News release here; still digesting the complaint, will post more after I'm through it.
MORE: The complaint, which has been filed in federal court here, adds details about the initial offer and acceptance, and the conduct of the defendants that I had not seen previously. Salaita is suing the University of Illinois Trustees and administrators for violation of his First Amendment speech rights and for violation of his due process rights; he is suing all the defendants for "conspiracy" under the applicable Civil Rights statute (which basically authorizes a civil action for deprivation of constitutional rights); he is suing the Trustees on the basis of promissory estoppel (see the discussion under #5 here) and for breach of contract (these claims are in the alternative, he won't prevail on both); he is suing the (as of now) unknown donors for tortious interference with contract, basically wrongful interference with the contract he had with the University (some readers my age or older will recall that this was the claim on which Penzoil secured a multi-billion dollar verdict against Texaco in the 1980s); he is suing all the defendants for intentional infliction of emotional distress; and he is suing Chancellor Wise for destroying pertinent evidence.
The defendants will, as I've remarked before, move to dismiss the complaint--in doing so, the court will take the facts as Salaita represents them and decide whether they state legal claims. Some of the claims may be dismissed: I'd bet on the intentional infliction of emotional distress claim to be dismissed. What is certain is that some (indeed, I expect, most) of the claims will survive the motion to dismiss. At that point, Salaita will be entitled to wide-reaching "discovery" of defendants's e-mails, phone records, internal memos, and so on. Since that is bound to be a huge embarrassment for many or all of the defendants, a settlement will be reached at that point: that's my prediction in any case. It will likely be confidential, will involve payment of Salaita's attorney fees and, I would hope, a seven figure payout to Salaita.
As a number of readers have noted, the 2014-15 PGR is not yet finished; my co-editor Brit, and her RA, are at work on the remaining content, including the summary of each department's specialty rankings. Thanks for your patience.
1. W.V.O. Quine (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)
2. Saul Kripke loses to W.V.O. Quine by 202–174
3. John Rawls loses to W.V.O. Quine by 200–155, loses to Saul Kripke by 201–180
4. David K. Lewis loses to W.V.O. Quine by 206–148, loses to John Rawls by 194–163
5. Hilary Putnam loses to W.V.O. Quine by 269–74, loses to David K. Lewis by 209–134
6. Donald Davidson loses to W.V.O. Quine by 259–88, loses to Hilary Putnam by 177–148
7. Peter (P.F.) Strawson loses to W.V.O. Quine by 269–85, loses to Donald Davidson by 196–130
8. Bernard Williams loses to W.V.O. Quine by 258–99, loses to Peter (P.F.) Strawson by 161–157
9. G.E.M. Anscombe loses to W.V.O. Quine by 277–88, loses to Bernard Williams by 169–151
10. Noam Chomsky loses to W.V.O. Quine by 273–80, loses to G.E.M. Anscombe by 166–155
11. J.L. Austin loses to W.V.O. Quine by 277–61, loses to Noam Chomsky by 155–143
12. Thomas (T.S.) Kuhn loses to W.V.O. Quine by 271–69, loses to J.L. Austin by 147–141
13. Wilfrid Sellars loses to W.V.O. Quine by 280–52, loses to Thomas (T.S.) Kuhn by 147–139
14. Thomas Nagel loses to W.V.O. Quine by 280–75, loses to Wilfrid Sellars by 148–140
15. Michael Dummett loses to W.V.O. Quine by 284–48, loses to Thomas Nagel by 150–133
16. H. Paul Grice loses to W.V.O. Quine by 286–42, loses to Michael Dummett by 131–112
17. Jerry Fodor loses to W.V.O. Quine by 292–41, loses to H. Paul Grice by 134–117
18. Robert Nozick loses to W.V.O. Quine by 284–62, loses to Jerry Fodor by 144–136
19. Gilbert Ryle loses to W.V.O. Quine by 300–27, loses to Robert Nozick by 151–123
20. David Armstrong loses to W.V.O. Quine by 295–36, loses to Gilbert Ryle by 137–110
At various points, Nelson Goodman and John Searle were in the top 20, and Armstrong and Ryle just outside, but the former pair finished at 21 and 22, respectively, in the final results.
Inevitably, it turned out that there were omissions of candidates who while perhaps not "top 20" contenders would certainly have rated favorably on the full list. Examples include Hector-Neri Castenada, J.J.C. Smart, Annette Baier, Ruth Millikan (I had not realized she was over 80), Kurt Baier, among others. Karl Popper was a tricky case, because his most important work was prior to 1945, but he continued to publish during the period in question. Comments on the significance of the work of those omitted and on the results welcome. For my own money, I would have put Hempel and Foot in the top 20 (as well as Goodman and Searle), and dropped Armstrong, Ryle, Nozick and Dummett. I wonder whether others were surprised by Austin's strong showing? And ten years ago, would Anscombe have fared so well? Rorty's rather tepid showing in a poll of actual philosophers is also notable. (Remember the poll was limited to philosophers no longer living and distinguished living philosophers over 80, with two exceptions: Kripke and Nagel.)
...but in crazy California you can get not only "religious" exemptions, but "philosophical" ones, not by having an argument, but simply by checking a box. Perhaps if Child Protective Services started taking kids away from the idiot parents who don't vaccinate them, California would cease being the measles and whooping cough capitol of America--and can polio be far behind?
Few would disagree that the systems for preventing and prosecuting sexual assault on US campuses are in need of change. But the efficacy and fairness of recent reforms that focus on making college grievance procedures more favorable to complainants and on codifying strict new definitions of sexual consent remain highly questionable. Advocates of these reforms tend to dismiss their opponents as reactionaries and “rape apologists”—a characterization that is probably accurate in some cases—but feminists, too, have cause to view these measures and the protectionist principles on which they are based with alarm.
UPDATE: Ethan Jerzak, a Berkeley PhD student and Wisconsin native, writes "with deep shame for my home state":
It might be worth pointing out that, the same day that malevolent idiot Scott Walker announced the $300 million cut to the UW system, he pledged $220 million in state funds to build the Milwaukee Bucks a new arena. (The latter being, of course, a "common-sense, fiscally conservative approach"!)
MOVING TO FRONT FROM YESTERDAY--POLL OPEN UNTIL TOMORROW (OVER 300 VOTES SO FAR)
A new poll for your amusement. I've limited the list of choices mostly to philosophers who did most of their work during this period and who are no longer alive, plus some distinguished philosophres who are alive and now in their 80s (with two exceptions: Kripke and Nagel). Have fun. We'll produced from this a list of "the top 20."
UPDATE: Mark Tushnet, a law professor at Harvard, writes: "Of course I don’t understand his paper, but there’s a great line in it. After proving that the upper bound for gaps between primes exists and is less than 70,000,000, the next line is: 'This result is of course not optimal.'"
In recent years, philosophers have increasingly reflected on how various kinds of privilege and advantage are at work in the profession with an eye towards improving the lot of the disadvantaged. This blog is a space for philosophical reflection on various kinds of disadvantage (e.g., discrimination based on racism, classism, sexism, hetero-sexism, ableism, and the intersectionality of these and related phenomena) as well as discussion of such disadvantage within the philosophical community.
The impetus behind the blog began with a simple question posted by Kevin on Facebook concerning the perceived need for a group blog or FB page for discussing these and related issues. We both agreed that a blog could be an important vehicle for encouraging an ongoing discussion concerning the philosophy of discrimination and disadvantage as well as the role that discrimination and disadvantage play within the discipline of philosophy. In this sense, the blog has a theoretical as well as a practical purpose. While our initial motivation was focused more narrowly on the philosophy of disability, we soon realized it was important for us to broaden the scope to include not just ableism but also other forms of discrimination and disadvantage.
...both the Law School and Philosophy Department for having me out the last few days, I had a great time in both places, and not only because of the lovely weather! I got excellent questions and feedback at both units on two different papers, and was grateful for the terrific hospitality on top of that. I also had a chance to have a long talk with my co-editor, Brit Brogaard, about the future of the PGR, and we should have some announcements before too long about plans going forward.
Mitchell Aboulafia is Professor of Philosophy at Manhattan College. He is a former member of the SPEP Advocacy Committee, who took his PhD at Boston College, a SPEP department, and then taught at the University of Colorado at Denver and Pennsylvania State University, the latter a longstanding SPEP bastion. He appears to have developed a bit of an obsession with the PGR lately, though readers should be aware of his bias and of the fact that many of his postings contain factual errors, indeed, easily correctable ones if he were at all intereseted in accuracy. But he is not. And, as I've noted before, it's not worth the time to engage with the lies, falsehoods, and silliness.
UPDATE: I suppose I should not be surprised that Aboulafia doesn't know what an ad hominem argument is. Of course, everything I said, above, is true, though we may now add that Aboulafia has another source of bias that would explain his misrepresentations and distortions, namely, his membership in SAAP. As I said originally: caveat emptor.
There may still be one top spot available in February (there has been an inquiry, but not yet a commitment), as well as 4th from the top spots. There is also still one top spot available in each of March and April, as well as some lower spots each of those months. May is wide open, but both top spots for June are already booked. I am planning on doing less blogging this summer (June, July, August)--meaning postings a few times each week, but not necessarily daily on weekdays--so I am cutting the summer rates: top spots will be $300, 2nd from the top $250, and third from the top $200.
UPDATE: Reader Robrecht Vandemeulebroecke kindly sends along a quick (and quite good) English translation:
Heidegger Society director steps down
According to information from [media outlet] SWR, the Freiburg philosopher Günter Figal has stepped down from his position as director of the Martin Heidegger Society. Yesterday Günter Figal declared on [radio station] SWR2 that the anti-semitic passages in the "black notebooks" published last year had shocked him. He felt he was no longer able to represent the Martin Heidegger Society, even though he had never deemed it to be a society for "hero worship". Figal said: "As director of a society bearing a person's name, one in a sense also represents that person, and after reading the black notebooks, especially the anti-semitic passages in the black notebooks, I no longer wish to do so. These utterances have not only shocked me, they have also changed my opinion of him in such a way that it would very difficult for me still to stand for this." De Freiburg philosopher said the time has now come to scrutinize Heidegger's philosophy in the nazi period. Quote Figal: "Heidegger's entanglement in National Socialism has been much more extensive than we could assess until now, and that means that the 1930's phase should be thoroughly re-examined in light of these findings. And this should be possible as soon as the requisite material becomes available." Critical Heidegger studies are hindered by the Heidegger heirs blocking access to thousands of manuscripts stored at the Deutsches Literaturarchiv in Marbach. These manuscripts can only be perused with their permission. Günter Figal hereby joins the critics who have been demanding that this impediment finally be cleared in the interest of study.
While advisors and committees are important, it can be incredibly helpful to discuss one’s work with peers in a lower-stakes environment, and it can be particularly enlightening to do so with those who take a different approach or have a different focus. Not only that, but there is evidence from psychological research that thinking about problems in relation to persons who are geographically distant can increase creativity. With students in programs from 8 countries and 20 different U.S. states, Virtual Dissertation Groups are a great (free!) way to capture some of these benefits.
The setup is simple: Students participate in three-membered groups, with one student each month sending a short-ish piece of writing to the other two for comments.
This is an informative overview of the law and the developments emerging from the current OCR in interpreting Title IX. My guess is the courts will eventually undo some of the interpretations promulgated by the current OCR.
From the chapter "Of Liberty and Necessity" from the Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding:
The general observations treasured up by a course of experience, give us the clue of human nature, and teach us to unravl all its intricacies. Pretexts and appearances no longer deceive us. Public declarations pass for the specious coloring of a cause. And though virtue and honor be allowed their proper weight and authority, that perfect disinterestedness, so often pretended to, is never expected in multitudes and parties; seldom in their leaders; and scaracely even in individuals of any rank or station.
The political philosopher Massimo Renzo, currently at the University of Warwick, has accepted appointment as Reader in the Yeoh Tiong Lay Centre for Politics, Philosophy & Law at King's College London, effective this fall. The political and legal philosopher John Tasioulas recently took over the Centre, moving to King's from the Quain Chair in Jurisprudence at University College London.
I have been forwarded the latest legal filings in the undergraduate's lawsuit against Peter Ludlow: they are Ludlow's motion to compel the plaintiff to comply with discovery requests--Download Motion to Compel-
I have not been able to review all this in detail, though I do note that the motion to compel includes allegations that the plaintiff may have destroyed relevant evidence which, if true, will doom her case. (It is impossible to redact all references to the plaintiff in these materials, and, in any case, filings in this case have appeared elsewhere unredacted multiple times now.
UPDATE: One reader points out that the exhibits included some personal information about the plaintiff, and thought it better not to put that into circulation, so I have removed the exhibits.
Matthew Ratcliffe (phenomenology, philosophy of emotions, philosophy of psychiatry), currently at the University of Durham, will take up the Chair in Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Vienna this March.
Continental Philosophy Farhang Erfani, a philosopher at American University, provides a useful set of links to news, events, interviews, reviews, videos, etc. related to "Continental philosophy" (broadly construed)