(Thanks to Chris Hitchcock for the pointer.)
(Thanks to Chris Hitchcock for the pointer.)
Posted by Brian Leiter on September 30, 2011 at 07:36 PM in Personal Ads of the Philosophers (and other humor) | Permalink
Author and/or publishers kindly sent me the following books this month:
The Ethics and Mores of Race: Equality after the History of Philosophy by Naomi Zack (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011).
Philosophy of Science: A Contemporary Introduction, 3rd edition, by Alex Rosenberg (Routledge, 2012).
Pluralism and Liberal Politics by Robert B. Talisse (Routledge, 2012).
An Introduction to Indian Philosophy: Perspectives on Reality, Knowledge, and Freedom by Bnia Gupta (Routledge, 2012).
The Ethics of War and Peace: An Introduction by Helen Frowe (Routledge, 2011).
Beyond the Tractatus Wars: The New Wittgenstein Debate edited by Rupert Read and Matthew A. Lavery (Routledge, 2011).
The Continental Aesthetics Reader, 2nd ed., edited by Clive Cazeaux (Routledge, 2011).
Philosophy, Ethics and A Common Humanity edited by Christopher Cordner (Routledge, 2011).
The Pursuits of Philosophy: An Introduction to the Life and Thought of David Hume by Annette C. Baier (Harvard University Press, 2011).
Crime, Punishment, and Responsibility: The Jurisprudence of Antony Duff edited by Rowan Cruft, Matthew H. Kramer, & Mark R. Reiff (Oxford University Press, 2011).
New Essays on the Normativity of Law edited by Stefano Bertea & George Pavlakos (Hart Publishing, 2011).
ORIGINAL POSTED MARCH 2008; REPOSTED WITH SUBSTANTIAL REVISIONS IN LIGHT OF CHANGES IN THE INTERIM (AND SOME EXPANDED COVERAGE BEYOND THE US).
I've had some inquiries lately about the section on the study of philosophy in law schools in the PGR like this one:
I am considering enrolling in a joint JD/PhD in philosophy next year, and I was reading through your rankings in philosophy, law, and joint JD/PhD programs. First, let me say thank you so much for the time and energy you've put in to make this information and these rankings available; it has been very helpful for me. My question, however, is if there is any reason why Harvard and Stanford are virtually not mentioned on the "The Study of Philosophy in Law Schools" page on philosophicalgourmet.com. Do their programs for law and philosophy not match up with the other schools mentioned? I ask because they both have very strong respective law and philosophy programs. I know you're extremely busy, so if you don't have time to respond about this, I completely understand. However, if you do get a chance, any comments would be greatly appreciated. Again, thanks so much for the rankings and information you've compiled about law schools and philosophy programs.
Legal academia is more pedigree-sensitive than academic philosophy (and I'm sure many of you think academic philosophy is way too pedigree-sensitive!), so this student's question is quite understandable. Four law schools dominate the market for new law teachers: Yale, Harvard, Chicago, and Stanford. On a per capita basis, Yale is way ahead of the other three, and these four are way ahead of everyone else. Yet two of these three "feeder" schools for legal academia go unmentioned in the current PGR section. (For the 2009 PGR section, see here.)
MOVING TO FRONT FROM NOV. 18 2009, SINCE THE QUESTION IS ARISING AGAIN
A philosophy graduate student writes:
I was hoping you might be able to help me with a follow-up question I had regarding your blog-post on leiterreports regarding the merits of getting a J.D. and a Ph.D. in philosophy. I'm now in my second-to-last year of my Ph.D....working predominantly in political philosophy....My interests have been, over the last year or so, drawing me towards the philosophy of law and I have been considering pursuing my J.D. after I finish my degree, particularly if the academic job market in philosophy is not substantially improved by the time I finish.
My question is this: how much does it matter where I get my J.D. if my aim is to stay in academia and teach (whether predominantly in the law-program or the philosophy department)? I'm sure going to a more prestigious law school helps, but since the more prestigious the school (often) the more expensive it is, if the potential academic job-benefits are not significant it may not be worth the extra expense.
The answer is: it matters a lot if your goal is to get into law teaching (otherwise it matters less). Law school hiring is very pedigree-sensitive, much more so than philosophy hiring, and also without excellence in a specialization compensating for a program that is not overall highly regarded. One need only look at data on where law professors earned their degrees (e.g., here or here) to see that the academic market in law is overwhelmingly dominated by a very small number of schools: Yale, Harvard, Chicago, and Stanford at the very top; Columbia, Michigan, Berkeley, maybe NYU a notch below; Virginia and Penn a notch below those; and then some mix of Northwestern, Duke, Texas, Georgetown, maybe Cornell, maybe Minnesota, maybe UCLA, maybe one or two others.
It is true that scholarly writing is now much more important in law school hiring than it was even twenty years ago--hardly anyone gets hired anymore without having at least one publication post- law school graduation--but before hiring schools even start reading the scholarship, pedigree is used to narrow the pool dramatically. That, I'm afraid, is the reality that anyone thinking about law teaching needs to be aware of.
Law school is expensive, but even the top law schools give 'merit' aid, and those with PhDs or those with potential for academic careers are often viable candidates for that. Should a JD/PhD hopeful pay full price at Harvard over a full ride at Penn? Probably not, and especially given that Harvard Law School is a bit of a wasteland for someone with a serious interest in philosophy, while Penn has a serious commitment to law and philosophy. But should one pay full price at Penn over a full ride at George Washington or Vanderbilt or Emory? There, I think, the answer is probably yes. The latter are all quite good law schools, but in terms of law teaching, the pedigree drop off is probably too great.
ADDENDUM: A more recent study on placement in law teaching, though no significant differences from the earlier ones.
Many readers were kind enough to offer tips about dining before our trip earlier this month, so permit me to offer some recommendations of my own, now that the trip is done.
In Amsterdam: the Convent Hotel is very nice (four stars), and has some fabulous deals (we got a room for two for under 90 Euros a night--booked it on-line--it's part of the Accor group of hotels). Rooms were small, but well-appointed and comfortable. Great location too, within walking distance of Central Station, Chinatown, the Anne Frank House, and even the Red Light district. The Van Gogh museum is very well-done, organized chronologically with informative written material to accompany the paintings. We only had one dinner in Amsterdam, and enjoyed it at Nam Kee in Chinatown.
In the Hague: the Hilton was fabulous, and I imagine rather pricey (the conference host was paying). And just across the way (on Noordeinde) are some very good restaurants: Bojangles (Spanish) and Maharani (Indian) were the two we enjoyed. The Escher Museum is fun, and nice for kids too. And, yes, one must go to Madurodam, the "miniature" Netherlands. Amusingly weird!
I do hope philosophers concerned with academic integrity will not forget about the outrageous editorial misconduct at Synthese that we discussed at length last Spring, for which the editors have failed to apologize or make amends for, notwithstanding a petition signed by several hundred philosophers. I hope those committed to a boycott will continue to decline to submit to Synthese or referee for that journal, and will exert appropriate social pressure on colleagues who try to rationalize continued support of the journal. I hope junior scholars will recognize that the taint from this episode has now also given them, if nothing else, self-interested reasons to publish elsewhere. For those who missed this sad saga, these earlier posts will bring you up to speed: first, second, third.
If all goes as planned, the on-line surveys for the 2011 PGR will begin early next week, and run for about three weeks. I should have some preliminary results to share in mid-November, and the new PGR should be on-line in early December. That's the plan, in any case!
MOVING TO FRONT FROM THIS MORNING
Gilbert Harman (Princeton) comments.
UPDATE: Professor Harman writes: "I have taken my discussion of Hauser and Mikhail off my web site. It was misleading in suggesting that I agreed with the 'case' against Hauser. Furthermore, I now have received many comments that would call for serious revisions to what I wrote."
...all because he wrote a blurb for a book, which none of the critics appear to have read. What a world. (I should add I've never met Professor Mearsheimer, and I share Professor Chomsky's skepticism about his and Walt's thesis about The Israel Lobby, but the hatchet jobs on him and Walt, which continue to this day, are such a travesty for academic freedom and honest intellectual discourse, that I hope readers will look at Mearsheimer's measured response to the latest smear and make sure to share it widely with colleagues and friends.)
UPDATE (9/28): Prior to this tempest in a teapot about a blurb (!!!) on a book no one seems to have read (other than Professor Mearsheimer!), I'd not heard of Gilad Atzmon, the author who is apparently so verboten in certain circles that one can't even recommend anything he has written. I found this interview with him illuminating and clarifying about his position, and it certainly confirms Mearsheimer's description of his outlook at the link, above. Of particular relevance is this part of the interview:
I think that when it comes to Israel and ‘Jewish power’ every humanist, including myself, has a conflict to handle. I would formulate it as such: ‘how can I tell the truth about Israel, the Lobby, and Zionism and still maintain my position as a humanist’. It took me very many years to learn to differentiate between the wheat and chaff. I learned to distinguish between Jews (the people), Judaism (the religion) and Jewishness (the ideology). This differentiation is not free of problems, because, as we know, most Jews themselves do not know where they stand on those three. Most Jews do not know where Judaism ends and Jewishness starts.
Likewise, most Jewish anti Zionists fail to admit that they actually operate in Jewish exclusive political cells. We are dealing with a very peculiar political identity indeed. It is racially oriented and deeply racist. It is supremacist, yet it is saturated with victimhood. This identity conveys a universal image – yet in truth, it is driven by tribal interests.
In my writing....I restrict myself to issues to do with Jewish ideology (Jewishness). I try to grasp that unique sense of chosen-ness and observe how it comes into play within politics, culture and practice....
When I discuss Jewish Power, I am strictly referring to the ability of Jewish interest groups to mount political pressure. And it is very important to realise here, and I must emphasise that Jewish power is not at all a conspiracy. It is explored — in the open —through organisations that are set to mount pressure and serve Jewish interests. Such groups are AIPAC, AJC, CFI, LFI, and so on. Zionists are open about, and proud of their lobbying powers....
There is no doubt in my mind that the maintenance of the Holocaust is there to sustain the primacy of Jewish suffering at the centre of every possible political discussion. With this heavy cloud over our head, we are not going to be able to respond properly (ethically) to the crimes committed by Israel in the name of the Jewish people. Hence, I do believe that the Holocaust must be stripped of its religious status or primacy in general. It must be discussed openly and treated as a historical chapter. I believe that this will happen soon and I am very proud to be amongst those who lead the discourse in that direction.
It's clear that given a choice between formulations of his position, Mr. Atzmon more often than not chooses the one that will provoke and invite the most offensive interpretations. But it's equally clear that there's nothing in the positions articulated above that marks him as an anti-semite, in the Sartrean or any other offensive sense of the term; his position is cosmopolitan, though, for reasons of autobiography I suppose, he errs on the side of polemic mainly against the anti-cosmopolitan tendencies embodied only in one ideology. He does not deny the Holocaust or the gas chambers or the mass murder of the Jews and others; he does deny that the Holocaust is unique in human history and he objects to the political uses to which the event has been put. I'm not sure how persuasive his position is (unlike him, I generally think laws against Holocaust denial are morally justified), but the hysterical reaction to it, and to Professor Mearsheimer's straightforward blurb of Atzmon's book (which I've also not read), does nothing to advance honest intellectual discourse. If there's a non-hysterical analysis and critique of the actual substance of Atzmon's position, please send it to me and I'll add a link.
ANOTHER: Chris Bertram (Bristol) directs me to an anti-Zionist blog, which does have a somewhat more sober critique of Atzmon (though it is a bit thin on supporting evidence, and I think misunderstands both 19th-century anti-semitism and Atzmon's position--but read it for yourself and compare it with the linked interview, above).
Eric Schwitzgebel (UC Riverside) comments.
When I was barely twenty
When I was barely twenty
I worked nights in a Wall Street bank
Doing the things done when the bank slept
I was a cog but thought I was a person
One dim early morning 5 AM perhaps
While handling some mail I spotted
A periodical of interest and briefly
Slid down the wrapper that held it
To read the T of C on the cover
That was my one false move
For a cog of a truer sort
Turned me in that morning
So that when my work was done
An official called me in to tell me I was fired
For violating the sanctity of a wrapper
That had an important person’s name on it
What’s worse he lectured me on my transgression
As if taking away my job wasn’t morality enough
To this day his motives remain uncertain
Though we can perhaps hypothesize
More certain is that he’s long gone
Deprived of the little life he’d hoarded
Copyright 2009 by Maurice Leiter
Posted with permission
Thoughts from readers? Signed comments will be very strongly preferred.
"...it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
That question has arisen in connection with the creation of on-line repositories for job ads. Rebecca Kukla (Georgetown) forwards the following useful information, from the US Dept. of Labor:
Is the employer permitted to use an electronic or web-based national professional journal instead of a print journal when conducting recruitment under 20 CFR 656.18, Optional special recruitment and documentation procedures for college and university teachers?
Yes, an employer may use an electronic or web-based national professional journal to satisfy the provision found at 20 CFR 656.18(b)(3), which requires use of a national professional journal for advertisements for college or university teachers. The electronic or web-based journal's job listings must be viewable to the public without payment of subscription and/or membership charges. The advertisement for the job opportunity for which certification is sought must be posted for at least 30 calendar days on the journal's website. Documentation of the placement of an advertisement in an electronic or web-based national professional journal must include evidence of the start and end dates of the advertisement placement and the text of the advertisement.
I'm going to open this for comments from anyone with additional information, and I will ask some law colleagues who work in this area to weigh in.
They've now posted the letter from some faculty at Oregon defending the department--the letter we discussed here and that was demolished in the comments here. But those latter comments aren't in evidence needless to say at the fake "Pluralist" Guide site. (And, of course, Oregon is still "strongly recommended" for its "Climate for Women.")
I do hope the philosophers who have been busy playing "Obama" to Linda Alcoff et al.'s "Republicans" in this "Climate for Women" controversy are going to finally wake up to what's going on here. One side is interested in being reasonable and responsible, and the other side, quite plainly, is not.
ADDENDUM: If you're a latecomer to this fake "Pluralist" Guide business, you can get caught up with these posts from the summer: first, second, third, fourth. Since there is nothing objectionable about SPEP and SAAP philosophers publishing their recommendations of programs in their fields, it really is mysterious that they didn't just remove the "Climate for Women" misinformation right away.
A young philosopher writes:
I will be leading a Q&A session for our undergraduate philosophy majors who have professed interest in going to graduate school in philosophy. I feel that I must make them aware of the currently dismal job market in philosophy (which I am well acquainted with, having just gotten my PhD from [a top program] and having seen first hand how hard it is for even [for graduates of top programs] to land TT jobs right now).
I imagine that after hearing this, some students will decide against philosophy graduate school, and will ask me about good alternative career paths for philosophy majors. Unfortunately, this is something that I know absolutely nothing about.
I have searched your blog and have found information about alternative career paths for PhD students; advice for undergraduates applying to PhD programs in philosophy; etc; but as far as I can tell nothing on this specific question:
What are good career paths for undergraduate philosophy majors, alternative to philosophy graduate school?
I'll open this for comments and links from readers (including, e.g., links to departmental webpages that address this topic or amalgamate other links). I'll just comment on one frequent road that philosophy majors go: law school. Training in philosophy serves most students quite well in law school, since they arrive used to the idea that in reading a text you are supposed to engage it dialectically, to ask whether its arguments are any good, and to consider counter-arguments. On the other hand, one should have no illusions about how studying law is different than studying philosophy: first, because arguments from authority are not fallacious in law, but instead are required; and second, the authorities constrain the parameters of any argument, so often the most intriguing line of philosophical argument will be foreclosed by a statute or binding precedent that settles the matter. That being said, a lot of law school emphasizes the dialectical and discursive skills that are also emphasized in the study of philosophy, and many substantive areas of law (criminal law, torts, evidence, intellectual property) raise recognizably philosophical questions. On the other hand, work as a lawyer can vary quite a bit--while, for example, appellate litigation requires many of those skills, trial work demands theatrical and rhetorical skill. And many lawyers almost never go to court at all: they negotiate contracts, they solve regulatory problems for hospitals, they analyze the tax implications of a propose business merger, and so on.
Other ideas from readers on "good career paths for undergraduate philosophy majors"?
A longtime member of the Northern Illinois University faculty, there is an evocative memorial notice about his life and career here.
I'm interviewed about Nietzsche for The Browser's "five books" feature.
This is the text for a public lecture I will give at the end of the month at the University of Alabama, that deals with some familiar meta-ethical issues in, I hope, a non-technical way, and without getting bogged down in the unfortunate tendency of much recent philosophical work, in which the semantic tail wags the metaphysical dog. The abstract:
Over the last 250 years both moral philosophy and ordinary moral opinion have witnessed a remarkable expansion of their conception of the “moral” community, that is, the community of creatures that are thought entitled to basic moral (and ultimately legal) consideration--whatever the precise details of what such consideration requires. "Being human" is what matters now in terms of membership in the moral community, not race, gender, religion, or, increasingly, sexual orientation. (Species membership—hence the “being human”—remains a barrier to entry, however.) How to explain these developments? According to “Whig Histories,” this is really a story of expanding moral knowledge. Just as we discovered that the movement of mid-size physical objects is governed by the laws of Newtonian mechanics, and that those same laws do not describe the behavior of quantum particles, so too we have discovered that chattel slavery is a grave moral wrong and that women have as much moral claim on the electoral vote as men. I argue against the Whig Histories in favor of non-Whig Histories that explain the expanding moral community in terms of biological, psychological, and economic developments, not increased moral knowledge. If the non-Whig Histories are correct, should we expect the “species barrier” to membership in the moral community to fall? I argue for a skeptical answer.
In any case, comments are very welcome.
In discussion on the earlier thread, David Buller (Northern Illinois) and Harry Brighouse (Wisconsin) discussed the possibility of setting up (here or elsewhere) an on-line resource for departments to post job ads, with links to university or "human resources" websites (as a check on accuracy). (See the earlier discussion, at the link above, for some of the issues that arose.) I was open to doing this, but have now been informed that such a site is in the works by folks with considerably more programming experience than me. I am told it will be ready in the next few weeks. I will certainly post a link when it is public.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: It turns out that philosophers David Morrow (Alabama/Birmingham) and Chris Sula (Pratt Institute) have created a jobs site! Theirs was not the one I was referring to, but it looks like it has the relevant features in place to ensure reliability (e.g., no anonymous postings, links to university sites required, etc.). So before long we may have two such sites, but I hope departments will begin taking advantage of this one.
Details here. Daniel Jacobson (Michigan) is the leader of the project; also participating are Justin D'Arms (Ohio State) and Chandra Sripada (Michigan).
One of the better essays I've seen by Noam Chomsky recently--and it includes a link at the end to the original 1967 essay, which appeared in The New York Review of Books. (It is telling about the increasing triviality of the political commentary in the New York Review of Each Other's Books over the last generation that the new Chomsky essay appears in Boston Review instead.)
...that even the folks who really fund the Republican Party won't back her. I hope readers in civilized countries realize how bizarre this is. To be sure, France and Italy and Germany and England have their racists and crypto-fascists contending for office; but in the United States, we have candidates for the Presidency who are not qualified to do anything that affects more than their immediate household. And all that stands between humanity at large and these quasi-persons is the unwillingness of the plutocrats to actually back them. So, for example:
“This is the nail in the coffin in her campaign. Because you can be a cable television darling by saying provocative things, but you can’t be president of the United States.”
Not yet. "Anywhere out of this world," said Baudelaire.
UPDATE: Several readers sent this piece: Penn bioethicist Art Caplan's offer of $10,000 for evidence that the vaccine causes cognitive defects.
ANOTHER: Longtime reader Roger Albin, the Anne B. Young Collegiate Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, writes:
Caplan, unfortunately, shows himself to be almost as ignorant as Bachmann. All vaccines can cause autoimmune reactions that result in severe brain injuries. This is exceedingly rare and the benefits of this vaccine definitely outweigh the risks by a large margin but these unfortunate events happen. The story Bachmann related probably isn't true but it could be true and it's virtually inevitable that a complication like this will occur if enough people are vaccinated with Gardasil. How many - a million, ten million? Impossible to say. The Federal government runs a fund to compensate people for such injuries. Caplan has spent much of his career in academic medical centers and should know better. At a minimum, he should have asked someone really expert before offering this bet.
So I guess it turns out that crazy Bachmann is a deontologist, while everyone else is a utilitarian! Another nail in the deonological coffin?
We touched on this issue last year, and with a new hiring season upon us, the issue is a live one again. A philosopher at Princeton writes:
As this year's job market season gets started, I'm worried about a problem that emerged last year with some philosophy jobs. Many jobs are moving to a policy of having applications submitted entirely online. Some accept email. Some allow applicants to indicate one administrator's name and email, who will upload a PDF of all of the recommendation letters (the entire dossier) as one file. But some schools require applicants to list each recommender separately with his/her email address, with the expectation that recommenders will upload the recommendation letters themselves. This system is unworkable and creates serious problems for applicants.
(This bad system is increasingly the norm for graduate school admissions as well. That is also a serious problem and worth separate consideration. But since the numbers are so much greater with the job market, the job market problem is more urgent.)
Most recommenders write for several job candidates. Job candidates apply for many jobs. If a recommender writes for 4 people, and each applies for 20 jobs that require recommenders to upload letters individually, that means the recommender would have to do 80 uploads. That is absurd. More seriously, professors are busy and realistically it just won't happen. Those online systems will mark the applications as "incomplete" and those job candidates will not be considered for those jobs. (Or they'll be considered without some or all of their letters.)
In my department, we're considering using the following system. The department administrator will create a gmail address, say "JaneSmith@gmail.com." The students will use variations of this email address for the email addresses for their several letters; the variations will involve insertions of periods, which gmail ignores, so all the emails will go into this one account. (For example, "Jane.Smith@gmail.com" and "J.aneSmith@gmail.com", etc.) For the first uploaded letter file, the administrator will upload the whole dossier. For the rest of the files, she will upload a PDF that says "This applicant’s recommendation letters have been uploaded as a single PDF document. Please see the computer file for the first recommendation letter for all the letters."
Does anyone see any possible problems with our handing things this way?
This will make things a bit easier for our administrator than if she had to create dedicated gmail addresses for each of the letter-writers and upload each letter individually. But this will still require *hours* of extra work time on top of the already very time-consuming task of mailing out the dossiers. In many departments, there simply isn't enough support staff to have an administrator do this kind of extra work. This is a lot of extra work.
If anyone doubts that this takes lots of time: trust me, it does. It can easily take an hour to upload five letters--all you need is to run into a glitch with one system, or encounter one slow system. And that definitely happens.
If any schools are using systems that require that letters be uploaded individually, it seems that one thing they could do is have the minimum number of letters (as far as the online system is concerned) be *one letter* and thus allow applicants to have all of their letters uploaded as a dossier of one computer file. Of course the online instructions to applicants would have to make clear that this is possible to do. At the very least, a note to applicants on department webpages would be helpful.
Once applications are being submitted, it would be useful to have a thread on Leiter Reports about which schools are using this bad system and what workarounds they are adopting to make it manageable.
Signed comments will be preferred, but you must at least include a valid e-mail address that indicates your department.
This is quite funny, though the bits of the Blob it makes fun of are not!
(Thanks to Aaron Baker for the pointer.)
ADDENDUM: Edroso's personal blog is very funny too. Here's a great line: "At last night's GOP Tea Party debate, Michele Bachman attacked Rick Perry for immunizing them Texas gals agin HPV, and then claimed someone told her that the vaccine had made her little girl retarded. The whole thing is a nightmare, but there's no nightmare that can't be made worse by Jonah Goldberg."
...has a really well-done departmental newsletter, that does a nice job covering both the undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as the faculty.
CNN invites Bernie Sanders, Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nader to question candidates for the Democratic nomination for President.
MOVING TO FRONT FROM YESTERDAY--A VALUABLE DISCUSSION, I HOPE OTHERS WILL CONTRIBUTE
After last year's weather fiasco, we had a vigorous discussion of whether departments, for their own benefit and the benefit of candidates, shouldn't eschew interviews at the Eastern APA in favor of Skype interviews. Rebecca Kukla (Georgetown) recently e-mailed me suggesting now might be a good time to see if departments are changing their practices at all this year. Comments are open, signed comments only. If you are going to skip the Eastern APA, will you use Skype instead or simply invite candidates directly to campus based on reading their dossiers? Please also indicate whether your practice this year represents a change from the past. If your department is still debating how to proceed, it might be useful to indicate what the factors in the decision will be.
But this really takes the prize: Bill Keller, the former managing editor (notable mainly for his pandering to right-wing crazies), writes a gushing review of a book by a good friend of his wife's! Have these people no shame?
Krugman's 9/11 blog post (noted briefly yesterday) didn't strike me as very good (his follow-up was better), for reasons well-described here (to which I would only add: it seems very unlikely that the exploiters of 9/11, let alone the nation as a whole, "knows" or recognizes the exploitation of the atrocity). It was, of course, predictable that Krugman's posting--which violated all the rules for commenting on 9/11 in right-wing America--would make the crazies even crazier. You can get a taste by following the links here. (And Twitter is awash with insightful remarks like this, which shrewdly identifies Krugman's real motivation: money!) Let's just call this reacting entity, "the Right-Wing Blob," since it emits its largely predictable messages through various physically distinct, but otherwise indistinguishable, persons.
The Right-Wing Blob, as you can see from the preceding links, is very, very angry--especially since Krugman did not permit comments on his post. This is a sign of his "cowardice" according to the Right-Wing Blob (an example). The other possibility doesn't occur to the Blob: every civilized person knows that if you write something offensive to the Blob, it responds hysterically and stupidly, and just as you wouldn't want the Blob pissing on your carpet at home, you don't want it pissing on your website. Who wants to hear from know-nothings, after all? That's not cowardice, just a wise allocation of time and energy.
The Right-Wing Blob specializes in two rhetorical moves: armchair psychology and condescension from below. It is not, alas, very good at the former (a shame, it is fun when done well), and tends to be rather repetitive (witness the "cowardice" meme, above); it is utterly tone-deaf to the irony of the latter. Thus, we have some non-entity right-wing pundit, "John Hayward," who emits the "coward" meme, and then issues a threat conjoined with some condescension from below:
You are now at a decision point, editors of the New York Times. If Paul Krugman still works for you on Monday morning, you endorse every damned word he said in this piece. You will be endorsing the cowardice of this drive-by slander artist, whose failure as a human being exceeds even his miserable failure as an “economist.”
Your choice, New York Times. Your move. Your honor, decency, and integrity. Your consequences.
This is weird on so many levels. Does Mr. Hayward, whoever he is, think the New York Times must respond to his emission? Could he be this delusional? It appears so. As to Krugman's human failure exceeding his "failure as an 'economist,'" this doesn't seem so bad, since his failure as an economist includes a Nobel Prize for economics, tenured positions at MIT and Princeton, and a column in The New York Times. Personally, I am skeptical that qua human being Krugman really exceeds this litany of "failure."
I'll just post links to what I wrote on the occasion of the 5th anniversary: this a personal recollection of the day, this a comment on the political and public culture five years later. Ten years later, some, but hardly all, of the madness has receded. Certainly the Republican Party now--one need only look at their Presidential candidates, some of whom make even George W. Bush appear a paragon of virtue and sense--is even more deranged.
(On the post-9/11 madness, this item (regarding Michael Moore's early and quite correct objection to the criminal war of aggression against Iraq) is also very telling.)
UPDATE: A striking statement from Krugman. (He's certainly right about Giuliani's post 9/11 exploitation of the day, but one should at least acknowledge that he was effectively the "President of the United States" that day, and was the only functional political leader in evidence.)
ANOTHER: Chris Hedges, including a very interesting quotation from Elias Canetti, one of the most unusually insightful minds of the last century.
The real question is whether the fact that wine is being served before Jason Stanley comes face-to-face with Carlin Romano makes it more or less likely that blows will be exchanged. (If there's a recording, audio or video, of the event, do let me know.)
We did some posts on the media coverage of this book earlier this year, and now a thoughtful, and I think quite apt, NDPR review has appeared. Although I have great admiration for work that both Dreyfus and Kelly have done in the past, I did think this book (I couldn't finish it, I have to admit) was quite thin, for the kinds of reasons well-discussed in the NDPR review.
The real PGR surveys will be getting underway in a few weeks, but I thought it might be interesting (or at least amusing) to see how the top 20 U.S. departments get ranked using the Condorcet system. Internet polls are fraught with obvious problems, but the Condorcet system often does amazingly well at undermining strategic voting and the like. I've listed 34 programs, based partly on 2009 results, and partly on changes in the interim. Have fun! Bear in mind that voters who have the most impact on the final results are those who take the time to rank all the options.
UPDATE (SEPTEMBER 9): So with about 550 votes cast, here's the 'top 20' (which has been fairly stable now for awhile):
|1. New York University (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)|
|2. Rutgers University, New Brunswick loses to New York University by 309–133|
|3. Princeton University loses to New York University by 350–104, loses to Rutgers University, New Brunswick by 253–198|
|4. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor loses to New York University by 400–58, loses to Princeton University by 345–108|
|5. Massachussetts Institute of Technology loses to New York University by 398–58, loses to University of Michigan, Ann Arbor by 223–219|
|6. University of Pittsburgh loses to New York University by 400–67, loses to Massachussetts Institute of Technology by 242–204|
|7. Harvard University loses to New York University by 387–71, loses to University of Pittsburgh by 236–210|
|8. Stanford University loses to New York University by 421–40, loses to Harvard University by 272–166|
|9. Yale University loses to New York University by 422–40, loses to Stanford University by 223–209|
|10. University of California, Berkeley loses to New York University by 415–54, loses to Yale University by 222–217|
|11. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill loses to New York University by 429–30, loses to University of California, Berkeley by 235–193|
|12. Cornell University loses to New York University by 421–41, loses to University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill by 242–189|
|13. University of California, Los Angeles loses to New York University by 432–25, loses to Cornell University by 223–207|
|14. Columbia University loses to New York University by 426–40, loses to University of California, Los Angeles by 218–210|
|15. City University of New York Graduate Center loses to New York University by 424–41, loses to Columbia University by 238–177|
|16. University of Arizona loses to New York University by 431–29, loses to City University of New York Graduate Center by 221–203|
|17. University of Southern California loses to New York University by 439–22, loses to University of Arizona by 238–166|
|18. Brown University loses to New York University by 426–32, loses to University of Southern California by 207–198|
|19. University of Chicago loses to New York University by 415–48, loses to Brown University by 240–178|
|20. University of Notre Dame loses to New York University by 433–31, loses to University of Chicago by 217–188|
|Runner-up: University of Texas, Austin loses to New York University by 436–19, loses to University of Notre Dame by 221–173|
It's interesting that these results aren't crazy, even if one might quibble (MIT too high; Pitt, UNC, UCLA, Columbia, Arizona too low etc.); the Condorcet method produces fewer ties. One suspects 'halo' effects were doing some work here, but we'll see how the PGR survey results compare in a couple of months.
The Board of Directors of the Journal of the History of Philosophy has awarded its annual book prize for 2010 (worth $3,000) to Lodi Nauta (Groningen) for In Defense of Common Sense: Lorenzo Valla’s Humanist Critique of Scholastic Philosophy (Harvard University Press, 2009).
(Thanks to Bob Pasnau for the pointer.)
...tell their stories (it's a shame the entries are limited to approximately 300 words). A sobering reminder of the challenges many of our colleagues and students face, often on a daily basis.
(Thanks to Eric Schliesser for the pointer.)
I was asked to share the following good news from UNLV:
The Fall semester began last week at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Philosophy Department Chair Todd Jones is very happy to report that the Philosophy Department will be open for business for the indefinite future with no faculty members being let go, despite the State budgetary woes that threatened to close the department last spring. A number of factors contributed to the department’s survival. One was a court ruling that, for all practical purposes, forced the state legislature to continue some taxes that were set to expire. Another was that hundreds of APA members and Leiter Reports readers wrote to legislators and administrators to say how misguided closing the Philosophy Department would be. It was important that officials were made aware that such a move, while possibly saving a small amount of money, would have been very damaging to students, and to the university’s reputation. The UNLV Philosophy Department is very grateful for the support it received from the philosophical community during this time.