Networking and Mentoring Workshop for Graduate Student Women in Philosophy, run by Elisabeth Camp, Elizabeth Harman and Jill North.Privileged feminist philosophers demanding more and more special privileges and preferential treatment than they already have. What is the justification for privileged people demanding endless privileges? We know, from the data concerning philosophy job hiring, that women receive measurable preferential treatment - men hired outperform women hired on publications by a factor of two. That's significant gender bias.
I wonder whether they would also mentor women who are 10 years out of graduate school but still not in a tenure track position, but teaching and publishing.
Care about a woman, aged 35-40 say, with no TT job, struggling to teach and publish, maybe with kids? Of course not. She would be an older, experienced, independent-minded outsider. She would be difficult to manipulate with "feminist" propaganda. Why would they want such outsiders? They want easily-manipulated insiders, young enough to be politically manipulated and brought into the network. This is a power network of elite, privileged insiders - obviously.
You're talking out your ass, 12:14. There are multiple workshops aimed at grad students rather than faculty. It is not unusual at all, and the fact that a workshop or conference is aimed at , and limited to, graduate student contributors is not evidence that the people organising it only want those 'young enough to be manipulated.' The fact that a group of a few people organise a grad workship is also not evidence that they don't care about older people who don't have TT jobs. I can't believe I'm even having to point this out, it is so fucking obvious. Especially given as there are in fact now TWO mentoring programs aimed at those on the job market who want mentors. You're just pushing bullshit character assassinations based purely on your own knee-jerk biases - obviously. 12:14, you might want to check out Philosophers Cocoon - there was a post there recently that had links to both mentoring projects that might be suitable for you.
You appear to believe in identity politics, 12:59. Others think identity politics is toxic, disgusting and immoral. Ok? Hopefully that's clear? You approve of this anti-egalitarian right-wing shit. Others think it is disgusting. Deal with that fact.
Jesus Christ, 1:21. Are you drunk or high? Nothing else would seem to explain why you seem to keep going off on insane rants about what you think people's characters and beliefs are that have no basis in reality.
What is the justification for a program of "mentoring" that involves gender segregation? Gender segregation is completely unacceptable. Mentoring must be based on egalitarianism and fairness, and not special identity groups; and certainly not gender segregation.
"Gender segregation is completely unacceptable."Ohhhhh.Huh, I hadn't realized that.
"I hadn't realized that."Indeed. Now you've learnt something, try next to think more carefully about why gender segregation is unacceptable: it contradicts egalitarian treatment of people as individuals, with the same rights, and entitled to the same degree of respect for those rights. Violating the rights of individuals on the basis of "group identity" is wrong.
I don't think gender segregation is ALWAYS unacceptable, though it has a bad track record: after dinner women in the kitchen to wash the dishes and chat while the men go in the library to smoke and talk. You can't think of gender segregation in the same terms as racial segregation due to the fact that it has a different history and developed and stabilized for different reasons. No doubt it developed because of the value of specializing to take care of work, and maybe partly to keep power (political dealings over property) out of the hands of women. In the racial case it's all about power. And that's the reason why it is wrong, and fails to provide equal opportunity. I don't know if Brown v the Board of Education is applicable to the case of gender segregation.
I agree, 11:31. One case where gender segregation might be acceptable, for example, us in education. There is some evidence that both girls and boys do better academically in single sex high schools. One thing to worry about obviously if is it is in fact true that segregation, in the case in question, leads to unequal opportunities - for example, if the high school in a certain region that has by far the best resources is single sex, there might be good reasons for it to go coed. But if there are two good single sex schools in an area, and one good coed school, I don't see the problem. It is pretty obvious that separate but equal clearly doesn't work when it comes to race, but not so obvious when it comes to gender.
Feminist philosopher and social justice warrior, Anna Stubblefield (and member of Rutgers Ethics and Value Theory Faculty, and colleague of feminist activist Ruth Chang, who thinks we should "quit creating a passive due process professional culture") has been convicted of raping a severely physically and cognitively disabled man with the mental age of a toddler, obtaining "consent" via a delusional belief in "facilitated communication" (aka, a ouija board).Feminist philosophers' brilliant response: it's "complicated".This is part of the reason why people find contemporary "feminist" zealots morally unpleasant.
Isn't this old news?How about obsessing about something important, for a change. Fiddle fiddle.
Actual response on FP to conviction:Tensions are running high around the case of Anna Stubblefield, the Rutgers-Newark philosophy professor convicted of sexually assaulting a disabled man. This post is a – no doubt inadequate – attempt to explain some of the complexities involved, and also an attempt to explain why those of us (like me) who think there’s very damning evidence that Stubblefield committed sexual assault and should absolutely go to jail nevertheless find so many of the issues here tricky and complicated, and find the whole thing almost unbearably sad......I don’t believe Anna Stubblefield had meaningful consent – I don’t think there’s any way facilitated communication could have provided her with meaningful consent. And Anna Stubblefield worked with DJ in a professional capacity, as his communicator. That’s enough for me to think that what she did was horrifically abusive, whatever her intentions or beliefs may have been. And I also think that her gender, her victim’s gender, and her self-identification as a feminist are coloring many people’s reaction to the case. (If she was a man and DJ was a woman, I think the reaction would be very different.) But such an ugly coalescence of all these incredibly fraught, painful issues is also just incredibly sad.10:48's description: Feminist philosophers' brilliant response: it's "complicated".This is part of the reason why people are fucking sick of you, 10:48 (and the others who keep bringing up this issue over and over and over again, if it's not just you). Your characterization is deliberately misleading. You seem to think quoting one word from something, completely out of context, is a cunning trick you can pull in order to win an argument. It's not.
10:58, I agree that there is something almost grotesque about the way 10:48 is presenting the case, but the question remains as to whether this is a good defense of finding the case more "tricky and complicated" than any other rape case, or a good description of how it's more "unbearably sad" or "incredibly sad" than any other rape case. The "issues" don't seem particularly "ugly" or "fraught" to me, and it is odd that some people's appropriation of them as "painful" seems to outweigh the victim's own pain in this case. Feminist Philosophers gave more respect to the feelings of Carrie Jenkins as a victim when Brian Leiter called her a mean name on the fucking internet than it has to the victim in this case. 10:48, in his halting, insulting, and kind of pigheaded way is pointing up this strange disanalogy, which ME herself is aware of but doesn't seem constitutionally capable of integrating into her words and actions.
Nobody says that the case is *more* tricky and complicated than *any* other rape case. Nobody says it is *more* unbearably sad than *any* other rape case. But it is obvious that this case is a complex case - for a lot of reasons. It is clearly not as straightforward as a case where a stranger grabs a woman and attacks her in an alley, for example.For a start, most people would have never heard of FC before reading about this case. I certainly hadn't. So given that the defense relied upon claims about a 'method' of communication most people have never heard of and have no prior knowledge of, that makes it more complex than a standard stranger rape case - because there is now more information we need (about what the method is, and about what the scientific evidence is) in order to render a judgment. And the issues it raises are fraught. Perhaps you don't know much about the disability community, but issues about whether (and if) people with intellectual disabilities can consent to sex are incredibly fraught. It's really not as simple as just saying 'well, anyone with a 'mental age' of under 16 cannot consent to sex' for all kinds of reasons. "Feminist Philosophers gave more respect to the feelings of Carrie Jenkins as a victim when Brian Leiter called her a mean name on the fucking internet than it has to the victim in this case."What evidence do you have for this? Is it simply that there was more space on FP dedicated to her feelings than there were to DJ's feelings? There are perfectly reasonable explanations of this that have nothing to do with a differential in respect, like the fact that Jenkins was willing to talk publicly about her feelings. In fact, it would be incredibly disrespectful to speculate publicly about the feelings of someone who cannot speak for themselves. It is appropriate to express, as was expressed, that the situation is very sad. You seem to think the post, as a whole, is somehow inappropriate or is somehow indicative of some deep facts about FP. But this is just an interpretation, and it is by no means an obvious one. It seems like a perfectly reasonable post. You can go out of your way to read all kinds of things into it, but it does look like you're going out of your way to do this, rather than applying even minimal interpretive charity.
But of course a stranger rape case is not standard and none of the cases FP has been up in arms about have been stranger rape cases. I don't know which issues are "fraught" and which aren't. In evidential terms this case was far less "fraught" than almost any of the he-said, she-said professorial misconduct cases FP gets so much mileage out of.But I remember similar terminology - "fraught", "complex", "another perspective", etc. - in the aftermath of the Oregon case where the feminist philosophy professor tried to keep the students quiet about what had happened. That one got to be "fraught" too. Seems that everything is more complicated when your friends behave poorly than when your enemies do.As for the Leiter/Jenkins comparison, your notion that it is "incredibly disrespectful to speculate publicly about the feelings of someone who cannot speak for themselves" is ridiculous on its face. The fact that they cannot speak for themselves means that public speculation is the only way for something even approximating their feelings to get any airing at all. This sort of thoughtless hand-waving is just weak sauce.I actually don't think the post is particularly objectionable, as far as FP posts go. I think that whole place is a fucking joke and that they are treating this event with far greater study, care, and rigor than almost anything else they cover there. And that's precisely what I find so mind-boggling about it. It is not a difficult case epistemically or ethically, and so many of the situations (philosophical, political, personal, and legal) they have opined on over the years have been, and yet those actually complex situations have not gotten anything like this careful treatment.For analogical purposes, imagine a right-wing politician who is always taking Obama soundbites and interpreting them as evidence of a socialist or communist mindset; imagine further that one of this politician's friends in Congress says something truly awful, maybe about women or about Muslims or about global warming or whatever, but that when asked about his or her friend's statement, this politician responds by saying, "Look, I admit my friend spoke pretty unwisely, but you really have to look at the whole quote, the whole context; you media hounds love to take tiny pieces of what people say and make a big deal about it." That politician would not have said anything false, but it would be normal and justifiable to ask why he was taking this opportunity to comment on the practice, and some fairly obvious answers suggest themselves. The analogy isn't perfect, but it should help to clarify why the post could seem interesting - and in a sense damning - to someone who doesn't think it is, say, outright wrong about anything.
You're missing the point - as is clear from the post, it is the issues raised by the case which are fraught. As has been explained. And ME agrees with you that in evidential terms it is not 'fraught' - as has been quoted above "And Anna Stubblefield worked with DJ in a professional capacity, as his communicator. That’s enough for me to think that what she did was horrifically abusive, whatever her intentions or beliefs may have been.""The fact that they cannot speak for themselves means that public speculation is the only way for something even approximating their feelings to get any airing at all. " This is just not true, and is so obviously not true that I find it pretty mind-boggling. The person involved has family advocating for them. If they want to publicly discuss the feelings of their family member, it is up to them. It is grotesque to publicly speculate about the feelings of someone involved in an assault case. And in particular, it is grotesque in cases involving people who can't consent because their feelings aren't the crucial thing. To see why, imagine a case involving (say) a 12-year-old boy who appears happy (or even boastful) about having had sex with his teacher, or babysitter. It is wrong for the teacher or babysitter to have sex with that boy, regardless of what the boy feels about it. And it would be gross to speculate about what his feelings are. And look, it just seems the argument keeps changing to fit the view. First the objection being raised on this blog was that FP didn't spend enough time talking about it. Now in the space of two posts your particular objections were first that the post itself was the problem "The "issues" don't seem particularly "ugly" or "fraught" to me, and it is odd that some people's appropriation of them as "painful" seems to outweigh the victim's own pain in this case." and now that it is not the post itself but the fact that the post is in fact giving the case 'careful treatment' which is the problem. But this claim just depends on the claim that this is not 'a difficult case epistemically or ethically' - and the point you're missing is that while it is clear in this case that Stubblefield was obviously wrong and ought to have been convicted, this case raises a lot of ethical issues that are difficult, as has been repeatedly explained. And not only are they difficult, they are likely to be more difficult epistemically than (say) a case involving a student and a professor. Because most philosophers are more likely to know about, have thought about, have experience of and understand the issues involved in those kind of general cases then they are likely to have knowledge of issues to do with sex and disability.
"First the objection being raised on this blog was that FP didn't spend enough time talking about it."Nope. The objection was - and always has been - that FP said that a clearcut rape was "complicated".That is the objection.
I have repeatedly read people complaining about FP's 'silence' on this case.
The objection, repeatedly made at PMMB, was about the FP claim that this clearcut rape was "complicated".
Well, I hate making people feel like they're repeating themselves. I think you're wrong on FP's motivations (one example: FP not talking about it "enough" versus FP being "too careful" are not separate objections - they are both signs that the case is being treated differently than others), but there is no point having an argument neither of us actually want to have.I think you are also wrong on some of the issues. For example, it seems perfectly reasonable to speculate that a boy who seems happy might be happy, no matter what has just happened. Of course not everything is how it seems, but that is what makes this sort of thing speculation rather than something more reliable. In fact, I think that if a certain class of victim by and large seemed happy and prosperous in the wake of their victimization, and remained so for a while after, it would be completely reasonable to reconsider whether what had happened actually hurt them - in fact, it would probably be unreasonable not to. This, by the way, does not seem particularly "fraught" to me - maybe I am simply too socially unaware to know which "issues" are "fraught" and which aren't. I also do not think it is clear that, if we are not "allowed" to speculate, family members could still be "allowed" - although I grant that there may be reasonable arguments for that conclusion.In general I think it is anti-philosophical and anti-intellectual to think of "complication" in the way you and ME seem to. The complications that matter are conceptual complications. And there is, in fact, an important issue in here, something like: Isn't sex part of human flourishing, and in denying the ability to consent, don't we therefore deny people the ability to flourish? But that has nothing to do with the "disability community" or whether some case is "unbearably sad" or anything like that. If the case did not make us sad, or if there were no disability community or if the community did not raise the issue, it would retain the same intellectual import.There was an interesting case in Australia a few years back where a (I think cancer) fifteen-year-old patient paid a prostitute to sleep with him before he passed. Well, who would blame him - and who would blame her? In Japan (my knowledge of this is minimal, so take it with a grain of salt) I understand that there are nurses who provide let's call it manual release for some mentally handicapped patients. Again, from a certain perspective, this seems like a very humane practice, even though it's not clear it involves robust consent of *any* type.So I think if we want to continue discussing this, we should forget about FP and about any of the other groups that make this "fraught", and think about interesting cases like those and how they might go up against bright-line rules and deep-seated intuitions we seem to have about other situations. I suspect that continuing to talk about the "politics" involved would leave both of us both drained and stultified.
It is rarely, if ever, perfectly reasonable to speculate on anyone's feelings (at least not if you care about the actual truth of the matter). I can speculate about my partner's feelings all day long -- and this may be reasonable in the limited sense that people are naturally prone to speculation about other people -- but I can guarantee that marriage will not last long. Let's not pretend that speculation alone leads to knowledge. Tabloids may be "reasonable", but so what?
Abused women often seem happy in their relationships. Does this make them any less abused, or do they just not have an appropriate frame of reference for 'happiness'? It's a difficult question.
4:50, I wonder how exactly you get by without speculating about other people's feelings. It seems necessary to do this in order to know how to treat them. My friend A has performed acts x, y, and z. These acts admit of feeling-interpretations F and G. I know this much more or less certainly: that A is distraught. And: if the correct interpretation is F, I should be consoling them, but if the correct interpretation is G, I should be "giving them space". In this situation, many, many humans would speculate, often with others they feel might provide some insight, on their friends' condition. This is not because they feel speculation will of a necessity get to the actual truth but because they feel it may, like any intellectual activity, get them closer, or make them more likely to get there.
Have there been experiments by which Stubblefield and DJ could demonstrate their particular case of FC worked? If not, why not?
"Well, I hate making people feel like they're repeating themselves."We all know how PMMB regulars hate to be forced, forced I tell you, to post the same thing every day for 6 months at a time.
Just correcting a factual error: Stubblefield is not and has never been a colleague of Ruth Chang's, nor is she a member of what is normally understood as the Rutgers philosophy department.Rutgers Newark and Rutgers Camden are officially different universities than the main Rutgers university in New Brunswick, NJ. The philosophy departments at the different Rutgers universities have different chairs and are overseen by different deans and administrators. Courses at one campus are not even typically counted for credit at others.The Rutgers philosophy department that is most famous -- the one on the PGR, where Ruth Chang is employed -- is Rutgers New Brunswick. Stubblefield was professor chair of a different department, in the same way that the chair at UC Santa Cruz is not a 'colleague' of John Searle.
But they are both women I dislike for some reason or another. Ergo, colleagues.
Your paranoia doesn't help you, 2:58. Chang and Stubblefield are colleagues in the same Ethics and Value Theory Faculty. Stubblefield is "Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty". This what "colleague" means.
3:11, your inability to drop things and concede minor points is going to give people an excuse not to engage with you. Stop being so stubborn and you might be able to actually convince someone around here.
Stubblefield and Chang are colleagues in the same Ethics and Value Theory Faculty, as listed at Rutgers Philosophy Department's webpage. Now deal with it.
Hi 3:13. I'm not 2:58, but here's the comment that started this pissing contest:"Feminist philosopher and social justice warrior, Anna Stubblefield (and member of Rutgers Ethics and Value Theory Faculty, and colleague of feminist activist Ruth Chang, who thinks we should "quit creating a passive due process professional culture") "Given that's exactly the relationship Stubblefield and Chang had, and because it makes them colleagues on any reasonable definition of the term, this looks like a case where the Identity Politicians are rallying to pick gnits with a critic of the Tribe. So if you really are worried about whether or not people engage with each other around here, think a bit before you take another piss for distance.
I've got no dog in this fight. I'm just pointing out that Chang and Stubblefield are not colleagues. I understand that the way things work at the different Rutgers universities is not common knowledge and that it was an innocent mistake. Still, they aren't colleagues.Stubblefield and Chang work in different offices in different cities. Stubblefield never teaches at Rutgers New Brunswick, and Chang never teaches at Rutgers Newark. Stubblefield was once chair of her department, but she wasn't chair of Ruth Chang's department. That's because Ruth Chang belongs to a completely different department with its own chair. When the philosophy department at Rutgers Newark has its meetings, Stubblefield attends. But Chang does not, and probably Chang doesn't even know when the meetings at Stubblefield's Newark campus take place. And vice versa. There are several philosophy events related to value theory at the main Rutgers philosophy department (i.e. the one at Rutgers New Brunswick). Ruth Chang attends some of those. Stubblefield does not. Etc.Whatever is meant by 'colleagues' in the academic context you're speaking of, surely it entails a relationship in which the two people are either teaching in the same department, or draw a salary from the same department, or attend or are invited to attend the same department meetings, or work on the same campus, or have a dean in common, etc. None of those things are true of Chang and Stubblefield. So they are not in fact colleagues. It's a very simple point.
Yes, they are colleagues. Please deal with it. No one has asserted what you claim they do. Quite the opposite. It is well-known that Rutgers Newark is not the same as Rutgers New Brunswick. No one - no one - has asserted otherwise.Stubblefield and Chang are in the same group - the Ethics and Value Theory Faculty, and listed at Rutgers' webpage. They are colleagues under the standard meaning of the term, just as co-investigators on a research project are colleagues, even if they are at different universities.You do not seem to understand what the word "colleague" means. You keep making irrelevant assertions. They are colleagues in the Ethics and Value Theory Faculty, of which Stubblefield is listed as an "associate member". Hope that's clear.
It's simply wrong, 3:56, and the dog you have in this fight is evidently your inability, as you put it, to "drop things and concede minor points". Stubblefield and Chang are colleagues in the only sense the OP needed: they are both members of Rutger's faculty of Ethics and Value Theory. Given that 'colleague' can mean something so loose as 'in the same profession', you surely must recognize a sense of 'colleague' that counts this as a case. Nevertheless, I suspect you're going to keep this up. So I'll repeat what I said above: If you really are worried about whether or not people engage with each other around here, think a bit before you take another piss for distance.
For both sides of this "colleague" discussion, don't you think the real question is what the fact that Stubblefield and Chang are both on this Ethics and Value Theory is relevant to? I mean, in some cases, I might refer to a physics professor at my institution as my colleague. That's relevant in some instances and not in others.So going back to the place was first brought up up-thread:"Feminist philosopher and social justice warrior, Anna Stubblefield (and member of Rutgers Ethics and Value Theory Faculty, and colleague of feminist activist Ruth Chang, who thinks we should "quit creating a passive due process professional culture") has been convicted of raping a severely physically and cognitively disabled man with the mental age of a toddler, obtaining "consent" via a delusional belief in "facilitated communication" (aka, a ouija board).What is the relevance of pointing out that Stubblefield and Chang are both on this committee? I think that's a more useful thing to know (even more useful to knowing whether "colleague" is the best word to use in this context)
The reasons are that both are public feminist philosophers, colleagues in the same Ethics and Value Theory Faculty, who are known for controversial issues or statements. Stubblefield for recent events, and Chang for her 2014 comments about wishing to "quit" due process professional culture. These are closely related matters. For example, should Stubblefield have been denied due process? Does Chang seriously wish us to believe that anyone should have judged this case at the outset by "how things typically roll in the world"? How does Chang know "how things typically roll in the world"?Does Chang know Stubblefield? Surely she must have known by 2014 that these events were happening. Has she not reflected, given this, that her personal opinions about "how things typically roll in the world" might be mistaken - as "how things roll" can be surprising?
Well, given Chang's on the record bemoaning the culture of due process she thinks academia is plagued with, I for one found it ironic that one of her associates (or whatever) in Rutgers's Faculty for Ethics and Value Theory was suddenly faced with a very real need to have her due process rights respected.
Good question, 4:28.By the way, the associate faculty page the commenter is obsessing over for whatever reason is part of a now-defunct old arrangement in which it was easier for grad students to get certain non-department members at other Rutgers universities to serve as auxiliary doctoral committee members. This is not a collegial arrangement in the sense of the two people belonging to the same department, the same faculty, or even the same university. Why is this relationship so important to you, exactly? Are you suggesting that Chang was under some special obligation to monitor Stubblefield's behavior, given that Stubblefield is listed on an obscure website with Chang? Go on, connect the dots for us.
"Well, given Chang's on the record bemoaning the culture of due process she thinks academia is plagued with, I for one found it ironic that one of her associates (or whatever) in Rutgers's Faculty for Ethics and Value Theory was suddenly faced with a very real need to have her due process rights respected."Again: their relationship existed on paper only. There's no good reason to think Chang and Stubblefield ever even met.
Chang is an expert on "how things typically roll", while bemoaning "due process". Now, 4:49, perhaps you are going to tell us "how things typically roll"? Should Stubblefield have been denied due process?
Okay, I'm going to call 'femtrolling' on this discussion now. Chang and Stubblefield were colleagues under any dictionary's definition, Chang complained about due process, and Stubblefield needed it. QED.
It is very important that accusations of guilt by association be backed up by dictionary definitions. How else can we maintain philosophical rigor and avoid being contaminated by ideology, like those feminists?
5:43, your inability to drop things and concede minor points is going to give people an excuse not to engage with you.
It is simply not true that they were colleagues under every viable definition of 'colleagues'. Far from it.Here's a, perhaps the, standard definition of 'colleague' in this context: colleague = someone who works in your department. They were not colleagues in that sense. Different departments. The list you've dug up is just a guide for prospective grad students listing people OUTSIDE OF THE DEPARTMENT who could nonetheless have served on a dissertation committee back when there was at least some limited connection between the various Rutgers universities. You obviously think that has significance that it doesn't. It doesn't imply that the people on that list have ever worked together or even met. And once again, THEY'RE IN DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS AT DIFFERENT UNIVERSITIES. Drop it now. Or stick to your guns and humiliate yourself further. Your pick.
Femtroll's gonna femtroll.
Given that 'colleague' can mean something so loose as 'in the same profession', you surely must recognize a sense of 'colleague' that counts this as a case. Drop it now. Or stick to your guns and humiliate yourself further. Your pick.
Awesome. I'm a colleague of McGinn's. And also Leiter, and that fuckwad dude from Oregon's department, so that folks can say that [Anonymous] is a colleague of [any person who teaches philosophy] in order to guiltily associate me with any idiotic and immoral behavior by academic philosophers. Anybody who would decry this is obviously a moronic femtroll who cannot admit the truth. You lose! Admit it!!!!11!!
Why the fuck does it matter that they were 'colleagues' in a very loose sense of the term? and why the hell do people keep deliberately misrepresenting Chang? It's those people who look like they are trolling.Like this:"These are closely related matters. For example, should Stubblefield have been denied due process? " "I for one found it ironic that one of her associates (or whatever) in Rutgers's Faculty for Ethics and Value Theory was suddenly faced with a very real need to have her due process rights respected."Both these commenters are talking as though Change is advocating that people lose legal rights, or be denied legal rights. Anyone who read more than the occasional snippets posted completely out of context her on PMMB knows that that is not what she was advocating for.It's like people think that deliberately misrepresenting people is somehow a cunning and clever move, rather than completely dishonest. And if you're going to appeal to the notion that two people are 'colleagues' in one of the loosest sense of the word, and imply that somehow this is a relevant thing to point out when discussing he comments one made and the actions of another, you should (at the very least) read the fucking comments you're referring to in their entirety.
By the way, I honestly cannot tell whether 6:50 is supposed to be a parody of 5:05 et al's reasoning, or an honest attempt to support it. Poe's Law is a harsh but fair mistress.
Can we shut the fuck up about Ruth Chang? Most of us probably disagree with what she said about due process but there is no reason to think she has ever even spoken to or of Anna Stubblefield. The "irony" that she has pooh-poohed due process but that Stubblefield "needed" it is also weak: nobody violated Stubblefield's due process, and she was still found guilty. I could see the relevance if there were due process issues on the table. But there aren't.
Chang decries due process and suddenly her colleague, a fellow feminist, needs it. Seems ironic to me.
"Chang decries due process"Np, she doesn't. That's a gross over-simplification of what she says - and it's so blatantly an over-simplification as to be grossly misleading. This is why we can't actually have discussions about these things. People are more interested in playing 'gotcha!' - taking snippets of interviews or statements out of context, and presenting them in ways which are clearly misleading - than discussing what was actually said in any reasonable fashion. There's just no point trying to have a discussion of what Chang actually said here -it's abundantly clear that the people harping on about how she 'decries due process' are not interested in that at all.
Oh, right, she decries a CULTURE of due process -it's abundantly clear that the people harping on about how she does not 'decry due process' are not interested in that at all.
The fact that Chang and Stubbledfield were in that research group/consortium is more relevant to the irony than if they were simply professors in the same department. For one, many professors are fairly oblivous to what some of their colleagues in the department are up to. Secondly, their decision to accept membership in the group/consortium is presumambly based off an active, abiding interest in work and concernes that have a similar orientation. Therefore, regardless of the definition of 'colleague', the irony mentioned has a higher probability of sticking given we knew they are part of that consortium then whether they were members of the same department.
It seems like a fair amount of sloppy thinking gets a pass in feminist circles. The political aspirations of feminism make that a cause for concern. One positive outcome of the metablogs, I suspect, is that uncritical comments like Chang's will probably be checked before people make them. One hopes that will have an impact on activities like the CSW's Site Visit as well.
Idiot @ 7:38,THERE WAS NO 'RESEARCH GROUP' THAT THEY WERE BOTH IN!THERE WAS NO 'CONSORTIUM' THAT THEY WERE BOTH IN!We've been over this so many times now!What you found was a defunct page that indicated to prospective graduate students that, at that time, if you joined the PhD program at Rutgers (i.e. New Brunswick), there were various other people from other, related departments in the Rutgers system who could perhaps be on your committee if you needed them to be.CHANG... AND... STUBBLEFIELD... DID... NOT... DO... RESEARCH... TOGETHER... OR... BELONG... TO... A... COMMON...RESEARCH...GROUP!Get it now?
Jesus, do you want to Chisholm 'consortium' now? This is what a feminist looks like. It's identity politics all the way down.
I'm not a 'feminist'. I'm just someone who can't believe that an intelligent person would insist on calling something a 'consortium' when its members are not undertaking anything together and have probably never even communicated with one another.
Personally, I don't care what you call it. Chang complained about a culture of due process and Stubblefield, a fellow feminist and associate of Chang's in the Rutgers University system, was shortly reliant on that culture which, surprise surprise, Feminist Philosophers would support.
OK, you clearly haven't read the piece, 10:02. Your comment shows that you have no idea what Chang was talking about. Which isn't surprising. As well as the fucking idiotic insistence that they are 'colleagues' in some sense that is at all relevant given the context, another thing that has characterized this thread is total misrepresentation of Chang's views. Its a shame people who are, I suppose, 'colleagues' of Chang's, are reducing her argument to misleading soundbites and then trying to play some stupid 'gotcha' game in order to pander to the knee-jerk anti-fems here rather than bothering to even read, and interpret with even minimal charity, her actual argument.
I agree that Chang's quote has been misrepresented, but it's still a little mystifying to me. She says that we should eschew a "passive due process culture" precisely because we don't have decision-making authority. But she says this at a time when the decision-making authorities themselves are eschewing actual due process safeguards (see the Harvard Law professors' letter for just one example). The fact that she is worried about the culture of due process being too strong when actual due process is being eroded is - well, like I said, to me, it's mystifying. (Maybe her legal background offers a good explanation; I don't know.) But her actual point doesn't seem "beyond the pale" to me (though this doesn't mean much; I think almost nothing should be "beyond the pale" for philosophy).Funnily enough, her actual point is probably more ironical, in the sense ARG intended it to be, when put alongside the Stubblefield fiasco.
I don't get why people are puzzling over this to death, and in such carefully crafted comments. Why are you trying so hard to associate these two people. Why are you going on and on about an incredibly sad situation, in an apparent attempt to rub salt in people's wounds? Whoever is writing these things, don't you have anything else to talk about? Every time I try or anyone else tries to introduce a different topic, it gets ignored. So what is going on here, really? Please tell me.
I don't see why it's that mystifying. It seems perfectly coherent to me to think, for example, that there are some contexts - legal or disciplinary proceses, for example - where principles of due process have fundamental importance and ought to be applied robustly, but that there are other contexts where such principles are not suitable, so ought not to be appealed to. I can't remember the case, but this is actually close to the position taken by the supreme court. Principles of due process are fundamental, but are about your rights in the context of your legal rights at trial, or your interactions with state actors when you have been officially accused or charged. Chang's point about due process culture is clearly NOT about how disciplinary bodies should behave.
Well, thanks. That is helpful. I hadn't expected to get a sensible response.Was she talking about outsiders' willingness to rush to judgment, witch hunts, and people exploiting other people's calamities for their own gain, then?
Haven't posted in the thread above but have previously pointed out how and how often people misrepresent Chang's comments on here. As I read her, she was specifically objecting to many philosophers' deliberate evasion of a moral stance on sexual misconduct in the discipline, in specific cases and in general terms, on the infinitely extensible basis that "all the data aren't in." Given that all the data are never in, she sees this as a cheap rationalization for not bothering to confront problems with which we might be partly complicit, an easy way to defer having to give a shit about other people.The relevant passage is here. It clearly doesn't "decry due process": "We are trained to be this way – to see the world in terms of arguments for and against a proposition, and to withhold judgment until all the arguments and data are in. This reaction is usually cloaked under cries of ‘due process!’.Now I’m a lawyer, and I love due process probably more than most philosophers, but I really think that these attitudes and reactions are misplaced. The real world is one in which none of us is ever going to get all the evidence and data needed to make the kind of well-informed, dispassionate judgment about a case, and — crucially – people who tend to be on the receiving end of harm require the profession’s support rather than silence. So I think each of us has to make our own judgment, on the basis of whatever data we can be reasonably expected to get, including our understanding of how things typically roll in the world, and take a moral stand on cases of alleged sexual misconduct in the profession."She is objecting to what people "cloak under cries of due process," not to the concept or practice of due process itself.Seeing as I am employed by a university and breathe air on earth, feel free to discredit this post by pointing out that I am an "associate" or "collaborator" of Stubblefield's.
@ 11:18: why don't you read it for yourself? Its in an interview with 3am, so if you google that and 'Ruth Chang' it should be the first link.
http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/the-existentialist-of-hard-choices/3:AM: Now turning to something completely different. What is your take on the spate ofsexual harassment scandals that have rocked the profession recently? What, in your opinion, can be done to help make the profession less susceptible to bad behavior by male senior philosophers pursing relationships with female philosophy students?RC: Well, I can’t believe that philosophers are worse than other academics, or people in general, although the distinctive, intense one-on-one discussions that mark training in philosophy probably makes our profession especially vulnerable to sexual harassment, inappropriate behavior, misread signals and the like.The two most prevalent ‘unsympathetic’ reactions to all the press about sexual harassment or sexually inappropriate behavior I’ve had – all from senior male philosophers, some of some fame – are both of apiece with what we do as philosophers and therefore not altogether surprising. But I find them pretty dispiriting.The first is that we all have to remain neutral, that we can’t express even conditional moral disapprobation or sympathy for a party until we ourselves have the proof in hand and we can make our own judgment about the matter. Allied with this reaction is the intellectual reflex to think of all the counterarguments to any allegation or counter-interpretations to data with which we are presented. We are trained to be this way – to see the world in terms of arguments for and against a proposition, and to withhold judgment until all the arguments and data are in. This reaction is usually cloaked under cries of ‘due process!’.Now I’m a lawyer, and I love due process probably more than most philosophers, but I really think that these attitudes and reactions are misplaced. The real world is one in which none of us is ever going to get all the evidence and data needed to make the kind of well-informed, dispassionate judgment about a case, and — crucially – people who tend to be on the receiving end of harm require the profession’s support rather than silence. So I think each of us has to make our own judgment, on the basis of whatever data we can be reasonably expected to get, including our understanding of how things typically roll in the world, and take a moral stand on cases of alleged sexual misconduct in the profession. It’s not that we have to blog about it or call up the victim, whomever we might believe him/her to be, but even casual remarks to colleagues in a department go a long way toward establishing a departmental culture or professional community where, eventually, people in that community have the sense: ‘We are a place that cares about the harm sexual harassment does to junior people in the profession and will take that junior person seriously’ or, to take just one possible alternative, ‘We are a place that cares more about the possible injustice done to an alleged perpetrator of sexual harassment and will stand behind such a person until he is proven guilty’. Context really matters here. Given that sexual harassment is a very real and serious problem in the world, I would much rather be in the former culture than the latter. Of course, we can be wrong about any particular judgments we make. But that wouldn’t be the end of the world since most of us aren’t saddled with decision-making authority over the relevant parties. It’s time to stop pretending that we are university disciplinary committees and quit creating a passive ‘due process’ professional culture. Failure to build a welcoming, safe, and caring culture for the profession – one that reflects the realities of how the world usually rolls and thus errs on the side of supporting the alleged victim of sexual harassment – is, in my view, crucial to the health of the profession.
The second reaction I’ve had from senior male philosophers is that women undergraduates have all the power: with one little complaint they can ruin the career and reputation of a senior male philosopher who is guilty of nothing more than expressing romantic interest in her, and so the wisest thing a male philosopher can do is to steer clear of mentoring or working with any female student. The idea here is that if a senior male philosopher hasn’t got the judgment to know when his behavior is inappropriate, unwelcome, and the like, he’ll just punish all female students by taking his ball home and refusing to play with the girls. Louise Antony, in a NYT Opinionator piece, does a good job of skewering this view. I would add just one small point. At institutions where dating students is not prohibited, any senior person – graduate student or faculty member – obviously has the burden to make sure he’s not unwittingly exploiting the power imbalance between himself and a female student when he begins to pursue a romantic relationship with her. One way to check whether he’s doing that is for him to ask of every communication he has with the student, ‘Is this something I wouldn’t mind having videotaped/copied and shown to the university’s committee on sexual harassment?’ That might help pierce some self-deception.I suppose that a silver lining in all the bad press philosophy has been receiving is that, like STEM researchers, philosophers might now be motivated to use the tools of their trade to figure out ways to make sexual harassment just unequivocally not okay within the profession. After the Larry Summers blowup, people in the STEM fields rolled up their sleeves and starting tackling the possibly related problem of the underrepresentation of women in those fields in the way they knew how – by collecting data, doing studies, and offering hypotheses based on rigorous analysis of that data. We philosophers are handicapped by not having the skills or resources — they have NSF funding — to collect data or to run proper studies about sexual harassment ourselves, but we can always try to do the same thing — to effect a shift in the culture of the profession — from our armchairs. I think that is already happening. But some people don’t like it and are being dragged along, kicking and screaming. So it’s a slow and painful process.
"It’s not that we have to blog about it or call up the victim, whomever we might believe him/her to be, but even casual remarks to colleagues in a department go a long way toward establishing a departmental culture or professional community where, eventually, people in that community have the sense: ‘We are a place that cares about the harm sexual harassment does to junior people in the profession and will take that junior person seriously’ or, to take just one possible alternative, ‘We are a place that cares more about the possible injustice done to an alleged perpetrator of sexual harassment and will stand behind such a person until he is proven guilty’. Context really matters here. Given that sexual harassment is a very real and serious problem in the world, I would much rather be in the former culture than the latter. Of course, we can be wrong about any particular judgments we make. But that wouldn’t be the end of the world since most of us aren’t saddled with decision-making authority over the relevant parties. It’s time to stop pretending that we are university disciplinary committees and quit creating a passive ‘due process’ professional culture."I take it this is what were on about. Solidarity with the accuser is more important than the possible injustice done to the accused. This is an explicit decrying of a culture of due process.
Well, if that's what people were talking about, the Stubblefield stuff makes even less sense. "These are closely related matters. For example, should Stubblefield have been denied due process? ""I for one found it ironic that one of her associates (or whatever) in Rutgers's Faculty for Ethics and Value Theory was suddenly faced with a very real need to have her due process rights respected.""Personally, I don't care what you call it. Chang complained about a culture of due process and Stubblefield, a fellow feminist and associate of Chang's in the Rutgers University system, was shortly reliant on that culture which, surprise surprise, Feminist Philosophers would support.""Chang decries due process and suddenly her colleague, a fellow feminist, needs it. Seems ironic to me."Stubblefield was not denied due process. Nor is Chang advocating that people should be. Stubblefield did have her due process rights respected. And Chang was not advocating that people should lose their due process rights. Stubblefield was not 'reliant' on a departmental or professional culture in which people do not automatically stand behind an accused until they are proven guilty, but instead make their own judgments. She was reliant on a judicial system. Similarly, she did not 'need' a departmental or professional culture in which people do not automatically stand behind an accused until they are proven guilty, but instead make their own judgments. What she 'needed' was to have her rights respected. Which is what she got. And Chang was not arguing that people in her position shouldn't.
Chang, like so many other witch hunters, wishes to remove the presumption of innocence, and to treat the innocent as guilty. This is immoral. It is the outlook of the witch hunter and leads to gross injustice. It also erodes a basic feature of a democracy: the rule of law.
6:03, can you explain what you think the 'presumption of innocence' means? Because the standard view in the literature is that this is a legal doctrine or right that applies in the context of a trial (or other judicial setting). Chang is not talking about these contexts, so she is not talking about removing the presumption of innocence. You clearly mean something else by the 'presumption of innocence' so it would be good for you to explain clearly what that is. For example, does it apply only when someone is alleged to have committed a crime, or also when they have done something wrong -or simply something we disapprove of? Does it apply to beliefs, or how we should act in light of our beliefs? Ordinary epistemic standards would require that we should not believe that X did Y unless our credence in the proposition 'X did Y' is more than .5. So presumably because you are invoking a special principle here you think that in cases where someone has done something we disapprove of, the epistemic standards vary. Could you explain why? Or do you think that this is a case where we should form beliefs according to ordinary standards, but we should act only in certain ways? If so, this seems odd. Could you explain why, for example, we should always act as though we believe the accused is innocent, even if we believe it is more likely that they are not? Shouldn't we just apply standard decision theory in this case - we consider the actions available to us, weigh the costs and benefits (taking into account how likely it appears to us that the accused is guilty, etc).
Presumption of innocence means that when someone accuses another of something, you presume innocence. This is basic morality and is built into the legal system to protect innocent people being harmed. You protect the innocent.
Hi 5:43. Let me try to help. You seem to think the critics of Chang are holding that she was decrying the legal right to due process. But I don't see where that was asserted by anyone. She was decrying a culture, in academia, where people think a possible injustice done to the accused is more important than expressing solidarity with accusers. It's clear that she is talking about an extra-judicial movement away from concerns of due process rather than a legal one. And I, for one, find that morally repugnant. There are personal and professional consequences that come with the creation of insular communities where people take a "moral stand" (her words) on cases of alleged sexual misconduct. She thinks her understanding of "the realities of how the world usually rolls" justifies this attitude. But I do not think we should be letting the Ruth Chang's of the profession put their fingers on our moral compasses here. Look at what she says about the possible wrong done to the accused if we create the kind of culture she wants (directly before the line about a 'culture of due process'):Of course, we can be wrong about any particular judgments we make. But that wouldn’t be the end of the world since most of us aren’t saddled with decision-making authority over the relevant parties.The impact our moral judgments have on one another does not require decision-making authority. And at a time when some people are agitating for extra-judicial university tribunals that are playing loose with procedures of due process (look at the way professors at Colorado were treated with the Site Visit debacle), and when these agitators are using these tribunals to put political pressure on people they disagree with (look at the Laura Kipnis fiasco), it is ludicrous that we should be told that it's not a big deal if we're wrong about taking a moral stand that she herself positions in opposition to respect for due process. The idea that because Chang was talking about non-legal mechanisms her position is somehow okay mislocates the problem. And ironically, the 'it's complicated' stance at Feminist Philosophers shows that the Tribe was willing, in the case of Stubblefield, to hold off on taking a moral stand until all the facts were in. I wonder why...
Well, they simply do not care - morally - about human beings. They are willing to inflict very considerable levels of irreparable harm on others - the innocent - on the basis of nothing more than say-so. This is immoral. It is witch hunting and must be challenged. The Tim Hunt witch hunt mentioned above encapsulates this witch hunting quite well - the person who set off the witch hunt, Connie St Louis, with claims that fell apart under scrutiny has not be held to account. And yet Professor Hunt was subjected to "intense vitriolic abuse" for something that simply did not happen.
"Presumption of innocence means that when someone accuses another of something, you presume innocence. This is basic morality."So, just in general, if X accuses Y of something, you presume innocence. Again, do you mean that you are obliged to believe that Y is innocent? If so, until when (or what)? And on what grounds are you asserting that it is a 'basic principle of morality'? It is a basic legal principle, but this is no reason in and of itself to assume that it is a basic moral principle.
You do not inflict suffering and harm on the innocent. This is a basic moral principle. Do not harm the innocent. Why do you think innocent people should be harmed?
"You seem to think the critics of Chang are holding that she was decrying the legal right to due process. "No, I don't think in general 'the' critics of Chang are holding that. I think the people criticising her in connection with Stubblefield were doing that, because they quite clearly were. Look at the quotes I've provided. They don't make any sense unless that's what people believed Chang was talking about. As I explained.
Why do you think innocent children who have already been raped deserve to be put at serious risk of further abuse when this risk could easily be mitigated, 7:09?
Critics of Chang are criticizing her for wanting to "quit a due process culture". Please read the OP's quote - "... feminist activist Ruth Chang, who thinks we should "quit creating a passive due process professional culture")". Chang is advocating a culture in which the innocent should be treated as guilty. This is a witch hunting culture. It is immoral.
I'm sorry, 7:10, but those quotes don't say the things you think they say. They make perfect sense as objections to what Chang said. And I've argued that Chang's position should be rejected, so your misreading is only a distraction at this point.
"Chang is advocating a culture in which the innocent should be treated as guilty." No, she is not. There is a difference between advocating culture in which the innocent *should* be treated as guilty, and advocating for a culture (or system) in which some innocent will inevitably be treated as guilty. Anyone who favours any kind of legal system, for example, is advocating for a system in which it is almost inevitable that innocent people will be treated as guilty. This is not the same as advocating a system in which people should be treated as guilty. If you actually read it, Chang is advocating for a professional culture in which we make our own moral judgments, rather than simply always leaning in favour of the alleged accused. This - like any system including our legal system - means that occasionally we will get it wrong and treat innocent people as guilty. This is a bad thing. But if we were to always err on the side of assuming the alleged accused was innocent, this would have the result of adding significantly to the suffering of those who have been harassed or assaulted. And this is a bad thing. Those who are innocent should not suffer socially and professionally for wrongs they did not commit. But those who have been subjected to sexual assault or harassment should also not have to suffer any further professionally or socially. We should not always take the side of either the accused or the accuser, but make our own moral judgments about whether, in this case, the risks of supporting the accuser and us being wrong outweigh the risks of supporting the accused and being wrong.
Are you fucking kidding, 7:30? So when you read this quote:""I for one found it ironic that one of her associates (or whatever) in Rutgers's Faculty for Ethics and Value Theory was suddenly faced with a very real need to have her due process rights respected."You think that the person was talking about Stubblefield's 'need' to have her 'rights' to have her colleagues do things like not make casual remarks in support of her victim in the dept lounge? And you simply deciding to respond to my point about whether people were misreading Chang in the context of discussions about Stubblefield with a discussion about what Chang said more generally does not make it the case that my original point was a "distraction."If you want to talk about what Chang actually said, by all means. But don't pretend that the conversation before that was about something it clearly wasn't. All you need to do is say that you'd rather focus on something else.
The only real-world example of someone who has been convicted in a court of law of assault is Anna Stubblefield - convicted of aggravated sexual assault against a disabled man unable to consent because he has the mind of a toddler."Those who are innocent should not suffer socially and professionally for wrongs they did not commit."Now try reading this again for yourself and think about the moral implications for the innocent victims, which you are desperate to ignore. The innocent have their lives, careers, families, everything ruined and destroyed. How can this conceivably be justified? Vast irreparable harm is done by a culture of distributing false accusations. And Chang is advocating precisely this culture - in which the innocent are assumed guilty - an immoral witch hunting culture. You have a moral duty to presume innocence, as summed up in the famous Blackstone formulation, "It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer".
How about you try thinking of the moral implications of your view for the innocent victims of rape and sexual assault who you seem desperate to ignore, 7:58? It seems apparent that you just do not give a shit about these people at all. How can you conceivably justify a culture which compounds the social, professional and psychological pain already suffered by people who are victims of what is already one of the worst possible kind of violations a person can suffer?
Hi 7:47,Actually, that's something I said. The 'due process culture' you so blithely contrast with 'casual remarks in support of the victim' is something that Stubblefield was entitled to, and which she did have a need for. Lucky for her Feminist Philosophers weighed in on the complexities of the case. So, ironically, she got the very treatment her colleague Ruth Change was bemoaning a supposed culture of.
I am a victim of sexual assault, you disgusting pile of shit, 8:12.
Guess what, 8:20? Ditto.
From 8:12: How about you try thinking of the moral implications of your view for the innocent victims of rape and sexual assault who you seem desperate to ignore, 7:58? It seems apparent that you just do not give a shit about these people at all. How can you conceivably justify a culture which compounds the social, professional and psychological pain already suffered by people who are victims of what is already one of the worst possible kind of violations a person can suffer?This is the kind of black-and-white thinking that worries me about identity politicians. A strident political disagreement about rape culture becomes a venue for morally condemning someone as completely uncaring for "innocent victims of rape and sexual assault". People with 8:12's sensibilities should not be allowed to take part in any role that involves exercising punitive power over those who disagree with her politics. Well, that's probably too strong, but she should definitely sit in the corner for a while and think about what she's saying. And yet how many Committees on Social Justice are people like 8:12 currently sitting on?
6:45, perhaps you want to read the comment above. I was simply responding in similarly hyperbolic kind to the person who was accusing me of being 'desperate to ignore' the innocent victims. They quoted from this post:"If you actually read it, Chang is advocating for a professional culture in which we make our own moral judgments, rather than simply always leaning in favour of the alleged accused. This - like any system including our legal system - means that occasionally we will get it wrong and treat innocent people as guilty. This is a bad thing. But if we were to always err on the side of assuming the alleged accused was innocent, this would have the result of adding significantly to the suffering of those who have been harassed or assaulted. And this is a bad thing. Those who are innocent should not suffer socially and professionally for wrongs they did not commit. But those who have been subjected to sexual assault or harassment should also not have to suffer any further professionally or socially. We should not always take the side of either the accused or the accuser, but make our own moral judgments about whether, in this case, the risks of supporting the accuser and us being wrong outweigh the risks of supporting the accused and being wrong."It is abundantly clear that it is deeply, deeply uncharitable to describe that post as written by someone 'desperate to ignore' the innocent victims.Perhaps you need to sit in a corner for a while and think about why you seem to be selectively reading exchanges in order to justify your patronizing bullshit.
You are a zealot, 8:12. I am a victim of assault, 8:12. I have a diagnosis of PTSD. But this experience does not make me respond hysterically and demand witch hunts of people who have had a finger pointed at them. Because perhaps the accuser is wrong, or lying, or malicious. My being a victim of assault does not make me wish to see innocent people's lives ruined by the witch hunting culture promoted by Chang. You must protect the innocent. Because ruining the lives of the innocent is morally barbaric. You must respect the innocent, you zealot.
The fact that you repeatedly interpret me as 'wishing' to see innocent people's lives ruined and 'demanding' witch hunts , 8:52, just shows that you are so blinded by your own knee-jerk ideological views that you re both unwilling to actually read what people have said, and unwilling to refrain from building ridiculous strawmen wherever you can. As for 'hysterical' responses, on this score it looks like you are happy to dish it out but you can't take it in response. If you don't want people responding to your posts with absurd hyperbole, then don't engage in it yourself. To quote you: "Now try reading this again for yourself and think about the moral implications for the innocent victims, which you are desperate to ignore."Your either an idiot or your deliberately trolling. I'm so 'desperate to ignore' the innocent victims that I said this:"This - like any system including our legal system - means that occasionally we will get it wrong and treat innocent people as guilty. This is a bad thing."This, which you even quoted: "Those who are innocent should not suffer socially and professionally for wrongs they did not commit"And this: "We should not always take the side of either the accused or the accuser, but make our own moral judgments about whether, in this case, the risks of supporting the accuser and us being wrong outweigh the risks of supporting the accused and being wrong."
"Because ruining the lives of the innocent is morally barbaric."It's morally barbaric to deliberately compound the suffering of a rape victim, too.
I know what you were doing 8:39, and the fact that ARG was doing it too doesn't make it any better. Another basic principle of moral reasoning. 15 more minutes in the corner. And no more giving side-eye to ARG.
Ruth "Deep Thinker" Chang clearly conceives of the presumption of innocence as something appropriate only to legal or "deliberative body" contexts. But the question is, why would such an approach ever have been adopted, and on what grounds would it be justified in such contexts? How can it be that the grounds that would justify the principle in legal and deliberative contexts won't apply as well in broader contexts? People argue here that the victims of sexual assault create a special need for putting aside the presumption of innocence whereever possible. But, of course, those who are accused of sexual assault are not treated differently in legal contexts with respect to the presumption of innocence. If the presumption of innocence is still considered inviolable in the legal context even in such cases, why so? In general, in what contexts, exactly, is the presumption of innocence justified, and on what grounds?Now a decent philosopher of law would perceive these difficulties, and try to address them. And then there's Ruth Chang, Ideological Hack.
That's funny, 6:45. If you knew why I was doing it, then you would have known that that comment was not an accurate representation of my views. Yet your comment supposes that it is. It also seems strange that you would have chosen to call me out so strongly, and yet ignored the many worse manifestations of the same behavior. And a basic principle of *moral* reasoning is that one person doing something does not justify you doing it. But maybe you have heard of the method of parody? If not, maybe you need to brush up on some basic argument types. It's not uncommon to make arguments that are bad for the same reasons that your opponents are in order to make it obvious what the problems are.
I'm a new entrant to the thread.7:36 says: "There is a difference between advocating a culture in which the innocent *should* be treated as guilty, and advocating for a culture (or system) in which some innocent will inevitably be treated as guilty, " and then argues in favor of the latter.The problem with this vision is that, in extra-judicial contexts, whoever ends up getting treated as guilty, whether they are innocent or guilty, is being treated that way on the basis of gossip. Gossip is and can easily be spread by self-interested persons and manipulative sociopaths. I have seen it destroy people's careers quite outside of any of the popular cases talked about on the philosophy blogs. It is a false dream to think that uninformed popular opinion will converge on the truth in any particular case. You have to make major assumptions about the personality make-up of the population and the cohesion of the culture and about the role of other values, like ambition and personal gain.7:36 says: "We should ... make our own moral judgments about whether ... the risks of supporting the accuser and us being wrong outweigh the risks of supporting the accused and being wrong." I'm not yet persuaded that to avoid complicity with an unjust system (e.g. a misogynistic or sexist one), it is necessary to advocate injustice towards individuals in the system (by way of opening up the gates to the angry mob who rips him apart and throwing up your hands). I wonder whether a case can be made that in general for any kind of corrupt regime or unjust system avoiding being complicit requires that one behave unjustly towards other members who consciously or unconsciously prop up the unjust system. I doubt it. (I'm assuming here that the calculation of risks that 7:36 talks about are done in such a way that (1)if one does nothing, one is giving support to the accused -- so, we have complicity; and (2) part of the dis-utility of 'supporting' the accused rather than the accuser is that future injustice (e.g. rapes) are made more likely, while part of the advantage of supporting the accuser is that future rapes will be come less likely.)
I know 9:18, I know, you think ARG's behavior makes yours okay. But you're still going to have to sit in your corner and think about what you've done.
You're just being a gratuitous asshole now, 6:45.
I'm taking the piss out of you, that's for sure. Now quiet or I'll make you wear the dunce cap!
So let's correct your misleading factual error, 2:45. (I am fully aware of Stubblefield's location at Rutgers Newark.) Here is the webpage for the "Ethics and Value Theory Faculty" at the Rutgers Philosophy Department. I quote from the list:Core FacultyRuth Chang...Associate Members of the Graduate Faculty....Anna Stubblefield.
Right. You'll see that 'Associate Members of the Graduate Faculty' is a list of people at other Rutgers Universities, including various law schools. They aren't members of the same department, and they don't teach in the same place, and they don't work under the same dean or the same chair, and they have different department meetings and other departmental events.So, not colleagues.
I wonder if this article, "The Role of Communication in Thought", 2011, Disability Studies Quarterly, is going to be retracted? Apparently "written" by DJ using "facilitated communication"; but clearly it's written by Stubblefield. Looking forward to the profession making a big fuss about it ...
You could write to the journal - that seems to be the strategy taken by an FP commenter (noetika) who thought, as you do, that the piece ought to be retracted. From FP;"I’ve read the paper that was published under his name at DSQ, and in fact, I wrote to them the other day to ask if they were considering retracting it because if it’s true that Stubblefield was (I’ll grant, very possibly unconsciously) manipulating the communications, I think it would be an insult to both justice and academic integrity to let an article in which the very practice used to victimize him is defended remain under his name." As for encouraging the profession to make more of a fuss about it (which I agree we should), the fact that the problem has been mentioned both here and FP is a good (though small) start. Perhaps mention it to DN and Leiter as well? And suggest FP make a separate post about this issue in particular? Does anyone here (perhaps from the sciences, or some field where retractions are a bit more common) have any insight into what the appropriate thing for observers to do in cases of this kind? Is it appropriate to pressure a journal to retract, and if so, what's the best way to go about doing this?
Well done to noetika.
But there must be some krypto nefarious motive. I'm sure of it.
I was wondering what new evil women were up to this week. I should have realized that it doesn't matter, because we can never get enough of the previous week's topics.
I agree. One teeny weeny little rape should not take our minds off the central problem the philosophy profession faces - plague of thousands of wicked Patriarchical "harassers" storming through all philosophy departments.
The central problem is climate change, and the mass migrations, wars and multiple rapes that will come along with it, as a result of it.
I don't know if many on this blog are interested in continental philosophy, especially this variety, but if so, what do you think of this argument from DN's "Heap of Link"?http://blog.oup.com/2015/10/nothing-nothings-philosophy/It claims that Heidegger's much maligned statement "das Nichts nichtet" (the nothing nothings) is true on at least one possible interpretation, and at least meaningful on another.However, both interpretations strike me as not only very unusual but almost OPPOSITE in meaning to the most common interpretations in the literature.Take the first one: "(The) nothing nothings" is read as basically: there doesn't exist anything that possesses no properties.But I thought the whole point of the phrase was to playfully treat "nothing" as an active agent that causes something ("the" nothing does stuff), with the added joke that what it does is itself (nothings, causes nothing to be, brings about absences of something). So the whole point is to say that--in a narrow sense--there IS something with no properties, that brings itself about even though it--in another, broader sense--doesn't exist. My own very rough attempt to explain his point: property-bearing things are the product of human intelligence identifying and carving up the world in ways meaningful to human practices (not that far from Wittgenstein, here, for the analytically inclined!). So in some sense, the world prior to human meaning is "the nothing" that exists before "somethings" do.This nothing acts (it "nothings") in the sense that by being prior to and independent of the meanings bestowed by humans for human purposes, it ultimately undermines any attempt finally and completely ground meaning in reality. (I.e., reality gives zero fucks about humans.) So, the act of nothing-ing is just the fact that reality and human meaning and knowledge never perfectly correspond, gaps show through in knowledge, words and concepts fail to have clean edges, etc.Now, maybe that's false, but it seems to me to be similar to the most common interpretations, and the opposite of the linked interpretation. The linked interpretation tries to reduce all understanding of the world to positive properties, while Heidegger is, perhaps poorly or incoherently, perhaps mistakenly trying to claim that reality precedes and exceeds such distinctions.What's the point of defending the sense of Heidegger's statement if it's completely the opposite of what most interpreters think it means?
Cook calls Carnap "Rudolph". However, it is Rudolf Carnap.
Woops! Or maybe it's intentional: bestowing on him the honor of an English name. You're a real philosopher now, Rudolph.
>What's the point of defending the sense of Heidegger's statement if it's completely the opposite of what most interpreters think it means?... Isn't this run of the mill procedure for exegetical scholarship? On the other hand...TIL "Nothing nothings" is a logical truth in second-order logic from someone who doesn't care about what Heidegger might have meant by "Das Nichts nichtet" nor cares why Heidegger believed it.
::yawn::Usually, threads that involve anonymous callouts of philosophers by name are at least interesting, even when spreading bile, hearsay, or falsehood. But this little dust-up about Chang and Stubblefield is just boooring. Can we please move along?::yawn::
I think it would be nice to move on too.I think the person or people writing all these remarks are probably psychopaths. I don't get what they think they're gaining, though.
Yes, let's just paint everyone we disagree with or find unsettling a psychopath. No problem there.Boo Radley is the real the unsung hero of that overrated book.
A quick google search to see why this is dangerous:"How to tell whether a child will become a psychopath..""Men with wider faces are more likely to have psychopathic tendencies""Scientists say psychopathic people really like bitter food""If you drink your coffee black, you might be a psychopath""Is your child a psychopath? Study reveals the warning signs..."It's fear mongering.
How is it fear mongering? Psychopathy is ondition in which there is something missing from the personality -- empathy. Not all psychopaths are violent. However, it can be very damaging to be around such a person. They are very good at manipulating the people around them. It is a good thing to acknowledge that they are in the population, as it will help people to understand what has happened to them sometimes when things go awry in their lives. Those sound like stupid headlines, but it is not fear mongering to point out that there are psychopaths in the population and to say, as 10:59 did, that a sort of obsessive gossipy concern with an event in which all involved must be experiencing great emotional pain, erroneously rationalizing that concern as being conducive towards some improvement in the profession or larger society, is psychopathic. It would be one thing to have a single thread on it, or to take on as a research project or committee work the project of understanding what happened there. Or perhaps in a therapy session or privately with a friend one might obsess on this event and talk endlessly by name about people associated with it, working out some psychic trauma of one's own. But otherwise this kind of gossip is quite possibly literally psychopathic or sociopathic (no real difference between the two).
I'm not a fan of the gossip either, but I recognize that sometimes, some people don't have friends or close confidantes (for whatever reason), and anonymous spaces are quite often, the safest of spaces. It is also a matter of practising epistemic humility, given that we don't know the causal mechanisms of empathy and the neural system. Autistic people have also been labelled as "lacking empathy" but this is a controversial claim. I think it is more productive to look at outside factors rather than try to attribute mental states to people on the basis of very little, dodgy evidence.We can also say that "psychopathic tendencies" exist without labelling everyone and anyone who manifests some of those tendencies as a psychopath (without very good reason). It is extremely easy to commit inhumane acts against people that have "inhumane" qualities, such as a lack of empathy.
Yes, all good, 8:50. I take your points. /8:12
So I don't know if this is going to work, but I'll give it a shot. Buried in the she-said/she-said of the Chang thread above is a comment that highlights what I think is so perverse about Chang's position, read on its face. So I want to bring it down for separate discussion. Anon writes:And on what grounds are you asserting that [the presumption of innocence] is a 'basic principle of morality'? It is a basic legal principle, but this is no reason in and of itself to assume that it is a basic moral principle.I'm 6:45 above. In that comment I tried to lay out why I think the extra-judicial systems of social punishment and moral condemnation that people like Chang, the CSW, and Laura Kipnis's critics are willing to use. Comments like anon's here quite nicely illustrate the problem. Evidently some people think that principles like due process and the presumption of innocence have their proper home in the court of law, such that there is some additional condition that needs to be in place when we apply these principles in our personal and institutional relationships with our colleagues. That's nuts. It's true that legal contexts have given these principles a more sharply defined meaning, and made their relation to things like justice and punishment more clear, than when they are used in the day-to-day affairs of, for instance, a departmental meeting or a dinner with colleagues. But these principles have application in the law, and are deserving of the clarification that legal use has given them, exactly for the reason that they are important more generally for how we collectively administer justice and punishment. The attempt to divide the moral up into the legal and the non-legal, all the while creating extra-legal means of exacting punishment on the Bad Guys without having to bother with legal principles that have been hard-won over the course of centuries, is barbaric.The people advocating for more and severe use of these extra-legal mechanisms, all the while encouraging us to shy away from things like due process and the presumption of innocence because "it's not the end of the world" if we're wrong about it in any one case, are at best not being careful about what they think and say, and are at worst moral monsters. I'm hoping the former end of the scale is more common than the latter, and that more open discussion about what people like Kipnis, Chang, etc. are saying will lead to better thought and deed on the part of everyone.
^^^^ Worth reading.
Well put. Moving away from a 'presumption of innocence' standard in general social cases CAN be the end of the world for some people. I know personally of one case where someone was bitter at someone else and told a bunch of people that the guy she was bitter at had done some really bad things that it later turned out he hadn't done, and the people she told it to went and kicked the shit out of the innocent guy, mistakenly thinking they were being heroic. And for some people, the results are even worse. Death, lifelong imprisonment, estrangement can all result from not taking the presumption of innocence idea seriously. Think of how you would treat a colleague you had very good reason to believe was a really nasty, serial sexual harasser. I'll bet you'd be glad to see the last of him or her. It's unlikely you'd want such a person to stay in your department or be responsible for allowing such a person to move to another department and do the same thing all over again. You'd probably feel happy to know that his career had been put to an end. Is his reputation ruined for life? Will these problems lead to chronic underemployment, alienation from his friends, and divorce? You probably wouldn't care all that much, if he were guilty of something really bad. But now imagine that the person who suffers these 'repercussions' is a completely innocent friend of yours who never did anything wrong. Would you feel OK about the friend having to go through that, and suffer the horrible consequences of something he didn't do? I doubt it.Yes, it's tricky, because there are harms if the standards of evidence are too lax and harms if the standards are too high. I can see SOME basis for arguing that our due process mentality should be weakened somewhat, though in the end I'm not sure it's so convincing. But anyone who treats it as 'no big deal' that innocent people could and would be unjustly accused isn't playing with a full deck, morally speaking. That shouldn't even be a position under serious discussion.
I think the imaginative exercise is helpful, particularly if we take both sides seriously. I'm concerned that what I see from people roughly on Chang's side, in the handful of departments I've had first-hand experience with, the conferences I go to, etc., is an almost gleeful rallying of the Good Guys against the Bad Guys. 'Zealotry' is a good term. And in the (even smaller handful) of cases where I have some of the details of what's behind some rally, it's invariably more 'complicated' than the zealots would have us believe. The zealots frame the discussion as if there's rampant sexual violence and depravity all around us. If there is, then of course that's a problem. But if there isn't, then we should be cautious about fostering hysteria (TRIGGER WARNING!!) over what amounts to the foibles of adult sexual tension.
Good job, 6:45. I don't think people like Chang or Barnes or Schliesser or Weinberg are even in good faith. They want to create an atmosphere or moral panic so they can bypass due process and grab power by instilling fear of their McCarthyst methods in the rest of us. We have a moral duty to resist them.
we should be cautious about fostering hysteria over what amounts to the foibles of adult sexual tensionThat's right. Some of these people want us all to regress to pre-puberty. Themselves excepted when it suits them, of course.
9:08, it is probably better to think of them as normal-hearted but underinformed and uncritical rather than demonizing them. People can, and do, change their minds sometimes.To think otherwise is to fan the bi-partisan flames; everything doesn't need to be a "war"
9:35, there's something to what you're saying, but they started the "war", and it's clear they have a lot to gain from keeping tensions high. The most blatant example is Weinberg's partly financially-driven desire to increase traffic on his blog. Not sure what you're thinking about when you talk about people changing their minds.
Well put 9:35. We should be aiming for reconciliation, not conflict. But that doesn't mean we should shy away from confrontation, and I get the sense that too many people associate confrontation with conflict, and these as excluding reconciliation. It reminds one of the moral climate of the adolescent schoolyard. Still, I think 9:08 is on to something when it comes to what the Self-Appointed Social Justice Mavens, knowingly or not, are doing.
6:45, the problem is that it is clear what the presumption of innocence requires in a legal context. But no-one here has yet made it clear what they think the presumption of innocence means in ordinary contexts, beyond our ordinary epistemic and moral duties (i.e, don't believe something unless it's more likely than not if it is true, even if you think something is true, it may be better to act as though it is not true if the consequences of you acting as though it is true but being wrong are much worse than the consequences of you acting as though it is false but being wrong.For the presumption of innocence to be a special principle, it needs to prescribe something above and beyond what we are ordinarily required to believe or do anyway. And it is just not clear what those who advocate for this principle in non-legal contexts think that these special obligations are, or what they think justifies them. I mean, clearly you ought not to destroy someone's professional life on the basis of mere gossip. But you don't need any special principle about the presumption of innocence to tell you that. All you need to know is that the consequences of destroying someone's professional life are very bad, and you do not have good epistemic reasons for thinking that they did the thing in question.
Respect for persons? Could innocence until being proven guilty require the idea that we should always treat people as ends in themselves?
"clearly you ought not to destroy someone's professional life on the basis of mere gossip. But you don't need any special principle about the presumption of innocence to tell you that."Well I'm afraid that's not so clear for many of the SJW philosophy bloggers out there. And then there are the crazy ideas like Schliesser proposing a boycott of people who sue false student accusers and are proven right in court: active discouragement of due process, coupled with an injunction to ignore its outcomes when they don't suit the New Consensus narrative.
We do not need necessary and sufficient conditions for applying the principle that we should presume people innocent in order to know what it means to apply that principle in contexts like, for instance, the moral stand we take toward our colleagues who have been accused of something. Remember, this began as a nebulous complaint about a "culture of due process". Insofar as Chang and her cohort are confident they know what it means to replace that culture with their alternative, their critics have all the ground they need to object to what Chang and her cohort are doing.
6:45, that doesn't answer the question of what in fact the principle entails though.So what does it mean to apply the principle 'that we should presume people innocent', to you? In particular, what does it mean above and beyond what we are ordinarily required to believe or do? (depending on whether you think this 'presumption' applies to what we ought to believe, or what we ought to do, or both). Because my answer to this question 'what moral stand should we take towards our colleagues who have been accused' is this: well, it depends what they have been accused of. And it depends on your evidence. And it depends on what the consequences are for the accused. It also depends on what the consequences are for the accuser of the actions you propose to take. And the likelihood that the accuser is telling the truth. And so on. But I am not invoking a special principle: this is how you should act in any situation. You seem to think there is a special principle which applies in these cases. It would be good to here what extra requirements this special principle imposes on us.
You presume innocence. Why is this complicated? Imagine someone shouts, "Muslim terrorists are taking over my country" and demands punishment of someone who has had a finger pointed at them, because of "risk", etc. Should this person be(1) punished? attacked? assumed guilty? (2) presumed innocent?The answer is (2): you must presume innocence.
I'm denying the relevance of your question, 10:51, and I've given you an explanation for why it's irrelevant. What Chang et. al. bemoan as a 'culture of due process', the rest of us see as a culture that respects a basic principle of justice. I'm happy with your answer to the question you ask, and I'm not rejecting that answer. Nor am I suggesting there's some 'special principle' that needs to be applied.What I reject is the claim by Chang et. al. that we live in a culture where these principles of justice, as applied in the prosaic ways we do in our personal and professional lives, need to be replaced with her alternative. I am further objecting to the fact that people like Change tell themselves it's no big deal if they condemn someone who was innocent, justify this on the basis of a false dichotomy between legal and non-legal respect for principles of justice, together with a hand-washing defense that they don't have any institutional power over the people they condemn, while at the same time clamoring for more (extra-judicial) institutional power over their colleagues. I am objecting to Chang's stance root and branch, and for that the question of what the principles of justice entails in particular cases is irrelevant. She is not offering a criticism of the particulars, and I am not objecting to anything particular.
For those who might question whether a presumption of innocence should apply beyond the confines of legal or deliberative processes, consider how we think about racial profiling in broader contexts. Suppose that a retail store makes a point of singling out African American customers for special scrutiny -- being followed by store detectives, etc. -- because it has good evidence that African Americans are more likely to shoplift than whites. Would anyone consider that fair to the individual, even if, on the evidence, it seems a perfectly reasonable inference? Aren't we obliged effectively to ignore what we reasonably believe when it comes to how we treat these individuals?And of course these sorts of scenarios can be extended to more serious sorts of potential crimes and accusations. For further example, consider if the store knew that someone had shoplifted an item, didn't know who, but immediately detained and questioned the only African American in the store, on the quite reasonable presumption (based on their evidence) that it was most likely this individual (indeed, the probability might well be over .5, based on previously collected data at the store). Wouldn't we rightly object to that? The point behind raising an instance like this is simple. For many, unfortunately, the importance of presumption of innocence and related principles becomes evident only when they hit home: that is, only when members of groups they have sympathy with -- such as African Americans -- suffer unfairly upon abandoning those principles.
Right, the points about the political targeting of - Muslims ("they all terrorists! - lock them up") - African-Americans ("they're raping our women! they're criminals! - lock them up")- gay men ("they're child abusers! - lock them up") are, or should be, trivial to anyone. Should Muslims be punished without proof? African-Americans? Gay men?A group is targeted and demonized; there is hysteria, prejudice and propaganda; there are demands to violate moral and legal principles of justice (e.g., the presumption of innocence) because of groundless allegations of "risk", etc. This is dehumanization.And yet one has to explain these points to apparently sophisticated "philosophers" who find it difficult to process simple points about evidence, morality, dehumanization and fairness.
6;45, your hand-waving isn't helping. All along you've been maintaining that the principle of the presumption of innocence applies in non-legal contexts. To quote you:"Evidently some people think that principles like due process and the presumption of innocence have their proper home in the court of law, such that there is some additional condition that needs to be in place when we apply these principles in our personal and institutional relationships with our colleagues. That's nuts."You are claiming that we should apply these principles in our personal and institutional relationships. If you are claiming this, it is *of course* relevant what such principles require of us. "What Chang et. al. bemoan as a 'culture of due process', the rest of us see as a culture that respects a basic principle of justice."Again, if you "see a culture that respects a basic principle of justice" - and you think this is a good thing, as you do, it is of course relevant what you think it means to act in such a way that respects the 'basic principle of justice' you are referring to. Maybe you're happy with this answer:"Because my answer to this question 'what moral stand should we take towards our colleagues who have been accused' is this: well, it depends what they have been accused of. And it depends on your evidence. And it depends on what the consequences are for the accused. It also depends on what the consequences are for the accuser of the actions you propose to take. And the likelihood that the accuser is telling the truth. And so on. But I am not invoking a special principle: this is how you should act in any situation."But this just isn't a principle of the presumption of innocence. It's nothing like a principle of the presumption of innocence as operates in a court of law, for example.
You are claiming that we should apply these principles in our personal and institutional relationships. If you are claiming this, it is *of course* relevant what such principles require of us. No it isn't, and for the reasons I've already explained. The people who suppose the moral sphere can be divided into the legal and the extra-legal, where principles like due process and presumption of innocence apply in legal contexts but are bad for the "culture" of non-legal contexts, telling themselves that if they falsely condemn an innocent person it's "not the end of the world" because they don't have authority over people, while at the same time are part of a cohort that is making more and more use of extra-legal institutions with lower standards of evidence and rights for the accused, are at best engaging in sloppy thinking, and are at worst moral monsters. Necessary and sufficient conditions for the application of due process and respect for the innocent are simply orthogonal to the issue. Chang is not objecting to anything particular, and I am not proposing anything in response. The disagreement is more fundamental, and I've explained why Chang and her cohort ought to be resisted by people who respect principles of justice.
As the above acrimonious debate about the matter suggests, R Chang's comments about due process were rather hard to interpret. That in itself inclined me to think that under the current circumstances they were rather irresponsible. On the presumption of innocence, this was an instructive thread:https://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/2014/02/19/aiming-for-the-good-in-bad-company/I appear as 'yerblues'. Much to ponder, but perhaps the biggest surprise for me was Prof Manners' comparison in comment 13 between how to treat at a conference someone who has been accused (by someone or other) of sexual misconduct and how to treat at a dinner party someone who has been 'indicted for financial malfeasance' (my emphasis).It is also interesting to compare K Lowrey's interventions here with her rather more, er, tolerant and accommodating comments on the recent Mag Ersatz Stubblefield thread.
I agree with 9:09 that Chang's comments were hard to interpret. But since I find most of the discussions tedious that try to pin down just what someone meant, I'll instead suggest what I think is a better step:Some places/people may have a culture of evasion or denial when it comes to things like sexual harassment. Instead of speaking to a possibly offending colleague, they just warn the potential targets. Maybe more speaking up is warranted. Probably not a comfortable conversation, but it could save all concerned a lot of grief.
6:45: "The people who suppose the moral sphere can be divided into the legal and the extra-legal"This isn't the assumption. The assumption is - and it is an assumption supported by evidence, as there is a lot of scholarship on this - that the presumption of innocence is a legal principle in the sense that it is a principle about what kinds of things should and should not happen in the context of a trial. It just isn't obviously a moral principle. Read the literature. If you think there is a similar moral principle, then you need to explain what it means outside of the context of a trial. If we apply the principle to ordinary interactions with people, what kinds of things does it mean that we should and shouldn't do or believe? Again, it is clear what it means to apply such a principle in a context of a trial. If you think that this is a general principle, then you need to explain what it means to apply it in a non-judicial situation. You can keep insisting that it is not 'relevant'. But if you're having a conversation about a principle, and someone asks you for an explanation of what it means to apply that principle, and you refuse to give any kind of example, it looks like your deliberately obfuscating. It's not a difficult question. You think there is a moral principle that imposes certain obligations on us in a particular context. OK. What kind of obligations?
right, 9:44: I think it would be better to focus on particular behaviors. Lets take some limits:If a student tells you that her advisor sexually assaulted her, is it OK to allege on facebook or a widely read blog that he is a rapist, either by name or definite description? Presumably everyone sensible thinks no. If a student tells you her advisor sexually assaulted her, is it OK to say to her something like 'I'm so sorry, I hope you are doing OK?' Presumably everyone sensible thinks yes.
I'm 9:44 and I was thinking of things like: if you see a colleague hitting on a student who looks uncomfortable with it, or if a colleague talks about their students in a sexual used way, speak to them about it. Or even, if you start to hear lots of rumors about a colleague, let them know - it's doing them a favor whether they are guilty or innocent.
I don't know either whether 6.45's last entirely sane and decent intervention is going to "work". But I'm glad it has been said. And sad that it, repeatedly, seems to need to be said.
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?
That the circle-jerk is strong with those ones.
To a large extent, the journals where one publishes are just a signal for what networks one moves in. This is from the "work in progress" section of the CV of a supremely well-connected person:- "Dynamics of Affirmation" (invited by Ethics)- "What Makes Threats Wrong?" (invited by Politics, Philosophy, Economics)- "The Elusiveness of a Principled Liberalism" (invited by Analytic Philosophy)But with this kind of network do they even need invitations? Top journals that use only top people as referee will immediately recognize his work. They are of course in the PPA crowd so lots of people will want to keep them sweet. Oh, and speaking of refereeing, I think they've removed the announcement waving away peasant editors as they would only referee for the august journals they submit to.
Dear Stubblefield Person,Shelley Tremain has a take on Stubblefield. (Or I guess she has it? afaik she only actually mentions the case in the first paragraph and on a cursory reading it's not obvious what the connection is supposed to be.)Please opine.
I was pleasantly surprised and thought it a good counterpoint to uncritical "sex is great, and disabled people should have and want the same kinds of sex as everyone else" positions.
http://blog.ebosswatch.com/2015/06/the-ucla-professor-gabriel-piterberg-sexual-harassment-lawsuit-allegations/Wow. McGinn and Ludlow's behaviors were inappropriate but this is a whole new level.
Nasty doesn't begin to describe it. But it's not in philosophy, and we know we are the black sheep of the humanities, so this story doesn't fit in the narrative. Move along please.
Wow, indeed. How out of touch people can seem to be. I would say the history professor was living in some fantasy land, completely disconnected from people and life, yet he managed to do a great deal of actual harm, if the very long set of accusations is correct, which given the detail it must certainly be.
And yet there seems to be no evidence in the document.
Are you kidding me? The evidence is the over 100 different points of testimony. You can't make THAT shit up.
Where is the evidence?
Remember, there's no evidence until every single claim has been verified by 10 independent witnesses. Until that happens, we can't be sure. Presumption until then is that harlots be lying. This is just basic due process, Ruth Chang.
There's no evidence in that document.
12:51, any minimally intelligent person who has read any two opposing posts here will immediately recognize your pathetic straw man attack for what it is. If you actually believe anyone here has said or implied that '10 witnesses' idiocy you invented,, then you're a hopelessly stupid moron and beneath reasoning with. If you're not that stupid, then you're a dishonest fraud seeking to derail yet another conversation. Either way, you have no hope of contributing anything of value to this conversation or any other, ever. Please go away.
Fine. What's your definition of evidence? Just saying "there's no evidence" and "evidence?" when there is clearly evidence makes you seem either blind, illiterate, or daft.
Stop feeding the "evidence" troll.
What kind of evidence is it that you want? This isn't a document that summarizes the evidence: it's a list of accusations. That obviously doesn't tell us anything about what evidence there is or isn't for each accusation. It contains plenty of allegations that only an insane person would make if they weren't verifiable. Maybe a fourth of the allegations refer to meetings and documents that should be on the record. Is the implication that we should treat those meetings as imaginary until someone personally hands us an artifact that proves beyond all skeptical doubt that this meeting happened on this day and exactly these words were said? Are we suspending judgment that the professor confessed to anything and that the university held a hearing that concluded he was guilty of anything inappropriate until we can watch the whole meeting for ourselves? Are we treating the two plaintiffs as lying about everything until we get those documents?Reflexive disbelief is just as stupid as immediate credulity, especially in contexts like this.
Relevant evidence might include, for example, email documentation, text messages, photographic evidence, meeting notes, reports of outcomes of investigations, separate eyewitness reports and the professor's own reply.
Hey 1:43, what a great idea! Let's put more of the burden on the accused. In that spirit, I hereby accuse you of having molested twenty children at some points in your adult life. Everyone should spread this allegation around about you until you address it. To do otherwise would be to treat an allegation of child sexual abuse as non-serious. And of course you have the chance to provide evidence that you did not in fact molest twenty children. Until you somehow show this, everyone around you should take the allegations very seriously. Otherwise, they'd be engaging in "reflexive disbelief", which is "just as stupid as immediate credulity, especially in contexts like this. "And really, who would ever lie about such a thing? So all the more reason for everyone to treat my mere allegation against you as God evidence that you really did it. Wouldn't that be wonderful? What could possibly be wrong with it? If you think it sounds good, just send us your name and I'll find someone to make the initial accusation to get the ball rolling.
The strawman is strong in that one.
Ok, what's the dietortion in what I said? Be clear.
Dude, you even quoted the part in which your interlocutor pretty clearly says that they think immediate credulity is stupid, and presented a case in which we're asked to imagine that people treat your 'accusation' with immediate credulity.
5:19, perhaps you did not read the above, but let us simply quote the responses above, each involving "immediate credulity":1. "Wow. McGinn and Ludlow's behaviors were inappropriate but this is a whole new level." (11:12)2. "Nasty doesn't begin to describe it" (11:24)3. "he managed to do a great deal of actual harm, if the very long set of accusations is correct, which given the detail it must certainly be." (11:41).4. "You can't make THAT shit up. (11:47).These comments are examples of reflexive credulity. The responses to these knee-jerk comments merely requested evidence.At this point, 1:43 blows a fuse and shouts that merely requesting evidence is "reflexive disbelief" and "stupid". However, requesting evidence is not "reflexive"; rather, it is rational and deliberative. It is also not "stupid"; rather, it is intelligent. And it is moral, unlike the credulous knee-jerk hysteria quoted above.
It is reflexive because testimony is a form of evidence, even in the legal system.
Testimony is weak evidence; and even weaker when opinions directly conflict, as they do when any two human beings speak to each other for more than 2 milliseconds. Reasonable evidence requires documentation, independent witnesses and sometimes expert evidence.
6:03, I strongly urge you to learn something of how the law works before basing your opinions and statements on it.Put simply, there are absolutely no cases in law in which unsupported testimony in itself would be considered adequate to securing a guilty verdict. In the first phase of bringing a suit, when the guilt of the defendant is not yet under discussion and the only question is whether there is even enough basis for a hearing, the standards of evidence are low enough that mere evidence can count as adequate. But once the trial is on and the question is whether the defendant is guilty, it's ROUTINE for the defense counsel to try to raise doubts about the credibility of people presenting uncorroborated testimony. A defense attorney who DIDN'T raise these doubts, or point out that there is nothing but testimony, could actually be guilty of malpractice. And a juror who didn't take these doubts seriously would be acting in a grossly irresponsible manner.So failing to automatically accept testimony is not 'reflexive' in a bad way. In a legal context and every other serious context, it's what epistemically and morally responsible people do. If you think otherwise, you are credulous and naive to the extent of being dangerously irresponsible.
That strawman you're attacking must seem really scary, but thanks for the patronizing, overly idealistic explanation of the legal system.Very informative.
8:23, do you have any evidence for your claim? Because it just seems prima facie implausible. You state that there are absolutely no cases in law in which unsupported testimony in itself would be considered adequate to securing a guilty verdict, but this just seems really unlikely, for the following reason: there are lots of cases in which people have been found guilty of sexually assaulting children. Think about the Sandusky case, for example. The only evidence in that case was testimony - the testimony of the children, and the testimony of an independent witness. (But the testimony of an independent witness was only about one incident, and Sandusky was convicted on the following counts: eight counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, seven counts of indecent assault, one count of criminal intent to commit indecent assault, nine counts of unlawful contact with minors, 10 counts of corruption of minors and 10 counts of endangering the welfare of children. So, it seems fairly clear that in this case, 'unsupported' testimony was considered adequate to securing a guilty verdict. And in fact, lots of cases involving child sexual abuse are like this. For obvious reasons, abusers act when they are alone with children. They do things that leave no physical marks. Even if they do, they often threaten children, so that children don't speak up in a timely enough fashion for their to be physical examinations. There is clearly going to be no 'documentation.' The only options aren't 'always convict people of sexually assaulting a child the minute a child makes the suggestion that this has happened' and 'never convict someone of sexually assaulting a child unless they are stupid enough to do it in front of a witness or document it' (which is what you seem to believe).
"Put simply, there are absolutely no cases in law in which unsupported testimony in itself would be considered adequate to securing a guilty verdict." This is an astoundingly ignorant and blatantly false statement. This happens all the time, especially with poor minorities who can't afford a lawyer -- but white philosophers don't usually care about these people.http://www.cbsnews.com/news/30-years-on-death-row-exoneration-60-minutes/Relevant portion: "Stroud's case wasn't strong. There was no physical evidence linking Ford to the crime. The main witness incriminating Ford admitted in court she'd been coerced by police to make up her testimony."Take a look in the naivety mirror.
9:41, contrary to what you assert, there is a very significant amount of corroborating evidence in the Sandusky case, over a period of many years, with multiple victims, along with separate eyewitness testimony: Mike McQueary witnessed an anal rape of a 10 year old child. Contrary to what you say, there is a great deal of documentation and corroborating evidence.
10:13, maybe you didn't read my comment. I mentioned the very eyewitness testimony you are talking about. But as I said, that was testimony about one incident. And Sandusky was convicted of many more charges.And perhaps it would be good to be clear then what you mean by 'documentation' and 'corroborating evidence': what sorts of things are you referring to? What kinds of documentation, for example? Videos? Pictures?
9:48, the point is that those (especially nonwhite) people are victims of miscarriage of justice. That's what reasonable, morally competent people call it when accused people are punished merely because someone accused them of doing something.Agreed? Or do you think we should base the new academic moral conventions on the way poor minorities who can't afford a lawyer are treated in US courts?
As, presumably, there is in the case this thread is about. How much, and how significant, the court will decide.But since the link to the case didn't list all the evidence that will be presented, 11:33 thinks that the link contains "no evidence." 11:33 seems to think we should start with 0% credence for any of the events mentioned in the allegations, and that we should wait for separate corroborating evidence for things like the professor's having confessed to some of the alleged actions and having been sanctioned by the university, or the plaintiffs having met with university staff on certain dates, before we update that credence percentage. This is bizarre. Given the standards of legal documentation, of lawyers vetting their clients' allegations, of university record-keeping, the fact that lawyers have brought a case mentioning meetings, events, sanctions and documents that could be easily verified should count as reason to believe that these happened or exist. They might not, but the circumstances make that less probable than otherwise. To believe that the list of allegations provides "no evidence" (no reason to adjust credence) that any of the events it mentions happened seems hard to explain by anything other than motivated silliness.
There are multiple victims in the Gabriel Piterberg case, over a period of many years, with separate eyewitness testimony. Contrary to what you say, there is a great deal of documentation and corroborating evidence.
I think maybe people are talking past each other. here is a case that might help:Imagine Guy and Girl are talking at a party. Guy is seen by witnesses leading Girl upstairs. 20 minutes later, Girl runs out of room crying, holding her clothes, and sobbing (she is also seen by witnesses). She goes to hospital and requests a rape kit - the results are consistent with rape, but also consistent with rough consensual sex.Now, here are at least two possibilities about what went on in that room: (1) Guy in fact raped Girl. (2) Guy and Girl had consensual sex, Guy tells Girl he does not want a relationship but was just after a one night stand, Girl becomes angry with Guy, and decides to fake having been raped. Importantly, there were no people in the room apart from Girl and Guy. No one was near enough to hear anything that happened in the room. There is no 'documentation' - no video or pictures or anything. Are you saying, 10:24, that in all cases like this, morally competent people must find the Guy innocent, merely because there is a possibility consistent with the facts according to which Guy is innocent?
9:48, you are right. Something like this sometimes does happen - weak testimonial evidence is used (sometimes exculpatory hard evidence is covered up) because the investigators or police or prosecutors behave badly. This is what happens when evidential standards are lowered. As you rightly note, the victims are usually black men.That said, 8:23's point can be understood as normative; such cases as Woodward's are wrongful convictions, where the proper protections have been violated. But, more importantly, in the secret University hearings that are now occurring driven by Title IX insanity, these wrongful "convictions" are occurring all the time precisely because the evidential standards have been lowered - quite intentionally violating the presumption of innocence and treating the innocent as guilty based merely on say-so. I don't know the demographics of this sustained Title IX campaign of abuse against young men in the US, but it would be interesting of course if young (and poorer) black men are being singled out, and falsely labelled "rapists".
There are multiple victims in the Gabriel Piterberg case, over a period of many years, with separate eyewitness testimony. Contrary to what you say, there is a great deal of documentation and corroborating evidence.This is all false. There are no "victims"; no documentation and no evidence, at least none that has been made available. There are also no separate eyewitnesses (cf., with Sandusky, McQueary eyewitnessed an anal rape). There is simply a string of uncorroborated claims made by two people. And some of the claims are preposterous - e.g., at paragraph 74, one complainant asserts, "74. Ms. Thomason did not treat Plaintiff Takla’s situation with any seriousness. During numerous conversations she told Plaintiff Takla a story about a friend of hers from law school who was continually pursued and harassed by a classmate, and even though she was not initially interested in him, they were now happily married. This was extremely inappropriate."The claim that Ms Thomason had said one of her own friends had "harassed" another friend is preposterous. This reduces the credibility of the testimony.
10:38, I think it's claims like 'testimony is weak evidence' is 'based merely on say-so' that people are objecting to. There is nothing in the nature of testimony or 'say-so' that makes it necessarily weak. Testimony can be more or less good evidence depending on a range of factors. Consider a case like this: a woman is walking home from work at 7pm. She alleges that a man grabbed her, pulled her into an alley and raped her. The physical evidence shows that sexual intercourse occured, but does not show definitively that it was non-consensual. The man, who admits they were strangers before the encounter, alleges that he stopped the woman, asked her if she wanted to have sex in an alley, she said yes, then regretted it and called the cops. All we have is 'mere' say so - there were no eyewitnesses or CTV. Do you think in this case, the man has a plausible story and therefore should be acquitted? And the flip-side of not convicting people merely on 'say-so' is that we don't just want to hand get-out--of-jail free cards (in the colloquial sense) to every rapist who has the minimal intelligence not to rape people in front of witnesses or film it.
10:49, there are many other charges that Sandusky was convicted on for which there are no eyewitnesses. You have insisted that there is "documentation and corroborating evidence" about these other cases. Could you provide it? If not, do you think that all the other complainants in the Sandusky case - aside from the victim in the incident witnessed by McQueary - are not 'victims' but simply people making a string of uncorroborated claims?
"The claim that Ms Thomason had said one of her own friends had "harassed" another friend is preposterous."How is this preposterous? And how are you continuing to claim that there are no victims? Do you just think adult women are physically incapable of being sexually harrassed?
Not even sexually harrassed, sexually *assaulted*
No, there are no "victims". The term "victim" is a legal term. There are two "accusers". I hope this is clear.So, at paragraph 74, the Plaintiff claims that Ms Thomason said one of her friends "harassed" another.To be clear - you think this bizarre claim is true?
Stop asking me stupid questions when you yourself can't even admit that you said a stupid thing. You claimed that there are no cases where people have been convicted on the basis of testimony, an obvious falsehood. And I gave you evidence! I don't think the claim is preposterous. This is different from thinking that it is true.
I want to note that leftist professors make similar points about "free speech" as Chang does here about "due process". There are two important commonalities:1) The notion that the principle is merely legalistic, occasionally accompanied by an argument as to why this ought to be the case but often merely asserted. ("Private universities aren't governed by the First Amendment" and so on.)2) The notion that the principle is effectively transactional: that upholding one right can require not upholding another, and that this applies in a significant number of cases, perhaps a majority, of potential application.Both of these seem reasonable but unlikely to me.
True leftists support freedom of speech consistently.
I wrote a comment which was (presumably) removed by some stupid spam filter because there was a link in it, so now without link:Tom Douglas writes about the moral difference between piracy and blocking ads on the Practical Ethics blog.Thought you guys may be interested in it. I think the post gets it right that the important difference is the explicitness of the agreement between content provider and receiver. The first three comments on the post are trash but comment #4 by Phil H makes another interesting point: maybe the difference also, or instead, lies in the intuition that no-one is losing out on anything with ad blocking but is with piracy. Expanding on the comment by Phil H, I think one could argue for another difference: that providers do lose out by ad blocking, but that the cost to the provider is incredibly small (e.g. $0.005) compared to the loss of a pirated copy (e.g. $0.50).
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