...and three are going public that they plan to vote for Dopey Donald Chump! (Thanks to reader David Gordon who called this to my attention.)
Obviously, it is embarrassing that educated people would vote for Trump, but it isn't that hard to explain. Dan Bonevac and Rob Koons--my former colleagues at Texas (with whom I had a very enjoyable reading group back in the 1990s)--are both conservative Christians, though of different denominations. Trump's invisible running mate, Mike Pence, the former Indiana Governor, is a very conservative Christian, and many people suspect that given that Trump is a narcissist with a short attention span, that his VP would really govern. I am hardly surprised my former colleagues are supporting Trump under those circumstances.
USC's Scott Soames, whom I do not know except through his work, is a more puzzling case, though I had long heard that he was on the political right (now that is confirmed!). My guess is that his "reasons" are not unlike the reasons proferred by the handful of right-wing law professors supporting Trump, like Stephen Presser (emeritus, Northwestern) and Ronald Rotunda (Chapman). This is perhaps worth emphasizing: there are a lot of conservative and libertarian law professors (whereas there are few philosophy professors, proportionally, in those camps). Most are not supporting Trump: some are voting for Gary Johnson, the libertarian candidate; most seem to be sitting out the election; and another large group are voting for Clinton, for a simple reason, that reflects their legal knowledge: domestically, the President operates under various constraints, but in terms of foreign policy, there are almost no meaningful limits to what the President can do. Entrusting that power to a psychologically unbalanced narcissist isn't a good bet, obviously.
Soames, I assume, correctly views voting instrumentally rather than symbolically: he isn't interested in confirming his personal "integrity" as a reactionary, he is interested in helping defeat the political enemy, namely, the Democrats. And if one has a certain right-wing worldview--e.g., that markets are almost always preferable to government regulation, that lower taxes are better for the economy as a whole, that the integrity of America is endangered by reckless immigration policies, etc.--then voting for Trump might seem the instrumentally rational thing to do under the circumstances.
I am neither a conservative Christian, nor adherent of a right-wing worldview (neither is Trump, by the way, since the right-wing worldview presupposes that the positions in question contribute to the general American welfare, about which Trump neither cares nor even has a concept that would pick it out). But if I were, I could see how I might come to think supporting Trump made sense.
But I am also not naïve, and I also have known all about the narcissistic clown Donald Trump for thirty years. There is a reason that an actually successful New York businessman Michael Bloomberg went to the Democratic convention to denounce him, and it isn't because Billionaire Bloomberg really thinks Trump is a threat to the prerogatives of his class. It's the same reason that Trump is such a minor player in New York real estate, despite his inherited fortune: none of the real players in New York real estate wanted anything to do with him because he's a jackass and crook. Every educated person not in the grips of a religious or political ideology--or, in any case, not pathetically naïve--realizes that the guy is both incompetent and mentally unstable, facts that have been obscured only by the fortune he inherited and lots of lawyers.
Since Bonevac, Koons, and Soames are highly competent analytic philosophers, the only conclusion to be drawn is that they are very naïve in thinking that supporting Trump is instrumentally rational given what they want. But Trump's whole business career has depended on naïve suckers, so nothing is new!