Friday, August 21, 2015

August Sawdust

169 comments:

  1. So--Rubio versus Ferrer.

    Harm wrestling anyone? A competition that by definition has no winners?

    Or is this mutually assured non sequitur?

    Oh well--just tawdry stands in the sawdust at the August fair.

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    1. It's a good question who is worse. You don't expect Rubio to make any difference in the end, do you? While Ferrer... well, she's already been indoctrinating our finest and will continue to do so if we good guys let her.

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    2. Moderate roar.

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  2. Looking at the DN thread on the philosophy of sex and gender, it really is striking that not a single one of the recommended articles articulates anything like a non-feminist view on these topics. Where are the papers arguing that gender differences are real, substantial, and biological, or that traditional gender roles are morally defensible, or scrutinizing feminist claims of "oppression", etc etc?

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    1. Someone asks exactly that question, and there are three comments with recommendations. Perhaps if you have some more good recommendations for articles of the kind you suggest, you could post them on the DN thread.

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    2. In the pile on the floor in the back of the room along with the climate change denialism papers?

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    3. Someone in there recommends Jessica Valenti. Other people have indoctrinating films and so on. This sort of material is more appropriate for Resident Life lackeys to offer during mandatory orientations and so on. Shameful display.

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    4. They are "philosophers", and hence are horrified by science. The science of sex differences has a huge literature, in fields as diverse as biology, psychology, medicine, social anthropology, etc. In biology it is covered under behavioral ecology. It studies the sexual traits, mating patterns, etc., of all species, including humans.

      Do not expect "philosophers" to discuss science. The age of, e.g., Bertrand Russell and Rudolf Carnap is finished. They despise science when it doesn't meet their fixed political ideology, i.e., crude and scientifically illiterate identity politics.

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    5. Anony 8:49, do other species have culture in your view? How does that figure into the scientific study of sex differences according to you?

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    6. Cordelia Fine is a psychologist, 8:49.

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    7. Cordelia Fine (psychology) and Anne Fausto-Sterling (biology) are politically motivated outliers in their fields. I know researchers in these fields. I respect their scientific expertise. If you ask experts in these fields, then the views of the aforementioned two are rejected. Here, for example, is a review by Simon Baron-Cohen of Fine's "Delusions of Gender". And here, for example, is a detailed discussion of cognitive issues by one of the most pre-emnent experts in the field, Diane Halpern.

      You cannot simply ignore science - in particular, psychology and behavorial ecology - because it conflicts with your political ideology. This is akin to climate change denial.

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    8. Simon Baron-Cohen and Fine differ on the issues. That's not a reason to disparage Fine. It is, however, a reason to disparage philosophers who take Fine's viewpoint as having been proven without developing fluency in the material.

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    9. Including something on a syllabus doesn't mean that you endorse the writer's view or think it should not be open to critique. If you're doing a class on political philosophy, and someone suggests you include Marx, and you do, it doesn't follow that if you are trying to turn your students into Marxists. It just means you think it is worth discussing.

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    10. Are you fucking kidding me, 9:57? Here are some comments from DN.

      - "For a more pop culture approach, I can’t say enough good things about Anita Sarkeesian’s youtube series about gaming and tropes vs. women."
      - " It discusses different understandings of virginity loss, such as gift-giving vs. ridding oneself of virginal stigma, how these different understandings were strongly gendered (in both content and who was likely to experience them), and how these understandings affected young peoples’ experience of their virginity, their first time, and themselves."
      - "The film shows how gender norms also take their toll on boys (especially on their emotional health and development)."
      - "Jessica Valenti (not a philosopher, but a fun-to-read activist) on virginity and slut-shaming is accessible intro material. And intersectionality is critical on this topic. "
      - "Kate Bornstein (activist, not philosopher) is a fun person to introduce students to. Also, I teach in the south and show the film “Southern Comfort” which introduces students to injustices in the trans community"
      - "It would be fair to suggest that the patriarchal state & the historical aspect of females being the legal and moral property of their fathers and husbands and with this being entrenched in laws, government & social attitudes – is the reason why there is limited writing about gender and sex from any standpoint other than the feminist perspective."
      - "Along with this reading I assigned students in small groups to try to come up with a sufficiently broad and inclusive definition of what it is to “have sex” and the exercise had helpful results demonstrating how this is a much more difficult question than one would think."

      No reasonable person can see this quotes and think that, by and large, these readings are being presented critically, without an agenda, and with opposing perspectives in the literature (if they even exist) given equal time.

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    11. Did 8:40 above just compare Baron Cohen, Halpern, et al, and behavioral ecologists to "climate change denialism"?

      Simon Baron-Cohen, one of the most widely respected psychologists in the world, a world-renowned professor at Cambridge, is a "climate change denier"? Diane Halpern, the former president of the American Psychological Association, with decades of research in this field, is a "climate change denier"?

      This is a worrying, politically-motivated, anti-scientific attitude coming from "philosophers", and is intellectually very dispiriting to witness.

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    12. Well, all I know is that I systematize way way way more than most people and I ALSO empathize way way way more than most people, so I don't think it's one or the other, as one of your star scientists surmises. I have both kinds of brain and they are not in the least at odds with each other.

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    13. 10:43 is really good at EVERYTHING, according to their own testimony, and therefore science isn't real.

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    14. Who said science isn't real? Not 10:43. Glad you're sticking up for science though, 10:48. You should spell it all in caps every time you say the word SCIENCE. Have you ever actually met a scientist?

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    15. Yes, I have, 11:16. I can tell you exactly how probative they think "I'm really systematic and really empathetic both at the same time! I'm just so complicated and talented that I break down your dichotomies!" will be.

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    16. You're adding stuff I didn't say. Try to be more precise and not attribute inferences I did not make and did not imply, even indirectly.

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    17. 10:43, "so I don't think it's one or the other, as one of your star scientists surmises."

      None of the "star scientists" mentioned "surmises" such trivially false gibberish. Contrary to your political ideology, social determinism is false: the human mind is not a blank slate socially determined by culture. There are hard-wired, genetically grounded, differences and variations. An example from Baron-Cohen's work concerns sex differences related to autism and Asperger's spectrum disorders. If scientific understanding in psychology and biology conflicts with your political ideology, then you should junk the politics, not the science.

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    18. What I did was provide descriptive terms to characterize what I know my mind to be like, first hand, from almost 60 years of living. I have read the same science you have most likely.

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    19. haha You have no clue what my "political ideology" is.

      signed 11:43, 11:40 etc.

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    20. And I said nothing about blank slates or social determinism. Only you did.

      signed 11:43, 11:40, 11:45 etc.

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    21. 10:57, no reasonable person thinks that if someone says something to the effect of 'this paper on X is fun/great/interesting. it does this well, and would be a good paper for an into class' that this shows that the person in question doesn't present it critically.

      Here is something that I might say: "If you're doing an intro ethics class on abortion, do Thomson's 'Defense of Abortion.' It's a fun paper, and it shows that even if we accept that the fetus is a person, it doesn't automatically follow the abortion is morally wrong." (In fact, I have said things similar to this in the past).

      Saying this doesn't imply that I teach the paper uncritically. I don't know why you would think that it did, unless you already had a very poor opinion of my teaching skills. It looks like that's what you're doing here - massively overreaching from a few examples to confirm your already poor opinion of people.

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    22. 11:56 = 10:43, the comment that originally seems to have got my commentator in a huff, or maybe it was 8:40 that did that.

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    23. I think that 11:59's comment belongs in another thread. Too bad, looks like an important clear comment.

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    24. Thanks for the references, 9:30. This is what I like about the Metablob.

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    25. Bwa haha! Sure, 11:57 let's just consider how many are lining up to share redpill/MRA YouTube videos with the same disclaimer ("fun, interesting, would be a good paper"). People who aren't already gender-war-nutbars would barf (as they should) in either case.

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    26. To sidestep this whole debate about whether the views at issue are or aren't compatible with the sciences, I'd like to offer a much more simple complaint: where's the philosophy?

      Either these views are subject to substantial dispute in the field, in which case the course can philosophically debate the arguments and evidence on either side. Or they are not much disputed in the field, in which case the course would seem to be just informative, not philosophical.

      Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that the critics are wrong to say these course materials are either at odds with or poorly substantiated by scientific research. And let's assume that the critics who compare this stuff to "indoctrination" are also wrong.

      I'd still wonder: what makes such a course a distinctly philosophical one?

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    27. By the way, did anyone try the links given by AnonymousAugust 20, 2015 at 9:30 PM.

      I for one get all my Real Science (TM) from "eskeptic: the email newsletter of the Skeptic Society."

      Could have been worse, I suppose. A link to Reason magazine or the Brights.

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    28. Or it could have been "TruthDig". Again.

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    29. I don't know anything about the Skeptic Society, but hey, even the worst websites sometimes have good content. See: PMMB

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    30. _TruthDig_ has well researched and fact checked articles, from what I can tell. Have any counter-examples?

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    31. "Could have been worse, I suppose. A link to Reason magazine or the Brights."

      What the fuck is wrong with you, you unhinged anti-scientific conspiracist loon. You aren't familiar with genuine science - as trivially illustrated by the likes of Baron-Cohen or Halpern? What the fuck is wrong with you?

      Maybe you think climate change doesn't occur? Do you think evolution is a plot? Do you think Jews carried out 9/11? You unhinged conspiracist loony.

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    32. So major scientific experts in a field, with a very large research literature, are wrong because Daily Nous "feminists" say so? Jeez. Is this the level of conspiracy theory gibberish the philosophy profession is endorsing?

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    33. Come here, little monkey, click on the peanuts. That's a good monkey. Now don't throw your shit at the screen again.

      https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=VBDCDAwAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diane_F._Halpern

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    34. I found this pretty interesting passage in the link above to an article by Diane Halperin:

      "There is a large and growing body of literature that suggests that cognitive abilities vary both as a function of one’s sex and preferred hand, that is, whether you are more or less left or right sided. Some of the most recent research is showing that prenatal hormones, the ones that direct and reflect the sexual differentiation of the fetus, are the same ones that determine handedness. Consider, for example, a large study in which the researchers reported sex by handedness interaction on cognitive tests. They used three large samples in different geographical areas of the country, so they had built-in two replication samples. They used multiple measures of spatial and verbal ability, and they found that while, overall, males performed better than females on 14 out of 15 of the different spatial tasks, across three geographically distinct samples, they found that left-handed males performed poorer than right-handed males on all 15 of these tests across all three samples. On the other hand, left-handed females performed better than right-handed females on 12 of these tests. Reverse results were found with verbal abilities with right-handed females out performing left-handed females, and left-handed males out performing right-handed males. It is not important that you keep the specific sex by handedness interactions straight; what is important is with replications and large numbers of tests, many psychologists are finding differences that depend on one’s sex and one’s laterality. Sex by handedness interactions have been noted by numerous other investigators, although they are not all easy to interpret.

      "These results are particularly important because we have no reason to believe that sex role pressures, learning environments, or any other psychosocial variable differs as a function of laterality. That is, there is no environmental hypothesis that we have that can explain these results. We do not socialize left-handed girls differently from right-handed girls, or left-handed boys differently from right-handed boys."

      http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/05-03-15/

      I wonder how Cordelia Fine would handle this argument? Frankly, all Fine seems capable of generating is snark, so I wouldn't expect much.

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    35. 11:02 here.

      I looked up Halpern in the index of Fine's The Delusions of Gender, and found no reference. There was a cite in the bibliography of an article Halpern wrote with a number of others, on sex differences in science and mathematics. There was nothing on the issue of the handedness-gender interaction question in the index.

      Yet clearly the data on this interaction was well known before Fine published her book in 2010 -- indeed the article by Halpern was written at latest in 2205.

      Conclusion?

      Cordelia Fine is a cherry picking ideological hack.

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    36. oops, meant 2005 instead of 2205.

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    37. I meant,

      2005 instead of 2205.

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    38. This whole thread is just hilarious. So because no-one suggested anything from MRA websites for a course on sex and gender, that's evidence that when people teach those courses, they never present any criticisms. And Cordelia Fine is a 'cherry picking ideological hack' because she doesn't cite one article in her book.

      I think these posters must just be fucking with us.This is parody, right?

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    39. 2:50 the fact that you think anything that isn't explicitly feminist and cultural-explanatory in its assumptions is "from MRA websites" is precisely the problem. No doubt many professors of the philosophy of sex and gender agree with you, as evidenced by the DN thread.

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    40. 20:50,

      That's a childish criticism.

      No, the point is not that Cordelia Fine does not cite a particular article: it's that she doesn't address a very basic scientific result, mentioned by Diane Halpern, and supported by a wide array of studies, which undermines the idea that differences in cognition between the genders is entirely socially based.

      The result is basic enough that in the brief overview article Halpern writes to justify the idea that there are biologically based differences in cognition between the genders, it assumes a prominent place.

      Are we to believe that Fine isn't aware of this argument? Then she's an ignorant blowhard. But if she was aware of it, and didn't address it, then she is indeed a cherry picking ideological hack.

      As usual, the "feminist" side of the argument has nothing but snark and smear, intelligence and rationality not being their thing.

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    41. Give it a rest 2:50. The field of feminist work on sex differences is littered with ideological hacks. Fine's treatment of biology is hardly an outlier.

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    42. Here's an idea: instead of bitching and moaning about the fact that some people posted suggestions you don't like, why not be constructive and actually post suggestions you think are better on the DN thread?

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    43. Probably because "philosophy of sex and gender" is a hopelessly politicized field full of anti-intellectualism and scientific illiteracy, so it's going to be difficult to get an entire good syllabus together.

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    44. No one is asking you for a whole syllabus. But if, for example, there is a paper that you think us a good counterpoint to Fine, why not suggest it?

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    45. Here's one reason not to post to the DN thread: if ever deviates a jot from what the proprietor thinks in his ideologically corrupted head is permissible, then the comment doesn't get through.

      I personally find nothing more frustrating than to deal with the likes of people like that. One can be in the middle of a perfectly good argument, and some shithead with half a brain decides he's going to pull the rug out from under you -- most especially if you're winning the argument, because that's the thing that always sets them off, even though they pretend that it's something else.

      There's a reason virtually nothing of any real significance gets said on DN. Echo chambers got to echo.

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    46. That is completely unfounded. There is a subthread on that very post asking for things not from a feminist perspective, which has several replies. Maybe if you spent less time calling people shitheads you'd have better luck.

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    47. And what great replies they are. "This is written by feminists, but, uhh, it's not really feminist, because duh! It's 2015! Like, of course there aren't biological sex differences? Duhhhhhhh, omigosh!"

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    48. Who says 'like' and 'ohmigosh'? Or are you just using stereotypical teenage girl language in order to undermine people whose views you don't like?
      But to repeat the point, if you have a better suggestion, why not post it?

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    49. A lot of people say "like." Like, a lot of people. Of all the people who took up saying it in the 90s, it seems very few have stopped. Then new people were born and they took up the practice, too. Where have you been?

      (I'm not any of the posters above. I don't care.)

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    50. Yes, but no one says it on that thread, which is the point. No one says 'duh' or 'ohmigosh' either. It us pretty clear what 8:03 is trying to do by paraphrasing the relevant comments in that way.8:03 is trying to make the commentets - at least one of whom is clearly identified as a woman- sound like stereotypical ditzy teenage girls in order to undermine them. Its also a gross misrepresentation if what was actually said, which was that some of the works were by feminists. But the arguments don't include any explicit feminist premises, are critical of some feminist claims, and are often appreciated by non feminist students.

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    51. 7:30,

      You are completely missing the point. Of course, every once in a while, a very tame slightly non-PC comment will make its way into the comment section at DN. But what happens when the argument becomes pointed, and some party starts introducing all kinds of arguments that really tear down the PC perspective? That's when the censorship kicks in.

      And it's generally completely unpredictable when that censorship will kick in, and on what basis. Any number of commenters here have produced comments that were, for reasons only the proprietor of DN can understand, censored. Why should anyone want to start pursuing an argument on such blog, knowing that the door can be closed at any moment, and will almost certainly be closed if he/she pursues certain angles?

      People on the other side of the debate, of course, can't even imagine this happening to them, because they know up front that every single comment they make will be approved, precisely because they agree with the proprietor on every basic point; their ideologies are very well aligned.

      Why do you imagine that many of the arguments that take place here -- many of which make perfectly rational points -- don't take place on DN?

      Because we know that the guy who runs it is a partisan hack, and however appropriate we may be in terms of language, etc., we will never be allowed to carry an argument to its logical conclusion.

      And there are few things more frustrating for many of us than to be prevented from carrying an argument to its logical conclusion -- though perhaps this isn't in any way apparent to PC types.

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    52. Its not a thread that contains any arguments, though. Its a call for suggestions. And someone explicitly asks for non feminist suggestions. The person who asked wasn't Justin. The people who are offering suggestions aren't Justin. And rater than offer suggestions that might help those people make courses that, from the perspective of people here, are more representative, people are just using it as an excuse to mock and insult people, most of whom they don't even know.

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    53. Justin Weinberg should not be using his blog as a political propaganda site to promote anti-scientific prejudice, from a "feminist perspective". On empirical matters of fact, the only "perspective" that matters is the one that uses scientific method to find out what the truth is. And two relevant people mentioned above, Simon Baron-Cohen and Diane Halpern are scientific experts in relevant fields. Similarly, behavioral ecology is science, with a huge research literature. It is not conducted from a "feminist perspective", but rather from a scientific perspective.

      It is completely inappropriate for science to be discarded for political reasons - which is what Weinberg and commenters are promoting at the Daily Nous website.

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    54. "So because no-one suggested anything from MRA websites for a course on sex and gender, that's evidence that when people teach those courses, they never present any criticisms"

      So, you think behavioral ecology is some kind of "MRA website"? You unhinged conspiracy theorist.

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    55. Just to clear this up, because at least two people seem to think the fact I mentioned MRA sites is evidence that I hold all sorts of views I do not hold, I was referring back to an earlier comment in which someone else mentioned them. Perhaps the people who like to go around calling people 'unhinged conspiracy theorists' might like to try reading the whole conversation first before sounding off.

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    56. Do not attack modern science with unhinged conspiracy theories, just because it doesn't quite accord with your fashionable, well-rewarded political ideology ("feminist perspective"). Instead learn science. Ok?

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    57. Sounds likre angry rage guy just read that story about LBJ spreading rumours implying that his opponent screwed farm animals despite having no evidence that it was true just to make him deny it and decided it was an awesome new tactic to try here at pmmb.

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    58. "... just read that story about LBJ spreading rumours implying that his opponent screwed farm animals..."

      Not sure where your weird paranoia comes from. Learn science.

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  3. Weird comments and content (mostly copied from popular blogs and garbled) are continuing to turn up at the new Philosophy Metablog.

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    1. ha! the giant picture of leiter and "WebMasterFlash". this is my new favorite philosophy blog.

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    2. I passionately adore it, whatever it is. So strange and beautiful and horrible. It looks as bad and hilarious as this profession feels.

      I truly hope it's the brilliant art installation it seems, and not just someone in need of medical help.

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    3. I'm thinking that the new MB is a product of the NUConsensus crowd to try and misdirect those google-searching for this place. So let's not link to that fake site.

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    4. I'm going with an absurdist's wet dream, with a heaping dose of the sublime.

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    5. "I'm going with an absurdist's wet dream, with a heaping dose of the sublime."

      Perfect.

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    6. No, it's too perfect, New Consensus et al never had such original thoughts. "Heap of Link" .... hah.

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    7. I think I should sue it for copyright infringement.

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    8. So no Kristen Schaal. How about Kristen Wiig? https://screen.yahoo.com/kristen-wiig-snl-skits/bein-quirky-zooey-deschanel-1-000000851.html

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  4. https://vimeo.com/29390796
    thoughts?

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    1. It's interesting. Nothing stood out for me. Is there something you thought particularly worth discussing, 11:21? I do have views on the relationship between philosophy and intellectual culture more generally but I'm not sure how to connect them to that particular discussion that you link to.

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  5. What's up with Phil Anon? Does the second post under the last one, Two Posses, which is an unlinked and bolded "Here" mean that PA itself has a posse? Say it ain't so!

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  6. It was only a matter of time...

    http://badthoughtexperiments.tumblr.com/

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    1. #animalcruelty

      Geach is a monster.

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    2. this is the fucking worst

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    3. Wait. Is this for real? I can't tell anymore. I am starting to get absurdist drama though, I think.

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    4. I like that tumblr. It's awesome. The other mrtablog can fuck itself and pay me though.

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    5. Ditto. I don't agree that every entry deserves to be there, but some are just gross. The Nussbaum one in particular.

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    6. I skipped that one because it was too long. But I went back and read it and it makes me sad.

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    7. I don't get the Men & Groceries one.
      Is it a 'harmful stereotype' that men forget to buy potatoes?

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    8. I'm assuming it's cause it plays into the trope that men are supposed to be useless at domestic shit, 5:11. (Like all those ads and TV shows with the bumbling dad, or the man who can't do a simple thing like work the washing machine and needs his wife to do it, etc)

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    9. The Nussbaum one is from Pornography, Sex, and Feminism by Alan Sobel. The book is sardonic, provocative, and contrarian. He has lengthy discussions of such things as whether blowing loads on faces is intrinsically degrading. Needless to say, it's an excellent choice for a course on the philosophy of sex and gender. I gave it 3 and-a-half purple dildos.

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    10. Yeah, I think the potato one is gender-normative. Like if you're a woman and buy beer and forget food, you're trying to be something you're not- not necessarily that, but that sort of thing happens. And as a woman, who is also an idiot who does things like buying beer and not potatoes, don't I have enough to deal with? Do I really need to be accused of trying to be something I'm not (to get a political edge) just because I really am genuinely an idiot!?

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    11. #effyourpotatostandards

      #abutterycageisstillacage

      #checkyouralcoholprivilege

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    12. Wait, when you forget the potatoes and bring home beer, you're accused of trying to be something you're not?

      (Or am I missing a joke?)

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    13. The joke is that people, maybe people who are super competitive and maybe a bit petty, like to acuse each other of trying to get political capital (or something) by pretending to be something that they're not. For example women could be accused of trying to be more masculine by, say, by declaring that they're really into football or something. But that would be a dumb accusation because it's possible to genuinely be into football and also be a woman.

      And no, I've never been accused of purposefully buying beer rather than potatoes in some effort to appear more masculine. But I am an idiot, and that shit is not an act my friend.... But you know, if it turns out that a famous philosopher and I did something similarly idiotic, then I must be faking it, right? Ugh. Grumble. Dumness.

      But yes, I'm grumbling and making fun of everything at once..... So that I can appear more masculine or something. I have no idea anymore!

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    14. I am a man. And I embrace my stereotypical domestic ineptness like it was a blow-up doll.

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  7. So... forgive my ignorance, but is there a standard line these days on the sex and gender identity stuff, even among the feminist philosphets or scientists who study the stuff? Am I going to have to go to DN? Please, no.

    I once had occasion to use a socio-biology text book in a course I was teaching a few years ago, and I thought it was pretty odd. A lot of the arguments seemed like ad hoc "evolutionary" interpretations of beliefs and practices that seem--at least a lot of the time--to be also thoroughly cultural and political, and there's where it gets tricky, and where I think your average scientist starts to look a bit naive or reductive.

    One example: guys are said in the book to be disposed to cheat because we are hardwired to send out as many semen signals as possible all over the galaxy; girls, the book continues, don't cheat because they are hardwired to try to keep the one man they have in order to protect the offspring.(I am only barely simplifying this.) I mean, nobody really buys this stuff, do they?, this kind of crass correlation between highly sophisticated and culturally coded "norms" of sexual behavior and evolutionary fit.
    Just because humans are biologically a product of evolution doesn't mean that our cultures are, in any straightforward sense. And because human concepts of sex and gender - - it seems to me--have differed to a remarkable degree in times and places, there is good reason to think that it is harder than it might seem to separate out the Biological Truth about either from the cultural and social and political encodings in which they are packaged.

    But I really just want somebody to tell me in three or four sentences what the basic take is these days. And don't tell me to go look it up. I am lazy, I get it.

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    1. What makes the evolutionary explanations "ad hoc" in a way that the cultural explanations aren't?

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    2. What gives the biological explanation a great deal of credibility here is that the phenomenon is present across many, many species -- none of which have any culture which could possibly explain its presence. There are general, highly predictive conditions in which a species will have males which seek to spread their seed, and females which will seek out male partners to serve as good providers. The human species seems to fulfill these conditions, as do certain other primates.

      Unless one adopts the view that human beings somehow miraculously aren't subject to the same constraints, then a largely biological explanation is an obvious one.

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    3. Yes. This is helpful. But here's the issue. It's very hard for me to understand human sexuality in that way, even though I am not denying that at some level it might be helpful, because I just don't think that you can really extricate the truth of human sex or sexuality from the wider contexts of politics and culture in which it is always embedded. It seems like you're not talking about human behavior anymore, but something else. I am probably not making any sense.

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    4. (not 11:03) You really fucking aren't, 11:18. Unless you think that "the wider contexts of politics and culture in which it is always [question-begging much?] embedded" somehow spun the Wheel of Behavior to exactly the same place that biology did for all sorts of other species. That seems like an awfully un-parsimonious explanation, though.

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    5. Look, obviously human beings can decide to do lots of things, and can be encouraged by culture to do lots of things, that don't fall in with the usual dispositions one would expect purely on biological considerations.

      But just because our natural impulse can be overridden on occasion does not mean there is no price in doing so, or that we won't nonetheless have a tendency to revert to biological form, at least on average. Thus, women might sleep around the same way men do, at least for some period of their lives, but they may find doing so far less satisfactory in the end on average than do men on the average.

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    6. Well you don't need to get all snippy about it. I guess I would deny that humans really are, as you put it, at "exactly the same place" where the Wheel of Behavior spun others I think that's a bit tendentious. I also think it's really hard to say what the relation is between biology and culture in determining human traits.

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    7. 11:32,

      I think you're right to point out that culture can shape behavior in important ways. But as I said (11:03), it doesn't mean that no price is paid if culture pushes us against our natural, biological impulses (recognizing that even those impulses show some considerable variance across members of a given gender, so that the distribution curves of the two genders may overlap to some degree.)

      I strongly suspect that this is true, for example, in the so-called hookup culture found on many campuses these days, which seems to be a lot more satisfying for men, on average, than for women.

      If women really preferred casual sex as men do, then one might, for example, find that lesbians would have bath houses as do gay men where they would seek multiple partners night after night, or one would find that women would frequent prostitutes as do men, etc.

      Culture can be damaging when it does not align with biological impulses.

      Delete
    8. Even. If. Generalizations. Like. This. Were. True. There. Would. Still. Be. Men. Who. Don't. Fit. Male. Stereotypes. And. Women. Who. Don't. Fit. Female. Stereotypes,

      Zzzzzzzzzzz.....

      Delete
    9. Yes, 3:46, and? Is it your sense that the feminists are doing a *better* job than others of not confusing statistical trends with immutable essences?

      Delete
    10. I have no idea. I'm almost sick of saying this over and over. I'm tired. Nighty night.

      But like someone just said below, maybe you should keep a score table.

      Delete
    11. 3:46, you appear not to grasp the concept of a statistical property. If 90% of As are Bs, then it does not follow that all As are Bs. Your remark is logically irrelevant. Just learn science.

      Delete
    12. I learned science.
      It took a long time.
      But, now I know science.
      Ask me anything.

      Delete
    13. 3:58 is just angry because Halpern won't marry him.

      Delete
    14. Ok. How many Patriarchs does it take to change a light bulb?

      Delete
    15. It takes 7.

      One to screw in the bulb, five to cheer him on, two to write the directions for everyone else and three to enforce them.

      Oh, that's 11. Right.
      It takes 11.

      Delete
    16. And, a few more to oppress everyone else.
      So, mid-teens.

      Delete
  8. Well, I guess because culturally, there is lots of variation regarding what is and is not characteristic of males and females, and of what counts as typically masculine or feminine behavior. This makes me skeptical that there is a clear link between, say, longstanding European social norms pertaining to sexual behavior and "evolution." There are other cultures in which the differences between the expected or stereotypical behavior associated with the sexes do not at all map onto the picture I sketched above. So what evolutionary mechanism explains them? I. E., this is what I meant by ad hoc. I am not really a feminist, I guess, but I do think that the whole socio- cultural biology program of research has a tendency to "discover" the biologic truth behind contingent and highly complex and often arbitrary cultural practices and norms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, there are differences between cultures.

      But, for example, how many genuinely matriarchal cultures have there ever been -- that is, cultures in which it is women, not men, who dominate politics, military decisions, economic decisions, etc.

      Isn't the whole complaint about patriarchy that it oppresses women everywhere? Doesn't this pretty much admit to the failure of genuine matriarchy to take hold anywhere?

      Delete
    2. It's sort of entertaining to try to imagine how you imagine culture, 11:11. There might be much greater variation than you think or can imagine. A lot of it is out of reach of our historical memory, you know.

      Delete
    3. 11:16 is not 11:04 by the way. I guess I better go read the whole chain of posts. Sorry.

      Delete
    4. 11:16,

      I rather doubt that we are more likely to get matriarchal societies in prehistory than in history. But the larger point is that we can only go by the evidence we actually have, not fantasize about what might have been in some era regarding which we have no decisive information.

      Delete
    5. "I do think that the whole socio- cultural biology program of research has a tendency to "discover" the biologic truth behind contingent and highly complex and often arbitrary cultural practices and norms."

      You're a conspiracy theorist. By similar reasoning, the whole "atmospheric chemistry" research program has a "tendency" to "discover" atmospheric truth (i.e., that the climate is warming, probably due to CO2 emissions) behind "contingent and highly complex" weather phenomena. This argument is used by conspiracy theorists attacking climate science.

      What is paraded as "academic feminism" is a conspiracy theory, using political propaganda to attack ordinary, well-established biolological science. So so-called "feminists" need to back down with their conspiracy theories and learn science.

      Delete
    6. Looks like angry rage guy just learnt how to spell 'conspiracy theorist' and is so proud of himself he is using it every post.

      Delete
    7. And that's because behavioral ecology and psychology are not science, but rather controlled by a conspiracy of secret MRAs? That's because Diane Halpern and Simon Baron-Cohen are under the control of the hidden Patriarchs? And this has been nobly exposed by heroic truth seekers at Daily Nous?

      Delete
    8. Man, you really need to learn when to stop flogging a dead horse. No one said any of the crazy things you're trying valiantly to pretend that someone said in order to machine gun insults at random commenters.

      Delete
    9. 3:00 is just angry no one cares about her latest anti-hetero-patriarchy article in Hypatia.

      Delete
    10. 3:00, why do you hate science so much? Are Diane Halpern and Simon Baron-Cohen members of the all-powerful cabal of "Patriarchs" controlling the world?

      Delete
    11. if you love halpern and baron-cohen so much, why don't you marry them?

      Delete
    12. Patriarchs do not marry out. Louie Genital intends to discuss this structural power hierarchy in the much-awaited next Weinberg-approved missive.

      Delete
    13. I had to google "marry out."

      Delete
    14. I still don't understand it. Is 4:08 saying that he, 4:08, is a patriarch who controls the world and thus can't marry non-patriarchs Cohen and Halpern? Or are they the patriarchs who won't marry him because he is not one?

      Delete
    15. i think he can't marry out of philosophy. Also: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/daily-show-republicans-women-ads

      Delete
    16. 'Louie Genital' is a good name. Although the plural sounds slightly better to me.

      Delete
    17. "Also: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/daily-show-republicans-women-ads"

      Yeah, Diane Halpern, horrific Republican Patriarch.

      So, you sock it to em, Weinberg & Genital.

      #smashscience

      Delete
    18. This thread contains everything about this place that keeps me coming back. You folks are hilarious

      Delete
  9. Oh My God, you're right, 5:54,

    It's crazy to think women may differ in any way from men in motivations--Jon Stewart snarked at the idea!

    You know, if feminists want men to take women more seriously, it doesn't help thing to reduce every argument to catty snark.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, Kristen Schaal's explanation on the anatomy women's brains is just funny, it also seems agree with / satirize your diagnosis of our catty snark.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, and it's such an effective rebuttal to the idea that women may have a biological tendency to engage in catty snark rather than logical argument by responding as a woman with catty snark rather than logical argument

      I'm convinced -- who wouldn't be?

      Delete
    3. Are you a woman 10:20? Because you're doing the thing you say women do. Anyway, don't worry, it's probably not just women- and it might not even be that distant from logical argument. Didn't Wittgenstein say something about a book of jokes?

      Delete
    4. Also, the queen of catty snark in philosophy is Leiter, right? So you're in good company 10:20.

      Delete
    5. Look, 10:24, I started out responding to the stupid post that brought up the Jon Stewart thing, as if that were some kind of worthy response to the idea that men and women may tend to differ on certain mental traits. I pointed out that that post was just pure snark.

      And of course it's not just that post. It's the modus operandi of virtually everyone in virtually every case on this thread and others when faced with the scientific/logical arguments that men and women may differ. Snark that never ends combined with logic that never starts.

      If a being from space were to see this in action, and understand how these sorts of comments were associated with gender, wouldn't that being incline to the view that women appear to be much fonder of catty snark rather than logic?

      If feminists really want women to be perceived as serious, logical thinkers rather than snark artists, don't you think it would do them a world of good to engage issues with logic rather than snark?

      As for Leiter, at least it can be said he attempts to combine his snark with some logical argument.

      Delete
    6. Fine: you've got three feminists, A, B, and C who are Snark, Logic, and Science, but you don't know which is which. Logic affirms only tautologies, Snark, semantically affirms only statements she thinks are obviously false- and does so with an exaggerated tone, and Science affirms and denies statements containing falsifiable predicates in a totally unpredictable way. Your job is to figure out who is who by asking no more than three polar questions.

      The feminists understand your language, but only answer in "derp" or "cherp," one of which is observational and the other theoretical.

      What day is the exam, and who owns the snarky cat?

      Delete
    7. I like you, 10:57.

      Delete
    8. The exam can be on any day at all, but it's easiest if it's on the first day of the week. Hence, Sunday.

      The cat is therefore the Sunday cat, prominently featured at the Feminist Philosphers blog. Hence, its owner is one of the contributors to FP. No contributor to FP is logical or scientific, but they all make their way through the world through snark. Hence, Snark owns the snarky cat.

      Delete
    9. Oh, god.
      What does it say about me that I started trying to figure out the answer?

      Delete
    10. Evidence,10:42? Do you have a table with all the instances where someone has given an argument that men a women differ, and all the responses, categorized as either catty or not-catty?

      Delete
    11. 3:44, how dare you even ask! Suggesting any possibility otherwise suggests that you are an Unhinged Conspiracy Theorist. Proves it Scientifickally, in fact.

      (By the way, these "prove you're not a robot" things sometimes get pretty metaphysically heady. "Select all chairs" they order, then display photos of a bean bag, a tree stump, and a bar stool.)

      Delete
    12. 3:56 seems a teeny bit angry. Is it due to the oppression from the Patriarchical Republican, Diane Halpern?

      Delete
    13. I know.
      I am am inventing a robot that knows which tree stumps are chairs. It is my most important philosophical project.

      Delete
    14. That's another thing women have trouble with, 4:02. The tend to get all emotional about things, and then they stop responding logically to my evidence-base assertions that they are childish, paranoid, unhinged hysterics who need to learn science.

      Delete
    15. Diane Halpern makes you "all emotional about things"? Is this some kind of lesbian fetish for Republican Patriarchs?

      Delete
    16. 4:26, learn reading comprehension. I said women get all emotional. And it is a proven fact that women get emotional when men point out true facts, like that a woman is paranoid, unhinged stupid and illogical. Put down your latest Hypatia article and learn science.

      Delete
    17. 4:31 is approximately as witty and incisive as Kristen Schaal.

      Delete
    18. *small, refined roar*

      Delete
    19. 4:41, I'm adding your comment to my table of instances of feminists responding to logical arguments with catty snark.

      Delete
    20. "I said women get all emotional."

      Didn't your mom tell you not to try and copulate with 3.5 billion females at once?

      Delete
    21. 4:56, I don't understand....

      4:41 was indeed snarky, but it wasn't in response to a logical argument. It was in response to the comment at 4:31. (whether 4:41 is or is not a woman, I have no idea)

      Delete
    22. 4:31 has the ARGument down pat.

      Delete
  10. Has anyone read Rosenberg's foray into fiction. Seems to have quite a lot of sex plus lesbians in it.

    Lesbian sex in a Holocaust setting, interesting. Reminds me of those BDSM Nazi sex flicks that were so popular in Israel during the 50's and 60's.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is it science fiction?

      This is sort of interesting: http://www.sigmaforum.org/

      Delete
    2. "Lake Union Publishing"? What a charlatan! I don't read any novels not published by a top tier academic press.

      Delete
  11. Stubblefield trial about to begin: http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2015/08/controversial_technique_at_center_of_professors_se.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where's the FP article?

      Delete
    2. Is Jennifer Saul going to be a scientific witness, given her expert knowledge of ouija boards?

      Delete
  12. Hey Jon Corvino- you know, he who is hoping that he is Comedry Centrals' right on philosopher whose presentation skills make up for shit arguments, wrote the following

    After meeting a handsome young man the other day, I joked to Mark that I was "twitterpated." It's a sign of the generational difference between us that he responded, with a quizzical expression, "I don't really tweet."

    I am sure that the FP will take him to task

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is truly incoherent. What the hell are you trying to say?

      Delete
    2. I guess John Corvino called someone handsome, and then told someone named Mark who is younger than Corvino, that he, Corvino, was "twitterpated" with the handsome person, and then Mark thought Corvino was talking about Twitter.

      I think 3:54 was claiming that Corvino either is, or wants to be on Comedy Central, and that FP will take him to task for something. I'm not sure what- that part was opaque. But it wasn't entirely incoherent.

      Delete
  13. Wait, did Alva Noe plagiarise Laurie Paul? Did Noe make the mistake or the copy-editors? It seems a very, very weird oversight, and glad Kieran Healy called him out on this... https://twitter.com/alvanoe/status/635145022241828864

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, Noe's essentially made a career routinely peddling plagiarized Merleau-Ponty to unsuspecting analytic philosophers, so this shouldn't surprise anyone, if it's true.

      Delete
    2. Good to know. I need Merleau-Ponty to help me make a point I want to make, but if there are people accepted into the analytic community who could be my references instead, I'll use their works.

      Delete
  14. I called Leiter a "snarky queen" yesterday. Still lulzing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Give it a rest, Justice Whineberg!

      Delete
    2. Not JW, but if I were, that would make me a bit of a bitchy queen too. But look, bitchy queens aren't a bad group to be a part of. These people are superrad, for example: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jg900dQQhss

      Delete
    3. OK, Justice Whineberg, whatever you say.

      Delete

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