Saturday, July 18, 2015

July Pun

200 comments:

  1. Why think the laws of nature are fixed? Couldn't they change graduallly over time, so that there is not a relation of necessitation between events covered? On this view, couldn't the laws be instead reflections of, so to speak, habits of nature?

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    1. Why gradually? Are the changes systematic or predictable? If so, that's just another layer of law.

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    2. How about if the changes are not predictable (but not eradic)? Do we think that's totally impossible? If we do, why do we think that? e.g. I guess, why do we think the speed of light cannot change over time? Is there any good reason for that assumption?

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    3. What sort of things would be neither predictable nor erratic? Do you just mean no huge shifts in the values of constants, but it's a coinflip at any given moment where they're going up or down? I think anything like that would come out in scientific results after a long enough span of time. Under some theories the laws of nature are in a sense different at different times and places (for example, past the event horizon of a singularity - but don't quote me - not a scientist).

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    4. This question comes up in Quentin Meillassoux's "After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency." Parts are quite interesting, others silly and misguided, others still just inscrutable.

      He tries to argue (unsuccessfully it seems to me) not just that laws of nature *can* change in the sense that we don't know that they cannot do so (there might be some unknown cause that could bring about the change), but that we positively *know* it's possible for them to change (there doesn't need to be a cause, they could change arbitrarily).

      1:16, in the book, he also argues that no event or pattern of events or lack thereof could count as evidence against this kind of contingency, since if the laws of nature could change for no reason at all, it's perfectly possible for them to never change, too. Or to continue identically for eons, then suddenly change. Probability wouldn't apply.

      12:27, if that's so, I'm not sure the description "habits of nature" would be apt. "Habit" implies some background cause. I started working out every morning, now I do it without thinking out of habit. The previous decision and reason explains the habit. But if all natural laws could change, they could do so without any background reason--what appears to be a happy could instantaneously and completely change for a second of for all time.

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    5. Marc Lange, "Could the Laws of Nature Change?" Phil Sci, 2008.

      http://philosophy.unc.edu/files/2013/10/Laws-of-nature-change.pdf

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    6. 12:52/1:33 here. Thanks for the Lange recommendation, 8:29. I am going to skip Meillassoux though, sorry 8:21.

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    7. What are you apologising for? Your doctrinal allegiance?

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    8. 8:29 here. Meillassoux is ok, but he's overshadowed by Lange's **Proustian wistfulness**

      http://philosophy.unc.edu/people/marc-lange/

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    9. I think Pierce thought that the laws of nature evolve.

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    10. Thanks, everyone. Any specific reference for Peirce's views on this, 2:47?

      OP

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    11. the thesis features prominently throughout a series of papers peirce wrote for the monist; see especially the first two, "the architecture of theories" (1891) and "the doctrine of necessity explained" (1892). for a more recent defense you could have a look at lee smolin and roberto mangabeira unger's "the singular universe" (cambridge up, 2015).

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  2. Law, see saw, raw, ma, la la la, caw, fa, ta ta, bah! humbug, hah! papa! Rah rah rah. nah. Yes. nah.

    Ta Ta!

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  3. Court Ruling Highlights Flaws In College Sexual Assault Proceedings — Will It Ripple Across U.S.?

    "In his ruling, Superior Court Judge Joel M. Pressman cited the fact that Doe was prevented from fully confronting his accuser in the trial..."

    I am very curious to see how this plays out, since in most campus tribunals (and in Title IX hearings, apparently), students accused of sexual misconduct are not allowed to confront their accusers. I'm slightly hopeful: due process may yet get its day in court.

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  4. I disapprove of men AND women who can't seem to be bothered about their children's affairs, and I often let them know that. Am I a microaggressor? A DOUBLE sexist?

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  5. Shen-yi <3

    https://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/2015/07/17/no-bias-against-women-in-science-not-disproven/#comments

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    1. <3 Shen-yi indeed! He's great, and I'm glad that (for once) a critical comment got through the censors at FP. I've never been so lucky.

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    2. It's because he's a former colleague of Barnes and he's posting under his real name.

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  6. http://metro.co.uk/2015/07/18/these-pussy-pouch-bags-are-the-best-reaction-to-manspreading-weve-ever-seen-5302119/

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  7. Is Leiter right in his assessment of effective altruism? Whaddya guys think?

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    1. Odds are that he isn't. But I don't know what he thinks. Can someone tell me? I'm not going over there.

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    2. Thanks for your considered reply 1:51. You've really added to the discussion.

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    3. Instead of running a sweatshop and donating 10% of the proceeds to charity, you should support political movements committed to abolishing sweatshops. If that's roughly his point, I'm on board.

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    4. EA plays to the sentiments of liberal capitalist citizens by convincing them that as long as they donate some of their money for mosquito nets, they are a-okay. Because mosquito nets are "proven" effective! Problem is, what counts as "effective" in a typical study is short term and not focused on unintended consequences of the intervention.

      BL seems to me to be absolutely right about this.

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    5. "For example, [ a randomized controlled trial field experiment] might determine whether a bed net distribution program lowered the incidence of malaria among its target population. But it would be less likely to capture whether the program unintentionally demobilized political pressures on the government to build a more effective malaria eradication program, one that would ultimately affect more people...."

      So, when der commissars run things, do you really think it's going to work out better for people?

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    6. I'm sympathetic with BLs concern but find his argument confused. Take the example of the mosquito net program could hinder more political measures. That's a possibility and, if there's reason to believe it's a likely one, we ought to favor the political measures. But isn't that then an *endorsement* of EA as a principle, even if we reject one person or group's claim about what's more effective in this particular case?

      Like BL, my biggest worry is that EA prioritizes personal bourgeois morality over political justice that deals with structural change. Unlike BL, I'm not sure that's a practical problem, because I think people *already* prioritize morality over real politics, so EA is unlikely to worsen the situation, and can at least make sure their self-indulgent moral exhibition does some good, even if ultimately minor.

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    7. It sounds like Leiter is making two points. First, there are empirical problems with "effective" once we accurately measure long-term consequences, and second, there's a broader structural criticism of liberalism and capitalism. Of course these two overlap to some degree. (I think it would be interesting and worthwhile if he wrote up a more comprehensive post about his view on this.)

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    8. But I don't see how BLs point about problems of effectiveness refutes EA rather than just shows it's very difficult in practice. That we can't with great certainty know what will be effective doesn't show EA's claim that we ought to try to choose the most effective actions is false.

      Indeed his second point seems to require agreement with EA: if I favor structural political action over charitable actions, I do so because I believe that it's more effective in the long run. So why do empirical problems of effectiveness not count against structural politics as much as against EA?

      Incidentally, I also don't see why BL treats them as exclusive: why isn't it better to give priority to political action on structural issues, but also practicing EA wherever it's compatible with the former?

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    9. Leiter's view, I take it, consists of three claims:

      (1) charitable donation of the sort favored by EA advocates is (obviously) permissible, but rarely (if ever) obligatory.

      (2) charitable donation of the sort favored by EA advocates is not the most effective way to achieve the otherwise goal of improving the lives of the global poor

      (3) EA as a media phenomenon is moderately pernicious insofar as it distracts us from the root causes of global poverty (which are broadly political in nature) and congratulates us for participating in/contributing to psuedo-solutions that require little more than changing how we (relatively wealthy Westerners) spend a portion of our discretionary income.

      Now, suppose we grant Leiter's anticapitalism. Even so, it seems to me that we have (imperfect) obligations to assist others in the short-term that aren't discharged by participating in political action or whatever. Although we should be doing what we can to get a fence built around the pond, we should be doing what we can to save drowning children in the interim. So I reject (1). Even if EA is tainted by self-congratulatory prattle and even if it's favored initiatives are just a stop-gap, I make way more money (as a philosophy professor!) than I need...so I really ought to be writing some checks!

      I also want to note that, in my experience, the upper-class radicals who advocate "political solutions" over opening the purse strings are just as self-deluded as the EAs who think they can save the world by donating their Wall Street salaries. Indeed, I've known more than a few wealthy "Marxists" who really just selfish.

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    10. Okay, BLs latest argument is absolutely terrible, even though I do share his suspicions about EA:

      "How much harm is he doing by working at the hedge fund? I guess that doesn't count. How much good would he and the hedge fund managers do if they gave all their money to Bernie Sanders? Can't be measured effectively, so doesn't count."

      Of course he's not doing *added* harm, since there's no shortage of people willing to take his place if he doesn't become a hedge fund manager. And hedge fund managers donating to Bernie? It doesn't count because it's not a live option: it will never happen. Talk about bourgeois morality.

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    11. And as if giving lots of money to Bernie Sanders' campaign is really going to cause major structural and political changes to the US...

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    12. I'd just like to second a comment that (I believe) is made by 2:47 PM above.

      It's fair to worry that some aid organizations "crowd out" government services or potential businesses on the ground. We need some good data here.

      But it's important to make a (rough) distinction between those kinds of organizations from more emergency-oriented aid organizations like OxFam or Doctors Without Borders. There isn't going to be a great basis upon which to build effective government or private industry if your population is suffering from preventable diseases.

      Of course, it is *conceivable* that these latter organizations do some kind of harm - at the very least, we need to know exactly how much good they do.

      Yet, from the perspective of well-off individuals in relative safety, how are we supposed to react to, say, the malaria crisis in Liberia and elsewhere? Lobbying the government for 'structural' changes (whatever those are supposed to be) is great. But in the meantime, you can and should donate to organizations that are most likely doing some good in situations that clearly call for aid.

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    13. 8:30, What do you think WOULD bring about major structural and political change to the U.S.?

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    14. BL just wants to feel good about himself while retaining all the benefits he has accrued from an unjust political and economic system. Instead of giving up some substantial portion of those benefits to help those who have been fucked over by this system, he makes the occasional snarky comment about capitalism on his blog and maybe donates 0.5% of his income to Bernie Sanders or whatever.

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    15. BL's "assessment" [sic] of effective altruism is truly bizarre, for the reasons noted above by various commenters. It seems he is looking for new enemies to drive traffic to his blog, whose popularity has been in decline for quite some time now.

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    16. Other people agree with me, my politics is the best.

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    17. BL's point is (so far as I can tell) as follows: "I like eating meat. Peter Singer is a vegetarian. That makes me feel bad. Oh, wait, Peter Singer is also in favor of killing babies. I feel good again."

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  8. http://schwitzsplinters.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-moral-lives-of-ethicists.html

    what do you people think of this? Agree? Disagree? Surprised? Not surprised?

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    1. There are some interesting questions here, but honestly I can't take this seriously, for more reasons than I can convey right now.

      Primarily I find most of the criteria to be laughable. Library books? Chatting during philosophy presentations? Calling your mom? Give me a break. On no serious conception of ethics are these central concerns. (Likely they are for the Civility folks, but let's put that aside)

      That (little) being said, I am curious to know what others think.

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    2. His essay bugged me too.

      One reason is: Why would anyone expect that thinking skeptically and rigorously about ethics would tend to make you more likely to follow conventional morality? If anything, it would be surprising if it tended to do that, just as it would be surprising if studying religion skeptically and rigorously tended to make you more strongly adhere to traditional religion.

      Notwithstanding that, while I can see that the ethical behavior of students who took a course or two might be better (might) than those who didn't, knowing to call mom isn't something that should require or be sensitive to doctoral-level training. It's on a par with expecting that a PhD is needed for people to know to wear seatbelts!

      For example, he wonders if we should expect that epistemologists have more knowledge, or feminists are less sexist. Compared to an uneducated person, an epistemologist (I predict) will indeed be more likely to know some things, like that evolution is true or that it is irrational to play the lottery. However, I don't see why a professional epistemologist would be much more likely to believe in evolution than the average well-educated undergrad. In short, maybe insofar as philosophy can impart everyday life-lessons at all, it probably does so long before we reach graduate school.

      He also wonders "why bother?" if studying ethics doesn't make one a better person. The answer is: because you find it interesting. But if you think you need a PhD to be a better person (or a better feminist, etc) you need to grow up.

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    3. 10.04: Completely independently of any of these other issues, I actually think that calling mom is pretty major. And I suspect that thinking that calling mom is small potatoes compared to Saving teh Wurld is quite a widespread (ethical) problem.

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    4. Yes, calling mom is major. Anyone who calls their mother very frequently is ethically suspect. It's infantile, it promotes codependency, and it's symptomatic of a conformist mentality.

      Yes, it's nice to do every once in a while, but I think as an ethical indicator, it's exactly the opposite of what he, and 10.04 think.

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    5. Sorry, 10.07, not 04.

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    6. In any case, "calling mom" cannot be evaluated in a vacuum in relation to a person. Maybe she is not nice at all, maybe they are on bad terms due to no fault to the person who is supposedly supposed to call. Maybe she does not like to call...who knows?

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    7. I am skeptical of the benefits of calling mom. Instead, I spend my time and money trying to bring about structural changes that will obviate the need for phones.

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  9. Cathy Young takes on the idiocies of privilege-talk and 'social justice'.

    http://observer.com/2015/06/the-pecking-disorder-social-justice-warriors-gone-wild/

    There are so many blatant logical contradictions in left identity politics right now -- ascribing the past crimes of an ethnic group to each contemporary individual in it, blatant double standards, claims that 'power' can only be defined at the macro structural scale and not based on the specifics of the situation, on and on -- that philosophy is actually the perfect discipline to deconstruct all this nonsense. But instead the identity politics commissars seem to be taking over the discipline.

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  10. Bharath Vallabha has some very interesting observations about the citation patterns in one recent and prominent book (Jason Stanley's How Propaganda Works:

    "Stanley cites 44 contemporary academic philosophers. Of these philosophers, 27 have an institutional connection to departments at which Stanley either studied or taught, and which are in the top 20 of the Gourmet rankings (in particular: MIT, Oxford, Cornell, Michigan, Rutgers and Yale). Another 16 have institutional connections to departments ranked in the Gourmet report, and most of these 16 are connected to departments ranked in the top 10. Meaning: 45 of the 46 contemporary, living philosophers Stanley mentions studied or teach in the same academic circles as Stanley himself."

    I doubt Stanley is unique in exhibiting this kind of citation pattern (mostly citing friends, mostly at "peer" institutions, etc.). Supposing so, what might this tell us about contemporary (Anglophone, analytic) philosophy? Should this kind of data be troubling?

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    1. This is the way it has always been. The powerful and privileged cite the powerful and privileged. No one can be surprised by this, right?

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    2. I'm curious, 7:04, do you think there's something wrong with mostly citing your friends who mostly have institutional affiliations very much like your own? You invoke "privilege", which suggests to me that you think so. But what would be wrong with that?

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    3. Once you've reached a certain level in philosophy, it's very hard to cite at all without "citing your friends" -- since you *know* everyone in your field after years of conferencing together, co-authoring, reading each other's work (and letters of recommendation), and so on. I'm quite sure Stanley is at this level. If I'm right about that, he personally knows just about everyone in his fields.

      But back to the more general issue. For the reason noted above, I wouldn't fault a senior scholar for citing his or her friends. What I would fault her for would be failing to cite relevant work by low-status individuals (e.g., graduate students, women, minorities, those without permanent jobs, those at undergrad-only institutions, those who publish outside of top-10 journals, and so on).

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    4. I honestly don't know anymore, 7:07. I guess I just roll my eyes now at call-outs like this. There's so much SJW posturing and protest these days, I can't even tell when it's legit. But I'm no longer surprised, ever, to hear that some philosopher has been naughty or abused privilege or exhibited privilege or whatever.

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    5. Hey, at least Vallabha wasn't whining about his own work not being cited!

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    6. This could be an Onion headline: "Ivy League White Man Publishes at Ivy League Press, Cites Mostly Ivy Leaguers"

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    7. Oh my, someone who posts here really does not like Jason Stanley.

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    8. Oh, fuck. Really, people? So, now every rank and status marker in the academic philosophy world is suspect as some kind of old-girls/boys-social-signaling device? So, the hypothesis that Stanley is citing people from those institutions because they have done really good work on things, because they are really great institutions who tend to hire really great people, is not the obvious and reasonable hypothesis? Really. Get a fucking life, people. Yes, there is some bullshit prestige stuff that happens in philosophy, but the fact that people from the elite institutions get cited the most is not reducible to social networking and signaling.

      (By the way: it's funny that Stanley is the one coming in for this criticism given that I've noticed he takes great pains to make sure he constantly cites women and, where possible, racial minority philosophers, and also makes sure to preface the citations with ridiculously inflated and ironically condescending accolades.)

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    9. If the world of philosophy were a pure meritocracy where the best work gets published in the "best" journals and the best philosophers get hired by the "best" departments, 8:11, then the "reasonable hypothesis" you supply would indeed be reasonable. I'm quite sure, though, that even Stanley wouldn't grant the premise. Indeed, the idea that philosophy is a pure meritocracy is itself a bit of propaganda, in Stanley's sense!

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    10. It is not animosity towards Stanley as a person that motivates this investigation, 8:08. He's an easy target from the content of his book. You can't write a book about institutional power and propaganda without getting scrutiny towqards your own complicity in those power structures.

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    11. You may not be aware, 8:50, but Jason Stanley has often been picked out on this blog for criticism. Those criticisms sometimes feels to me more like personality-drive harassment than sincere critique.

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    12. Duh. This kind of citation network is par for the course in philosophy. No news there. The moral I take from this story is a little different. It probably didn't even occur to Stanley to try to cite more lower-status philosophers. My moral? Privilege blinds us all. Or if you require an alternative formulation free of ablism,: "The greatest trick [privilege] ever pulled was to convince the world [it] didn't exist"

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    13. I think people should cite people whose work they discover after reading on the topic fairly widely. The tendency is to pick up and read only those authors whose names one recognizes, who have published in a few proven journals, and to avoid writers from disciplines outside of philosophy. This is good to do for people fresh out of grad school, but boring when you see supposedly mature philosophers doing it. If you know your way around the room really well you won't get lost if you peek in the closets and dark corners, and up in the rafters. I don't know about the person you guys are talking about though; I wouldn't leap to judgment on the basis of gossip though (before actually looking at his bibliography), and one would hope he would extend the same courtesy to other people.

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    14. Damn, I wish there was an edit function. Sorry for the two "though" s.

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    15. Bharath Vallabha,

      Love your "Friends, But Not Really".

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    16. To the OP -- Vallabha's comments about the citation network only make sense in the context of his broader critique of Stanley's work. A little misleading to take outside of that context. Presumably a narrow citation network would not be problematic in technical philosophy work that is not addressing the themes that Stanley is.

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    17. Maybe people don't want to be friends with Vallabha because he is an insufferable windbag?

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    18. Wow - people cite work by people from top institutions! No shit!

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    19. "I wish Vallabha's posts were longer and more focused on his feelings," said very few people.

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    20. I really liked "Friends, But Not Really", too, 9:49. It helped me put words to this phenomenon I've experienced, where I'm "Facebook" and "conference" friends with literally hundreds of philosophers, but actually close with only a dozen. The former "friendships", I see, are mediated by a professional relationship that is hierarchical and governed by norms distinct from the usual norms that govern (even casual) friendships. I'm glad to have learned this conceptual vocabulary, and it's helping me understand my experience.

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    21. It's amazing that someone could fail to understand that your colleagues are not necessarily your friends..or that one cannot actually be close friends with more than a few people (or that facebook "friends" are not really friends). It's like saying that you discovered adult world today..

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    22. That's not quite the point, as I saw things, 7:52. It's not that philosophy friends aren't "really" friends. It's that those friendships -- and they are friendships indeed -- are mediated and structured by another kind of relationship. It's not as though I couldn't see this before, I note; I now just have a better conceptual vocabulary by which to express and understand it.

      I don't know about you, but I like philosophy that helps me express and understand lived experience.

      -5:33

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    23. Ditto, 8:17.

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    24. It's about facebook friends not being friends. And of course they aren't. These are not friendships. No news there.

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    25. Clearly professional philosophy is not a pure meritocracy. Nevertheless, here's a thought: perhaps this citation pattern is explained by the fact that people in top research institutions tend to publish cutting-edge, citation-worthy work.

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    26. Its the I left philosophy but I can't leave it alone blog

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    27. No, it's the 'I left philosophy but I can't leave Jason Stanley alone' blog. Which is even more pathetic.

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    28. Big respect...

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    29. I think BV's blog is a bit disturbing...who does a statistics of citation from a Jason Stanley book of that sort? The strange obsession with PGR and Jason Stanley... there is something unhealthy about the whole thing.

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    30. Well said 8:09 pm. There is something wrong with BV.

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  11. Two sincere questions about the cases that have inspired so-called "trigger warnings":

    1. In such cases, have students claimed they were "triggered" in some clinically diagnosed way, or did they leave that unspecified? Are they professionally or self-diagnosed?

    2. Does anyone know if there is a generally accepted clinical diagnosis that is professionally applied to such cases? For example, is PTSD clinically diagnosed for any trauma, including sexual assault? If so, how common is it: does sexual assault usually or often lead to diagnosable PTSD? From a clinical point of view, would it be common for victims of sexual assault to be "triggered"--again, in a narrow, stronger, diagnosable sense, not just in the broad sense of having bad memories.

    I'm NOT interested in the debate about whether trigger warnings are needed, useful, or justified.

    I'm interested in whether the discourse surrounding them is scientifically responsible: does it use the language of clinical psychology inaccurately, too carelessly, or dishonestly?

    If so, are there dangerous side effects we should worry about, such as ignoring important differences in kind and degree of trauma, potentially minimizing some?

    Along similar lines: I notice a tendency in internet politics to treat "mental illness" as equivalent to "functional when treated forms of depression." I take this to be a rather careless use of terminology, since not only does it ignore other kinds of mental illness, but prioritizes a form that isn't the most severe, so practically treated the terms as interchangeable focuses our concern on perhaps not the most needy population of the "mentally ill."

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    1. Your questions about PTSD and the way it is diagnosed are easily answerable from a few google searches. PTSD is not diagnosed just because someone has experienced something that we might think of as trauma. PTSD is meant to diagnose cases of symptoms of acute stress that have lingered for a long time after the initial stressor has disappeared (I think for at minimum 3 months after the initial stressor disappears). There are unique clusters of symptoms associated with PTSD; some of them are unusual and don't make it into discussions of trigger warnings, look them up.

      Trauma is often defined in terms of a life-threatening or otherwise highly unusual, disturbing, violent, or stressful situation. Note that you do not have to be the one subject to violence for you to experience PTSD. It is possible to experience clinical PTSD from merely watching a car wreck or, in some cases, reading a particularly graphic account of a concentration camp. At the same time, not everybody who goes through highly stressful, disturbing, or violent situations will develop PTSD. For example, two soldiers can have the same experience in a battle (more or less), and one might assimilate well to civilian life while the other develops long term PTSD.

      The severity and longevity of trauma symptoms is sometimes said to have something to do with (a) how long you go after the initial stressor without any medical or psychological care; (b) how good your support systems are after the initial stressor disappears. Feminists argue that sexual assault is specially liable to result in long term, severe trauma because women claiming to have been sexually assaulted are too afraid or ashamed to seek psychological care, do not recognize that what happened to them was serious, or experience indifferent or hostile reactions from their support system, leading to feelings of isolation and shame. That's their argument, at least.

      Last I remember, about 1 in 10 cases of sexual assault result in PTSD.

      My lay opinion on the phrase "trigger" in internet parlance is that it is almost comically removed from the clinical use of the term "trigger." When a social justice warrior type says, "I was triggered," I assume she means, "I got really upset and angry." Trauma survivors' experience of "being triggered" can vary in intensity, but it's often accompanied by unusual features such as : adrenaline surges (get shaking, rise in heartbeat), startling changes in vision, and kind of temporary amnesia. Such "triggered" states really can be debilitating.

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    2. Also, I'm no professional, but I'm pretty sure triggers are like, one of the canonical symptoms of PTSD. PTSD is all about the victim not being able to properly regulate her body's response to stress anymore. A trigger, at least in the narrow, diagnosable sense, is just something that is actually non-threatening that the trauma victim experiences as threatening. This seems to have something to do with the a cluster of trauma associations the victim now has. The body then starts "prepping" for another life-or-death fight, leading to all sorts of awful and terrible symptoms (shortness of breath, extreme fear and anger, etc)--EVEN THOUGH the victim is completely safe.

      One of the really challenging things about PTSD is that the trauma victim can recognize what's happening--recognize that she is not in danger and that she is merely being "triggered"--and still not be able to completely control her symptoms.

      When people talk about students being forced to "confront their fears" in the classroom or "think rationally" about their trauma, they're often missing the fact that the trauma victim's symptoms can linger even after she has done all the confronting and rationalizing in the world. Trauma is not something the professor should be handling or treating in her classroom.

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  12. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/07/22/sexist_scientist_tim_hunt_the_real_story_127491.html

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  13. Sandy Bland, charming and dedicated political activist and lover of community, Sandy Bland, young person with hopes,

    I am old but I have hopes.
    I hope that your death triggers a change in the violent outlook and self-deception and corruption that surely characterizes the mind of the man who chased you down and falsely arrested you,
    and the mind of the man
    who killed you,
    and the minds of those in the local Texas system of law enforcement
    that enables this,
    and the minds of those who are complicit in maintaining the larger system in the U.S. and the world
    that enables this
    bullshit.
    In my dreams,
    please come to me and help me find vision.

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    1. Seems like she committed suicide. Although he was certainly falsely arrested by a dickish cop, which is what triggered it.

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    2. No, seems like she did not commit suicide.

      No evidence has been uncovered that supports that hypothesis over the homicide hypothesis and the homicide hypothesis is more likely given many factors:

      (1) history in that jail of a previous unlikely "suicide" after minor infraction
      (2) her wrist was strained possibly broken so would have had trouble twisting the garbage bag into a rope
      (3) She had friends, was excited about a new job, as far as her family is aware she was upbeat and happy about life. She was arrested for something minor, supposedly for resisting being given a traffic ticket or something. Even if they tortured her in that jail that would be weird not to be able to hold out for two days.
      (4)Statistically black women are less likely to commit suicide than other groups
      (5) Statistically small town Texas jails have higher incidents of homicides in custody than other groups
      (6) There are all kinds of questions about the video evidence in the arrest itself looking doctored

      And key thing: there was only one camera in the hallway pointed in one direction. Everyone is ignoring that that could have been disabled by a guard or someone else on the outside of the cell.

      In the NYTimes the language is spun to say "autopsy evidence is consistent with a suicide" (but does not say it *supports* a suicide --only that it was consistent with it. And language is "there is no autopsy evidence that says it was a homicide" which simply means the autopsy evidence so far is consistent with its being a homicide.
      But they don't use that language -- they are helping to make an unlikely hypothesis seem more likely.

      Even if they tortured her, it would be unlikely that she would take her life that way. It is so much like lynching and she was so aware of history and standing against these ideas.

      I think you way underrate how evil groups of people can get, what the culture down there is like. Even in the 70s white kids from out of state knew that it was not safe to go into small Texas towns with out of town plates on your car. Things have continued on that way.

      Delete
    3. I don't know, 10:10. Here is a recent report: http://abc7chicago.com/news/sandra-bland-distraught-neighboring-inmate-says/874337/

      Apparently she was (observed by other inmates to be) distraught while in jail, had a number of recent cuts on her wrist, and when asked "Have you ever attempted suicide?" wrote, "yes", "2014", "lost baby" and "pills." It's hard not to think that suicide is the most likely explanation.

      Of course that doesn't change the fact that it's fucking ridiculous that she was in jail in the first place.

      Delete
    4. She had a job, friends and purpose in her life.

      Anyone would be distraught. If I were her I would be very distraught and angry. That doesn't mean I would be inclined to commit suicide. Again, even if I had felt depressed around a lost baby in the previous year that does not mean that I would take jail time opportunity to commit suicide. This whole spin is just completely psychologically realistic. I can't help but think its attempted to be created by those who have not experienced what it is like to be in a 25 year old hormonal woman's body addicted to nicotine smoke and with a strong sense of justice. The ABC story is not very good evidence. Try to get a good source.

      Delete
    5. psychologically UNrealistic I meant to type at 2:53.

      I suspect if someone wanted to commit suicide over a lost baby she would choose a more sacred environment.

      Delete
    6. There seems to be ironclad physical evidence that she was recently self-cutting. That alone is evidence that her psychological state was sketchy. Then on video she said she was recently struggling with depression. Also the lack of any defense wounds. Frankly, it is a lot easier to see her motivation for suicide then the motivation for the people who imprisoned going and strangling her with a rolled up plastic trash bag. They could make her miserable quite effortlessly without going to all that trouble.

      The internet hot takes on most of these super-publicized cases turn out in retrospect to be case studies in motivated reasoning.

      They have the cop dead to rights on all kinds of over-reaction and abuse in the stop and arrest, but the victim has to be maximally saintly and victimized every step of the way to satisfy the internet audience.

      Delete
    7. Nah.

      She made many many videos trying to help other people in various ways. Just because someone says one they feel depressed and here's how to deal with it does not give the spinmeisters carte blanche to attribute mental illness to her. She addressed many other topics.

      "Self-cutting"? Her wrist was injured on the occasion of the arrest.Again, this was jail. Not prison for 20 years. There was no reason why she would have chosen that occasion to commit suicide.

      They are spinning like crazy. The story that she was depressed was one of about three they have tried to push. It is just fucking transparent. Why are they spinning this so hard? Maybe because the Texas sheriff who lost his previous job due to racism, and who is presumably a boss of the guy arrested her, doesn't want the truth known? Have you seen the tweets by the local judge who has now closed his twitter account? It was suggesting a different spin story from the one you are buying into.

      The latest NYTimes piece is not too bad: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/27/opinion/charles-blow-at-sandra-blands-funeral-celebration-and-defiance.html

      Please folks, sign the petition that is going around for a DOJ investigation. I'm rather shocked it is not being investigated at the federal level so far, at least that is my understanding

      As for your first paragraph wher eyou say "they could make her miserable quite effortlessly without going to all that trouble" of killing her -- well you know what, maybe their goal was to shut her up.

      You mention a "lack of any defense wounds". That's entirely irrelevant, though it is part of a standard set of about four talking points in the particular spin you are pushing. They could have killed her by coming up behind her and choking her.

      Delete
    8. Sorry, my first paragraph got mangled:

      She made many many videos trying to help other people in various ways. Just because a person says one day that she has felt depressed and then says "here's how to deal with feeling depressed", offering advice to others, that should not give the spinmeisters carte blanche to attribute mental illness to her. She addressed many other topics in her videos.

      Delete
    9. Read. Learn.

      "Bland disclosed on an intake form at the jail that she had attempted suicide in the past year, but she also indicated she was not feeling suicidal at the time of her arrest, according to documents released late Wednesday by the Waller County district attorney’s office...he kind of information disclosed on Bland’s intake form should have prompted jail officials to place her on a suicide watch, meaning a face-to-face check on her welfare every 15 minutes instead of the hourly checks normally required."

      http://www.dallasnews.com/news/state/headlines/20150722-sandra-blands-jail-intake-form-mentions-suicide-attempt.ece

      Delete
    10. Several different stories have been tried out:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrflZX-ky0A

      Delete
    11. This indicates some, but not all, of the inconsistencies in their stories about why she died.

      Delete
    12. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th2rX_pTGWI

      Delete
  14. Replies
    1. This is why you see feminists always assuming the worst intentions by men. See the tried and true 'all these men in congress no one is looking out for women' etc. Women on the whole experience constant own group preference and assume the same of men. The 'boys club' mentality, when it simply doesn't exist, at least not to a degree that matters.

      https://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/3dx60m/women_are_nearly_five_times_more_likely_to_show/ct9n872

      Delete
    2. "Women's high self-esteem and female identity, on average, bolstered their automatic liking for women... women can be characterized as thinking 'if I am good and I am female, females are good,'"
      Hello, ladies of FP.

      "Men low on sexual experience showed implicit sexism to the extent they liked sex."
      Hello the ARG.

      Delete
    3. An argument for reducing the n of women on search committees?

      Delete
  15. Prestige of publisher/venue being equal, is one of editing a book-format collection of essays or editing a special issue of a journal more likely to help you get tenure than the other?
    I thought I'd memorized all the rules about what counts for more than what else on a CV, and now this gets sprung on me.
    Would have one--more senior--co-editor, if that makes a difference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Without question, editing a book. Special issues of journals don't count for much if anything (not that editing a book counts for much more).

      Delete
    2. I think both are pretty poor returns on investment CV-wise. The interactions with the authors throughout the process are by far the most valuable thing that will come out of it, as some of them may be asked to write tenure letters.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the comments both of you. I'm certainly not thinking of taking this on just as a CV thing - it's an under-discussed field that people are just starting to get interested in, and I guess we're gambling on becoming that 1 in 100 essay collections that actually defines a field and gets people talking. Perhaps the odds of that investment are even worse.

      Still, it's useful to know basic CV implications. Given 12:36's preference for a book, I'll ask one last question. How "weak" would the publishing press have to be before the book became less CV enhancing than a special issue of a decent specialist journal?

      Delete
    4. There are other career implications besides the CV. If you edit a book rather than a special issue of a journal, your name will appear on the front page. The book will itself appear in papers' bibliography with your name. Even if authors only cite a paper from the book, and only include that paper in their bibliographies, your name will appear in the citation. Name recognition matters. People think, "Who's an expert on X?" One name that will pop into people's heads will be the person who edited the book of papers on X. Not so for a special issue of a journal.

      Delete
  16. OP look at it this way: if you're in a Big R1, then play the time you put into this off against that big Phil Review you're working on. If you're not in the Big R1, then play the time you put into this against other efforts of merit (like the PR article you hope to bootstrap you into the eventual Big R1 job), but more that might be relevant to making you a better philosopher in terms of networking with good people who can contribute to not just your growth, but maybe even the growth of the subfield you work in. It seems clear to me--Big R1--nope, not-Big R1--yep.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is 7:35--I meant to reply to 10:35, but of course the browser crashed and I replied from the wrong page from another browser.

    I'd really like those moments of my life back.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I know this is probably too narrow a topic, but thoughts about Leiter's new Nietzsche society?

    (http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2015/07/call-for-papers-for-the-inaugural-conference-of-the-international-society-for-nietzsche-studies-in-b.html)

    There are already three in the US and UK, and while none of them are fantastic, two of them are perfectly okay.

    Although I do think many of the analytically trained new Nietzsche scholars Leiter champions really are great, and that they're changing the field for the better, I'm a bit worried that Leiter's turning the field into a person, hand-chosen clique.

    In the last few years, there have been a lot of invitation-only conferences headlined by his chosen few, most of them leading to Oxford volumes edited by members of his chosen few.

    That chosen few, incidentally, includes some great and some of the best Nietzsche scholars. BUT there are also many great ones outside of his club, and I'm worried this new society is a way of building a wall, I mean, security fence, around it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This kind of "People's Front of Judea" academic drama always fascinates me. I'm not in the field, but a google suggests that the three existing societies you're talking about are the North American Nietzsche Society, The Frederic Nietzsche Society, and the Nietzche Society.
      So which is the bad one, and what's the difference between them all, and what's the new one's rationale?
      Are they less "international" than Leiter's one, or is that name-differentiation just a meaningless token?
      And which other philosophers have more than three societies devoted to them?

      Delete
    2. The Nietzsche Society is the one that's not "okay." I don't think it's bad, but it's a small, rather clique-ish group of like-minded old-school continentalists, so many who don't share their background, style, or interpretative assumptions don't really feel at home there. So, if it were the only one, I'd see the need for another for those who don't fit in there.

      I suspect Leiter would claim that the current societies have too many "party line continentals," but I don't think that's true of the other too. He'd also probably say that the quality of the scholarship in them is poor. But I don't think that's true, either. It's variable, and there are some really good scholars in all three groups.

      At the end of the day, I think the rationale is that Leiter and his pals don't yet have dictatorial authority over who gets to do Nietzsche scholarship and which interpretations of Nietzsche are allowed to be taken seriously. He's hoping to use it to further divide the field into the pure and impure.

      Delete
    3. Name names, who are the good Nietzsche scholars you are worried will be excluded?

      Delete
    4. Let's say there are--random large figure--100 Nietzsche specialists. Let's say--random small number--5 of them get together and say, "We're the greatest." Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. But isn't the burden on them to convince the other 95? Surely it's not the burden of the other 95 to prove their worth to this self-anointed 5?

      And let's be real: professional philosophers don't really divide into the good and the bad. There are great ones, good ones, mediocre ones. And their work varies: one article's an A, the next a C+.

      So, the short answer is: I'm worried the overwhelming majority of Nietzsche scholars, who are often good Nietzsche scholars, will be excluded.

      And I'm worried that the included not only won't always be good Nietzsche scholars, but under the influence of this oligarchy will likely become generally worse, because they'll be trapped in an uncritical echo chamber.

      Delete
    5. Can you just answer the question posed at 7:56 am?

      Delete
    6. No, I think it's a ridiculous question in principle, and in practice probably just a set up to tear down whoever's named.

      Imagine Donald Trump demanding proof that there are people outside of the 1% who deserve better.

      Delete
    7. Hear hear 10:25.

      Delete
    8. I guess 10:25 is worried he won't be invited.

      Delete
  19. None of them is fantastic is the grammatical expression. You are now excluded

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You left out the period in that sentence

      Delete
    2. I see wha y id h r e

      Delete
  20. http://digressionsnimpressions.typepad.com/digressionsimpressions/2015/07/shmaltzy-post.html

    The Ghent Balloon continues to propagate the illusion that he is a Hume scholar. Perhaps he labours under that illusion too. Maybe that's what passes a adequacy in Ghent? I would write some long and trite drivel about Hume that was inspired by listening to a talk but I am afraid I would say something substantial rather than just some bullshit. Bless him

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ghent maybe, but Amsterdam? (World top 50 school!)

      Delete
    2. To be frank it is difficult. But hey he would continue to be very badly dressed, have his sun glasses on his head, and confidently show how stupid he is AND blog about it.

      Delete
    3. But hey - he masturbates in public too
      http://digressionsnimpressions.typepad.com/digressionsimpressions/2015/07/on-continental-philosophy-as-cultural-capital.html

      Delete
  21. Another classic "WTF?" post from AJJ. Try clicking the "refusing merit to justify discrimination" link.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Am I reading this post correctly -- she is accusing Papineau of something like plagiarism?

      Delete
    2. The legend grows...

      Delete
    3. I'm confused. Papineau only uses Davis' words and gives him credit. What am I missing?

      Delete
    4. Why is AJJ given a platform at feministphilosophers? The other contributors are certainly worth reading, informative, etc.. What AJJ posts is ALWAYS misguided and inane drivel, often combined with misdirected rage. And it seems like she is responsible for about half of the contributions there. I should just skip her posts, but the nonsense just pulls me in when I visit the page.

      Delete
    5. earlier 7:06--- You aren't missing anything.

      Delete
    6. Relatedly, I wonder why Daily Nous gives JW a platform. The site is clearly at its best when simply quoting other people or hosting guest posts. When JW posts in his own voice I want to leave and never come back.

      Delete
    7. I believe that Daily Nous is in fact JW's blog. If you start a blog, then you get to post on it.

      Delete
    8. 7:06, I agree with your overall assessment. Here is a charitable explanation of AJJ's online behavior: she is part of a generation that, on the whole, doesn't quite know how to communicate effectively and appropriately on the internet. My mother is about AJJ's age. Like AJJ, she holds advanced degrees from elite institutions and had a successful career in her field. Nevertheless, and again like AJJ, she regularly posts embarrassing nonsense on Facebook. Limits of anecdotal evidence acknowledged, I can think of quite a few other older family members and friends who are smart, well-educated, and just can't seem to grasp the norms of internet discourse.

      Delete
    9. Maybe AJJ's point is just an in-artful claim that Papineau doesn't credit the source of Davis' comments. Unless Papineau has the snooker stuff directly from Davis, maybe AJJ feels he should have credited his source, eg. the Independent article or where ever else he might have read it. That strikes me as overly particular for an anecdotal aside in a review, but it seems perhaps more likely than her not noticing that Papineau mentions Davis as the source.

      Delete
    10. If it weren't part of a pattern, 11:54, you might have a case. And I'm skeptical about the 'generational' thing. Isn't AJJ the one who told a man that, unbeknownst to him and in dismissal of what his wife has said, he might be raping his wife?

      Delete
    11. But that when a woman has sex with a man who is unable to consent, it's "complicated".

      Delete
    12. " Isn't AJJ the one who told a man that, unbeknownst to him and in dismissal of what his wife has said, he might be raping his wife? "

      What, who, when?

      Delete
  22. JW just is Daily Nous, just like BL is Leiter Reports...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was 7:10 above. I of course realize that Daily Nous is JW's blog. I just think he's terrible when he makes his own posts, rather than simply quoting other people or having guest posts. I was being a bit tongue-in-cheek. Perhaps, like AJJ, I am bad at communicating on the internet.

      Delete
    2. As long as you remember his metablog name, Justice Whineberg, you will enjoy everything he posts.

      Delete
    3. 12:00,
      If you find yourself posting a blog entry with a link to an attachment in your private email, you'll know you've got a problem.

      Delete
  23. AJJ now admits she falsely accused Papineau of using uncited sources, owing to her own mental error. Yet she still includes the following:

    "In fact, i would not especially want to join an all male competition like snooker because it is likely, I would have guessed, to have some of the worse faults of philosophy. Recently I’ve seen yet another case of refusing merit to justify discrimination. AKA, cheating, IMHO.

    Or, dare I say it, borrowing someone’s words without any attribution. (This last crack is not about Papineau. Again, see comment three below.)"

    Have the good grace to apologize and remove the accusation. This is shameful. And be more careful next time. The more these shoddy accusations and analyses accrue, the harder it is to take the FP line seriously. The quest for moral rectitude is making some of the crusaders look like fanatics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The profession is awash with false allegations, venom, political intimidation and thought-policing. All shameless; all causing harm to people's lives and careers. As one recent example, the FP-crowd's appalling attempt to ruin Laura Kipnis for writing an article! Their self-adopted motto is "be kind"; in practice, this means destroy other people. It's sociopathic. They behave like gangsters.

      Delete
    2. She pre-moderated my pretty innocuous comment on the post - might as well post it here for posterity:

      A couple of points here seem in need of clarification.

      1) Snooker isn’t an “all-male sport.” To the best of my knowledge it’s the opposite: a sport that’s not divided by gender, so that it’s entirely possible that one day a woman would rank top of the standings above a bunch of men. This seems like step 1 of the appropriate analogy with philosophy.

      2) I don’t think Sally Gunnell’s and Steve Davis’ stances are incompatible. It’s obviously the case that women have the capacities and drive to reach the top and out-perform men in many skilled sports; it might also be the fact that snooker, being a particularly silly sport whose required skills are so distinct from those of practical daily life, is one of the sports whose nature drives only a very few women to care about excelling at it. Women may reach just as much of their potential as men do in 400-meter running, but a smaller percentage of women will bother to reach their snooker potential than will of men. This is step 2 of the analogy.

      The salient stress in Papineau’s analogy surely falls on the unappealing silliness of the skills required for contemporary academic philosophy and snooker, rather than on the capacities of women to fulfill their maximum potential in philosophy and sport.

      Delete
  24. Tough- fanatic or senile? I think fanatics read things over and over again.

    ReplyDelete
  25. It really is shameful.

    First the snarky jab: "It turns out" that Papineau's claim has precedent. Then when caught, she says "it turns out" that Papineau cites Davis, she says that makes it worse. Funny how things turn out.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anyone else find it pathetic as fuck when someone announces that they have a forthcoming article on Facebook?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Depends on how good the article and venue are. The possibilities and outcomes are as follows:

      Shitty article in shitty venue? -- Pathetic as fuck.
      Shitty article in fine-ass venue? -- Annoying as fuck.
      Fine-ass article in shitty venue? -- Pathetic (but not pathetic as fuck).
      Fine-ass article in fine-ass venue? -- Very nice.

      Delete
    2. Oh, it's needy and embarassing for sure. If you wouldn't send a mass email with the news, why put it on the facebook? But be forgiving if it's the person's first publication, or their first book.

      Delete
    3. "Oh, it's needy and embarassing for sure. If you wouldn't send a mass email with the news, why put it on the facebook?"

      Narcissistic Personality Disorder

      Delete
    4. But there couldn't possibly be someone like that in philosophy, 6:25!!

      Delete
    5. AAND cue the transmisogyny in 5... 4... 3...

      Delete
    6. "cue the transmisogyny"

      What is "transmisogyny"?

      Delete
    7. The Googleweb says: "Transmisogyny (sometimes trans-misogyny) is the intersection of transphobia and misogyny."

      What are you talking about, 6:41?

      Delete
    8. 6:41 seems to think that 5:47 has targeted particular philosopher (an individual who has trolled this blog before, and received transmisogynistic abuse for it).

      Let's take the high road this time, though, everyone. Nothing to see here. Move along.

      Delete
    9. Is "transmisogynistic abuse" a form of BDSM?

      Delete
    10. Stay classy, PMMB...

      Delete
    11. 6:41 PM,

      No, I wasn't talking about you, RM: luckily, we're not Facebook friends.

      Delete
    12. Seriously, though. Do these people genuinely believe that they're improving their employment/promotion prospects, even in the slightest, as opposed to undermining them?

      Delete
    13. "Anyone else find it pathetic as fuck when someone announces that they have a forthcoming article on Facebook?"

      As a rule, I don't. Yes, there are people I'm facebook friends with that annoy the shit out of me just about whenever they post anything but for the most part I'm happy to hear that someone got a publication because (a) I tend to want them to do well and (b) I tend to want to know what's going on around me in areas that might interest me. If the announcement gives me both a bit of pleasure and a bit of knowledge without having had to work to get it, so much the better. (Setting aside the cases of the annoying narcissists.)

      Delete
    14. Why is it "pathetic as fuck"? I post a link because I think it might be of interest to my Facebook friends, and because I hope for my articles to be read by somebody. I guess I wouldn't send out a mass email with the news, but by the same token I wouldn't send out a mass email with a photo of my kid at the zoo, or a mass email notifying people of the latest Paul Krugman column. If mass email is the standard test to use, then nobody should post almost anything on Facebook.

      Is this post driven by job market anxiety? Is the idea that if you're applying for jobs, you don't want to hear about other people publishing because it causes anxiety? If so, I get it. Otherwise, not.

      Delete
    15. 2:13 PM,

      You do understand what the English word "pathetic" means in this context, correct? Allow me to clarify: "arousing scornful pity or contempt, often due to miserable inadequacy" (see here).

      So, no, I certainly do not feel any degree of anxiety from people who do this. Among other things, you'll notice that those who are successful in academic philosophy show absolutely no need for it. And I don't believe that this is a coincidence. If you know how to publish articles in good journals that others will read, then there's no need for you to go around shrieking that you do to anyone who will listen.

      Please, stop. It's pathetic as fuck. It's not helping you. In fact, it's probably hurting you because it makes it clear to nearly everyone else that you're desperate and a bit naïve and amateurish.

      Delete
    16. I do this. I do it primarily because I think my friends will be happy for me, and secondarily because I hope they read it.

      I hope I'm not friends with you, 5:47. Both because I don't want to annoy you and because you're kind of a dick if you're not happy for your friends when they have some professional success.

      Delete
    17. No, in fact you should be happy if we were friends: a good friend ought to tell you when you're fucking yourself over for no good reason, even if it's unpleasant thing for you to hear.

      Delete
    18. I've had a FB account for years now and it never occurred to me to post stuff about pubs. But I'm old--and BION still publish. My younger colleagues (in phi and other disciplines) post everything! OTOH I post here now and again--I guess I prefer Faceless Book. Unlike what I see in the first two issues of the new APA journal, I still value content over source.

      Delete
    19. 5:47 (at 2:36). Repeating yourself in a condescending and haughty manner doesn't make your points more convincing. Also, somebody posting on FB that "Hey--good news: my paper was accepted at X" is 'going around shrieking'? WTF?

      5:47 (at 3:13). Why is it that assholes always like to think of themselves as brave tellers of hard truths?

      Delete
    20. 2:13 here again. Dear 2:36, I find your Facebook sensibilities foreign, bizarre. I work on area X in philosophy. Unsurprisingly, I'm friends with many other people who work on area X. When a new paper comes out in area X, I want to read it. There are cases in which I would have missed a paper if a friend hadn't posted it on Facebook--maybe it's coming out in a collection of essays, or maybe it's in a journal I don't regularly follow, or maybe it's a journal I often follow but might have missed because I was busy. Why is this a pathetic misuse of Facebook, to let people know about papers I've published and to find out about papers I might have missed?

      I feel like if you're secure enough in your own professional standing, you won't take offense at finding out about new publications. By your lights, is it also showy or pathetic to have a website where you list your publications with links? Many of the bigger names in philosophy don't keep updated websites, so is that somehow a professional virtue now?

      Delete
    21. Sometimes my friends do this. It only annoys me when I find the person annoying generally—and I often do! I'll read this guy's updates and be like "UGH what a douchey, self-promoting asshat!" but that's because I know this guy to be a douchey, self-promoting asshat. But sometimes a (real) friend has published a paper that is interesting to me. And I want to read it, and perhaps cite it it my own work (because I like the work and my friend and wish him/her professional success). I also want to tell other people about it, like "Oh hey, you are working on X? My friend NN just published a really great paper on that in which they argue P, I'll send it to you, if you are interested." Some work is recommended to me in this way. How else will I know when my friends publish? I suppose there's always academia.edu, but I prefer to use facebook.

      Delete
    22. 6:19 here. @5:29: hard to take you seriously, as nobody needs facebook to locate articles important to one's research. But setting that issue aside, you must realize that for a great many--likely most--facebook "friends" are not actually friends and not working in one's narrow area. Maybe you're an exception to that, but you can now see why two of the rationales you have given don't apply for many. Now you understand why those people find it needy and obnoxious. But it certainly is a place to seek approval. That you avoid acknowledging this is telling.

      Delete
    23. Someone above wrote

      Shitty article in shitty venue? -- Pathetic as fuck.
      Shitty article in fine-ass venue? -- Annoying as fuck.
      Fine-ass article in shitty venue? -- Pathetic (but not pathetic as fuck).
      Fine-ass article in fine-ass venue? -- Very nice.

      I am interested, what counts as a shitty/fine-ass venue?

      If you were listing journals from best to worst, how many could you list before they stopped counting as fine-ass? And how far down the list before they count as "shitty"?

      Delete
    24. No one cool enough for the metablog has ever had to publish outside the Healy 4, obviously, so "shitty" > #5.

      Delete
    25. @6:19 In the same spirit, if you post photos of a conference or workshop you are attending, you're needy as fuck--"look at me, I'm hot shit, I'm at this conference and you probably aren't." Or if you post, "Hey, I'll be at the APA, anybody else going and want to meet up?" then you should probably lull yourself you needy pathetic asshole, for that suggests you had a paper accepted there, or maybe comments, and you're just rubbing it in the face of others.

      Delete
    26. Philosophy needs fewer thought police and more Facebook policing who aren't afraid to scream out "Problematic!" when somebody doesn't use Facebook in an approved way.

      Delete
    27. No, 5:47, you're not brave for getting upset with people for sharing good news with their friends.

      Delete
    28. 6:19 here. @7;11: if you post photos of other people at a conference, that's nice. If you only post photos of yourself, you just might be a narcissistic child. Come to think of it, why don't you post important, but possibly overlooked papers for your friends in area-X that aren't written by either you (or your friends)? In addition, why not encourage everybody to do the same? After all, it's very important for everybody's research, and as we all know that's what facebook is for! What could possibly go wrong?

      Delete
    29. Frankly, the whole reason I post my new publications on Facebook is to spite my frenemies, rub it in their faces. So I hope I'm friends with you, 6:19.

      Delete
    30. 6:19 here. I take it we should also welcome harsh criticism of our publications on facebook! After all, people need to know if our work is any good, since this is all about promoting important research...

      brtbtbrtbzbztrbzrtrzb! (That's me going insane with my many cats in audience.)

      Ok, I am calm again. The cats are fine. I think you have all helped me understand what I hate about facebook peacocking. I'm going to have another mint julip now.

      Delete
    31. "I am interested, what counts as a shitty/fine-ass venue?"

      Scarcity marks the line between the shitty and the fine-ass. Publications in Phil Review, JPhil, Nous, Mind, and PPR are impressive because they are scarce. Everyone can and does publish in Phil Studies and worse places, so they are neither scarce nor impressive.

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    32. What happened to Philosophical Studies anyways. It used to be a good journal, and now everyone publishes there?

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    33. It is true that Phil Studies has lost a lot of cachet recently. I heard that referees are now told to be especially harsh with their recommendations, presumably in an effort to recapture its reputation. Can anyone confirm?

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    34. Since 2012, the standard referee request letter from Philosophical Studies comes with this note (yes, in all caps):

      "BECAUSE WE CURRENTLY HAVE A LARGE BACKLOG OF ACCEPTED PAPERS, I AM ASKING REFEREES TO USE ESPECIALLY STRICT STANDARDS."

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    35. thanks, 1034. That would explain some recent experiences with the journal.

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    36. "Scarcity marks the line between the shitty and the fine-ass. Publications in Phil Review, JPhil, Nous, Mind, and PPR are impressive because they are scarce. Everyone can and does publish in Phil Studies and worse places, so they are neither scarce nor impressive."

      Hmmm. I have published in places like PPR, J Phil, AJP but have 10+ rejections at Phil Studies (of these very same papers) without so much as an R&R. I would be impressed by an acceptance at Phil Studies.

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    37. Only Published in Phil StudiesJuly 29, 2015 at 9:40 AM

      I would gladly trade places with you, 12:55.

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    38. 12:55 AM,

      That is bizarre. Perhaps your submissions were in epistemology? I've heard that Stew Cohen can be difficult to deal with when you're stepping on his turf.

      8:02 PM,

      I admire your newly-discovered sense of honesty. I suspect that's the whole reason anyone participates in this odious practice.

      3:02 PM,

      Who said anything about "bravery"? I'm just complaining about one of the many obnoxious behaviors we have to deal with in our profession now that philosophers have discovered the Internet.

      6:14 PM,

      Since 6:32 PM has already ably skewered your position, I'll only add my two cents. You've heard of email, right? Well, here's one easy way to let friends of yours who actually care about what you have to say in your precious forthcoming Phil. Studies article: write them an email with it attached. And then there's also this magical online depository called PhilJobs. Yes, we have the technology to allow you to avoid being a self-aggrandizing poseur!

      5:07 PM,

      I didn't merely repeat myself. I attempted to explain to you, patiently, why it's ridiculous to believe that I'm complaining about this due to some kind of job market-related anxiety (since generally speaking, people who feel the need to do this aren't meaningful competition).

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    39. I think you mean PhilPapers, 5:47 at 3:15 (not PhilJobs). Other than that, I agree.

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    40. I agree with 12:55-- Phil Studies continues to be an excellent journal, as is reflected in every journal ranking I've ever seen. Maybe your own experiences don't match up, but if so then your own experiences are probably idiosyncratic. If your very best publications are in Phil. Studies, you are a good, solid publishing philosopher, albeit not a superstar.

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  27. What philosophy of language collections are people using these days for undergrad courses covering several areas within philosophy of language including the classics? Is Martinich still popular? Do people even use published collections anymore or do you just direct your students to e.g. JSTOR?

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    Replies
    1. Why make students pay for a collection, when there's so much good stuff easily available to them for "free"? (I put 'free' in scare quotes because they do pay for it through tuition and/or taxes.)

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    2. Because that is one of the few ways in which academic publishing can survive...of course, unless one is in favor of free for all - wacko or not - internet publishing.

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    3. My vote is for Ludlow's Readings in the Philosophy of Language.

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    4. Along with 6:57's suggestion, I would recommend Colin McGinn's Philosophy of Language: The Classics Explained.

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    5. So we have McGinn and Ludlow.. too bad Hanna or Pogge did not edit one. We could have added them to the mix.

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    6. This is 12:44 replying to 6:36. Most papers in a collection like Martinich are already published. I am not suggesting referring students to the internet free-for-all. Rather, I am suggesting sending students to journals, many of which have been publishing offline for over a century. Academic publishing can survive, I think, without republishing "On Denoting" a hundred times.

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    7. Lysias,

      Hah, good one.

      Speaking of which, I've always had this ill-conceived dream to host some kind of 'Bad Boys of Philosophy' conference with those four headlining, plus a few others thrown in the mix.

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  28. Curious: http://philosophymetablog.blogspot.com/

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