ‘This response to a serious peer-reviewed thesis sounds like a parody of a mob… Madness indeed’; that Suzanna Danuta Walters, editor of the feminist journal Signs, has said ‘I am… shocked by the policing move of the signatories and their weak, vague, and easily refutable argument…. Not only do the board members insult Tuvel; they undermine the whole process of peer review and the principles of scholarly debate and engagement’; and that feminist philosopher Kelly Oliver has said ‘The feminist thought police are the flip side of the alternative facts machine. And both are threats to the open dialogue that is so vital for critical thought inside and outside the academy.’
Presumably Winnubst means to imply that all these, and Tuvel herself, fraudulently ‘identify as feminist’. What a disgrace.
Furthermore, no less authoritative figures in feminist philosophy than Sally Haslanger and Amy Olberding have issued such ringing denunciations of the mob and robust defences of Hypatia’s editorial independence as the following: ‘Issues of this sort are not best discussed on social media’; ‘I would also ask that going forward, people not focus on Rebecca Tuvel, the individual and the philosopher, and to shift the conversation to broader issues’; ‘Please stop symbolically conscripting Rebecca Tuvel into the role of personifying all of these systemic issues that attach to the profession at large’; ‘Even if you judge Tuvel to have done all of the things that have been laid at her door, she would not be unique in any of them’; ‘Surely there can be more than the comically simplistic presentation of two sides here’ and, perhaps most forthright of all, ‘It is possible to see all of the issues raised here as incredibly vexed and radically difficult to address’. Let these inspiring words be emblazoned on the banners of all who would stand up to the mob and defend freedom of thought and speech!
“In recent years, many legal cases of sexual assault and sexual harassment have been filed against philosophy departments. News media have reported on such cases at prestigious departments like those of Northwestern University, the University of California at Berkeley, and Yale, but the sheer number of cases indicates a systemic climate of sexism in the discipline.”
OTOH, many of those cases have been utterly insane, based on patently, provably false accusations. And feminist philosophy has been in the vanguard of promoting a theory that simultaneously (a) classifies cases of non-assault as assault, (b) encourages/brainwashes women to believe that cases of non-assault are instances of assault (and rewards them for doing so), and (c) makes defense against false accusations virtually impossible.
Oh, and: news media have also reported on such cases at prestigious departments like Colorado (and at least she *does* mention Northwestern) where these reports turned out to be mostly false and crazy and driven by basically the same nonsense that is driving the anti-Tuvel frenzy.
And since when is a large number of accusations tantamount to a significant number of proven ones?
There’s sexual harassment in the discipline, and some of the bastards get off scot-free. There’s also an irrationalist faction pushing rape crisis hysteria. Not only are both those things bad in themselves, but, obviously, they feed on each other. It’s way past time for whatever sane people there might be in the discipline to stand up against such bullshit…but where is everybody???
How does one raise one’s head in this climate? The virtue signalers will scream “Rape!” if you cross them.
“I have argued extensively in my scholarship that race and racism shape the very fabric of our society in the United States (and, differently modulated, across the globe). While the question of self-critique in conservative times could be cast as a matter of political strategies, I argue that we must practice anti-racist politics in all places and times. That includes the interrogation of well-intentioned, liberal white people, including those who identify as feminist.”
So she spins her immoral and unprofessional condemnation of Tuvel as a blow against racism. And still we are not told what, exactly, Tuvel’s paper suffers from not citing. This is venal morality. Not to be trusted.
The most conclusive way these people can think of to establish their revolutionary bona fides is to reserve their bitterest contempt for ‘well-intentioned, liberal white people, including those who identify as feminist’. That’s one reason I don’t harbor any good intentions toward them any more.
Now The Grinch has rescued The Tuvababe, she’s working on “A Defense of Jazztranleyism”.
who is “The Grinch”? The “Tuvababe”? What is Jazztranleyism and why does it need a defense? Thanks in advance.
The Grinch is the Spewbermench.
The Ghent Balloon
Magical Cat Lady
The Slanger of Ha
Itchy & Scratchy
It’s a colourful cast.
Surely Lance the Boil
There’s a funny comment by the Grinch over at Miss Manners: https://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/2017/05/08/musings-from-a-prospective-miscreant/#comment-154081 Also another one a couple after. She’s not doing too well.
Hey, who knew Miss Manners read the metablog?
“Prof.” Manners, or were you being cheeky?
No, I just forgot.
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