Friday, June 12, 2015

June Hugs

218 comments:

  1. I'm "tenured" in the University of Wisconsin.

    I could use a hug right about now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you just got it, congrats. Otherwise, stop bragging; no other philosophers have jobs.

      Delete
    2. Aw, don't be pissy 6:30. Huuuuuugs 3:23.

      Delete
    3. Thanks 6:34. I needed that.

      The problem is that anyone who has or seeks tenure had better pay attention to the problems of the University of WisKochsin ushered in by Walker: Taxes Ranger and his ALEC crony Rethugs. This will be a playbook coming by your state RSN.

      Delete
  2. I'm not sure for whom the bell tolls.

    ReplyDelete
  3. How long before we have to be worried about transracial microaggression?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm worried right now.

      Delete
  4. Someone's taking the piss out of Ed Kazarian with him not noting it? If so, boss comment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hah!
      You mean this one.
      Yes, excellent.

      Delete
  5. Leiter recently asked whether people agreed about the idea of the "new infantilism" and the responses included an alarming number of people who are either oblivious to reality or themselves infantilizers. Anyone who tells you that the worry about free speech and academic freedom on campuses is just hype or alarmism about "isolated incidents" is either (a) not paying attention (b) one of the people trying to suppress speech and academic freedom or (c) an idiot.

    Add to the large file of evidence these materials, from the Office of the President page of the University of California system.

    http://www.ucop.edu/academic-personnel-programs/_files/seminars/Tool_Recognizing_Microaggressions.pdf

    http://www.ucop.edu/academic-personnel-programs/_files/seminars/HO_Identifying_Bias_Arial_2014v5_11.18.pdf

    These and other feminist/race-obsessed propaganda materials offered as part of "Faculty Leadership Seminars" are offered here: http://www.ucop.edu/academic-personnel-programs/programs-and-initiatives/faculty-diversity-initiatives/faculty-leadership-seminars.html

    The very fact that the ridiculous and abhorent concept of microagression is being legitimized by the president of the prestigious UC system and pushed in training materials already speaks volumes. Add to it the litany of examples in these materials that suggest that expressing ideas like colorblindness, meritocracy, and opposition to affirmative action count as microagressive acts, along with a wide range of innocuous, statistically supported, statistically supported, rational behavior (e.g., "(e.g., "Shows surprise when a feminine woman turns out to be a lesbian"). Note that this garbage is coming from the highest levels of the university. And of course it makes its way into student culture, because the feminist/race-obsessed faculty and administratorts tell the students about all the horrible microagression that exists and that their courageous university is fighting and from which it will keep them safe. So, of course the students are going to be on the lookout for such microagression. And of course they are going to find it everywhere, because most normal people believe in ideas like colorblindness and meritocracy, and a great many are opposed to affirmative action (including, the majority of Californians who voted on a bill about affirmative action and made it illegal in college admissions, even though that law is flagrantly ignored by universities) and normal people are also not practiced in the kind of absurd, feigned unawareness of common sense reality (e.g., that most women, and _a fortiori_, most feminine women, are not lesbians) required of them to avoid alleged microagressive behavior.

    This is the current state of affairs. To those in denial, wake the fuck up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't want to address the larger issues of the comment (didn't even read the whole thing, tbh), nor do I want to deny that it's true (and commensensically so) that most feminine women are not lesbians. I just want to point out that the argument "most women, and _a fortiori_, most feminine women, are not lesbians" is fallacious. (If this isn't immediately obvious once pointed out, substitute "lesbian" for "feminine").

      Delete
    2. Oops. Yes, you are right. Thanks.

      Delete
    3. It seems to me that graduate students, particularly in the humanities, are more guilty of adopting these tactics than undergraduates. I find undergrads mostly pretty sensible and willing to consider different points of view.

      Delete
    4. That seem quite plausible, 11:09. But even a few undergraduates who take up these institutionally-supported tactics can produce, and have produced, a vast chilling effect.

      Delete
    5. tl;dr. please abbreviate.

      Delete
    6. Haha, Leiter is the biggest participant and proponent of the "new infantilism" and has been for a number of years (although, that being the case, we may want to remove "new" as a descriptor.

      Delete
  6. these people exist in our discipline
    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=682920565184925&id=100004009643564&pnref=story

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mediocre philosophy discovers another mediocre philosopher is doing better. Her faith in philosophy journals shattered. Self-awereness at zero

      Delete
    2. Well, she is right, that too much published work simply does not argue well enough for its presupposed basic assumptions (especially in metaphysics) and that is no doubt a problem. But to marry this issue with one's own problem of not being recognized is not a smart move. But still, she is right that a lot of subareas in philosophy that share certain assumption can proceed to churn out one paper after another without ever critically questioning their assumptions if the inner circle has made its way into editorship of journals.

      I think that is a very important problem, one that also has to do with progress in philosophy, for progress is recognized if large numbers of people agree upon something. But tell philosophers that the progress they thought they had made amounts to nothing, because there is after all justified criticism of basic assumptions!
      I do not think that those two are (most of the time) compatible: (perceived) progress in philosophy and constant critical investigation into basic assumptions.

      Delete
    3. "too much published work simply does not argue well enough for its presupposed basic assumptions"

      Uh.
      You know what "presupposed basic assumptions" means, right? Because it's just a tautology that people don't argue for their presupposed basic assumptions. It's not some remarkable phenomenon that happens too often.

      To the main point, though: does Facebook actually enhance narcissism, or does it merely tend to attract more narcissistic people?

      Delete
    4. It tends to enhance it, at least in the case of those who do not pause to reflect upon the difference a medium of communication can make to what one ends up attempting to communicate. Facebook is totally in charge. And there's no grace there.

      Delete
    5. And you know that she's a mediocre philosopher because...

      Glancing at the FB post, I agree that having a loooong complaint about how one's own work is being ignored doesn't sound awesome. But even worse is anonymous assholes smugly branding people "mediocre."

      Delete
    6. "But even worse is anonymous assholes smugly branding people "mediocre.""

      Truth.

      Delete
    7. Well, I'm not the person who used that label (and I agree it's kind of a douchy thing to say), but it's not as if it were somehow difficult or in principle impossible for someone to know that her work is mediocre. I mean, some of us have in fact read it.

      Delete
    8. Not the point, 2.24. For someone to say that online anonymously is beyond douchy. And it really lowers the fucking tone around here.

      Delete
    9. Of course it's "the point". The criticism began with someone saying "And you know that she's a mediocre philosopher because...". So of course it's to the point that it's not very difficult to know when someone is a mediocre philosopher.

      Delete
    10. FWIW I've read a bunch of her stuff and always found it helpful relative to other work in metaphysics of mind. Definitely above the mean by my lights. As for the areas she works in, it may be fair to call them 'mediocre'-- dense thickets of soporific philosophical debate (well, but that's almost all of philosophy, if not all of it...). But again, as that stuff goes, I think her work is pretty good.

      Delete
    11. "And it really lowers the fucking tone around here."

      HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      Delete
  7. The great Transracial Appropriation War looms. How long until FP has to make a post apologizing for upsetting someone? How long until the party line is decided? How many people will come forth with "exploratory" posts that are disguised attempts to discern the party line?

    I have my popcorn!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, right? You can cut the tension with a knife. Nobody knows what the correct set of attitudes is going to be; but everyone knows that, if you back the wrong horse now, you will be, retrospectively, a bigot! The stakes could hardly be higher. Quite a few people are going to be left high and dry, like the minority of radical feminists wrong-footed by the rise of trans consciousness.

      One of many prospective points of interest is: who will turn out to wield authority? Whose pronouncements will induce large numbers of the less confident to jump the same way? You can't fake that kind of juice. (This is of course independent of whether the 'authoritative' judgment turns out to be 'correct'.)

      Fwiw, my money is on the Jenner/Dolezal asymmetry being resolved by the Dolezal-type case being assimilated to the Jenner-type case. The assimilation is never going to run in the opposite direction, and people who have been yammering on about the 'social construction' of race and gender for decades are going to be hard-pressed to maintain a dramatic asymmetry with a straight face. But I could easily be underestimating the shamelessness, opportunism and readiness to rewrite recent history on the part of the relevant, partly still emerging, class of ideological enforcers.

      I also think it would be a good thing, inasmuch as it would be good to live in a world in which more white people wanted to be black.

      Delete
    2. Affirmative action will be the spanner in the works. Can you think of a way they'll be able to stop a sudden gigantic increase in the number of black applicants to schools and jobs? I have a small but non-zero credence that this will be the thing that brings the whole house of cards down.

      Delete
    3. These three comments ^^^ are really interesting and insightful. This is why I read the PMMB.

      Delete
    4. Yes, the dogma that gender is just as socially constructed as race is coming home to roost. I do hope the consensus assimilates the two cases, because then FP can finally come out and transition into the website it always knew, deep down, that it was. Namely, a website with news white feminist philosophers want to read.

      Delete
    5. I await the new season of South Park, which will sort it all out

      Delete
    6. Would it too edgy to have an episode where Cartman starts to identify as a survivor of the Holocaust?

      Delete
    7. 6:35

      That's a good point. Why is it that South Park is the only present heir to All in the Family? Only cartoonz are acceptable satire?

      People who compare Jenner to Dolezal (sounds faintly like a pineapple flavored prescription sleep-aid) are appleing oranges. Jenner had good enough reasons to lie about his true self--prejudice and all. (Though his Kardashian wallowing in the big reveal is not in good public service to trans people.) But Dolezal tries to leverage an invented prejudiced past to boost her credentials as identified with those she claims to represent--that's called lying to seem more legitimate than you are. Jenner is closer to self-outed gays (with quite a bit of Hollywood self-promotion as a gag factor); Dolezal is closer to a diploma-mill PhD presenting herself as having a certain past that she does not have. He's more Myra Breckinridge; she's more Catch Me If You Can.

      Delete
    8. South Park already sorted it all out:

      http://southpark.cc.com/clips/154792/dolphinoplasty

      Delete
    9. 7.38: You might be right about those individuals, but it's not obvious how to block awkward questions about the relevant general principles. If everyone has to use my preferred made-up intersexual pronouns on pain of being screamed out as a bigot, why can't I simply decide I'm black while I'm at it?

      I'm not saying there aren't very good and pretty obvious answers to the question taken by itself -- answers I anticipate being expressed especially forcefully by black people (by which I mean, you know, real black people), as predicted by 2.49 below. But it's not clear that these answers are available to the majority of eg academic 'progressives' who are already emphatically committed on the social construction of pretty much everything.

      I also suspect the Dolezal case might be more complicated than that.

      Delete
    10. http://easterneronline.com/35006/eagle-life/a-life-to-be-heard/#sthash.1aUk3liU.W3kSoutb.dpbs

      10:04:

      If this is a genuine interview, which it seems it is, then I'd say Dolezal has been caught in two or three contradictory birth scenarios.

      If that is not deliberate misrepresentation then I don't know what is.

      I accept the social construction of race and gender. That is not the issue here.

      Delete
    11. If you accept it, perhaps you can say what it means. Because although it's been insisted on for decades, I'm not aware of any account which makes sense of the emerging radical asymmetries here. If a trans woman put about 'deliberate misrepresentations' about her past life as a man, the moral-political vanguardists who keep telling us what we have to think in order to avoid being bigots would, I believe, be very understanding about that. 'What do you expect? Look at the prejudice these people face! Didn't you know that gender is a social construct?' Why do we not extend the same understanding attitude to a case like this? No:now it's enough simply to point out that there's been deception, and we're all supposed to see that that's just unforgivable. Are you going to say that Dolezal doesn't face the same kind of prejudice? Look at the reception her story is getting! From people like you, for example.

      So yeah, I think the 'social construction of race and gender' kind of is the issue here. I'm already amazed at what people are allowing themselves to accept as a satisfactory account of what they antecedently felt compelled to say about this stuff.

      Delete
    12. Everyone condeming Dolezal seems oblivious to the fact that they're begging all the crucial questions. Almost random example: AnonAttorney in comments at Tha Snooze, who had earlier condemned her for 'lying' ('That's lying', he wrote, as if no further discussion were needed), wrote:

      I think it’s true that people with unrecognized or unpopular identities often have to lie to survive. But the lies have to be needed (or perceived to be needed) for survival. If they aren’t, then they are morally impermissible.

      All you need to do to see the problem is to think about Jenner-type cases for a second. No-one would condemn those people for lying, because it's supposed to come with the territory if you're protecting an identity you felt compelled to assume. Who says Dolezal didn't feel compelled to assume her identity?

      I'm not saying anything about the rights and wrongs of these cases. It's just really striking that those attacking Dolezal don't even see that there's an issue as regards the comparison with transgender cases.

      I also think that most of the huge mountain of 'theorizing' about the 'social construction of race and gender' is pretty worthless if, as seems to be the case, it's no help at all in thinking about a novel, but certainly not entirely unpredictabe, new fact on the the ground. (I address this comment to those who didn't already think it was pretty worthless.)

      Delete
    13. 8:48--

      I simply can't grasp what you are defending--Dolezal or some abstract principles. Abstract principles maybe. But as stuff comes out, she is pretty indefensible, and especially as someone who may have had challenges, but not ones closely comparable to the considerable number of African Americans who have served serious time for false prosecutions because they were, after all, African American.

      If the posted interview is a correct report, it is an offensive appropriation of a 50's TV Western view of Native Americans as her supposed heritage. It has already been disclosed that she tried to sue at Howard for reverse-discrimination against African Americans.

      What I want to know is what amount of evidence is required to tip the scales to say that this person is deceptive to a moral fault and/or deeply mentally disturbed? For some it seems there is no such evidence. Well, all I've got to say is that such people need some very deep repair work on their bullshit meters.

      Delete
    14. An addendum for clarification: at 6:29 I meant by "she tried to sue at Howard for reverse discrimination against African Americans" that she was suing as a non-African-American against African-American preferential treatment (I should have stated that better). But of course that contradicts her statement just today that she identified as African-American since the age of 5. Except in grad school, when she changed her mind because she didn't get what she wanted.

      Again, what possible evidence could condemn her behavior? If people claim there is none, then such accounts are closer to moral nihilism than real justification for what she's done.

      Delete
    15. Well, there are clearly two separate questions: 1. has any of the specific behaviour engaged in by Dolezal merited moral censure, 2. Is there something inherently problematic about X claiming to 'be' a certain race if X has no genetic/ancestral links to that race (and if so, why is this problematic when we don't think it is problematic for X to claim to 'be' a particular gender, if X was not born with the usual sexual characteristics/genes associated with that gender).

      Delete
    16. Right 7:08. As regards to 1. there is certainly a preponderance of evidence to declare a clear judgment: she is at least delusional if not morally responsible for deception. As to 2. detached from any context such as this vexed case, the clear answer is no if you mean by "problematic" "possibly inherently wrong" as a general description of circumstances. But jeez, killing is always wrong, detached from circumstances. The devil truth is always in the details idn't it?

      Delete
    17. Do you think Dolezal could not have survived without promoting her fake past to land a political position? Even granting a symmetry between race and gender in this case, there are limits to when and how transgender individuals can lie about their pasts. If Jenner runs for president of NAPW talking about her experiences as an oppressed professional woman, is she just lying to survive?

      Delete
    18. I'm 8.48 and also 3.23, so if you can't grasp what I'm defending that's because (as I said at 3.23) I'm not saying anything about the rights and wrongs of these cases. The only abstract principle I'm defending is consistency. My main point is an ad hominem one against the many in academic philosophy and elsewhere (i) who have been blabbering on for decades about how race and gender are social constructs serving to oppress ethnic minorities and women, where 'social construction' is supposed to be the same process at work in either case (considered at an appropriate level of abstraction); (ii) who suppose, and if called upon loudly proclaim, that Jenner and transgender women are as such morally impeccable and possibly cultural heroes, and anyone who faults them for their gender transition, or for (totally understandably) lying about their previous life as a man, or tries to insinuate that they are somehow not real women, is ipso facto a bigot; and (iii) who are dusting off the pitchforks for Dolezal (not for the more specific reasons you mention but) because she has appropriated the experiences and status of an oppressed minority and lied about her past. We are supposed suddenly to forget that, as these people have so often insisted, women are also an 'oppressed minority'. No-one talks of people like Jenner 'appropriating the experiences' of women except a minority of radical feminists who have thereby succeeded in ostracising themselves.

      So I'm not talking about particular details of the Dolezal case like her suing Howard. You may well be right; there may well be any number of other reasons for condemning her. And maybe you're not signed up to (i) and (ii). Fine. But many people who are signed up to (i) and (ii) have spoken as though her 'transracial' move is obviously sufficient by itself as grounds for ritual denunciation. I'm not even saying it's not! I'm just asking how that fits with (i) and (ii).

      People seem to know very well in advance what they want to say and just seem to assume that their preferred ideology will accommodate all of it. There's an extraordinary lack of self-consciousness in believers in (i) and (ii) talking as though it's obvious that Dolezal is beyond the pale simply in virtue of lying about her past and pretending to be black. As I said, none of them would dream of condemning a transgender woman for lying about having been brought up as a man. And I double dare anyone to go on Facebook and say that Jenner is pretending to be a woman.

      Delete
    19. 8.48 again: I also suspect that the probability that Dolezal is seriously disturbed is high enough to make the numerous abusive and shouty online and media condemnations of her rather thoughtless and hardhearted.

      Delete
  8. I can't predict who will win this war vis-a-vis the slacktivist FP-types but, as far as who is actually right, it seems to me transmen and transwomen have a pretty strong case to be a real phenomenon. As I understand it, there is real science behind this. Transracial is, as far as I can tell, nothign of the sort.

    I do think that it will not play out in favor of the transracial in the end simply because the black community in America is going to look askance at it, quite rightfully I would say, and that will probably be the end of the matter as far as Twitter activists see it, aside from the very occasional outburst from someone who declares they are black because being white is "boring." (See FP comments!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1.10 here. You're probably right about which way the thought police will end up going, 2.49. But what on earth's going to happen to the 'social construction of race' that everyone's been boring us to death about these many years? Will our ideological overlords just live with open contradiction? Wouldn't be the first time, I suppose.

      And yeah, that FP comment... I'm just... it's really not worth going into any further, is it?

      Delete
    2. I'm not expert, but I imagine that in some sense of 'constructed' race is in fact a construction to some degree or other. It likely doesn't follow from that that a single individual can just choose not to fit the (somehow and only partially) constructed category.

      Delete
    3. (1.10): That might be right, 11.31. But I don't think the enormous amount of chatter about the social construction of race and gender has, up to now, paid any attention to the possibility that the forms of construction in question might be so radically different as it now seems necessary to acknowledge in order to say what people want to be able to say about these cases.

      Delete
    4. there is no 'real science' behind the idea that some men have lady brains and some women have men brains. And the whole concept gets fatally hung up on the equally central progressive contention that gender is not physical anyway.

      Delete
    5. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023%2FA%3A1019724712983

      There is.

      Delete
    6. So some psychiatrists can cook up a definition of 'gender identity disorder' and identical twins are more likely to check similar boxes on their cooked up questionnaire than non-identical twins. That proves that some boys are born with lady brains? I don't think so.

      Delete
    7. I don't see why it matters whether there is 'real science' behind the lady-brain/boy brain business anyhow. Surely we wouldn't say that it matters morally whether homosexuality is 'scientific' in the sense of there being differences between homosexual and heterosexual brains. So I can't see why it matters whether there are these kinds of differences in the transgender case.

      it seems to me that it's all pretty straightforward: genetically, most people are either male or female. Most people also 'perform' a social role that matches their genetics, but some do not. In most cases when you are interacting with someone, you don't need to know their 'genetic' identity. Unless you're their doctor, or lover, or something, it's none of your fucking business what their genetics are.

      The one major different between race and sex I can see that people seem to be pointing at is that unlike sex, races are not distinct categories (that is, most people are not either one 'race' or another. Race is not a biological natural kind, unlike sex). But I find it hard to see why this matters.

      As an aside, has anyone actually seen any good arguments for the claim that the transgender/transracial cases don't stand or fall together? So far all of the arguments I have seen for the claim that there are important differences have mostly been question begging.

      Delete
    8. On 'real science'. The main goal of the trans front in the SJW war is to force people to assert obvious falsehoods ('that person is a woman') under threat of severe social and professional harm. See Orwell for why this would be a goal, and for why it is not a trivial thing to be forced to assert obvious falsehoods.

      Once we realise this, we can see why they don't spend much time on purely ethical claims. (After all, 'don't be a dick to people with gender dysphoria' is hardly controversial.) Instead they put the emphasis on metaphysics and the reference of words.

      They want to say that the referent of 'female' is not the property of being of female sex. Any route to get to this claim is fine. The most popular is the social construction business. But if you don't like that they have another route, inconsistent with the first: 'female' and 'male' refer to biological properties of homunculi. Hence boy brains and girl brains.

      Delete
    9. I don't see that as the main goal. As far as I'm aware, most transgender activists rather want to assert something like this: what 'being a woman' means differs depending on context: we may mean 'what genitalia do you have?' or 'Were you born with XX chromosomes?' or 'Do you want to be treated as a woman in social l contexts'? Or similar. So it it not an 'obvious falsehood' that, say, Caitlyn Jenner is a woman. I don't know what genitalia she has, I do know that she was not born with an XX chromosomes, I do know that she wishes to be treated as a woman in social contexts.

      So if you're asked 'Is Caitlyn Jenner a woman'? it depends on what question you're being asked. But in most cases, when we ask this question, the version of the question that is relevant is 'does CJ wish to be treated as a woman in social contexts"? and the answer is 'yes.' If you assert 'no', or if you yourself ask any of the prior questions, you're focussing on things that are NYFB, and so it is most likely (unless you're her doctor, or something) that if you assert that Caitlyn Jenner is not a woman, you're being a dick. either you're answering 'no' to a question that should obviously be answered 'yes', or you think facts about her birth genitalia or chromosomes are somehow your business, when they are clearly not.

      Delete
    10. I might think they were my business if I was a woman who didn't want to undress in the locker room in front of men, who commit the overwhelming majority of violence, sexual harassment, and sexual assault in this country.

      Also, everything you say applies equally to Rachel Dolezal -- is it NYFB if she is actualy black or not?

      Nothing in your reply makes me think the 'obvious falsehood' thing is wrong either...you just seem to be saying that it's not my business what the truth is.

      Delete
    11. Fair enough 7:43. (This is a new poster.) However there are many SJ circles I'm part of that insist that it is true to say that CJ was a woman PRIOR to her transition, prior to her expressed desire to be treated as a woman, and (possibly) even prior to CJ's own awareness that she wished to be treated as a woman. This strikes me as both mind boggling and wrong headed, and yet this is the party line for many progressives... So I think that 7:28 is right in claiming that certain SJ warriors are aggressively pushing their own metaphysics of gender (or, less commonly, theories of language) on everyone, possibly at the expense of more meaningful change.

      Also I am quite enjoying all the SJ types trying to pull apart transracial/transgender. You reap what you sow. Most of the mainstream SJ arguments in support of transgenderism can be applied just as easily to transracialism. All the arguments I see for why they don't stand/fall together have painfully obvious sophistry, usually with lots of nonsensical handwaving towards science and "privilege" thrown in.

      Delete
    12. I'm not sure you're right about what trans activists think. Everything I've read suggests they're not contextualists about 'woman' - they want to make the absolutist claim that there is no true proposition you could assert by saying 'Jenner is a man', in any context. (They might allow that a bad person could use that sentence to implicate the true proposition that Jenner is a trans woman.)

      You claim it's so easy to be in a context where 'woman' means 'wants to be treated as a woman' that nearly everyone is in such contexts nearly all the time. I'd take this proposal more seriously if there were any parallel cases whatsoever. It's none of my business, in most social contexts, whether someone has a criminal record; but in no context does 'has no criminal record' mean 'wants to be treated as someone with no criminal record'.

      The 'being a dick' aspect of it seems easily assimilable to the case of 'ugly'. In no context does 'ugly' mean 'ugly and not present', despite the fact that such a contextualist proposal would explain the patterns of assertion.

      Delete
    13. Here's a parallel case for you: think about what the word 'mother' means. Sometimes it means 'plays social role of mother' (like adoptive mothers, for example). Sometimes it means 'actually gave birth to a child.' The vast majority of time, we are in the context where what matters is your social role. For example, if you're at Parent-teacher night, and the teacher asks 'so, you're Jenny's mother?' what she means is the social role thing. If you said yes, it would be really fucking rude of the teacher to say 'wait, did Jenny actually come out of your vagina? Because otherwise you're lying about being her mother'. But in some contexts, what matters is whether you've given birth - if your OB-GYN asks if you're a mother, then they might well mean 'actually gave birth to a child.'

      The criminal record thing is disanalogous, because 'has criminal record' means the same thing in all contexts. And the other problem is that you have the direction of fit backwards: it's not that it's none of your business whether X is true fixes the context of X, it's that X has mulitple meanings, some of those meanings are none of your business and some are relevant in the context, and if this is true we should assume that if you ask 'are you an x'? then you're asking a question that doesn't make you a dick, given the context (so we assume the meaning of x, out of multiple possible meanings, that is relevant given context).

      Delete
    14. This woman is delusional. She claims to have been born in a teepee, to have lived in Africa, and to have a black man as a father. It is all demonstrably false. And she claims to have identified as black since a child, but she sued Howard in 2002 for discrimination against her as a WHITE WOMAN. The people who defend her are enabling her psychosis.

      http://gawker.com/rachel-dolezal-theres-no-biological-proof-who-my-rea-1711847882

      Delete
    15. Is that in the wrong place or just a total non-sequitur, 12:14? No-one is 'defending' Dolezal in this particular thread.

      Delete
    16. Fair enough, 'mother' is a case where the word is ambiguous between the biological and social-role meanings. But I still don't think it's parallel to 'woman' as SJWs would have it. There actually is a social role to be a meaning of 'mother'. So if an adoptive mother later begins to neglect her child, and justifies her behaviour saying 'I'm not her mother anyway', it's entirely justified to say 'Yes you are her mother, and you should act like it.'

      By contrast there is nothing whatsoever, apart from *wanting to be called a woman* that's a sufficient condition for non-dickishly calling someone a woman, in social contexts. Suppose there is an extremely masculine biological woman who is appearance-wise and behaviourally identical to John Wayne; but she doesn't call herself a man. Your theory predicts it would be dickish to call her a woman, but it isn't: it would be dickish to call her a man.

      So what the dickish/not-dickish distinction is actually tracking is just how a person wants to be called, and is nothing to do with social roles. An entirely parallel case: falsely addressing an eccentric non-viscount as 'viscount' because doing so is a cost-free way of making him happy. This might be a praise-worthy/non-dickish thing to do, but it clearly doesn't involve asserting a literal truth. In other words, calling a trans woman a woman is a case of humouring, which is when you indulge someone by asserting literal falsehoods to avoid unnecessary hassle, or unneccessarily upsetting them. The whole metaphysics/semantics of the trans movement is a kind of reified humouring.

      Now, humouring may very well be wise, kind, or even moral obligatory in many cases. But I am repulsed by the idea that anyone should be hounded out of their job, or potentially have their life ruined, for a refusal to humour someone; that is, for refusing to assert a falsehood. And as we know, these are very realistic fears.

      Delete
    17. Sorry 12:32, that was meant as a new post for the Daily Nous contingent. Carry on.

      Delete
  9. I find biological essentialism about trans and cis deeply offensive.

    ReplyDelete
  10. whats with the sudden increase in submissions to mind?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I had to bet, a combination of the fact that their reputation recently got much better (my last submission took ~ 3 months, and I hear others have been having similar experiences), plus the general trend of more grad students submitting (to Mind, and to the pressures of the market).

      Delete
  11. http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2015/06/a-course-in-dangerous-ideas-would-be-the-perfect-tonic-for-our-dull-universities/

    This is a great idea. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm brave enough to try it (at least until tenure, and who knows even then).

    ReplyDelete
  12. Isn't 'combating' an aggressively masculine word? I confess I can't keep up...

    https://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/diversity-reading-list-combating-under-representation-in-philosophy/

    ReplyDelete
  13. Can we talk about the APA letter?

    The literal content of the thing seems to be effectively nothing more than the usual social justice bromides coupled with sanctimonious moral posturing. OK, fine, you might say -- nothing exceptional there. But what it lacks in content it makes up for in its pragmatic effects. The implicature seems to be pretty clear: at a time when the alarmist narrative is taking, to put it mildly, quite a beating, you had better remember who's in charge at the APA.

    How did our professional body get taken over by what is in effect a special interest group? And what can we do about it? You tell me, gentle readers, you tell me.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The APA letter is more of the usual empty bullshit. It says nothing new or interesting or informative. And yet it got trotted out with great glee by Amy Ferrer, with copies sent to Leiter and Weinberg.

    How did these people get to run our professional body? My take is this. It started in the late 60s and 70s as one of the brash, overconfident subgroups that senior citizens now cringe to think they partook in. The Stalinists, Maoists and Marxists lost favor soon after, but feminism had lasting appeal because protecting helpless women is one of the oldest desires in the book and the new victim-oriented feminism played right into that. Supporting helpless racial minorities is a pretty close second, but racial minorities need to seem to come from a low-class background for the narrative structure to be optimized, while victim feminism had a more identifiable-with victim group from the upper middle class. So feminism did the best.

    The new and cynical breed of academic administrators in the late 70s and early 80s was shrewd enough to make alliances with the campus feminists and to some extent the campus race agitators. They cared or pretended to care about the concerns and funneled money toward the feminist and race groups in the form of chairs and -studies programs. In return, the feminists started to turn their anger against colleagues and society at large and away from their traditional targets, university presidents and top brass. That was good for business. And from it came Women's Studies and the beginnings of officially designated 'Feminist Philosophers' in significant numbers.

    With Feminist Philosophy as a new subdiscipline with some narrowly trained experts, it became important for its members to perpetuate it indefinitely. The minute people feel the need for Feminist Philosophy has passed, most of them will be out of work or will need some serious retraining. So an endless war to capture the public's imagination was sorely needed. That war is the war on sexual harassment. They started telling us that when we hear about sexual harassment, that claim is true and representative of hundreds of other cases we never hear about. And when we don't hear about it, that's only a sign that the harassed have been forced into silence by the vicious patriarchy of academic philosophy. All that matters either way is that everyone gets the message that it's happening everywhere and that it needs our constant and unwavering attention. And for some reason that makes no sense on the surface narrative but plenty of sense as a deeper stratagem, it also requires us to never question feminist philosophy. This is why the Colorado Site Visit Report specifically demands that nobody criticize feminist philosophy.

    Philosophers of both sexes tend to be progressive minded, and men in particular want to be seen as very progressive minded toward women. Feminism is also phrased as something you can't disagree with without being called a jerk. It's like calling a social movement "anti child rape". You sure as hell don't want to be caught opposing that, whatever's going on under the label. And the men in philosophy with the wits and character to figure out what was going on didn't want to oppose something that everyone else including the deans and presidents were hot for. So they shut up about it. And it grew.

    Then a couple of years ago, there was a power gap in the APA. The old guys did a shitty job and Amy Ferrer stepped up to the plate. People thought, so what if she isn't a trained philosopher, she's a feminist activist who gets things done. Activists are better than slackers, and feminism is like Mom's apple pie. Everyone loves it. So she was in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you think that the fact that the APA letter says nothing new or interesting of informative has to do with the fact that some people on the APA are feminists rather than something to do with the fact that putting up statements that say nothing new, interesting or informative is something that committees and professional bodies frequently do in general, then I'm assuming you've never been a part of a committee or a professional body.

      Delete
    2. Who thinks that, 12:38?

      Delete
    3. 11:55 seems to.

      Delete
    4. Nope, 11:55 doesn't say or imply anything about that. Not even remotely. Who are you, the Femtroll?

      Delete
    5. Yes, it does imply that. And for god's sake don't start that again.

      Delete
    6. Except that sexual harassment IS pervasive, and there ARE lots of instances of it that are never reported.

      Delete
    7. 11:55's statement does not imply it at all. If you think it does, then show us what part of it implies it and how it implies it.

      Delete
    8. Nope. First, it's really obvious; second, 2:50 fucked up this thread already.

      Delete
    9. You're an idiot, 3:23. It doesn't say or imply that. Anyone with half a brain can see it. And your inability to find the place that says or implies it, but still believe it because feminidiocy, says it all.

      Delete
    10. Ad hominem, 3:27. Tsk tsk.

      Delete
    11. 3:37 is the femtroll.

      Delete
    12. Agreed, 4:07. In all the months since I saw her here, I've never encountered anyone so completely incapable of understanding what someone writes in plain English, and yet so confident that people are saying and implying things they are clearly not saying and utterly unwilling and unable to consider that she's out to lunch.

      The Femtroll also used to misapply well known fallacies, particularly the ad hominem fallacy.

      There's no way two people interested in philosophy blogs are this specifically obtuse. It's the Femtroll for sure.

      Delete
    13. Can you femtroll/femidiocy people just quit it before you ruin this blog like you ruined all the others? If someone says something you don't understand, or don't agree with, just ignore them; or if you want clarification, ask them for it without immediately assuming that because you don't understand or you disagree, the person must be a troll.

      Delete
    14. Uh... 4:23, you've somehow misread everything. The issue isn't that we're failing to understand her or disagree with her. The issue is that she's saying Q follows from P when it doesn't, and she never considers that she's wrong or tries to explain or examine if or how it does, and this is distracting to the conversations.

      Delete
    15. Are you not reading the same conversation, 6:24? 12:38 asserts that what 11:55 says seems to imply something. 2:50 disagrees "no, it doesn't say or imply that", and rather than simply asking 12:38 to explain his/her reasoning, accuses 12:38 of being a troll.

      The issue is that there are people who seem so upset by the fact that someone has a different view from them that they can't just express the fact they disagree, they have to start insulting people and calling people trolls and idiots. And then they get huffy when the very people they are insulting don't then take the time to patiently explain their views. This kind of behavior is exactly the kind of behavior that has a chilling effect on what should be open discussions, and is exactly what we should be trying to avoid on an open forum like this.

      Delete
    16. 6:38: "rather than simply asking 12:38 to explain his/her reasoning..."

      Reality: "June 17, 2015 at 7:59 AM
      11:55's statement does not imply it at all. If you think it does, then show us what part of it implies it and how it implies it."

      Oops! Back under the bridge with ya. ;)

      Delete
    17. Right, rather than 'simply' asking 12:38 to explain, 2:50 accuses 12:38 of being a troll. As I said, some people can't *just* disagree, they have to start insulting people. If you want an example of someone who doesn't *simply* ask someone to explain their reasoning, or *just* disagrees, but also starts insulting, then you can go back and read the very next sentence of the post you just quoted from.

      Delete
    18. anaphora, implicature, implication, counterfactual conditionals people.

      Delete
    19. Femtroll makes me SLEEPY *yawn*

      Delete
    20. Can someone come up with a cool nickname for the guy who really, really obviously selectively quotes in order to completely misrepresent the conversation? (aka 7:26) Or are we just calling him angry rage guy on the grounds that we can all secretly tell on the basis of one comment which commenters are identical with other anonymous commenters at now-dead blogs?

      Delete
    21. Lay off the 'Femtroll', man. We know who she is already. The plan is to just ignore her and get on with the discussion. Live and learn.

      Delete
    22. 8:22 = the ARG.

      Delete
    23. It's not just a guess that there's one ('angry rage') guy. We know from past metablog owner remarks that there's been one person often pretending to have a conversation but actually just putting on a puppet show.

      Delete
    24. Great reasoning, 6:35.

      Delete
  15. This letter of hers is like Bush's with us or against us speech. She used social pressure to get the whole executive to sign off. So now she has her mandate. For awhile now, most people won't say a word while she pulls more crap. Then little by little, cracks will appear and in a few years, she'll be a memory just like Bush became. We'll clean up the mess as well as we can and nobody will mention her name again. At that juncture, we'll have much bigger issues to contend with because we're fighting each other and most of our departments will have been axed by the Republicrats or Demicans while we were looking the other way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "she" = "Amy Ferrer" for 11:55 pm. Because, apparently, the APA Executive Committee = the White House, "Amy Ferrer" = GWB, and publishing this letter = justifying in advance military action after 9/11.

      ITS VERY SOUND LOGIC AND NOT AT ALL PARANOID GIBBERISH ONCE YOU CRACK THE CODE.

      Delete
    2. Nope, nothing at all about justifying in advance the military action after 9/11. You're making that up.

      The analogy is to Bush's entire career. He got behind things that made little sense except when expressed as platitudes, and everyone applauded along. Now, the applauders have all but forgotten his name and we're left dealing with the wreckage of a failed economic, domestic and international relations policy.

      Delete
    3. George W Bush, September 20, 2001, address to Congress (emphasis added):

      "Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. (Applause.) From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime."

      http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010920-8.html

      Delete
  16. So 'Anonymous 3' made some rather off-message comments in the DN thread on the APA open letter (eg he suggested that garish scandals and lawsuits and continuous public hand-wringing over sexual harassment in philosophy might drive away prospective women philosophers -- obvious nonsense of course) and a couple of comments later Justice Whineberg pops up to say that people have been emailing asking why he hasn't been suppressing Anonymous 3's appalling comments!

    Windbag's all 'Don't worry, fellow moral vanguardists -- I've got this', and then proceeds to perpetrate the most spectacular sarcasm fail since the Great Kazarian NA Meltdown of '14.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1:22 wins the thread.

      Delete
    2. "sarcasm fail"? Not according to Anon3, whining like the New Infant he is: "Hi, Justin. I’m glad that you decided to publish my comments, but not glad to hear you say you did so merely in order to make a sarcasm-dripping mockery of what you think I’m saying." If JW's had failed so badly why did it hurt Anon3's fee-fees so much?

      http://dailynous.com/2015/06/16/apa-issues-letter-on-sexual-harassment/#comment-63781

      Delete
    3. (i) The subject of Anon 3's 'whining' was not JW's killer sarcasm but his stated purpose in replying, viz to (attempt to) mock. At least, so he said; but you are the one purporting to take him at his word.

      (ii) Even if Anon 3 had indicated that the Windbag's sarcasm had been effective (which he did not), why should we suppose that Anon 3 is an authoritative judge of polemical wit? On the contrary, if he had expressed a high estimation, this would only have discredited his judgment on the matter.

      Apart from that, nice burn.

      Delete
    4. new commenter: well what do you think the success conditions for sarcasm are, then? I was assuming that you don't 'fail' at sarcasm iff 1. you intend what you say to be read sarcastically; and 2. it is obvious to most readers that what you say is intended sarcastically (or something similar to this).

      You seem to be thinking something like this: sarcasm fails if some people fail to find it witty. But it's highly likely that at least some people will fail to find any instance of sarcasm witty - those who the sarcasm is directed against. So I don't think this should be part of the success conditions for sarcasm. (Especially as, as you say, it's not obvious who would count as an authoritative judge of polemical wit - I think this is true at least in part because humor is pretty subjective).

      Delete
    5. This is getting too scholastic. Nonetheless, thank you one and all for keeping me up to date on Weinhole. And does anyone still go to NewApps? It seems to have become a forlorn masturbatorium.

      Delete
    6. I know. Their main new blogger seems to be called 'Comments (0)'. Weird name -- presumably some kind of political statement. But the guy's everywhere.

      I only caught (and so mentioned) the Great Kazarian Meltdown of '14 because it was gleefully linked to chez (of course) Sir Ranksalot.

      Delete
    7. there should be a poll of greatest internet meltdowns
      that might be one ill vote on

      Delete
    8. irony specialistJune 18, 2015 at 2:28 PM

      I agree that it was a sarcasm-fail.
      Sarcasm fails when it is really *bad*, tone deaf, flat, and just embarrassing. Failure of sarcasm is an aesthetic/normative judgment, not a description.

      I admire Anon3, if not 100% for the content of what he's saying then for his intellectual integrity and the way he's managed to take the high road when the schmucks try to demonize him.

      (My pronouns assume it's a male writer, I know. Maybe not, but probably.)

      Delete
    9. We heard Michael Tooley the first time.

      Delete
    10. And the zingers just keep coming.

      Anon 3 claimed to be concerned about women being driven away from the profession, and about philosophy getting a really bad (or even worse) reputation among people whose opinion matters to the future of philosophy

      He might be mistaken -- eg it might be worth driving a certain number of women away, and allowing a lot of departments to have their budgets cut etc, for the sake of whatever benefits derive from a course of action that gives a very strong impression to the rest of the academy and to the wider world that academic philosophy is a depraved cesspit of sexual harassment and assault. But the idea that the concerns he was expressing are just a cover for complacency about sexual harassment and indifference to its victims -- I just don't see it. I get that there are such things as bad-faith delaying tactics, obfuscation and trolling, but it's just hard for me to see how A3 could be read that way. That's part of what made Justin's response so cringemaking -- he seemed to be just hamming it up like mad for the NC-types in the gallery, without giving any serious consideration to anything that had been said. It was like a slightly more moderate version of Kazarian's absurd macho bluster about not 'caving to the specious cries of "censorship"' when those who have the audacity to disagree with him find themselves closed down.

      It's all extremely counterproductive. I suspect that for every cadre of NC types high-fiving each other over Justin's witty put-downs, there is a larger group of well-meaning people who aren't entirely sure what to think, who see an intelligent and clearly good-faith interlocutor very crudely and publicly dissed by someone who styles himself an opinion-former in the republic of ideas. A3's points struck them, not as clearly right, but as clearly deserving a response; instead they are answered with self-admiring, badly-done mockery and insults. They will draw their own conclusions.

      Delete
    11. Well put, 1:29.

      Delete
    12. Why thank you.

      Delete
  17. People complain that there's no way to estimate how pervasive sexual harassment is, in part because the stories you see don't name names. I was thinking, maybe this would be a good platform to do it--it's the "Wild West" of philosophy blogging, and all that. Do others agree?

    ReplyDelete
  18. What are you suggesting 2:26? That we encourage people to anonymously and publicly accuse others, by name, of sexual harassment?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Much better to just say it was a high profile white male and let everyone guess. That way no one quite knows who in particular to avoid or sanction, but we all have a vague belief that there are people, somewhere in philosophy, that must be punished.

      Delete
    2. We can't do that, 7:11. It must be verifiable. So we must name the person, so we can all go and individually question the accused until we are satisfied we can make an informed judgment about whether they did it or not. But we must not name the person, because doing so would destroy their reputation. See how nicely that works?

      Delete
    3. Wow, you're right, 7:18!

      I've got it. Here's a better idea! DESTROY THE REPUTATION AND CAREER OF ANYONE ACCUSED OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT!

      Why, nobody would EVER abuse the privilege. It's a FAIR and FOOLPROOF plan!

      BRILLIANT!

      Delete
    4. I'm glad you think I'm right that there is a problem if we insist both that we must be able to individually verify reports of sexual harassment but that we must not name people because doing so would destroy their reputation. I don't think your idea is better though. It's a fucking terrible idea.

      Delete
  19. 2:26 and 2:38--I literally cannot stop laughing.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Has everyone seen this yet?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hP8mPkyBntw

    ReplyDelete
  21. Kind of a relief that Kazarian's finally come out as a totalitarian.

    These people just love this shit. It's like, What more emphatic demonstration could there be of my unswerving commitment to my superheroic political ideals -- than an express willingness to suppress the speech of the worms who disagree with me?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The guy's been a totalitarian for ages, I suspect. But now he's owning it in a whole new way. Do we still have to refer to him as a philosopher?

      Delete
    2. Is it just he and Protevi left yet at whatever that blog is called? If there's a server advanced enough to sustain that level of pure idiocy once it is just those two, it will be fun to see one inevitably turn on the other over some supposed moral transgression so avant garde that no one else in the world is able even to venture a plausible guess at what happened.

      Delete
    3. I look at that wasteland about once a week. It's deeply gratifying to see what an abysmal failure it is as a blog. Richly deserved.

      A little sad that a once-useful blog is such an intellectual desert now, but hey, it happens to the best of them (and NewApps was certainly never among the best even in its heyday.)

      Delete
  22. For anyone following the descent into madness that has been occurring in our field, definitely read the Daily Nous discussion thread about the APA letter if you'd like to witness a real philosopher - Anonymous 3 - saying clearly sensible things of the sort you would expect from a real philosopher, along with several extremely important points about the situation as it stands. See how he shines like a bright light of reason and truth amongst a dark horde of pathetic, corrupted minds.

    ReplyDelete
  23. At least 15%-20% of professors at my PhD granting institution have sexually harassed students (I say "at least" to limit discussion to incidents I know about), or have acted in ways that seriously raise the question of harassment. I'm not sure whether this counts as "widespread."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 9:21, whether that counts as sexual harassment being widespread _in your department_ depends on a few things.

      1. Suppose there are 6 professors at your department and exactly one of them had at one point said something sexually inappropriate to a couple of studentsas a stupid mistake, regretted it, and never id it again. Then some sexual harassment happened in your department, but it would clearly not be 'widespread'. And yet it would be the case that "15%-20% of professors there had sexually harassed students." So the mere statistic you mention is not sufficient for sexual harassment to be widespread. It might in some cases be enough, though. If there are twenty professors in the department, and four of them make a point of hitting on as many students as possible, then that's definitely widespread sexual harassment.

      2. What exactly happened is also important. Could you give us some more details? A few professors who tend to ask students to come to the office for a private meeting about the student's paper, then rest their hands on the students' thighs and say, "We both know what you can do in private to get a higher grade, and what happens if you don't", then that's clearly a department with a serious sexual harassment problem. On the other hand, I've heard some people use the term 'sexual harassment' so loosely that even employing mostly male pronouns in your thought experiments counts. In that case, no.

      And, natch, widespread in a department doesn't entail widespread in the profession. Just sayin'.

      Delete
    2. Is this a performative of ridiculous skepticism and unreasonable demands for evidence?

      Delete
    3. I'll give one example. It's the mildest example, but it's useful because it contains the least identifying information. In a class, a professor made an extended joke about one of the women students in class being violently raped. Maybe some rape jokes are funny. This one came across as mean spirited.

      Delete
    4. This quibbling over "widespread" is ridiculous. It just takes one really bad slimeball at a department for professors to warn female applicants (including myself) away from the entire department all together. And there are quite a few departments with one really bad slimeball.

      Delete
    5. Don't worry, 11:45, I'm sure some astute male philosopher will come along and tell us why this doesn't REALLY count as sexual harassment and the poor professor was probably just misunderstood.

      Delete
    6. The big problem is that clearly this anonymous anecdote is completely unverifiable. And as 10:14 points out, even if 9:21 isn't lying, 9:21 might be being deliberately misleading and talking about one slightly off colour remark by one out of six professors. In any case, I think we need at least three things before we take any steps whatsoever to do seomthing about the s-called 'problem': we need an independently conducted survey with information about exactly the kinds of incidences that take place, in detail, so we can evaluate whether te women are just being too sensitive, an exact percentage - is it really 15-20%? Or more like 14%? Also, we need comparisons: what is the rate of harassment in the other depts at your university, 9:21? or at other departments in other universities? Until we know these important facts, we should assume that everyone in 9:21's dept is innocent until proven guilty, and 9:21 is making up stuff because she is blinded by feminist ideology.

      Delete
    7. Are you for serious, 12:27?

      Delete
    8. No. She's been trained to use snark while we've been trained to think critically and self critically. So smug, self-congratulatory sarcasm is her only move.

      Around feminists and allies, this strategy gains smiles and status, do objectivity and reasoning are never required.

      Delete
    9. Of course not, 12.32. Try to keep up. Like 11.52, it's the new Weinbergian form of 'wit' -- aka caricature your opponent as grotesquely as possible and then beat them about the head.

      Delete
    10. Sorry, I forgot - if someone is loosely on board with your ideology, then their sarcasm is 'witty', they 'win the thread' and they're engaging in 'parody.' If they're not, then they're engaging 'smug sarcasm' which is their 'only move' (because of course you know all posts, comments and discussions an anonymous commenter ha had on this issue ever) and they're not engaging in 'parody' it's 'grotesque caricature'. And you know this because you're the only ones capable of seeing the objective truth about such facts of the matter, right guys?

      Delete
    11. Wait, are 1:32 and 1:36 engaging in parody too? All the bullshit about how 'she' obviously can't think critically, can't do reasoning and has no objectivity, sounds like someone trying to sound like the ARG. And 1:36's 'try to keep up' has a familiar ring to it.

      Delete
    12. Not sure about 1.32 or 1.36. I think 1.54 is parody though.

      Delete
    13. I don't think it is parody if it's actually a pretty good summary of what people say, 2:56. Parody is when you exaggerate what someone says in order to make them look ridiculous. Not when you accurately represent what they say in order to make them look ridiculous.

      Delete
    14. 3:02, I'm just curious: are you this aggressively stupid in face-to-face conversations?

      If not, why are you subjecting us to this continued idiocy here?

      If so, are you constantly being punched in the face by people who get understandably frustrated with your incredible and unrelenting idiocy? Or do you just hang around with people who agree with your views and are similarly incapable of understanding what the other views actually are?

      Or are you just trolling us? If you are, you're doing a bang up job.

      Delete
    15. 4:44 is perfect example of total self-delusion combined with totally unwarranted certainty in the objective truth of one's own beliefs combined with assholery. ARG strikes again! Some people are just so blinded by ideology they're unable to see quite how stupid they are being, amirite, ARG?

      Delete
    16. ARG needs to chill. Dude, not everything is about you. People making fun of views you happen to have some sympathy is not the same as people 'trolling.' Some people just happen to disagree with you about things. Arrogantly insisting these people are 'aggressively stupid' and suggesting they deserve to be punched because it looks like they don't share your political views just makes you look like one of those people who just can't stand the fact that there are people who don''t share your views and aren't afraid to express that.

      Delete
    17. Idiot,

      Here's another challenge, which I'm sure you'll ignore. But if you ignore it, you'll prove once again, redundantly, that you're unfit to engage in a philosophical conversation.

      You just claimed that I suggested people *deserve* to be punched in the face.

      Now, go back, and look at the comment.

      If I suggested that, show me where.

      If you see now that I didn't, admit you were wrong.

      Now, the more important part.

      Look again. See if you can find a shred of evidence for your claim that I think the idiot is likely to be punched in the face *because she doesn't share my political views*.

      Absolutely no evidence at all. You are a delusional idiot and just make this shit up out of nothing. The reason you are *likely* to be punched in the face has nothing to do with your ideology, if you have one. It is, again, that you are smug and snide when you can't afford to do so because YOU DON'T FUCKING READ AND THINK before you open your mouth and think you're smarter than everyone.

      If you find something that entails what you said, show us what it is.

      If you can't, admit you made a mistake.

      And you're an idiot because... you won't admit you made a mistake. About anything. Ever. It's not because of your views. It's not because you make mistakes. It's because you make them and then, when we patiently try to put you right by breaking things down so simply that any idiot could understand if she wanted to, you still don't understand, because you don't want to. And then you get sassy and sarcastic *at us* for taking the time with you. *That* is why you're an idiot. But you'll fail to notice that, too, and say I'm saying it for some other reason, just because YOU WON'T LISTEN.

      Idiot.

      Delete
    18. Remember everyone. FT and ARG are one person. Ignore hir.

      Delete
    19. well, the ARG is clearly on the losing side of this exchange, in any case. It's really quite hard to believe that someone can really be that stupid and that self-confident at the same time.

      Delete
    20. It is true that his interlocutor is not reading very well.

      Delete
  24. FP poster is floating the idea of stripping people of their APA membership if effectively they don't fall in line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This seems fitting, given that the APA is on track to be absorbed by the SPEP by the end of this decade.

      Delete
  25. Over at the Ghent Balloon's blog, Heidi Howkins Lockwood says:

    "... it is often impossible (and unwise) to pursue a restraining order, for various reasons -- but also because the victim's name must be revealed on a restraining order, and the restraining order itself would no doubt be available to the public and advertised through that metameta cesspit blog."

    This newfound enthusiasm for confidentiality and restraint is hilarious. It was Lockwood who just a few months ago put a bunch of second- and third-hand philosophy gossip into the public record when she filed her affidavit for the undergraduate Ludlow case.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, it was the attorneys who filed the affidavit without any protection. The affidavit was supposed to be filed under seal.

      And it was the metametablog who made the affidavit public by moving it from PACER into the blogosphere.

      Delete
    2. The affidavit was also distributed through other channels. Justin Weinberg had a copy and posted about it to Daily Nous before the PDF hit Reddit or the PMMB, for example.

      That said, I'm not so worried about how or when the Heidi Lockwood affidavit was distributed. I'm more worried about its contents, the craven disregard for truth they betray, and the real-world harm inflicted upon innocent philosophers (including a woman -- the "Edinburgh graduate student"). I don't think someone who would spread unsubstantiated and easily falsified rumors about a woman in philosophy really cares that much about women in philosophy.

      Delete
    3. My repulsion is similar, 3:38. The document is so loaded with gossip and unsubstantiable rumor, hearsay, mud-slinging, all of which is *obviously* of no value whatsoever in court, that we're left to speculate about the motives.
      Ugh. I have to go wash my hands.

      Delete
    4. But where there's smoke, there's usually fire...

      Or are you claiming Heidi made it all up out of spite?

      Delete
    5. I'm not *claiming* anything; as I said, we're left to *speculate*.

      When you say "where there's smoke, there's usually fire", do you mean we should always believe accusations of sexual harassment? If you don't mean that, maybe you could clarify.

      Delete
    6. You're engaging in bad faith. That was the implication of "we're left to speculate about the motives. Ugh. I have to go wash my hands." That Heidi was motivated by spite or some less than honorable emotion.

      And that is not at all what "Where's there smoke, there's usually fire" means, but thanks for being maximally uncharitable.

      Delete
    7. Another voice here. I dint think it's bad faith. I also didn't see the point of much in the affidavit. Why mention that Ludlow reputedly took cocaine sometimes? Or claim that he once allegedly had sex with a prostitute? These things, even if true, have no beating on whether he committed sexual harassment or on whether the department was negligent in dealing with the harassment allegations. Nor can these claims be verified, and Heidi doesn't say she witnessed the cocaine use or sex with a prostitute herself. So this seems to be just passing on a rumor about something that we might not approve of personally, but is intended to defame Ludlow rather than address the actual issue, which is whether harassment of the student took place or was not dealt with properly when reported. Ditto for other things like the allegation, also without support, that he took male graduate students to a strip club. That's a rumor that only seems to be related to paint an unflattering picture of Ludlow. Where should the judge go from there?

      Some other things mentioned were more helpful, no denying that. But mixed in with it are rumors that can't be followed up on and many things that are really just Ludlow's private business.

      Or is the thinking that a professor rumored to take drugs sometimes, or engaging in consensual sex (with a prostitute) should be investigated very carefully as a result? Let's be careful here. It's a small step from that to keeping tabs on others with unconventional sex lives or who are kniwn to have smoked a joint or dropped acid.

      And what's up with the bit about his allegedly using research funds to pay for his food and accommodations at conferences? Is this an investigation into the sexual harassment allegation, or an occasion for tattling on him for everything anyone can think of?

      Delete
    8. My guess is that the stuff about the cocaine, prostitution, and strip clubs were mentioned because they happened in professional contexts, either with colleagues and/or graduate students or at the APA, etc. That strikes me as relevant in showing that there is a pattern of conduct that suggests Ludlow either doesn't understand professional codes of conduct or doesn't care to. (My understanding of workplace harassment laws, btw, at least in my State, is that if your co workers are around or could be affected, it counts as a professional context, even if it's at a party or off the clock.)

      Delete
    9. Ok, but how is he harassing anyone by taking cocaine, alone or with friends? Or hiring a prostitute in his hotel room? Or paying for his food and accommodations with research funds? How are those things harassment?

      Delete
    10. I didn't say he was harassing anyone. I said he was acting unprofessionally. If you don't see how engaging in illegal behavior (snorting cocaine, hiring a prostitute) at a professional conference betrays a troubling lack of judgment and disregard from normal professional conduct, I...guess I don't know what to tell you.

      Delete
    11. You said that harassment laws extend beyond the workplace. And I'm saying this doesn't sound like harassment.

      Lockwood was not contributing to Ludlow's performance review at work. She was testifying in an investigation about alleged harassment. Not professionalism. Harassment.

      Delete
    12. I had hoped that HHL would be ashamed of her actions, but it seems she is so deluded that she can somehow place the blame on the PMMB for an affadavit that she wrote and which was first posted by the Daily Nous.

      I doubt there's any reasoning with someone who could so rewrite history so as to clear herself of the blame of the real harm she did to a number of people, especially those vulnerable.

      My only hope is that this is her public posture, but deep down she realizes what a huge mistake she made.

      Delete
    13. Unlikely. Being a feminist philosopher means never having to say you're sorry, even inwardly, unless it's to another feminist who says you're insufficiently committed to the cause. And we will let them get away with it.

      Delete
    14. 8:49 the OP (speaking hypothetically) said "in his hotel room" not "at the author meets critics session." Surely you've heard of J.S. Mill? And if HHL thought he had an illegal beer or danced with an unmarried women while "at a conference" in Saudi Arabia ought this have been included in the affidavit as more "unprofessional conduct"?

      Delete
    15. The femphils would be happy with that result, 11:52. We saw this already in the Colorado site visit report., with the 'family friendly' garbage and the injunction to only have events during 'business hours'.

      The idea that everyone should be profesdional at all times because you're always a representative of the profession and the employer comes from the corporate world that most of us chose this career in order to avoid. But hey, why not bring in constant monitoring of our attire, manners, private choices about sex with sex workers and drug or alcohol use at conferences. Anything to help the widespread epidemic we have no evidence for and that has fuck all to do with these private choices. It's great that we already have busybodies volunteering to collect all these scandalous and trite rumors from God knows where and report them. Women are safer already.

      Delete
  26. Anyone have access to that CHE article on Ludlow's exile to Mexico?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://pastebin.com/j6ZNSQye

      Delete
    2. Who wrote the article? An unknown CHE reporter?

      Delete
    3. "She kept the precarious relationship going, she says, because she benefited from the professional connection.." Right, so she uses sex to get what she wants out of him and she wants to claim that HE was exploiting HER. This is what all these so-called harassment cases come down to. Women using sex to get what they want out of a man but wanting to pretend that they weren't because then everyone would know just what kind of a woman they were.

      Delete
    4. Holy shit, 7:42. Thanks for posting. One thing that the article doesn't mention is Heidi Lockwood's role in all of this. But that is a thorough and fair treatment of the whole matter. I don't think anyone comes off looking that great, which strikes me as accurate. I have two questions:

      1. Who is the "prominent philosopher" in whom "Ludlow might have confided"? Is that Jason Stanley?
      2. Why isn't Heidi Lockwood and her role in all of this mentioned at all?

      Delete
    5. Let's remember that in her debate with Tooley, she insisted that handing him a sock was sexual harassment. Brilliant. Glad she's the one helping us move this forward and passing along these tacky tidbits of gossip into the public record.

      Delete
    6. Though Jason and Peter were (are?) very close friends, I'm not sure that Stanley is the "prominent philosopher". Here's a quote from the Lockwood affidavit, linked to upthread:

      "Dr. Jason Stanley, Professor of Philosophy at Yale University, revealed to me that he had spoken with Ludlow some time between February 26 and the date of our conversation, and that Ludlow "did admit to dating undergraduate students in previous institutions," but that Stanley was under the impression that Ludlow had managed to change the behavior."

      It doesn't sound like Ludlow confided in Stanley in the way that the graduate student was worried about.

      Delete
    7. Don't forget, 12:50, that this graduate student is also alleged to have had a relationship with philosophy faculty at her MA institution, Brandeis. If that allegation is correct, this is hardly a new thing for her.

      Delete
    8. How strange/not at all strange that Lockwood dug up all the gossip on Ludlow and dished it out in an affidavit, but never mentioned this rumor. I guess it's because she was a clear victim and he was a manipulative puppeteer. It follows logically from his age and sex, you see.

      Delete
    9. No one is saying anything particularly interesting that I noticed (but did not read all the comments), nor has anyone said anything very interesting about this whole thing in the last year, what two years? on any of the blogs I see. 12:55 above has said something mildly interesting. What's interesting is why this guy? Out of all the sexual harassment things going on in philosophy. Couldn't it have something to do with his politics?

      Delete
    10. I guess Kipnis should have written that the professor and student were "in love" instead of "dating." That way she could rely on the student's own texts for her source. If she had done that, I'm SURE she would have received less criticism.

      Delete
  27. http://induecourse.ca/on-the-problem-of-normative-sociology/

    this is great:

    Let me give just one example, to get the juices flowing. I routinely hear extraordinary causal powers being ascribed to “racism” — claims that far outstrip available evidence. Some of these claims may well be true, but there is a clear moral stigma associated with questioning the causal connection being posited – which is perverse, since the question of what causes what should be a purely empirical one. Questioning the connection, however, is likely to attract charges of seeking to “minimize racism.” (Indeed, many people, just reading the previous two sentences, will already be thinking to themselves “Oh my God, this guy is seeking to minimize racism.”) There also seems to be a sense that, because racism is an incredibly bad thing, it must also cause a lot of other bad things. But what is at work here is basically an intuition about how the moral order is organized, not one about the causal order. It’s always possible for something to be extremely bad (intrinsically, as it were), or extremely common, and yet causally not all that significant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, that is ambiguous and mostly vacuous.

      Delete
    2. Actually, it isn't.

      Try giving a genuine critique next time 12:14. That's how one moves a debate forward.

      Delete
    3. Fucking FT.

      Delete
    4. Sorry, 1:04, but some things are too vacuous to be worthy of "critique" and "debate." You disagree -- ironically, while offering no substantive defense. There's plenty of your kind out there -- resentful and tone deaf, on this Juneteenth day, two days after the racist massacre in South Carolina.

      Delete
    5. 1:39, shit or get off the pot. This isn't NewAPPS. Engage critically or fuck off.

      Delete
    6. You were given a criticism 1:39, and yet you still refuse to contribute to the debate. Instead you engage in attacks on 'your kind'. You are not doing your position any good.

      Delete
  28. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/06/17/faculty-members-claim-university-made-them-remove-controversial-journal-issue-its


    Anyone else seen this? More drama from Northwestern.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Maybe the APA should spend its time on securing better working conditions for the legions of adjuncts? Just a thought...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, the adjuncts can all go to hell. The APA is not for them.

      The whole discipline can be underfunded and stigmatized, with departments being cut out of universities, and the APA will cheer the process on by telling everyone on the basis of practically no evidence that we have a widespread harassment problem. Fuck the departments, the professors, the secretaries, the students. The APA is not for them.

      The only people the APA is for is women. And especially feminist women. Even better if the feminist women have been or claim to have been sexually harassed. Feminist victim women. That's who the APA really is there for.

      The great thing is, feminist victim women have Women's Studies programs to move to when the philosophy programs are all shut down. So they won't even be out of a job when the philosophy departments wither from the APA's negligence! Yay APA!

      Delete
  30. The CHE article on Ludlow and Leydon-Hardy says: "For both Mr. Ludlow and the graduate student, the turmoil that their relationship had created seemed to be winding to a close by the beginning of this year."

    This is correct. Wilson declines to note why things stopped winding down in early 2015 and heated back up. Renewed interest in the case was, of course, due to Heidi Lockwood's affidavit, leaked to Daily Nous. I've said this before, but my guess is that Lockwood has done more to damage Leydon-Hardy than just about any other philosopher.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 3:58 here again. I see that Colleen says just this in the Leiter Reports thread, which is heartening, and evidence that Lockwood's role in this disaster will not be soon forgotten.

      Delete
  31. Not only was Lockwood's affadavit (which she herself leaked, let's not forget, and not the Metametablog as she alleges -- see http://dailynous.com/2015/01/08/new-motion-in-ludlow-case-faculty-respond/)
    grossly irresponsible to both Ludlow and the graduate student, but it appears to be full of bullshit. This is a matter of public record, since Garthoff and Kvanvig have both responded in detail to Lockwood's wild and, it seems, dishonest and blatantly false allegations, which caused them and others great harm. And this is the level of honesty and integrity she manifested in the context of a sworn legal affadavit, let's not forget.

    Details here: http://dailynous.com/2015/01/08/new-motion-in-ludlow-case-faculty-respond/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow. Someone who posts here does NOT like Heidi Lockwood!

      Delete
    2. Wow. Some people who post on Leiter, Femphil, NewAPPS, DailyNous, the Smoker, and Digressions and Impressions do NOT like Ludlow!

      Delete
    3. I don't know if the metameta blog was the first place to link to the affidavit (it is where I saw it), I think it's misleading to say she leaked it herself and then reference the DN post. Perhaps she's Justin's source for his post, but that isn't clear. And the original post itself does not link to the affidavit, and is actually fairly circumspect, purportedly precisely because it contained new allegations against Ludlow.

      Where it gained traction was the fact that (a) it focussed on the idea that, supposedly, NU had reason to think, prior to hire, that Ludlow might be a problem and (b) the various other philosophers implicated used the DN post as a platform to push back.

      So, while, I think it's fair to say that that DN post made the philo-world aware of and curious about the affidavit, it's not fair to say that it was "leaked" there.

      It's not surprising that that curiousity inspired some people to find this public document and raise its visibility, so I think Lockwood's wrong to push off responsibility for it. But I think DN handled it responsibly. It's a real shame for all the people mentioned in the document. But given that it exists, and given that Lockwood had become something of a sounding board for harassment allegations, it's overall better that the discipline knows that that's not confidential. A lot of people are sadder but wiser from that episode, I imagine.

      Delete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.