Again, not sure this will be fruitful. But there were some productive exchanges when I tried this yesterday, and I know these conversations, when productive, are at least helping me settle my own view on some of these issues, so I'm willing to give it another shot. I'll just carry over something I said on the previous thread a little while ago:The very real problem of people like Chang trying to erode a culture of due process in our professional and personal lives, while building up institutions like the Site Visit Program and the University board that oversaw the investigation into Laura Kipnis's thought-crime, institutions that do not respect principles of justice because, we are told, they are extra-legal and so those principles don't apply, continues to be of interest and concern.
I'm not engaging your point directly, but what I think is missing in the public discussion (at least, in what I've seen over the last 2-3 years) is a real effort to find a solution to sexual harassment/assault issues that is maximally fair and effective. To me, it seems obvious that there are too many cases of people in the academy being subjected to sexual harassment (and bungled investigations) and also too many people being subjected to false charges (and bungled investigations). But it also seems that too much of the discussion and "solutions" rely on minimizing the importance/number/impact of one or the other. I can't take seriously a position like the one attributed to Chang, since it would seem to only (potentially) lessen the number of victims of harassment at the expense of raising the number of victims of false accusation. Similarly, the voices decrying measures like hers typically stop at making the point that it would create more victims of false accusation, without addressing how they would address the fact too much harassment happens and too often is not effectively dealt with.Now, of course, people have every right to address the side of a problem they are most interested in. But I think the fact that almost no one is seriously addressing the whole picture is a big part of the reason that the issue is so divisive and that the measures being proposed and even implemented, are so radical and one-sided.
Thanks 10:12, I think that's right. At the end of the day we should all be striving to get to a point where we can identify common problems and address them together. One hopes that by having more open conversation about these problems, that endgame will be easier to realize. And for all the crap that gets said on PMMB, it's also made it harder for the people who have been dominating the conversation to continue to do so without criticism.
10:12: Although I am in general agreement with both the spirit and the content your post, I would like to voice what I take to be (measured) concerns about your framing of the issue. As you see it, the conversation about sexual harassment in philosophy tends to extremes. On one side are those who would jettison due process for the sake of preventing sexual harassment. On the other are those who deny that sexual harassment is significant a significant problem (and thus refuse to participate in the search for a solution to the problem) for the sake of preserving due process and/or protecting the discipline from administrative mission creep. I think your dichotomy isn't quite right, even with the proviso that such dichotomies are rough around the edges by design. Many who you'd likely put in the second group will grant that sexual harassment in philosophy is a significant problem. What we doubt, owing to a lack of adequate evidence, is that it's a *more significant* problem in philosophy departments than in other professional settings. For that reason, we are skeptical about the *discipline specific* preventative measures some folks have floated on the internet. In particular, we are skeptical of taking preventative measures that will radically restructure academic philosophy without (a) evidence that we face a unique problem and (b) that the measures in question will actually address the problem ("challenging the culture of justification" is, obviously, not a solution to anything).
There is not a shred of evidence suggesting that there is a unique problem of sexual harassment in philosophy or academia in general. Actually, in dealing with academics, one would suspect that there is less given that most of them seem to be emasculated feminists. The idea that that we should take some middle ground between there-is-a-huge-problem and there-is-no-problem is ridiculous. It's like someone saying that there is a huge problem with zombies attacking in academia and we have to take serious steps to combat this. And then, when others say that there is no zombie problem, the person says that we should have a compromise position and at least do something to combat zombies.
6:36, it seems from that comment you either think that at least one zombie exists, or that there are no instances of sexual harassment in academia. Which one is it?
OK, 7:13. It's more like someone saying that there's a huge problem with students cheating on in-class tests. Yes, it happens sometimes. But it's not some out of control problem and nothing that we don't already have decent measures in place to deal with.
I see Justin Weinberg has reposted that terrible article by Regina Rini claiming there's no new culture of victimhood (because it's really just a culture of solidarity). But now it's in the LA Times. I'd be perfectly happy to consider a philosophically thoughtful and careful argument for the same position, but it's really disheartening to see such an atrocious, question-begging argument championed by philosophy blogs and then get further exposure in mainstream media.
I don't see what's question-begging about it. Campbell and Manning offer one story to explain what they're seeing and Rini offers a competing story. These are competing abductive arguments.
Not worth rehashing, since covered well in the previous discussion of this article--look it up for details. Short version: those who think there's a culture of victimhood believe some cases are not instances of the culture of solidarity, while she starts by equating the two.
3:04 on the previous page, you asked me: "So how about this, then: are you saying that in all cases in which there is no evidence of a distinct type from testimony of the alleged victim - that is, in terms of the actual incident in question, (the thing that happened in the room, as it were) the only descriptions we have of it are the descriptions of the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator (there are no other witnesses, there is no CTV etc.), we *must* find that alleged perpetrator not guilty so long as they tell a story that is consistent with the facts according to which they did not commit the crime in question?"No, I'm not saying that in all cases. Suppose I were a department chair in the days before the new interpretation of Title IX and a student, Jennifer, came to me and told me that her instructor, Michael, had called her into his office and told her that she had better have sex with him or else he was going to fail her. I'd express my condolences and tell her that I'm serious about sorting it out. I'd ask her if she had any supporting evidence (maybe an email in which he discussed it). If she did, then great.If there was no supporting evidence, then I'd begin by reflecting on what I know about the two people. Does Michael have a history of complaints against him? (This wouldn't be conclusive: there are many cases in business/professional history of bullied people being mobbed by co-workers filing false complaints. But at least it would give me something to go on). Does Jennifer have a history of making wild-sounding allegations? Again, these things would be suggestive, for starters.If there didn't seem to be any clear reason to dismiss Jennifer's claim, I'd meet with her again and make clear to her that the department doesn't tolerate that kind of situation. I'd ask her permission to confront him, perhaps with her in the room. If she gave me permission, then I'd talk with both of them under conditions of strict confidence to see what comes out of their conversation. If the whole thing seemed suspicious, I'd bring what I had to the attention of the dean.If she didn't want to confront Michael and wanted to remain anonymous, I'd explain to her that I take her complaint very seriously but that I'd be better able to deal with it if we could catch Michael in the act. I'd ask if she felt comfortable meeting with Michael again on her own and recording the conversation or doing something else to collect evidence beyond her mere accusation. If that worked, I'd have good evidence to go about having Michael disciplined (and perhaps even dismissed).If she didn't want to do that, or if she tried but she just couldn't collect evidence, then I'd tell her that I deeply regret the situation but understand and respect her decision to remain anonymous through it all, and I'd reassure her that I've started a file on Michael in case someone else complains and am keeping an eye on him. I'd also tell her that under no circumstances will I let her grade be influenced by the threats she alleged he made. I'd arrange with her, if she gave her permission, to have all her remaining work graded by someone else. If she didn't want to let me do that, then I'd stress to her that she should not meet with him again and should report any meeting requests, comments, strange emails, etc. directly to me. I'd ask her to bring her graded work to me if there seemed to be anything odd about it. If she got an F or D for work that seemed fine, I'd ask Michael to submit to me some copies of the work the other students received. If there were a clear bias against Jennifer evidenced in the work, I'd use that evidence to start a conversation with Michael about what exactly was going on. That evidence, in itself, would do much to corroborate Jennifer's story.
-Continuing-But I would NOT just believe he was guilty from the mere fact that Jennifer alleged that he was. That's clearly morally impermissible.That's what I would do as chair, dean, or investigator. If I were simply a colleague of Michael's and Jennifer confided in me about this matter or I heard a colleague gossiping speculatively about it, I'd urge whoever told me about it to take the matter to the chair and not gossip about it. I would then remain agnostic about the matter, neither concluding that Michael was innocent nor concluding that he was guilty. It's not my business, nor is it right, for me to contribute to a toxic environment in which people are taken down by gossip and rumors. If there's something going wrong, then let it be investigated by those whose job it is to do that. There is no professional context in which the legitimate mechanism for dealing with an alleged case of wrongdoing is to destroy someone's reputation through a rumor mill that feeds on unsubstantiated speculation.
That seems well thought out, but I think that I, as either chair or colleague, would let Michael know about the allegation and/or rumors(without naming the source), even if none of the investigation showed anything conclusive. I'd let him know that I so no evidence that it's true, beyond the allegation, but I'd let him know that the talk is happening:- If there happens to be some truth to the allegation/rumors, just a mention that there is talk might help him adjust his behavior and save him and some students potential grief. (eg, Maybe he hit on Jennifer but that the quid pro quo part was her misunderstanding/embellishment. It could be to his benefit to see how that kind of situation could be a problem)- If there is no truth to the allegations, it could also be useful to Michael to know this is happening, at the very least to protect himself (eg always leave office door open, etc). And in the case of an active rumor mill, to make a plan for dealing with what could only be described as a very toxic environment.In general, I think that colleagues talking to colleagues, out of the fire of official reports, is the best way to stop both actual harassment and false accusations.
What you propose, 10:29, will only serve to perpetuate the rumor mill and allow serial harrassers to continue to get away with bad behaviour. This is how serial harrassers become an "open secret", by "colleagues talking to colleagues." There needs to be an element of confidence. If you aren't the chair or mediator(s) then you should stay out of it.
Also if we are talking about graduate students, "leaving the office door open" is of literally no help.
9:59:You would arrange with a student to surreptitiously record someone against whom he (the student) had lodged a complaint?Seriously?
I'm sure 9:59 was indeed serious. This suggests 9:59 has never had any significant experience in any kind of management or administrative position (no matter what he'll now say). More generally, when I read comments like this (or the ridiculously aggressive ones), I get the sense that most of the commenters on this blog are younger graduate students, or maybe even some undergrads, just bullshitting most of the time.
I agree, graduate students should never be taken seriously, in virtue of the fact they they are graduate students.
I think what 1:08 is saying is that a lot of the comments here suggest inexperience and immaturity. I'd add that the Dunning-Kruger effect is also in full force.
It looks to me like 1:08/2:29 isn't saying anything, so much as engaging in a little performance.
@12:36, this is 10:39I'm wondering if you possibly misunderstood me. When I spoke of talking "colleague to colleague" it was in the context of talking to a colleague who was accused or rumored to have engaged in misconduct (see my opening scenario of talking to "Michael"). I don't see this a sure-fire fix, but it certainly seems it work to counter the rumor-mill and open-secret, not perpetuate them. A wrong-doer would be put on notice and realize that the community was noticing and disapproving. Similarly, rumor-mongering would not be going on behind the backs of the targets, and so might fail to thrive. If you didn't misunderstand my suggestion, then I fail to see how my suggestion has the consequences you predict. Could you please explain further?
I am 12:56. 1:08, 2:29, given the snarky replies someone or some people made to your comments, I think you're right.Also, given that neither 9:59 nor any other commenter has directly addressed the concern I raise at 12:56, I am doubly convinced of the immaturity of many commenters on this board.Or could it be that we are becoming so corrupt as a society that no one cares about such an issue anymore? Not too long ago I heard a paper about whether blackmail should be considered wrong. Perhaps we are descending into some kind of pit. Do people in their 20s understand that it is morally wrong under most conditions to record someone without his or her permission?Would love to get honest answers, rather than snark.
Thanks for the long reply, 9:59, but I'm afraid it you've misunderstood the question - it was about what ought to happen in the context of a trial (hence the use of 'find someone not guilty' rather than 'believe them to be innocent' or something).The point was meant to be that it does not seem as if there should be any principle according to which, for example, the jury should be advised that they *must* find someone not guilty if the case is like the one described - if, in particular, there is no evidence of a distinct type from testimony of the alleged victim - that is, in terms of the actual incident in question, (the thing that happened in the room, as it were).The point of this is to get clear on what you meant when you said that 'mere' testimony should not be enough to convict. We all surely agree that *just an allegation* should not be enough to convict. But it also seems that it is simply not true that in cases where the only evidence about the incident in question is testimony, we ought not to bother holding a trial because it is just so obvious that there can be no safe conviction. Testimony, like anything else, is something we can weigh the plausibility of. I want to pick up on something else you said:"But I would NOT just believe he was guilty from the mere fact that Jennifer alleged that he was. That's clearly morally impermissible."Firstly, I don't think anybody is suggesting that you 'believe' he is guilty just from the 'mere' fact that Jennifer alleges he was. At least I wasn't - what I am saying is that you apply the same standards in this domain as you do to testimony in any other domain. It may be epistemically irresponsible to believe that the time is 3:30 from the 'mere' fact that someone tells you it is, but it is not epistemically irresponsible to believe it if someone tells you it is 3:30 AND you have some reason to believe that person is reliable - like, they glanced at their phone before they told you, you know it was 3pm when you got off the bus, there seems no obvious reason why they would lie, etc. But the important distinction is really this - you seem to believe that moral consideration pose a constraint on what we ought and ought not to believe, and I think this is clearly false (at least in this context). What we should and should not believe simply depends on what we think we have most epistemic reason to believe, and this domain - sexual assault etc - is not a special case in which different epistemic standards apply. What we DO, however, is a separate question. (Think of an analogy from the law: it would be weird to tell a jury that they must not *believe* that a person did it unless it is shown beyond a reasonable doubt. What we care about is what they *do* -and they must not find him guilty, even if the do believe (for good reason) that he did do it, if they are not sufficiently confident in their beliefs).
"What we should and should not believe simply depends on what we think we have most epistemic reason to believe, and this domain - sexual assault etc - is not a special case in which different epistemic standards apply. "This is the most concise piece of sanity I've read in a long time. Thank you, 4:14.
Odd to see anti-feminists cast as the ones who are suggesting we should modify our beliefs based on moral considerations. Usually they seem to be fairly stridently against such modification.
I wasn't being snarky 3:57. I do think that when people dismiss discussion on PMMB as coming from undergrads or grad students, they are not making a claim so much as engaging in a bit of performance meant to signal Tribal Affiliation.Signed, 2:39, neither undergrad nor grad student
Dear "Neither undergrad nor grad student"Here was the main part of my post:Do people in their 20s understand that it is morally wrong under most conditions to record someone without his or her permission?Let me modify that to include you, if you are not in your 20s, NUG, though I really want to hear also from the OP 9:59. And, as for the tribal-affiliating performances question you raise, I disagree that when people point out some remarks are not posted by philosophers, they are merely establishing their tribal affiliation. I think rather that sometimes they are warning others not to waste their time in frustration as a result of the trust those others mistakenly place in commentators here.
Perhaps 5:38, perhaps. -NUG
Not NUG or 9:59.Given that many people in their 20s care about the NSA and think it's morally wrong for them to record the citizens of multiple countries without their permission, I'd assume that they generally believe so. But I am just one person and you are asking about the beliefs of millions.
6:27, it's possible that some people in their 20s would distinguish between a legalistic code of the government not recording people without their permission and a "passive culture of not recording people without their permission" in the individual moral realm.
Thanks, 6:27.6:31, do you envision yourself as someone who is making a helpful and polite comment for someone who neglected to notice such a distinction? Or are you assuming the 5:38 was aware of such a distinction and needed to be corrected for writing out a question vaguely? Or something else? Just curious about what your assumptions might be. s.5:38
6:45, very sorry. I was just making a sarcastic comment referring back to the earlier discussion about Ruth Chang's "culture of due process" remark. I don't think the distinction I brought up is at all important and I don't think that 6:27 and 5:38 were at all mistaken in not attending to it.
Ah, context. Thanks for explaining.
To get back to the original issue (and to repeat myself):What we should and should not believe simply depends on what we think we have most epistemic reason to believe, and this domain - sexual assault etc - is not a special case in which different epistemic standards apply.And I think the problem is is that in discussions about this kind of thing, A usually thinks B is requiring much *higher* epistemic standards than usual, and B thinks A is requiring much *lower* epistemic standards than usual.And I think that the claims being made earlier about 'mere' testimony falls into the first camp - requiring much *higher* standards.To see why, first distinguish 'mere' testimony and the strong sense from 'mere' testimony in the weak sense. If we have mere testimony that P in the strong sense - totally divorced from any contextual clues as to the reliability of the speaker, their likely motivations, etc - then it does seem like it would be epistemically irresponsible to believe that P on the basis of that testimony (no matter what it was).But the thing is, we pretty much never get 'mere' testimony of this kind. There are almost always contextual clues. Which is why it's not nuts to take the word of a stranger if you ask them the time and they tell you. You know very little about them personally, but you can surmise from the very fact they are a stranger that it is unlikely they have reason to lie to you. So if you ask a stranger the time, and they tell you it's 3:15, it is perfectly reasonable for you to believe that it is in fact 3:15, even if you do not have 'corroborating' evidence (it would be strange to think that in order to responsibly believe that it is 3:15, you must ask a second stranger, or demand that the first stranger let you look at his watch for yourself, or that you should 'withhold judgment' until you have checked a clock.)So, to say that we should *never* believe sexual assault allegations on the basis of 'mere' testimony (because the only evidence is testimony) seems to be holding sexual assault cases to a much higher standard than other types of evidence. Now, what I am not of course saying is that we should always, believe allegations of sexual assault when all we have is testimony. I am simply saying that we should apply the same standards as we do in every other case, which is that 'mere' testimony that P can certainly be enough for you to reasonably believe that P, in circumstances where the context is such that they have good reason to believe that the person asserting P is reliable. And importantly, we can have good reasons to believe that the person asserting P is reliable even if we do not have corroborating evidence about P from any other source (like in the time example). Of course, we do not always have good reasons - but the point is that we *can*.
I'm one of this place's anti-feminists and I think everything you're saying is reasonable, 12:47. I do think there are unreasonable and competing norms on the other side. For example, in most situations we would trust someone we know over someone we don't. However, there are many people who think we should believe, for instance, an undergraduate we've never met over a departmental colleague, if the undergraduate is the one doing the accusing. This is one reason why anti-feminists are rather opportunistic in continuing to publicize false allegations and their deleterious effects, I think. But you are completely right that there are situations in which mere testimony should absolutely be enough. The point someone made earlier about "suspending judgment" is worth reiterating: I think there's a good case to be made that our recommendations to someone making an allegation, or to someone facing one, should rarely if ever turn on the outcome of our own everyday epistemic judgment about the case. I think the FP crowd is right that academics are not always good at suspending judgment in this manner, but it goes both ways.None of this contradicts what you said, of course.
Right, and I think it is clearly not true that we should always *believe* an undergraduate in situations like that. But there is something in the ballpark I think we should do (and incidentally, I think most people mean when they say we should believe the undergraduate - but even if you don't agree with me that this is what people do mean, you might agree that it is what people ought to mean, or say). I think that what we ought to *do* is not express disbelief to the undergraduate. The reason for this is that there are two possibilities: the undergrad is lying, and the undergrad is telling the truth. Because of the fact that expressing the fact that you disbelieve someone who says they have been assaulted is likely to be incredibly harmful to that person *if they have in fact been assaulted*, then I think that if there is even a small possibility that they are telling the truth, you ought not to express disbelief.I can't draw a diagram here, but if you imagine my decision matrix, I think we should assign a very high disutility score to the action/outcome pair 'express disbelief/undergrad has been assaulted.' And because this action/outcome pair has such a high disutility, the calculations are almost always going to be such that we should avoid it. Also, I like this point: I think there's a good case to be made that our recommendations to someone making an allegation, or to someone facing one, should rarely if ever turn on the outcome of our own everyday epistemic judgment about the case.And it made me think of a good case in which what we ought to do should not turn on the outcome of our everyday epistemic judgment. (though maybe this is not quite what you had in mind?) You might have a policy in class, for example, that if someone requests an extension for an essay they need to give you documentation. If a student who has always been honest in the past asks for an extension because they had to go to hospital, you should probably believe 'that the student went to hospital.' But it seems like it is fine not to grant the extension until you get documentation (especially seeing as it wouldn't be hard to get). And when you get the documentation, it is not that your beliefs change. It's not that you in fact disbelieved her before you say the evidence. It's that according to the policy you have, evidence is required in order for you to *do* something (grant an extension).
I'm 9:59 / 10:00 at the start of this. To answer three questions I was asked, first, I don't think it would be wrong to record someone without permission if the person were doing something bad and the purpose of making the recording were to ascertain that fact and the recording would only be heard by those whose proper role is to make that determination, and there are no other means of confirming that serious allegation.Second, yes, it is absolutely never permitted in a legal context to convict someone on the basis of a mere allegation. If you don't know this and can't understand why, you might want to think much more carefully about what would follow from permitting people to use the legal system to harm others merely by accusing them, or maybe look at the past few thousand years of jurisprudence. It's really extremely simple why that's not ok.Third, the reason we trust strangers to tell us the time accurately is not just that they have no reason to lie. It's also that if you think it's 3:30 when it's actually 3:11, you're seldom if ever going to destroy a life, a career or a reputation as a result. If you haven't noticed, it makes a pretty big difference in your life if people think you've sexually harassed a student. Take Peter Ludlow. He was on top of the world: prestigious position, wealth, beautiful home in a major city, stellar reputation, wide circle of friends. One year later, his career is over, he's lost his home, his reputation is destroyed, his odds of being rehired practically zero, he's lost a big chunk of his life savings and all his benefits, his friends have pretty well all abandoned him, and he's had to split to Mexico. What caused this disaster? The fact that people came to believe that he sexually harassed one or more students. That's all. That's the power and consequence of that belief.If you honestly think that coming to a belief like that should be done as lightly and easily as coming to a belief about what time it is, on the basis of mere testimony, then either you're not thinking very hard or else you're a very nasty psychopath who is happy to see possibly innocent people's entire lives ruined at someone's mere word. How horrifying.
6:36, you've made an important change in terms - from "it is absolutely never permitted in a legal context to convict someone on the basis of a mere testimony" to "it is absolutely never permitted in a legal context to convict someone on the basis of a mere allegation"I imagine everyone agrees that it is not permitted to convict someone on the basis of a mere allegation. But this is not the same thing as saying it is not permitted to convict someone on the basis of 'mere' testimony, in the sense of 'mere' testimony that you seemed to be getting at - the weak version of the term as described above. And it's just false that it is never permitted to convict someone on the basis of 'mere' testimony in the weak sense. I gave an example on the previous thread, which you seem to have ignored - the Sandusky case. There was a witness to one incident, I grant you - but Sandusky was convicted on multiple counts of sexual assault. So, in almost all of these cases, there were no 'independent' witnesses, no 'documentation' - video footage for example (the things you seem to think are necessary) - but there was witness testimony from the children he assaulted. Do you think he ought not to have been convicted for any of the instances of sexual assault other than the one for which there was an independent witness? You may also benefit from re-reading the stuff about epistemic reasons. Epistemic reasons for believing something are reasons that have to do with the truth of the claim. The reasons you are pointing to are not those kinds of reasons: the fact that believing X may lead you to do something bad is not an epistemic reason not to believe X, because the fact that believing X may lead you to do something bad does not make it any more or less likely that X is true. What I honestly think is that coming to a belief about sexual assault should be done for the same reasons we come to a belief about whether it is 3:30, or any other proposition you care to name: reasons that have some bearing on the truth of the proposition in question.
Mike McQueary eyewitnessed Sandusky anally raping a 10 year old boy. If you don't understand the significance of this, then you need to learn to think carefully about how evidence works.
Sorry, I thought that we were just talking about cases where there was no corroboration for the story, and the only testimony is from the accuser.If you're talking about a case where there are several witnesses giving testimony, and there is no good reason to suspect that they might be colluding, and many of them clearly stand to lose if they are lying, and (say) their stories agreed on the small details when they were questioned even though it would be very unlikely for them to have come up with those details together, then I agree, that combined testimony could in some circumstances sufficiently strengthen the case.But again, not if the only testimony is from the accuser, as is the case if we're talking about something happening in a closed room with no corroborating evidence.
What would you say about a murder case, where there is no 'accuser' but there is an aggrieved party (say family members)? It seems that your view implies that we shouldn't take their testimony seriously as evidence. I understand you're arguing for a normative view, but this flies in the face of current legal practice so I just want to be clear on what your thoughts are.
What's the case? And how does my view fly in the face of current legal practice? Smith is murdered, the police have no leads, and then I pop into the police station and claim that you did it. I present no supporting evidence at all. The police knock at your door and question you about it, but find nothing incriminating from the interview. They search your house, examine the murder scene for your fingerprints or DNA -- nothing. They have nothing but my say so. You think on that case, you should be found guilty? Really?
I do not think that they should be found guilty. But because of police corruption (current legal practice) sometimes people are found guilty with very little to no evidence.If you want others to take what you have to say seriously, the principle of charity is generally good practice.
The same goes for you, 1:22. Please be charitable and keep distincta. What the law ought to say,b. What the law does say, c. How the law is sometimes practiced by corrupt officials who break the law.Clearly, the fact that what I say is at variance with c isn't a problem for what I'm saying. Why would it? The context is that we're trying to figure out if it would be justifiable to take the uncorroborated word of an accusing student as sufficient basis for believing that the person she accused is guilty. The fact that it would be parallel to the practices of a corrupt legal system influenced by police corruption to consider the accused professor to be guilty is really not a point in its favor.Also, my point was not uncharitable against you but responds directly to a point you made. You said that if someone accuses someone of something horrible, we should no more require corroborating evidence than we would require corroborating evidence or testimony if a stranger on the street told us what time it is. My point in stressing that it would be wrong to condemn someone as guilty merely because someone says so is that the case of a serious accusation cannot, contrary to what you said, be treated just like the case of testimony about what time it is under normal circumstances.Anyway, you seem now to concede that it would be unjust to believe someone is guilty purely on the basis of an uncorroborated accusation. And I'm glad to see that.
1:43, that was a response to 1:22, but our responses crossed. I'd advise not to try and reason with 1:22 who is clearly not of sane mind.
Another thing to throw in here for those pursuing an analogy between the legal system and unsupported accusations of sexual assault: what's the equivalent for penalties of perjury?When eyewitnesses present testimony in court, every sane and thoughtful person is well aware, and has been since the dawn of all legal systems everywhere, that there has to be a serious disincentive against giving false testimony. Otherwise, it would clearly be unjust and unwise to give any credence to the testimony being offered. If I were to testify in court that someone had committed murder, then the defendant could go to prison and have his life destroyed. But if I'm lying, then _I_ can go to prison and have my life destroyed.Contrast this with the sexual harassment allegation case at university. If the testimony is accepted as true, then a professor's life and career will be destroyed. The consequences are extremely serious. And what about the consequences to the accuser if the testimony turns out to be incorrect? Without those consequences, there's far less, if any, reason to take such an unsubstantiated accusation seriously in that context, too.
They seem to vary widely, 2:13. As I understand it, Jackie from UVA has had her life destroyed. Emma from Columbia, however, went to the State of the Union.
I didn't make any of those comments about the time, there are multiple people in the thread. And I did make a distinction between the normative and the descriptive.
Hi, 2:18. What I was asking was whether there are any official sanctions in cases against a false accuser who *doesn't* go to the police with an accusation that she's been sexually assaulted but merely makes an accusation within the university, and hence doesn't enter the legal arena at all. As far as I can tell, there is never any negative response to fear for making a false report in such a case.But even in the Jackie case, there didn't seem to be any negative repercussions, and certainly she doesn't seem to have had her life 'destroyed'. Here's the police statement on the matter as of this May, long after it became clear that the report given to Rolling Stone magazine was very doubtful: http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/wvir/documents/Police-RS-Press-Statement-5-23-15.pdfDo you have any basis for the claim that her life was destroyed?Either way, my point was that in a case where someone merely alleges harassment at the department or university and DOESN'T go to the police or the media, it would be wrong to deem on that basis alone that the person accused is guilty.
That was just the impression I remember getting, 3:22. But you seem to be better informed than I am.
3:01, I'm a little doubtful that you're not just ducking falsification. Regardless, as I pointed out, it makes absolutely no sense for your analogy to the legal system for you to point out that some things are done in *corrupt* legal or police systems. It would be good to hear you acknowledge that you made that clear mistake. Otherwise, you seem to be trolling.
I'm not trolling. I asked a question to get an elaboration of your view. I wasn't trying to 'trick' you in anyway. If it wasn't relevant to your point, fine, but I don't see why I was insulted for asking a question in order to have a better understanding. I get it, tensions are high but jeez.I just wanted understand the implications for your view (i.e. if we take your view *seriously*, then how would that affect the current state of legal practice). Really. That's it.
I didn't suggest you were trying to trick me, ThatKid. I suggested that you are trolling by arguing insincerely, which is entailed by refusing to acknowledge any errors you've made even when they're obvious, e.g. when you reinterpret things you're saying so that they seem consistent with your present views even when it would have made no sense for you to have said those things on the new intepretation.What are the implications for my view on the current state of the legal system? Well, if by the current legal system you include the influence of corrupt police doctoring evidence or a DA's office unfairly incriminating people, then what my view entails is that the corrupt police are corrupt and that the unfair DA's office is unfair. No surprise there. And if you are talking about the legal system being run according to the basic principles of jurisprudence as generally accepted by legal scholars and lawmakers, without corruption, then if fits perfectly with it. I hope that answers your questions. Bye.
5:31, I'm not the person you're in the middle of a conversation with, but I am one of the people originally involved on the previous thread (for reference, I also posted here at 12:47, 1:41 and 7:20.And perhaps before you accuse people of trolling, you might want to clean up your own house. The reason I abandoned the discussion was because you kept doing exactly what you are accusing another commenter of doing: reinterpreting things you said in the past. Specifically, you keep going back and forth between different definitions of what 'mere' testimony means, depending on what suits you. Sometimes you use it to mean allegation, sometimes you use it to mean that the only eyewitness testimony to the even is from the victim, and sometimes you use it to mean the only eyewitness testimony of the event is from the victim, and we have no evidence which we can use to judge whether the eyewitness testimony is reliable. What's more, you kept doing this despite it being pointed out that you might mean multiple things, and that it matters which of these you mean. Not only did you keep doing this, you were being incredibly patronizing why you did it."Second, yes, it is absolutely never permitted in a legal context to convict someone on the basis of a mere allegation. If you don't know this and can't understand why, you might want to think much more carefully about what would follow from permitting people to use the legal system to harm others merely by accusing them, or maybe look at the past few thousand years of jurisprudence. It's really extremely simple why that's not ok".As I pointed out, you're the one who changed a crucial fucking term in that paragraph. So no, I don't need to 'think much more carefully' or 'look at the past thousand years of jursiprudence' and I'm not missing something 'extremely simple.' Asshole. (And this is not the only time you were a real dick - you basically accused me of being a nasty psychopath because you failed to understand a simple distinction: whether we ought to believe X is a different question from what we ought to do given that we believe X).
6:18, you said earlier, "And it's just false that it is never permitted to convict someone on the basis of 'mere' testimony in the weak sense. I gave an example on the previous thread, which you seem to have ignored - the Sandusky case. There was a witness to one incident, I grant you - but Sandusky was convicted on multiple counts of sexual assault."This is false. It has been explained to you that Mike McQueary was an independent eyewitness of the anal rape of a 10 year old boy by Sandusky. You really need to learn how evidence works. You can't "grant" the exact opposite of what you're asserting, and then assert it again.Mere testimony really is not sufficient to remove reasonable doubt - which is the relevant standard. You need independent evidence, and strong independent evidence.
7:33, there were 10 charges that Sandusky was convicted on. McQueary was an eyewitness to one of them. Hence, there were 9 incidents of sexual assault to which there were no eyewitnesses to the assault other than the victims and the perpetrator. So, depending on how you happen to feeling right this moment, those other 9 cases were cases in which someone was convicted on 'mere' testimony. Or not, depending on what definition of mere testimony you happen to be using right now, because you keep changing it depending in what suits your purposes. You really learn how to fucking read.
Mike McQueary was an eyewitness to an anal rape of a 10-year old boy by Sandusky. Yes or no?
I want to return to the discussion between 1:14am and 1:41am way up thread.I think 1:41's separation of belief and action is exactly right. I'd just say that sometimes one can find things to do to help that won't be problematic if our belief was misplaced. In your grade extension example, if we believe the student, we might hold off turning in course grades, if it can be done without problems, or we would give her a second copy of the essay requirements, if her laptop was wrecked in the same event that sent her to the hospital.Similarly, if we believed a grad student's harassment allegation against, say, an office-mate, we wouldn't sanction the office-mate without further evidence, but we might quietly help the accusing student find place in a different office
8:20: There were 9 other assaults for which Sandusky was convicted to which neither Mike McQueary, nor anyone else, was an independent witness to. Yes or no?
@8:20pmI'm not otherwise involved in this discussion, but the answer to your question is "no". What he heard and saw certainly would (IMO) make a reasonable person think an anal rape had just occurred, but he did not testify to witnessing it, and rape of that victim JS one of the charges that returned a "not guilty" verdict. I realize that this has no bearing on the main point under contention, but thought it might be interesting, because my own memory was otherwise
^^ "JS" was just supposed to be "is"
8:23, exactly - just like we do when we have to make any other decision about how to act, we can just employ standard decision theory. How certain are you that your belief is true? What are the costs of benefits of doing Y if X is true? What are the costs and benefits of doing Y if X is not true? etc
You do not understand how the law works and how evidence works, 8:28. Mike McQueary eyewitnessed the anal rape of a 10 year old boy by Sandusky. There was a great deal of detailed corroborating evidence, as well as claims made by Sandusky himself, and independent eyewitnesses. It is false - let me repeat false - to claim that Sandusky was convicted on mere testimony, even multiple testimony.Now the UK currently has a number of cases where high profile individuals have been repeatedly slandered on the basis of mere testimony for which, as it turns out, there is no independent evidence. These investigations have now been dropped: because there is no evidence. One involves Leon Brittan, who was hounded to death by these false accusations. Your position is an example of hysterical, panic-driven lunacy.
6:18, your (erroneous) claim that there was a confusion on my part was asked and answered (I answered it at 11:18). The confusion was yours, since you apparently forgot that we were discussing a case in which there was only one person who witnessed the alleged the event, namely the accuser, so that the accuser and testifier are the same person. But I don't have time to waste repeating myself anymore. Go back and read the exchange over yourself if you can't remember what happened. I'm done.
8:45, in the Sandusky case, there were multiple charges that he was convicted on. For most of those (or perhaps all, if 8:34 is correct) there was only one eyewitness to the event in question - the alleged accuser. Do you, or do you not think that cases in which there is only one eyewitness to the event in question - the accuser - are cases where we have 'mere' testimony?
Maybe you should simply stop digging, 9:44?There is a case right now that you have been notified of - namely, the false allegations against Leon Brittan, based on mere testimony. Do you think apologies should be given to victims of false allegations? Or, in the case of someone like Leon Brittan, having been hounded to death, to the family? Or is destroying people and their families something you're kind of cool about?
8:34, "... and rape of that victim is one of the charges that returned a "not guilty" verdict." Yes, right. This is victim 2, and in connection with this incident (the one McQueary eyewitnessed), Sandusky was convicted on four charges ("indecent assault, unlawful contact with minors, corruption of minors, endangering welfare of children"), but found not guilty of rape. But this is even more grist to the mill - even with McQueary's eyewitness evidence for this incident, it didn't raise the needed evidence level in the mind of the jurors to convict of rape, but did for assault and unlawful contact. If you read some of the public accounts of the evidence, and witnesses, it is clear that there are multiple independent eyewitnesses, as well as self-incriminating admissions by Sandusky, and plenty of concrete evidence about locations, showering together and so on. For example, with "victim 8", a janitor earlier testified witnessing Sandusky engaged in a sexual act with a young boy and other janitors witnessed Sandusky holding hand with this boy on the same day. Mere testimony alone is not sufficient to push the evidence to "beyond reasonable doubt". Testimony combined with other evidence, including eyewitness evidence, or evidence of incapacitation or forensic evidence, often is.
9:55, I don't think you understand how this works. If I'm disagreeing with you about the claim that it is never permissible to convict someone on the basis of 'mere' testimony, I don't need to argue that there are no cases in which someone was convicted on mere testimony when they ought not to have been. I need to argue that there is at least one case where (a) someone was convicted on mere testimony and (b) it was permissible to convict them. "Mere testimony alone is not sufficient to push the evidence to "beyond reasonable doubt""Do you, or do you not think that cases in which there is only one eyewitness to the event in question - the accuser - are cases where we have 'mere' testimony? Or, in other words, can you state WTF you mean by mere testimony? Do you mean simply an allegation? Do you mean cases in which there are no other eyewitnesses to the incident in question? Or do you mean cases in which there are no other eyewitnesses, and we have no evidence about the reliability of the eyewitness testimony? Or....?
" For example, with "victim 8", a janitor earlier testified witnessing Sandusky engaged in a sexual act with a young boy and other janitors witnessed Sandusky holding hand with this boy on the same day. "Where are you getting this from, 10:46?
For a philosophy blog, there is surprisingly little philosophy here. In fact, I have a hard time spotting any.
Most of it seems to consist in telling people they're misrepresenting other people. Not too surprising for a gossip blog.
OKHere's a question that is starting to percolate; I probably need help formulating it.It has been a long time, if ever, since I thought the distinction between philosophical and practical reasoning problematic. But lately it has seemed to me to be. We must attribute intentions to other people to predict their actions in every day life, and we attribute intentions when strategizing politically. Predicting behavior for the purpose of responding to it is not philosophical activity. Yet we must also attribute intentions to speakers and writers to interpret what they are saying. Interpreting what other people are saying, in order to come to terms with the contents of their remarks, is philosophical activity. I would have thought that the activity of attributing intentions to others is not philosophical, but is rather a kind of folk psychologizing. But I'm not so sure. Perhaps my question is whether naturalized epistemology in Quine's sense counts as a kind of philosophy, but I'm not sure. I think there might be a way of counting the activity of attributing intentions to others as a part of philosophizing without taking on the whole Quinean picture of the nature of evidence etc. What's behind this half-formed question of mine is noticing that some of those who I consider most able as natural philosophers (not educated in philosophy, but very comfortable with continual abstract inquiry, and very careful thinkers) are often talking about people's motives, conscious and unconscious, and deep social influences. 10:31 or others, I would appreciate any thoughts.
The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
11:16, I agree that you need help formulating the question. I am also not quite sure that "Interpreting what other people are saying, in order to come to terms with the contents of their remarks, is philosophical activity." Certainly there are people who believe this. But to me there seems nothing distinctly philosophical about it. Any academic discipline seems to require this seemingly to the same extent. And skill in doing this does not always seem to be necessary for skill in philosophy. In fact, it is often thought that philosophical interpretation should strive to maximize the strength of an interlocutor's argument. This is not the case with practical interpretation, where it's most important to know what your interlocutor was actually trying to say.
Hi 2:14.Thanks for your response. I was hoping to get help formulating my question.You say: "Any academic discipline seems to require this seemingly to the same extent, " (viz, interpreting what other people are saying to come to terms with the contents of their remarks) and seem to argue that for this reason it is not a philosophical activity.Do you mean to imply that philosophical activity is restricted to those who practice under the label of academic philosophy, so that if someone is doing psychology in a university lab or is working in a university English department or Anthropology department, nothing she does is philosophical?
I mean, I suppose this is sort of semantical at this point. But your original claim was that the distinction between philosophical and practical reasoning seemed problematic. What I'm trying to say is that if you want to make this case, you should pick a clearer case of philosophical reasoning.
The question is whether, in order to do philosophy, we must also do some folk psychology.
The answer seems to me to be no.
Because whether we are doing good philosophy does not depend on whether we accurately diagnose the folk-psychological states of our interlocutors. In fact, sometimes it depends on misdiagnosis.
OK, I guess you're not interested in helping me out here. Or else you do not understand that you are not providing reasons in support of your claim. Whether accurate or inaccurate diagnosis, that's still using FP.Thanks anyway.
I think I've figured out why there isn't more philosophy done here: It's because you're not smart.
I'm beginning to think that philosophy is nothing but a struggle of egos. Whoever can force the other person to see things from his own perspective, including giving priority to contextual elements that are meaningful only for his own life history and not the other person's, wins.
A pattern:T1: feminist says XT2: X is criticized at PMMBT3 (shortly after T2): there is a spike in "PMMBers are stoopid" comments
6:17, is it true what 7:06 says? Are you a self-described feminist? Are you a woman?Where's this brawling attitude coming from? Do you want to explain the comment, or was it intended to be dismissive without meaning anything further? Sorry for being "stupid" if I don't understand right away.
A pattern:Someone who it is apparent is clearly perceived as or assumed to be a feminist (often on the flimsiest of grounds) is less than perfectly polite - snarky, or even a bit rude - and this person is repeatedly called out an castigated. Someone who is quite clearly on the 'anti-feminist' side is unequivocally a total asshole to someone, and this person is not called out at all.
A suggestion 7:59, do with it what you will. Don't be so concerned with others 'calling out' people who make you upset. Not everyone will share your perspective on what an unequivocal asshole is, particularly if you're from a culture that is used to 'calling out' people you think are assholes.
I am 5:45. I was responding to 4:33, which did not provide reasons but merely asserted its view, after several previous comments it made (or at least seeming to come from the same person) which were hubristic in tone, starting with the first line of 2:14. 4:33 wanted to stick with the idea that misinterpretation is conducive towards philosophy, and was entirely disregardlng or not understanding my remark that some kind of psychological attributions, even involved stories, seem necessary to philosophy. I don't have any complaint about people ignoring or not understanding what I say, except if they do it with an attitude of hubris. Dunning-Kruger.
4:33 I assume is 6:17. And mean. I really haven't heard people in real life make comments like 6:17 to other people for a long time. But maybe it's common parlance now in high end grad programs? I'm a little out of the loop.
Haha and "FP" in my 5:45 stands for "folk psychology" not "feminist philosophers"ahahhahahahahhahahaI bet that's the source of the tiff.
"I'm beginning to think that philosophy is nothing but a struggle of egos."I don't know that it's "nothing but", but I bet it's "at least", and probably "quite a bit".
8:07, why on earth are you assuming that I'm concerned with 'people who make me upset?' The objection to comments like "I think I've figured out why there isn't more philosophy done here: It's because you're not smart." is not that they make me 'upset' - it wasn't even directed at me. It's that those comments are rude and dismissive. And philosophical conversations go better, and are more fruitful both for the people engaging in them and the readers, when people aren't rude and dismissive of those who disagree with them. So, my suggestion for you is to quit trying to make it look like perfectly reasonable objections to behavior - especially when there is a clear consensus in *our* community (the philosophical one) that personal insults and rudeness ought not to be part of philosophical discussions - should be dismissed because it's simply people being too concerned with what 'makes them upset.' Also, I am perfectly capable of determining what kind of behavior makes someone an asshole. At the very least, there is no reason to think that *your* perspective on this is any more objective than mine. So perhaps you ought to consider whether your own determinations of what counts as assholery are colored by your own perspective. Unless you think that the mere fact that there is a possibility that some person does not think it is rude to call someone stupid when that person has been perfectly polite to them means that we should not have a norm against insulting people personally in this way in the course of a conversation?
8:25, I'm not sure if it is common parlance in high end grad programs. But it is certainly common parlance around here. It is just not usually remarked upon.
Woah 8:42. I assumed you were concerned with people who make you upset because your concern made it seem like you were upset. Kind of like you're coming off now. What do I know, it's the interwebs, maybe you're laughing your ass off.Look, I don't think I've got the inside line on what makes for an asshole. On the other hand, if you think you know that 'our' community - when our community is, immediately, an anonymous blog for fuck's sake - is one that's governed by the norms of the seminar room, you're only going to give yourself a headache worrying about why no one's 'calling out' the people you think are assholes. As I said, do with it as you will.
(I'm not 9:00 or 8:42.)I think that over time people will become more polite to each other on anonymous forums.We're just on a learning curve now and when we finally get what it means to interact this way, we will all be more gracious. I'm imagining some time in the immediate future when it will be too dangerous to go outside in the United States because of roaming gunslingers busy making the world safe.
9:00, you don't have to think that anonymous blogs are governed by the norms of the seminar room to think that if the conversation has up til now been perfectly polite, and one person then starts calling the other stupid, or dumb, or thick. or whatever, then that person is being an asshole. And the problem isn't that 'no-one is calling out assholes.' I was just observing the fact that it seems that only some people get called out for this behavior here and other people don't, and that it is fairly obvious why this is. And do with this what you will, but it might help you to read up on why people think there are problems with this, because you seem to do it a lot: dismissing people's arguments by trying to imply (or in your case, explicitly stating) that they're just upset or being emotional - especially when you have no good grounds for believing this, as in your case - is not one of those things that's seen as a clever move. It's a cheap trick, and a fairly obvious one.
I'm the "mean" poster here. I tried to help somebody with a rather confused notion clarify it. They were stubborn and suggested I hadn't understood the intricacies of their point. I thought I had and that, since they had come up with a bad idea and then had proceeded not to understand its flaws when they were pointed out, that they were kind of dumb. Welcome to the Internet: where acting dumb gets you called dumb. Perhaps one of the very kind people who has jumped in here oh-so-concerned about people throwing around insults on an anonymous blog will be able to explain the line of thought that I purportedly failed to understand. To me, exegesis seems very obviously not to be within the province of philosophical reasoning (if there even is a stable category that we could call that). The OP did not satisfyingly respond to my point about why it wouldn't be (instead merely failing to appreciate what it meant that good philosophy could be predicated on bad folk psychology, or, I think, none at all), nor did they provide their own definitions in the first place of philosophical and practical reasoning, to set up the argument at all. Seems pretty fucking dumb to me, and I think I was fairly kind to try to wade into the mess that was the original idea, which nobody else did.
At the same time, 10:19, ask them why they were so deeply concerned about norms of politeness that they jumped all over you when people are frequently much, much ruder here all of the time.
Well there are at least two people who you think are one person, 10:19 and 10:25.
I think our failure to understand each other runs pretty deep, 10:19. I am the original OP to whom you refer. I do appreciate your being willing to respond initially, and should have said so earlier (though you were rude in your first sentence (perhaps unwittingly)). As for the distinction between "exegesis" and "philosophical reasoning" that you employ, let me ask you these two diagnostic questions, if I may:(1) When in engaged in philosophical argument with another person, what is the goal, in your view?(2) What are judgments about relevance based on? I realize that question (2) is probably something to which it would be hard for most people to toss off an answer, so I don't mind if you ignore it -- I won't be insulted. But if you have something to say about it, I would be interested -- as I am betting that it will mesh in a certain way with your answer to (1) and I bet that you will give a pretty predictable answer to (1). (Sorry that last sentence was kind of rude -- very hard to avoid rudeness, isn't it!)Thanks.
And there are at least two people here who know for a fact that 10:19 and 10:25 are not. I know, because I'm one of them.
10:19 here. Well, 11:17, let me say first off that philosophical argument with another person is naturally a social activity. If that's your starting-off point, consider this: if there were only one person in the universe, would it be impossible for them to reason philosophically? If not, then I think either (1) is getting at something different than what your OP suggested you were interested in, or the appearance of an interesting point (philosophical and practical reasoning are not as different as we thought) rests on a merely semantic move (making "philosophical reasoning" highly inclusive).I agree that skill in philosophical discussions often requires understanding what points others are actually making. This is often necessary for good teaching, as well, I think. To answer the question directly, I think the goal of most philosophical disagreements is to clarify both sides and to understand what claims are being made, including but maybe not limited to in the sense of understanding what sorts of new evidence or new philosophical work would convince each participant of the other participant's view. You are right that I don't have a good answer to (2).
Thanks, 11:51. As usual there is always lots to respond to.Let me just say this much for the moment: Notice that I asked "When in engaged in philosophical argument with another person, what is the goal, in your view?" This does not necessarily mean that the two people who are so engaged are on different sides of the issue nor that they are having a disagreement. Yet that seems to be how you interpreted my question.In light of that interpretation it is not surprising that you suggest that "skill in philosophical understanding often requires understanding what points others are actually making" or that the goal is to "clarify both sides and to understand what claims are being made, including ... what evidence would convince each participant of the other participant's view."Just to be clear, the above is your answer, not mine. (However somehow I think it's the answer you thought I was expecting you to give.)But in asking my question, I did not envision that the two people engaged philosophically (engaged in philosophical argument) were necessarily having any kind of disagreement. (And indeed, I do think that if there were only one person in the universe, it would be possible to reason philosophically -- sort of.) So, is there another kind of goal we can have when engaged in philosophical argument together besides understanding each other's claims? Say if we are working on a solution to some puzzle...?(In a few steps I'll get to (2)).
Why don't you just tell me what you're driving at? The "this is what I think you thought I thought you might say" style is probably not going to keep the rudeness at bay.
You are so afraid to answer direct questions.You think it's all a game of people trying to trip people up, I suppose. The reason I ask you questions is to lay out common ground so that when we finally get to an interesting claim we can have a decent discussion.If you are afraid to answer the questions, you can can tag your answer with something like "I'll say this to see where you're going with it"The thought I want to share with you is complicated and I'm not going to put it at you in a few paragraphs, because you are bound to not understand it unless I lay the groundwork.But you're not cooperating, so I give up.
Or maybe you really don't have any idea what the goal of philosophical argumentation is?
Outside person. 11:51, There have been books written on this exact question "if there were only one person in the universe, would it be impossible for them to reason philosophically?" Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān is probably the most important.
11:51 I have not responded to your first paragraph yet because it contains a whole lot of guessing about why I asked the question I did (particularly when you say what (1) is "getting at"). Please don't make guesses about what I am doing and just try to honestly answer the question. s/8:18, 8:21
11:51 here. Thanks, 8:41. I agree.
Something that probably would have received more attention in the previous thread, if we hadn't been submerged by the "evidence" trolling. From a widely circulated post by Cogburn:major league philosophy is a very small community, at least compared to all of the MilP programs. If you are among the very small group of academics who belong to departments with a non-trivial speaker series and travel budget (and working plumbing in your building for that matter) you have a much better idea of who everyone else in such departments are and what they are working on. As a result you are right to expect everyone else in that small group to know what’s going on with you.If this is right, what does it tell us about blind review at top journals?
It's a shame that not much was done in the light of the PPA networking scandal exposed earlier this year. I suppose the privileged don't have much to gain from that. Let's all just to keep thinking about gender and other ways to distract from the real inequalities within academic philosophy.
Indeed, rather than pursuing some clearly highlighted patronage patterns at the top of the discipline, many here would rather try to seed the idea that there's a conspiracy to exonerate Anna Stubblefield, parse the exact meaning of the sentences in which accusations of guilt by ideological association are phrased, or claim no evidence exists for a list of allegations the evidence for which is to be discussed in court, in future. Priorities, priorities...
The point to my slightly facetious post being, there are commenters here who will cry conspiracy at the merest whiff of estrogen, who seem strangely unbothered by the clearly identified patterns of backscratching cliquery elsewhere. Let's not pretend that before the feministphilosophers website came along, philosophy was a pure, free, rational, meritocracy, nor that that website is anything like so obvious a centre of patronage as half of the top 10 journals and their associated departments, or half of the annual invitation-only conferences and anthologies.
^^^ Good post, 5:35 and 5:43. Worth thinking about.
Yeah, but these women-haters actually aspire to the kind of privilege that editors at PPA enjoy. They can't very well dwell too much on that sort of overt advantage they might someday experience themselves (God willing)!Secret message to MS who recently commented on DN: "Really, you honestly think that highly of yourself and your abilities?! I think there are a few other people in the world who might be able to rise to your level of editorial work!" God, the unselfconscious arrogance of philosophers!
I generally agree with this sentiment but think it's true for every insular academic community, not just those at top journals. For example, the Hypatia crowd.
" these women-haters actually aspire to the kind of privilege that editors at PPA enjoy."Sigh. Some department probably has to deal with this on a regular basis.
+1, 5:35/43Priorities clearly badly skewed by ideology is just as much a problem here as it is elsewhere.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’d be happy to see more discussion about nepotism. I think one reason the ideological stuff gets more play is that it’s so much more destructive of open intellectual inquiry. That, and I suspect people are more exposed to it. Personally, I reconciled myself to the fact that philosophy was cliquish a long time ago, and because I’m not in any of the Cool Cliques, I don’t have any first person knowledge of journal nepotism. Maybe if I was more aware of it I'd be more worried. But the rabid ideology that’s taking over the profession is something I see all the time. I’ve come across it in the two departments I have direct experience with, and I hear about it from colleagues frequently. Worse, it’s the kind of thing that jeopardizes free debate. Look at 7:02's comment. She’s comfortable labeling her political opponents ‘women-haters’. Not ‘wrong-thinking people’, not even ‘idiots’. She says we HATE WOMEN. She can say that because she’s part of a movement that has made it safe to say that. People aren’t questioning her narrative. And when the people pushing her narrative have the power to ruin careers, and are constantly scrambling for more power, I am personally far more worried about that than I am whether or not there’s a circle-jerk at Mind or the Phil Review.Again, if I had first person experience about Mind or Phil Review that would be different. And I’m all for people talking about nepotism if they have something to say. But between the fact that the ideological stuff is so much more prevalent, partly because there’s not been space to talk about it, and because it seems to be such a threat to the very idea of philosophical inquiry, I don’t think it’s surprising that there’s a bias toward talking about it here.
7:55 is not, I take it, describing people as 'women haters' merely because they are political opponents. But it is clear that while of course not all of the comments critical of feminism or feminists are made from motivations which are misogynistic, some of them clearly are. It does no one any good to deny that the worst offenders on this blog do make clearly misogynistic comments. Just like it does no one any good to pretend that any objection whatsoever to anything suggested by a feminist is an objection motivated by misogyny. But I don't read 7:02 as saying anything like the latter.
I'm a regular reader of this blog 8:07, and I don't think there are many 'clearly misogynistic' comments made here. I'd like you to produce 3 made in the last week, if you can. The harder it is to find clearly misogynistic comments, the more plausible it is that 7:02 was making a blanket claim about PMMB commenters, which, prima facie, she was.
7:02 here:If anyone doubts the misogyny on this site, just take a gander at comment 7:29 in the next topic down. This site is full of really nasty comments like that. I am of "no party or clique". I'm happy to point out feminists acting like fools just as I am happy to point out other problems in philosophy. But the endless repetitive, stupid arguments and objectification and hatred is women-hating, there is no getting around it. And while many of you seem to think the feminists are the cause of all your problems, I assure you it isn't the women who are keeping you down. You should blame the oversupply of philosophers on the elites in the profession. With perhaps a few exceptions, these elites are not The Feminists!
I see no reason to think 7:29 is misogynist rather than misandrist rather than misasianist rather than mismetaphysicist. Awful, disgusting, not fit to print, sure. But there's nothing targeting women as women about it. If 'misogynistic' now just means 'says something mean while using a term that denotes a woman', then 'misogynistic' is even more devoid of content than I suspected.
Could you explain, 7:02/8:21, how 7:29's comment demonstrates misogyny? I think it is ugly and inappropriate. But where's the misogyny? Two men and two women are named, and there doesn't appear to be any asymmetry in the ugly and inappropriate way they're treated.
It looks like 7:02/8:21 meant "women-hating" to apply far more liberally than 8:07 proposed.
" I'd like you to produce 3 made in the last week, if you can."It depends what you are after, 8:20. Do you want comments in which the commenter says (in all caps) I HATE WOMEN. HATE THEM (or similar). Because I agree that there are no instances of those. But just like people can be racist even if they don't explicitly state that they hate black people, people can be misogynistic without explicitly stating they hate women. One problem though ( as I think we've seen in discussions above) is that there is always an alternative explanation for any individual comment (I'm not sexist - I just think this particular woman is awful! I'm not racist - I just don't like 'urban' music!) for example. So it's better to look out for patterns rather than individual comments.
We didn't have to wait long for an example. Check out 2:13 below. Though hopefully it will get deleted.
Seriously, people, we have a couple of commenters agreeing that the issue of networks and cliques at top journals/departments is worth talking about, and somehow this descends into yet another discussion of feminism?
You know what I think would be good? We have one thread in which there is a moratorium on discussing feminism - it will give us a chance to have a discussion about other important issues without being derailed. Before people start complaining about free speech, let me be clear - I'm not saying that people should be prevented from discussing feminism. There are clearly plenty of opportunities to do that here. I just think it would be useful to have one thread in which we get a chance to give other issues a fair shake. We could even have two open threads running simultaneously, one for discussion of feminism and one for discussion of other issues, so if people want to make (and read) points about feminism that arise in discussions of other issues they can still have exactly those conversations, with the same people - just flag that you are making a point on the other thread, so those who want to follow or be a part of that discussion can do so.
So we now have two examples of what are supposed to be clear cases of misogyny--7:29 and 2:13 below. As people point out, 7:29 references two men and two women, and there seems to be no relevant asymmetry making the reference to women misogynistic. As for 2:13, I don't see why that comment is woman-hating. Is it because it refers to women as pretty? Ask yourself whether a comment about men who benefit from being aggressive and who use their association with feminism to get a leg up in the profession would be considered man-hating. Plenty of those comments have been made here. And please, no appeals to 'a culture of woman-hating' or 'patterns of misogyny', as that would beg the question.
5:23, I think it is fairly obvious why 2:13 is misogynistic. But here is a useful rule of thumb, if you don't see it: are men frequently treated in this way? Do men have to put up with this shit? (Note: this also works in reverse: if men frequently put up with certain kinds of shit, and women don't, then that's a good prima facie reason to suspect sexism). So, is it the case that the appearance of men in philosophy is commonly remarked upon? No. Why is it sexist to remark upon a woman's appearance when it is not relevant to the context (like, on a blog about a profession, talking about her in her capacity as a member of the profession)? Because there is a history of women being dismissed because of, or only valued for, their looks rather than their intellectual contributions.Why is it sexist to imply that a woman got her position not for her intellectual achievements, but because of her sexual relationships? Well, how frequently to people suggest this about male philosophers? Almost never. And it's not as though there are no instances of men married to women in philosophy who are on the same level,or more senior. Why is it not 'man-hating' to suggest that men use their association with feminism to get a leg-up? Because there is a difference between insulting a man and insulting someone in ways that depend on him being a man. (Just like it is not racist to insult a black person, but it is racist to insult them in ways that make their blackness a part of the insult). Also, rule of thumb time: do women also frequently get accused of using their association with feminism to get a leg up in the profession? hell yes. So, it is one thing to insult people, or to imply negative things about people - but if the insult (or the implication) only really works if the person is a woman, or is clearly being used because that kind of insult is more effective if the person is a woman, then that's a good indication of sexism. If these are the kind of insults, or negative insinuations, that are almost always made about women and almost never about men, then that's a good indication of sexism. If these kinds of comments have a history of being used to dismiss or diminish women, and you're tapping into that history, that's a good indication of sexism.(Of course, these indications work if we plug in men instead of women, too).
^ people don't often suggest that males advance professionally through sexual relationships because the (patriarchal) culture is such that it's far easier for a young woman to sleep with an older man than the other way around. No misogyny there.
The reason why the thread below should be deleted doesn't have anything to do with 'misogyny', and we should be careful how we use that word. The reason it should be deleted is that it's hurtful and uncalled-for, not to mention trailer trashy, to talk about other people's private lives or engage in base speculation about their motives for entering into relationships or how those relationships helped them. If you think that someone is an inferior philosopher, then make that case by examining his or her work (if at all). Leave the gossip out of it.Only trailer trash people want to hear it. It has no place here or anywhere else. And it degrades the level of discussion. Whoever's doing it, cut it out. And whoever's moderating this, please start censoring the jackass who keeps doing it.
I don't think that's the only reason, 7:03.
I agree, 7:16. That is, I think it is clearly misogynistic, but that's not the reason I think it should be deleted. But someone asked for an example of misogyny on this blog, and I do think at least one of the comments there is clearly misogynistic.But the reason it should be deleted is the reason you describe.
'Misogyny' means hating women.If someone writes "Down with women!" or "women are despicable" in a non-ironic and non-attributive way, then that comment is misogynistic. You can see that such a comment, if intended seriously as a representation of the writer's view, entails hating women.In this case, there are too many speculative steps to make that assessment with any degree of confidence. The writer commented that two women received professional benefits by sleeping with two men. and that they're now being hypocritical. Now, that's a very ugly argument to make. But would this person also make similar arguments about men if (s)he thought that men were being hypocritical in this way? I don't know how we can know that. Does the writer's sentiments arise from a hatred of hypocrisy, a hatred of contemporary academic feminism in this specific manifestation, or a hatred of women? I don't know how you can judge that. Etc.Misogyny is a very bad thing, and accusing someone of it should not be done lightly. It weakens the word when people are cavalier about its application. If the only plausible explanation for a comment or action is that the person has a hatred of women in general, then that's a good time to use the word. If there are other plausible explanations, it's better to remember that you're speculating about unknown facts in the writer's psychology and not pretend that you've made a certain diagnosis.
OK. Quite clearly sexist, then.
Continuing with the analogy with racism, it seems that people have largely moved from saying "X is a (implicity or explicitly) racist act" to "The person that said X is thereby a racist." I am certain that the same people that cry "misogyny!" at the drop of a hat would be loathe for people to do the same thing for implicit racism. This is hypocritical.
OK, so I was one of the people who originally thought that 8:18's interlocutor was being a bit rude when he/she said to 8:18 "you're not smart" but now I can see where the frustration was coming from. 8:18, maybe you don't mean to, but you come across as really patronizing.
I don't think it's quite clearly sexist either, 8:04. 'Sexism' is the view that one sex is superior to the other. I don't see how you can gather from the fact that this person alleges that two women gained an advantage from sleeping with powerful men and are now being hypocritical about it that (s)he thinks in general that women are inferior to men, or vice versa.
@9:14When you say "'Sexism' is the view that one sex is superior to the other" that is an empirical claim about English that you provide no evidence for.
Hi, 7:46. I'll provide that in two steps.1. Pauline M. Leet coined the term 'sexism' in 1965 in a lecture she gave at Franklin and Marshall College. She made clear that she wanted the term to function in the same way that racism does, only pertaining to sexes rather than races.2. The definition of racism, according to the OED, is "the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races."Note that these both end with '-ism', and have cognates ending in '-ist'.That denotes that what is being referred to is an ideology or belief of some kind.And that belief, if 'sexism' is (as it is meant to) parallel with 'racism', the belief that one sex is inferior to the other.
8:39, if you're going to use the OED, why not use the actual OED definition of sexism? Serious question here - I'm really puzzled as to why, if you were going to use the dictionary in the first place to provide evidence about what sexism means, you just didn't look up the word 'sexism.'
What Pauline Leet wants the term to mean is of little relevance. I'm not fond of appeals to dictionaries as empirical evidence, because they can be out if date, but since you brought up the OED definition of "racism", could you (or somebody) give the OED definition of sexism (I don't have access). I'm curious, because other dictionaries give definitions like "prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination on the basis of sex". If I had to guess, I'd say that that's closer to what an actual linguistic investigation would reveal to be the case, but it would be interesting to find out. In any case, what you present in 8:39 doesnt resemble what linguists would consider empirical evidence about word meaning.
Hi, 9:49. The reason is that dictionaries over the past few decades have switched from being prescriptive to descriptive. They no longer seek to make clear what is correct usage, or to put it another way, they assume that whatever way people use a term is correct usage.This has some pretty ridiculous consequences. For instance, because of the number of morons who think 'begging the question' means raising a question, that's now listed as a legitimate definition of the term.So yes, there are many people who carelessly use the term 'sexism' to refer to a wide and ill-defined range of activities and attitudes, egged on as they are by feminist social pressure to make everything seem like it's 'sexist', and that's now reflected in many dictionary definitions. But educated and thoughtful people don't use '-ist' and '-ism' terms when they aren't talking about an ideology or belief and its adherents. Also, the term 'sexist' was coined only 50 years ago, and it seems fair to take its originator at her word and use the term to refer to what she says it was meant to refer to (something parallel with racism), as opposed to a big, ill-defined mishmash of things that are bad in ways that allegedly have something or other to do with sex. Hence my response.
9:57 (a):sexism, n.2Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈsɛksɪz(ə)m/ , U.S. /ˈsɛkˌsɪz(ə)m/Etymology: < sex n.1 + -ism suffix. Originally: the state or condition of belonging to the male or female sex; categorization or reference on the basis of sex (now rare); (in later use) prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.1866 J. H. W. Toohey in Boston Banner of Light 10 Nov. 2 The qualifications are constitutional, if not organic, and, for the first time, become fundamental—mere sexism being of secondary significance.1873 S. S. Hennell Present Relig. II. i. 319 Intellectual Philosophy..held itself free therefore, stringently, from Sexism.1906 R. S. Clymer True Spiritualism 91 Abstract rights are inherent in the soul or internal consciousness, and are independent of sexism, excepting that it tones and governs the individual in his or her recognition or apprehension of these inherent rights.1934 Lowell (Mass.) Sun 12 Mar. 8/3 We have among us now every Old World ism ever conceived—Socialism, Communism, Nazism, Anti-Nazism, atheism, semitism, anti-semitism, internationalism, Fascism, sexism, [etc.].1963 Morning Herald (Uniontown, Pa.) 2 Jan. 4/2 Several Very Important People in Show Business will unite to combat Sexism in America which some of them contend is as damaging as Communism.1968 C. Bird in Vital Speeches (U.S.) 15 Nov. 90 Sexism is judging people by their sex where sex doesn't matter.1971 Guardian 15 Jan. 11/4 The concept of a ‘woman's page’..perpetuates sexism by stressing the ‘special’ domestic interests supposedly adhering to women.1980 S. Trott When your Lover Leaves (1981) 77 She sees rape as..the extreme of misogyny and sexism.2000 Internat. Jrnl. Advertising 19 13 Today's ‘retro’ approach, far from glamorising the past, sends up and highlights the ‘clichéd’ scenarios, the blatant sexism, the obvious, simplistic psychosexual imagery.9:57 (b) Right, but your post at 8:39 appeals to the OED definition of racism. Either the OED is an authoritative source about what the meanings of words are, or it's not. If it is, then why not use the OED definition of sexism? If it's not, then you shouldn't appeal to it at all as part of your argument. So I'm struggling to understand your reasoning. Either you got the dictionary, and decided to look up racism instead of sexism, because you already had beliefs about whether the dictionary was going to be a reliable source of a definition (you believed that it was not - in which case, why use it at all) or you did in fact look up sexism, decided the definition didn't suit your purposes, and so gerrymandered the definition you gave above.
Hi, 9:57b, this is 9:57a.The only way a dictionary definition could possibly count as empirical evidence of what a word means is if it is descriptive.
Clearly false, 10:30. Do you think the laws of a country are descriptive rather than prescriptive? Do you think that 'begging the question' means raising a question just because there are illiterate imbeciles who don't have a clue what the term means and use it that way?
10:11, it's neither of the uncharitable options you unthoughtfully suggest. I know what racism means because I know its etymology. People used to call themselves 'racist' because they accepted that ideology. It's an ideology that the term is still recognized to mean: the ideology that one sex is superior to the other. The OED happens to have the correct definition for that term, so I provided it to you so you could see it, since it's the easiest way of showing what something means (fortunately, the prescriptive and descriptive definitions coincide in the case of 'racism'). In the case of 'sexism', which was (as you cannot dispute) brought into being in its modern usage as a deliberate parallel with 'racism', ideologues and unclear thinkers who don't know how language works and who pressure people to call things by adjectives that don't apply to them, have started using the term in a very unclear but inflammatory way. So the dictionary has what is, to a thinking person, clearly the wrong definition.Once again, please consider: is there anyone other than a blithering idiot who would use a word with the suffix '-ism' to describe something that is not an ideology or belief system? Clearly not. Hence, 'sexism', when used by thoughtful speakers of English, refers to an ideology or belief system.Anyway, this is a moot point. Even if we define 'sexism' the way the dictionary does now, it clearly cannot be deduced from the fact that someone alleges that two women who putatively slept with more powerful men and are now being hypocritical is a sexist even in that sense that you prefer. To know that, one would have to know that person's psychology. Unless you're a psychic or know who made the comment, you can't know the relevant psychological facts about him or her from that allegation alone.
"he OED happens to have the correct definition for that term,"Correct according to whom? You say 'a thinking person'. I think you'll find that if you're argument is that X is correct, because it is what thinking people think, then you're begging the question (according to what you call the 'correct' definition of that term). For the record, I think the OED has the correct definition of sexism. And it has already been explained how the comment was sexist, according to that definition. It is a stereotype that women get ahead not because of their skills or talents, but their looks. It is a harmful stereotype. 2:13 clearly appealed to this stereotype in order to diminish the professional achievements of the women in question.
10:46: I don't really care about your little tiff with ARG or ThatKid (I can't even tell which side you're on or whether you are ARG or ThatKid or whatever). But I do think you're wrong about this: "... is there anyone other than a blithering idiot who would use a word with the suffix '-ism' to describe something that is not an ideology or belief system? Clearly not.""ism" is a suffix used within terms that name a great many conditions, not all of which are ideological or belief-like. For example: "autism", "dwarfism", or "nudism". And it even can figure into more abstract nouns for activities ("tourism") too. These conditions or activities are not characterized by the beliefs or ideologies of those who have them or are engaged in them.
I'm with 10:30 (= 9:57a).10:36, the laws of the country are not descriptive, but a book that tells you authoritatively what the laws are had better be descriptive. If you want to know what the law of libel is (you've been getting harassing emails from a litigious blogger), and what you get is pronouncements about what the law ought to be, you are getting lousy advice.I really wonder how self-styled 'prescriptivists' think words get meanings.
Agreed, 3:49. Also: "Do you think that 'begging the question' means raising a question...?"Yes, I do, in some contexts. Words or phases can have more than one meaning. Words or phrases can have meanings which change over time. I'm happy to accept that in moral philosophy class, when we talk about the argument from queerness 'queer' means simply odd or strange, but that when we talk about LGBTQ groups the term 'queer' means something quite different. Sometimes begging the question refers to the fallacy. Sometimes it means 'raises the question.'
I'm not going to touch this prescriptivism thing, other than to say that begging the question clearly is used incorrectly when the speaker means raising a question. But on the comment being sexist, it's not clear that it is and it's socially dangerous to say otherwise.The form of reasoning here is as follows:(1) A and B belong to group X.(2) C claims that A and B also belong to group Y.(3) People who are unfairly biased against members of group X sometimes unjustly characterize them as also belonging to group Y.(4) Hence, C is unjustly biased against members of group X and deserves criticism merely for suggesting that A and B belong to group Y.I leave the demonstration of the fallacy as an exercise for the reader.
But it's not necessarily a criticism of the person making the suggestion, 4:55. So your last claim shouldn't be something like 'C is unjustly biased' but more like 'the comment made by C plays into negative stereotypes.' Think about why, for example, it's racist to call Michelle Obama Barack Obama's 'babymama.' (1) Michelle Obama is black(2) C claims that Michelle is Barack's 'babymama.'(3) People who are unfairly biased against black people sometimes unfairly characterize them as being 'babymamas' rather than simply 'wives' or 'partners' because he word 'babymama' invokes negative stereotypes about black people(4) Hence, it is racist to call her a 'babymama'. This is true regardless of C's intentions - for example, C is not from the US and has no idea that this term is not simply a descriptive term for someone who is the mother of someone else's children. Importantly, C is not unjustly biased, but it would be appropriate to point out to C that what he said comes across as racist, so he may want to stop using the word in that way.
I agree about "begging the question" -- it used to mean, you know, Petitio Principii. That was a kind of technical term, and like many technical terms it got coopted into colloquial speech. Now it means something else, although it does retain the technical meaning too. (So, it's an ambiguous expression.)I'm not happy about this, but I recognize it.
Yeah. On this, 4:55 - I know you said you didn't want to touch this, so feel free to ignore this question, but I'm interested to know the grounds on which people hold views like this.Because I think that something like this is true: In order for X to mean something, it's enough that that's what most people think X means. It doesn't, though, depend on the intention of the speaker. So for example, if you're speaking Russian and you accidentally say 'da' when you meant 'no,' we say that *the word you said* means yes, because that's what most people understand it to mean, but that *you* meant no. Clearly though according to your view we could be in a situation where even though it's true that both of these things apply - by X the speaker intends to mean Y, and the listeners when hearing X understand it to mean Y, (because this is clearly what's going on in a lot of 'begging (as raising) the question' cases) but it's still not true that X means Y. This seems really odd to me.
In one of the comment threads over at the Cocoon, there is some talk about the need to out PhD programs which offer no mentoring whatsoever to their grad students. A few of the commentators seem have certain programs in mind, but nobody has the guts to just name them. So: which departments are they likely talking about?
Bloomington? Pure speculation, although I have heard of their dysfunction.
Kit Fine fucking Ruth Chang *is* colleagues with student fucking professor Ted Sider and professor fucking student Jill North, right?
Where is this coming from? No one cares.
There was a controversy here over whether she is colleagues with black cock loving diaper fetishist Anna Stubblefield.
This whole subthread should be deleted. Shame on you.
7:29 implies that Ruth Chang is sleeping with Kit Fine and that Jill North was sleeping with Ted Sider when she was a student. Are these claims true?
Let's not talk about Kit Fine's sex life, kids -- a topic that is neither essential to nor well-grounded in the goals of this sit.
They call it "networking and mentoring", not "fucking".
Kit Fine's ex wife wrote a thinly veiled autobiographical book about their marriage (Taking the devil's advice, or something like that). Anyways, yes, Chang and North are typical examples of pretty students who benefit enormously from powerful male professor partners and then complain about the patriarchy.
Agreed, 7:57. Mods, could you delete at least 7:29, 7:49 and 8:12?
2:13 is inaccurate about Chang but accurate about North. So if mods delete, here's the accurate part: North is a typical example of a pretty student who benefits enormously from a powerful male professor partner and then complains about the patriarchy. I wonder what she teaches the new generations in her "networking for women grad students" workshop.
Fuck it. Just delete the whole thread.
Or as the great Sigourney Weaver once put it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCbfMkh940Q
I'm not involved in this to-and-fro, but the point of 2:13's comment is that the zealots just can't have it both ways. 1. The zealots say, "individuals doing X is immoral".2. Someone replies with "well-connected individuals A,B,C,D did X". 3. Then zealots reply with "that's misogynistic". No, doing X is not immoral and pointing out that doing X is not immoral is not "misogynistic", no matter how much the zealots shout. It is the zealots who have to stop shouting from the rooftops "doing X is immoral" - when doing X is clearly, plainly, not immoral - and have to stop responding to people pointing out that X is not immoral with absurd responses that it is misogynist. It is not "misogynist" to say that someone isn't immoral.
6:30,Who are the "zealots" who replied with "that's misogynistic"?
From a widely circulated blog post on sexism in academia:"Don’t refuse to go through doors opened by women, insist on carrying their field equipment, or otherwise reinforce stereotypes that women need special treatment because of our gender."So, which one is it, femphils?
What is the safest way to hide your IP address when posting here? TOR doesn't work for me.
You can post to Blogger blogs with TOR only if cookies are enabled.
You need to use a VPN and set up firefox so that your IP doesn't leak. It's easy and cheap. Just google it.
You know what I think would be good? We have one thread in which there is a moratorium on discussing feminism - it will give us a chance to have a discussion about other important issues without being derailed. Before people start complaining about free speech, let me be clear - I'm not saying that people should be prevented from discussing feminism. There are clearly plenty of opportunities to do that here. I just think it would be useful to have one thread in which we get a chance to give other issues a fair shake. We could even have two open threads running simultaneously, one for discussion of feminism and one for discussion of other issues, so if people want to make (and read) points about feminism that arise in discussions of other issues they can still have exactly those conversations, with the same people - just flag that you are making a point on the other thread, so those who want to follow or be a part of that discussion can do so.YES, PLEASE.
The Balloon emphasizes the importance of fearlessly calling out the baddies by name, and even admits that there are "open secrets" in philosophy about senior philosophers who sexually harass, who sexually assault, who date students, etc. Interesting, isn't it, that the PMMB is pretty much the only place in the philosophy blogosphere where those "open secrets" are made into open non-secrets? I hate this blog in so many ways, but I'm convinced it also could have a vital role in making our profession more just.
Ah, the tedious non-spectacle of a puffed-up ego making is way across the sky.
It's ridiculous how the balloon thinks others won't immediately see that he is praising himself by praising those astronomers.
Come back, professional philosophy; all is forgiven.
http://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/oct/14/oxford-university-student-annie-teriba-resigns-posts-non-consensual-sexTwitter comment: "Am i missing something - this sounds like rape?"
Response from the Oxford Union: "Rape apologism manifests in infinite forms: we define it as any discourse that refers to sexual assault as anything other than what it is – unacceptable and appalling abuse. The statement recently shared below is, unfortunately, rife with apologism and we do not condone it nor the violence it describes."
I don't get it. The statement didn't describe any violence.The Oxford Union is kind of a joke, so I'm inclined to discount things they say. Do they have a point here?
OUSU and the Oxford Union aren't the same thing, fwiw.
6:51: Unwanted sexual penetration without a struggle is still violence.
7:05, oops, my bad, I did indeed conflate those two.7:47, it is?Okay. I thought violence had to involve physical force, or at least physical intimidation. Does it mean "bad stuff"? (I did check the OED, since another thread here set that standard, and it appears to agree with my usage.)And by the way, she doesn't say the sex was "unwanted". She says it was not consented to. Those are not the same thing.
"I thought violence had to involve physical force." Have you been penetrated against your will before?
I don't think I'm going to answer that question. It also bothers me that you would think it was appropriate to ask me that question. But I will try to ignore that.Do you agree with the OED definition of 'violent', or are you using a different definition?
Last year an Oxford student was put through hell by the left-wing press / twitter simply for being accused of rape. But here a student admits to it and it is now treated as an opportunity to grow.
The student was put through hell by OUSU. The press, if anything, supported him. The police dropped all charges as the accuser admitted she "knew it was false". Another (female) student did a write up about this in The Daily Telegraph. OUSU then retaliated by throwing her off the student magazine.
Two important questions about recent posts at Leiter Reports:1. Am I color-blind or is the other "RED" gray, not green? Seriously, I'm worried.2. How did anyone know in the 50's through 80's which Philosophy department was "on top", given that the PGR didn't exist yet?
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