philosophy meta-forum

Yale's New TT Hire Roasted at RC

Simon

5 day(s) ago

"Here at Princeton, we all see us as part of a big family!"

"We try to make it the family friendliest place possible!"

"There is trust and mutual understanding in working towards common goals!"

"If you can suppress feelings of guilt and shame, or lack a sense of honour, yet still want to pontificate on moral issues, then Princeton welcomes you."

Simon

5 day(s) ago

What if Warren became a homosexual or even better a trans-woman?

Seriously though, what has he done that the establishment hates him?

Richard

5 day(s) ago

What if Warren became a homosexual or even better a trans-woman?

Seriously though, what has he done that the establishment hates him?

Simon

Do they? Not having a job despite a stellar research record isn't really an indication that the establishment hates him. We don't know how many jobs he's applied to, for one thing. We also don't know what his interview skills are like (although, given his lack of interviews until recently, I guess that might not have been so relevant). He works in a niche subfield. He doesn't conference or network or promote himself, which doesn't help his visibility. IIRC he's now spent several years without any kind of academic employment--which makes sense, and certainly isn't his fault and shouldn't be held against him, but is the kind of thing that we know is often held against applicants. It also means that he has less teaching experience than others as far out as he is. His website used to be... eccentric and maybe off-putting for some, and that could have posed some problems.

All that can easily add up to not having a job while remaining consistent with not being "hated" by the establishment.

I find his lack of success baffling too, but I don't think we really know enough about his case to speculate. It's an odd outlier, and it should remind us that having a stellar research record or even just doing everything right is not enough. We need luck, and lots of it.

Finally: didn't he express the wish that people would stop speculating about him online? Maybe we should respect that wish, especially if the metaforum actually holds him in the high esteem it appears to.

Simon

5 day(s) ago

I think you are wrong. He is very visible, everyone knows him, some by his research most by his lack of a job in academia. Dembroff is known for being homosexual, nothing more. And to say that it is just luck is dishonest.

Usually, you cannot influence your luck, but in todays circumstances you can increase your chances on the job market by either pretending to be some minority or by advertising the fact that you are one. This makes me think that it is not down to luck. Just as pandering to trendy bullshit is not luck. And since when has philosophy of mind and language become a niche subject?

Maybe, just maybe, this conference networking should be abandoned if it counts more than actual publications. Most poster sessions are bullshit anyway, at least in philosophy. Very few philosophical points can be made on one poster but you can easily present data on one.

Why do you keep defending this behaviour? Deep down, we all look down on networkers, yet we cannot criticise it in public?

Chiao

5 day(s) ago

Sorry, here:

http://rightlyconsidered.org/2018/01/11/will-the-real-privileged-person-please-stand-up/#comment-3723

Also, apparently "Federal Philosopher" has been reading this thread (how else would she know about Warren?).

Hi Federal!

If you think Federal Philosopher is actually a woman you're an idiot.

Merab

Everett

5 day(s) ago

Jared's "fame" is of pretty recent origin, and it's not nearly as widespread as you seem to think it is. Plus, he's first and foremost a logician and philosopher of language (although yes, he's an all-around core kind of guy). And... poster sessions? Are you an undergrad, a psychologist, or what?

Simon

5 day(s) ago

You would be surprised how common posters are at very large conferences.

The point still stands though. A publication is more worth than a talk. People complain about citation networks and shady practices at journals, but you always see the same faces at conferences. Each region has its nice little network, and apparently you have to show up at these. Sounds like thanksgiving.

Mao

5 day(s) ago

What did he do wrong? Did he publicly proclaim allegiance to Trump, denied the holocaust and made jokes about faggots? He cannot just be a creep for we know that this was never an obstacle for hiring in philosophy. Is he a cannibal or the devil incarnate?

Simon

In this, our Current Year, being a white male is enough.

What only a few in the academy seem to (publicly) realize is that to the crazed leftists there is no difference between a genuine Nazi and some poor guy like Warren, who may well hold all the "right opinions". They do not recognize any internal differences within the category of Fucking White Male.

Unfortunately for Warren and others of his caliber, we've had far too many of *those* on the syllabus.

Although you have to wonder how long even ivory-tower insulation can keep people from starting to ask the hard questions -- hell, if I'm a Nazi despite making those silly "I need feminism because..." photos and a rapist because I have a penis and so forth, why not start reading the Daily Stormer and go all in. You're already damned, might as well have some fun with it.

Evander

4 day(s) ago

E Harman and SJ Leslie could get jobs in literally any top-20 department they wanted. Like, tomorrow.

The idea that they are where they are because of nepotism is absurd.

Stephen

4 day(s) ago

And almost certainly isn’t a grad student in NJ. I always figured it was/is Tim Hsiao.

Sorry, here:

http://rightlyconsidered.org/2018/01/11/will-the-real-privileged-person- please-stand-up/#comment-3723

Also, apparently "Federal Philosopher" has been reading this thread (how else would she know about Warren?).

Hi Federal!

If you think Federal Philosopher is actually a woman you're an idiot.

Merab

Chiao

Raymond

4 day(s) ago

Genderqueer? What does that mean? That she's still allowed to sleep with men but can claim victim status?

Clarence

4 day(s) ago

Genderqueer? What does that mean? That she's still allowed to sleep with men but can claim victim status?

Raymond

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=genderqueer

Maria

4 day(s) ago

Genderqueer? What does that mean? That she's still allowed to sleep with men but can claim victim status?

Raymond

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=genderqueer

Clarence

Thanks for this. So basically "genderqueer" means you're deeply lost and confused, but you're eager to obnoxiously foist your sickness on everyone else?

Maria

4 day(s) ago

Also, I would like to make a philosophical observation.

For many years now, there were those who parroted the mantra of the school of suspicion, according to which the Cartesian cogito is dead. We do not have any kind of special and infallible access to ourselves, they observed. As Ricoeur put it, after Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud, there is only the "wounded cogito." And yet, many of the same people who dismissed the idea that we have any reliable immediate and authoritative first-person knowledge of ourselves, have now turned around and claim that there are people who know, simply on the basis of their own feelings and introspection, that they are in fact men who were wrongly identified as woman at birth, or in fact woman or were wrongly identified as men at birth, or neither a man or woman at all, or both a woman and a man at once?

It's a joke.

Georg

4 day(s) ago

Can you name someone who agreed with Ricoeur, even just implicitly, and then argued for first-person access to one's gender?

I agree that the two views are in tension, but just because some people agree with the former and some with the latter, it doesn't mean they're the same people.

Also, I would like to make a philosophical observation.

For many years now, there were those who parroted the mantra of the school of suspicion, according to which the Cartesian cogito is dead. We do not have any kind of special and infallible access to ourselves, they observed. As Ricoeur put it, after Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud, there is only the "wounded cogito." And yet, many of the same people who dismissed the idea that we have any reliable immediate and authoritative first-person knowledge of ourselves, have now turned around and claim that there are people who know, simply on the basis of their own feelings and introspection, that they are in fact men who were wrongly identified as woman at birth, or in fact woman or were wrongly identified as men at birth, or neither a man or woman at all, or both a woman and a man at once?

It's a joke.

Maria

Maria

4 day(s) ago

Can you name someone who agreed with Ricoeur, even just implicitly, and then argued for first-person access to one's gender?

I agree that the two views are in tension, but just because some people agree with the former and some with the latter, it doesn't mean they're the same people.

Also, I would like to make a philosophical observation.

For many years now, there were those who parroted the mantra of the school of suspicion, according to which the Cartesian cogito is dead. We do not have any kind of special and infallible access to ourselves, they observed. As Ricoeur put it, after Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud, there is only the "wounded cogito." And yet, many of the same people who dismissed the idea that we have any reliable immediate and authoritative first-person knowledge of ourselves, have now turned around and claim that there are people who know, simply on the basis of their own feelings and introspection, that they are in fact men who were wrongly identified as woman at birth, or in fact woman or were wrongly identified as men at birth, or neither a man or woman at all, or both a woman and a man at once?

It's a joke.

Maria

Georg

Sure: Pamela Sue Anderson for one.

But I think it's clear that the "tension"--as you rather euphemistically phrase it--goes well beyond naming certain individuals.You'll notice that although I did mention Ricoeur, I also mentioned Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud. There are many out there whose views about human nature and society is informed by the schools of thought that have emerged from those three figures. And many of those people are also pushing the transgender ideology.

At bottom, most of these people are social constructivists and collectivists. But a consequence of that metaphysical and political outlook is an epistemology that takes a dim view of first-person warrant for claims to self-knowledge. At least, that used to be taken for granted. My intention was to note that suddenly that consensus is being thrown out the window without comment. Suddenly, people are now apparently entitled to claim that they are a woman rather than a man, or a man rather than a woman, or both a man and a woman at once, or neither--and no one says that all these sorts of claims fly in the face of the idea they depend on the very kind of introspection that for years was said to be methodologically dubious.

My point, thus, is a very basic philosophical one, so I don't know why, instead of addressing it substantively, you've decided to digress by baiting me into play the naming game. Is it because, when the "tension" is pointed out as I just have, it's only too obvious that this is a circle that no degree of doublethink will be able to square?

Georg

4 day(s) ago

My point is that philosophy is not a monolith. Many people on the left have different views about the nature of gender and one's knowledge of their own gender. Pretending otherwise, just because they agree politically, is constructing a strawman. So, naming names gives you an actual target rather than some vague group like "these people". If you want me to be charitable with your comment, you owe me the same.

Ilkka

4 day(s) ago

Also, I would like to make a philosophical observation.

For many years now, there were those who parroted the mantra of the school of suspicion, according to which the Cartesian cogito is dead. We do not have any kind of special and infallible access to ourselves, they observed. As Ricoeur put it, after Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud, there is only the "wounded cogito." And yet, many of the same people who dismissed the idea that we have any reliable immediate and authoritative first-person knowledge of ourselves, have now turned around and claim that there are people who know, simply on the basis of their own feelings and introspection, that they are in fact men who were wrongly identified as woman at birth, or in fact woman or were wrongly identified as men at birth, or neither a man or woman at all, or both a woman and a man at once?

It's a joke.

Maria

This is a good point, which has occurred to me before as well. The problem is that we're dealing with people who don't care about the philosophical issues, but have used philosophy to legitimate what is essentially an ideological movement. The kind of introspective self-knowledge you refer to can be appealed to if I say I'm actually a woman, but not if I want to claim that I'm not implicitly racist, for example. There's no interest in debating the depth, complexity, and contradiction of the human psyche when a woman decides she was uncomfortable with a sexual encounter despite having willingly participated in it, but if I think the traditional philosophical canon should be taught in preference to the latest SJW studies (see the recent debate at DN), my motivations are to be dissected infinitesimally with the utmost suspicion. It's just a tactic for tyrannizing people; the philosophical issues don't matter at all.

Darius

4 day(s) ago

Two points, from somebody with mild personal distaste for RD and deep envy about the Yale job.

1. Hiring on publication record is a good move for most departments, since most departments could lose a line if their new hire doesn't get tenure. But Yale has no risk of losing a line, so why should they care? NYU, HYP, R (+CCMS etc.) want to hire people whose work will redefine an old field or create a new one. People who will have dissertations written about their papers within a couple of decades. That's what differentiates the top 5-10 departments. (Princeton, e.g., has spent the last decade eroding its reputation by hiring smart, highly competent, productive, widely-cited philosophers who nevertheless don't do field-defining work. Now that GH and JC have retired, watch it slip in the rankings.)

Maybe RD burns out, or just doesn't reach these lofty heights of projected influence. But Yale doesn't have anything to lose if so. They can very easily deny tenure, make another bet on a rising star with 1 pub, and do it all over again. So while I doubt RD would get a job at an R2 or LAC, anyone who knows how things work in the T10 can see why she was more attractive to Yale than a dozen pubs in top-tier journals. Demographic factors probably played a part in the networking that has created such hype around RD's work, but I would bet the Yale hire happened because of the hype, not because of any direct appeal of the demographics. That is, RD's *work* offered something other candidates' didn't.

2. The idea that RD is "confused" about gender and sexual orientation is a joke. Few people in philosophy have thought anywhere near as hard about these concepts. RD's work is partly about exposing the metaphysical confusion inherent in folk concepts of gender and sexual orientation; the project is Socratic in spirit. Reactions like this thread strike me as correspondingly Meletian.

Noah

4 day(s) ago

Instead of making up strawmen for your argument, how about you actually engage with what philosopher's actually think about the first person authority of transpeople https://philpapers.org/rec/BETTIA

Edmund

4 day(s) ago

Instead of making up strawmen for your argument, how about you actually engage with what philosopher's actually think about the first person authority of transpeople https://philpapers.org/rec/BETTIA

Noah

Everyone is growing very tired of having to be told that they've created a "strawman" when they simply point out the lunacy of your view.

Either gender is socially constructed, in which case then everything the school of suspicion says about first-person warrant applies, or else gender isn't socially constructed, in which case there's only sex, which means that a man who claims he is a woman, or a woman who claims she is a man, or someone who claims to be both at once, or neither is insane.

Georg

4 day(s) ago

You sound like a Reddit philosopher with your false dilemmas.

Instead of making up strawmen for your argument, how about you actually engage with what philosopher's actually think about the first person authority of transpeople https://philpapers.org/rec/BETTIA

Noah

Everyone is growing very tired of having to be told that they've created a "strawman" when they simply point out the lunacy of your view.

Either gender is socially constructed, in which case then everything the school of suspicion says about first-person warrant applies, or else gender isn't socially constructed, in which case there's only sex, which means that a man who claims he is a woman, or a woman who claims she is a man, or someone who claims to be both at once, or neither is insane.

Edmund

Edmund

4 day(s) ago

You sound like a Reddit philosopher with your false dilemmas.

Instead of making up strawmen for your argument, how about you actually engage with what philosopher's actually think about the first person authority of transpeople https://philpapers.org/rec/BETTIA

Noah

Everyone is growing very tired of having to be told that they've created a "strawman" when they simply point out the lunacy of your view.

Either gender is socially constructed, in which case then everything the school of suspicion says about first- person warrant applies, or else gender isn't socially constructed, in which case there's only sex, which means that a man who claims he is a woman, or a woman who claims she is a man, or someone who claims to be both at once, or neither is insane.

Edmund

Georg

You sound like a high-minded, arrogant blowhard, who has no regard for anything besides getting his own way.

Georg

4 day(s) ago

Haha I have no settled view on transgender claims. In fact, I actually am quite suspicious about claims about being transgender, despite being on the left. So I'm not sure what my own way would be. But I have evidence that you're a poor philosopher (see false dilemma above)

You sound like a Reddit philosopher with your false dilemmas.

Instead of making up strawmen for your argument, how about you actually engage with what philosopher's actually think about the first person authority of transpeople https://philpapers.org/rec/BETTIA

Noah

Everyone is growing very tired of having to be told that they've created a "strawman" when they simply point out the lunacy of your view.

Either gender is socially constructed, in which case then everything the school of suspicion says about first-person warrant applies, or else gender isn't socially constructed, in which case there's only sex, which means that a man who claims he is a woman, or a woman who claims she is a man, or someone who claims to be both at once, or neither is insane.

Edmund

Georg

You sound like a high-minded, arrogant blowhard, who has no regard for anything besides getting his own way.

Edmund

Nancy

4 day(s) ago

My point is that philosophy is not a monolith. Many people on the left have different views about the nature of gender and one's knowledge of their own gender. Pretending otherwise, just because they agree politically, is constructing a strawman. So, naming names gives you an actual target rather than some vague group like "these people". If you want me to be charitable with your comment, you owe me the same.

Georg

Be that as it may, the pro-tranny pro-homo lobbies are working self-consciously within a tradition that draws explicitly on the "discourses of power and oppression". These are ideas with pedigree and rather clear lines of development. Much of the rhetoric about power and oppression with respect to gender identities is indebted to (post)structuralist and Nietzschean programs, building on the earlier work of the likes of Lacan, Derrida, and Foucault. The death of the *cogito* is marked by a corresponding turn to the structures of impersonal power, or language, or whatever, that act on or through individuals in processes of constituting subjectivity.

Now, it's right to point out that radical subjectivism and radical structuralism don't make for a simple dilemma. It's quite possible to stake out consistent positions on a spectrum between those poles, which it appears that Bettcher's tranny paper (quoted above) attempts to do.

The problem with these intermediate positions is that they can come off as unstable, and they usually decay back into one side or the other. A tranny believes xir is woman despite being born a male. If xir's identity is solely the product of impersonal forces which have worked to shape xir's individual subjectivity, then it seems like first-personal perspectives are irrelevant to these judgments. You're really talking about certain forces which have acted on the person to create the tranny identity. What Bettcher's paper seems to do is develop a point about "narrativity", according to which different ways of coming to understand oneself through different vocabularies, metaphors, concepts (etc.) offer a defense of first-personal authority *internally to* the narrative.

This is surely a more sophisticated way of grappling with the first- person/third-person dichotomy. But this all leaves out something very important about the normative import of these kinds of claims. By elaborating on a theory of power in order to justify a first- personal authority, it seems like we're back to square one: it's all me me me! and the theory of power reduces to another form of subjectivism. These projects all seem to unravel when pressed too hard, even in their more sophisticated variants. They want to dispense with any normative validity claims (at least those that transcend local perspectives) while implicitly resting the whole account on the intrinsic wrongness of "injustice" and "oppression" and the authority of the subject-who-is-a-product-of-power.

Elihu

4 day(s) ago

Instead of making up strawmen for your argument, how about you actually engage with what philosopher's actually think about the first person authority of transpeople https://philpapers.org/rec/BETTIA

Noah

I read that and still don’t know what the hell theyre talking about.

Agostino

4 day(s) ago

Darius has it exactly right - indicating that Darius, unlike many other people here, has some experience on hiring committees in top programs. Even apart from Darius' more specific observations, it's just commonplace that a single impressive piece of writing (it can just be the writing sample and not a publication), a good job talk, good letters that are credible, etc., can outweigh a more established person's impressive publication record. Not to mention, a person who is very impressive on paper can completely tank their chances in all sorts of other ways, for example, in the initial Skype interview.

Agostino

4 day(s) ago

None of that is to say that this applies to the Yale hire. The point is just that you have to be ignorant or stupid to make many of the complaints here just on the sort of evidence that has been provided. (You also have to be somewhat sociopathic to even have this discussion, which you wouldn't want other people to have about you, but that's a matter for psychology, not philosophy.)

Rafael

4 day(s) ago

Darius has it exactly right - indicating that Darius, unlike many other people here, has some experience on hiring committees in top programs. Even apart from Darius' more specific observations, it's just commonplace that a single impressive piece of writing (it can just be the writing sample and not a publication), a good job talk, good letters that are credible, etc., can outweigh a more established person's impressive publication record. Not to mention, a person who is very impressive on paper can completely tank their chances in all sorts of other ways, for example, in the initial Skype interview.

Agostino

Thanks for this fascinating insight into the esteemed world of hiring decisions at "top programs." Having now graced us with your presence, feel free to return to your turd where you and the others vie to see who can gather the most impressive collection of corn chunks.

Agostino

4 day(s) ago

Thanks for this fascinating insight into the esteemed world of hiring decisions at "top programs." Having now graced us with your presence, feel free to return to your turd where you and the others vie to see who can gather the most impressive collection of corn chunks.

Rafael

You're welcome, Rafael. I love helping people unravel mysteries and puzzles!

I don't know what you mean by my "turd." Can you elaborate? Also, what do you mean by "corn chunks"? They sound yucky!!!

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