philosophy meta-forum

Is there a feud at Chicago between Leiter and Pippin?

Muhammad

18 day(s) ago

Why would you post this otherwise??

http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2017/11/sometimes-its-not-so-good-when-your-former-students-become-well-known.html

Judith

18 day(s) ago

See Leiter's comments on Pippin in this review from 2001:

https://academic.oup.com/mind/article- abstract/112/445/175/956412

Saul

18 day(s) ago

Oh yes! Pippin is the reason Leiter didn't get an appointment at the philosophy department...

Trinh

18 day(s) ago

Pippin must be the person referenced here in Leiter's interview with Sosis (about eight lines down):

At Texas, you had an appointment in philosophy. You don’t appear to have an appointment in philosophy at Chicago, though you said you enjoy working with the PhD students there. What gives?

The Philosophy Department at the University of Chicago does not have “zero-time” or “secondary” appointments, the way the department at Texas did. I’m not entirely sure why—one story I was told was that the department eliminated them decades ago in order to keep the Straussians out! So I would have had to ask for a regular voting appointment, complete with committee assignments, and faculty meeting--those folks meet once a week! I certainly didn’t want that, but I also knew even asking would create trouble, since long before coming to Chicago (going back to the 1990s) I had criticized in print several times the work of one member of the department and he had even gone to the Provost and threatened to resign from the university if the Law School was allowed to appoint me! Needless to say, he didn’t resign. This was unfortunate, but academic vanity is what it is. Two years ago, the graduate students, unbeknownst to me, voted to ask their grad reps to raise the issue of my status with the faculty; when I found out, I thanked them, but suggested we leave well enough alone, since it has worked out fine. What my colleague Martha Nussbaum told me before I came has certainly proven to be true: the graduate students are very independent-minded, and also of very high quality, and I’ve been fortunate to work with many of them. As the lone philosophical naturalist and Humean in Hyde Park, a lot of students come my way when they want a different take on philosophical issues, which is good for them and enjoyable for me. The Department here also has a really nice practice of requiring grad students transitioning to dissertation writing to have a series of “chats” with their whole committee about work related to the dissertation. I have been impressed by how helpful these chats are, and have really enjoyed the philosophy faculty I’ve gotten to know through them, folks like Dan Brudney, Agnes Callard, David Finkelstein, and Candace Vogler. I had a great time teaching the Law & Philosophy Workshop a couple of years ago with Ben Laurence too. A very congenial and engaging group of philosophers.

Huai

18 day(s) ago

Why would you post this otherwise??

http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2017/11/sometimes-its-not-so-good-when-your-former-students-become-well-known.html

Muhammad

Why post it? It's funny!

Hippolyte

18 day(s) ago

Ghandi.

Otto

18 day(s) ago

If Pippin really threatened to resign because another department wanted to appoint someone who had criticized his work...wow, just wow.

Otto

18 day(s) ago

The Mind review was nothing, read the last paragraph of this review of a book by Pippin's student Daniel Conway, the book was published in the Cambrirdge series Pippin edited at the time.

https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/private/no-vital-stuff/

The review basically concludes by accusing Pippin of destroying the series through nepotistic editorial decisions.

Jennifer

18 day(s) ago

Since I started this thread, I thought I'd check google and there also seems to be a proxy war as well, with one of Leiter's students getting in on the action!

http://ethicalwerewolf.blogspot.ca/2010/09/i-review-robert-pippins-nietzsche.html

Ruth

18 day(s) ago

Jennifer, isn't it possible that the student just thought Pippin's book wasn't very good? Not everything has an ulterior motive!

Emile

18 day(s) ago

I generally like Pippin's work, but I agree with Sinhababu that the Nietzsche book was disappointing.

Kang

18 day(s) ago

I heard they got into a fist fight over who is more Uber the other

Othmar

18 day(s) ago

I heard they got into a fist fight over who is more Uber the other

Kang

it wasn't german, it was spanish: "quien es mas macho?"

Auguste

18 day(s) ago

- How much must UT have sucked, for Leiter to prefer the ongoing public humiliation of being denied an appointment in philosophy at Chicago?

- Good on him for detaching himself from his desire for that appointment, as the interview above testifies, no doubt accurately.

- The rumors I heard way back when included a lot more than just Pippin objecting. Those rumors remain more plausible than any Pippin solo story. Pippin may be kind of a big deal, I guess, but he's not enough of a big deal to block what would otherwise be an obvious cross-appointment.

- It's easy to understand why Leiter might prefer to put the emphasis on Pippin.

- Even if it was Pippin alone, the idea that he was motivated by a negative review (or two or three, even) is silly, but also even if true not necessary to explain why he might object to Leiter as a colleague. There are clearly ample reasons for wanting to keep that guy at a distance.

- Given all the adoring fan e-mail to himself Leiter posts, it's strange he didn't get a better offer than the Chicago one (where "better" means: better for Leiter). Don't those fans want him as a colleague?

- God I hope I don't get held to account for my students, *especially* the ones I influence greatly. They're the worst of the lot.

- Neither Pippin nor Leiter is more macho than the other.

Alasdair

17 day(s) ago

I love hearing Leiter talk disapprovingly of other people's vanity. For all his virtues, Leiter is one of the least self-aware philosophers I know of.

Pedro

17 day(s) ago

Ghandi.

Hippolyte

Raya

17 day(s) ago

Auguste sounds a lot like that anti-Leiter troll from the last metablog, the one obsessed about Hugo Chavez.

Louis

17 day(s) ago

Auguste sounds a lot like that anti-Leiter troll from the last metablog, the one obsessed about Hugo Chavez.

Raya

Hi Brian!

Wladyslaw

17 day(s) ago

- Even if it was Pippin alone, the idea that he was motivated by a negative review (or two or three, even) is silly,

Auguste

You must not know Pippin.

William

17 day(s) ago

Arguably the most horrifying thing here is that there are departments with weekly faculty meetings.

Louis

16 day(s) ago

Arguably the most horrifying thing here is that there are departments with weekly faculty meetings.

William

if they are large enough, you can go unnoticed if you skip most of the meetings. true, you end up having a junta that rules the department

Kazimierz

9 day(s) ago

what's the chicago dept like generally?

Dimitri

7 day(s) ago

if they are large enough, you can go unnoticed if you skip most of the meetings. true, you end up having a junta that rules the department

Louis

You can only end up with a junta if a large number of people skip most of the meetings, but then this wouldn't go unnoticed anymore.

Is this the tragedy of the commons?

Werner

6 day(s) ago

It's a tragedy of millennial faggots and the boomer morons who catalyzed their existence.

R.

6 day(s) ago

It looks like we're talking about different tragedies.


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