Behind a paywall, alas, but very detailed, with extensive quotes from Ludlow and the student.
UPDATE: A philosopher elsewhere writes: "Why don’t you open comments? Much of what has been posted has been shown to be wrong. People should face up to that. FP hasn’t linked to it and Justin W is trying to bury it." I haven't really followed coverage on other blogs (though it would not be surprising if my correspondent's allegation were accurate), but I will open comments. No naming names of students and I will edit for relevance.
In addition to the moral philosopher David Owens, King's College, London has also made part-time appointments at the Professorial level of Peter Adamson (late ancient and Islamic philosophy) from Munich (he was previously full-time at KCL) and Michael Beaney (history of analytic philosophy) from York.
KCL has come a long way from the crisis of five years ago, and, happily, it's clear they are investing in their outstanding philosophy department.
(Thanks to Clayton Littlejohn for the information.)
...since, after all, if your views are offensive, you are not entitled to be employed, right? Peter Singer is, by my lights, a pernicious presence in philosophy, but my lights or the lights of disability activists are irrelevant to whether he should be employed. This is what academic freedom means: academics can hold views that you think are appalling, stupid, worthless. Maybe you are right, and maybe you are not. But the lifeblood of the academy is insulation from such outbursts of indignation.
This latest outburst doesn't really matter, of course--Singer has weathered worse. But it is symptomatic of something dangerous.
An important decision, striking a small blow for making cyberspace less of a cesspool than it presently is. See esp. page 44 of the opinion. As is so often the case, American law is an outlier here, providing the maximum protection for defamation and hate speech, including especially in cyberspace.
Paul Audi (metaphysics, philosophy of mind), Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Nebraska, Omaha has accepted a senior offer from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Rochester.
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, the major, publicly funded research agency in Germany) has just given a major grant to a group of nine philosophers from Hannover and Bielefeld chaired by myself (and co-chaired by Martin Carrier from Bielefeld University) for the purpose of creating a graduate research group ("Graduiertenkolleg") on the topic of "Integrating Ethics and Epistemology of Scientific Research". The project is initially authorized for 4,5 years and can be extended if successful. For these initial 4,5 years, we are being granted a total of €3.17 million. Durig this period, we are going to be able to accept and give salaried positions to 15 PhD students altogether, plus two PostDocs.
Funded PhD programs in philosophy are a rarity in Germany, so we are very excited to be able to create one, and also to combine the strengths of the Universities of Hannover and Bielefeld in philosophy of science by creating a joint program (the two cities are a mere 50 minutes train ride apart).
The program will be directed at overcoming the divide between theoretical philosophy (epistemology and metaphysics) and practical philosophy (ethics and political philosophy) of science. It will primarily focus on research questions that require serious attention to both areas. The status of policy advice on the basis of computer simulations in climate science, the balancing of research goals and ethical aspects of medical treatment in clinical trials, the appropriate role of intellectual property in science, or the prospects of social scientific research on the basis of social network data are just a few examples of topics that ought in our view be treated by drawing on the resources of theoretical and practical philosophy and taking both equally seriously.
Thomas Baldwin (York) asked me to share the following:
At the end of September 2015 the editorship of Mind will move from Thomas Baldwin (York) to Adrian Moore (Oxford) and Lucy O'Brien (UCL). In order to ensure that this change is straightforward, the York editorial team are working to ensure that only a small number of papers are in the process of being considered for publication at the time of the changeover. However it will be difficult to achieve this goal while new papers continue to be submitted, especially because submissions to Mind have recently increased by 30%. As a result we have decided to introduce a four-month moratorium on the acceptance of new submissions from July 1 2015 until 31 October 2015.
I first encountered this famous remark of Heine's in Freud, who was discussing revenge; Heine wrote:
Mine is a most peaceable disposition. My wishes are: a humble cottage with a thatched roof, but a good bed, good food, the freshest milk and butter, flowers before my window, and a few fine trees before my door; and if God wants to make my happiness complete, he will grant me the joy of seeing some six or seven of my enemies hanging from those trees. Before death I shall, moved in my heart, forgive them all the wrong they did me in their lifetime. One must, it is true, forgive one's enemies-- but not before they have been hanged.
...at CHE. Jason tells me that he donated his fee from CHE, and is donating all of the royalties from his recent book on propaganda, to the Prison Policy Initiative, with which he is involved. Please take a moment to check out the PPI and the work it is doing to counter our inhumane incarceration practices.
Interesting piece by a college professor, about ten years into his teaching career; some excerpts:
Things have changed since I started teaching. The vibe is different. I wish there were a less blunt way to put this, but my students sometimes scare me — particularly the liberal ones.
Not, like, in a person-by-person sense, but students in general. The student-teacher dynamic has been reenvisioned along a line that's simultaneously consumerist and hyper-protective, giving each and every student the ability to claim Grievous Harm in nearly any circumstance, after any affront, and a teacher's formal ability to respond to these claims is limited at best....
The current student-teacher dynamic has been shaped by a large confluence of factors, and perhaps the most important of these is the manner in which cultural studies and social justice writers have comported themselves in popular media. I have a great deal of respect for both of these fields, but their manifestations online, their desire to democratize complex fields of study by making them as digestible as a TGIF sitcom, has led to adoption of a totalizing, simplistic, unworkable, and ultimately stifling conception of social justice. The simplicity and absolutism of this conception has combined with the precarity of academic jobs to create higher ed's current climate of fear, a heavily policed discourse of semantic sensitivity in which safety and comfort have become the ends and the means of the college experience.
This new understanding of social justice politics resembles what University of Pennsylvania political science professor Adolph Reed Jr. calls a politics of personal testimony, in which the feelings of individuals are the primary or even exclusive means through which social issues are understood and discussed. Reed derides this sort of political approach as essentially being a non-politics, a discourse that "is focused much more on taxonomy than politics [which] emphasizes the names by which we should call some strains of inequality [ ... ] over specifying the mechanisms that produce them or even the steps that can be taken to combat them." Under such a conception, people become more concerned with signaling goodness, usually through semantics and empty gestures, than with actually working to effect change.
(Thanks to Ryan Doerfler for the pointer.)
I'm curious to hear what readers make of this. I have very little to do with undergraduates--I taught Nietzsche here to undergrads two years ago, it was a lively and engaged group, and I did not encounter any problems like this. I certainly have never encountered nonsense like this at the Law School here, or with the graduate students, but in neither case is that surprising. So, those who teach undergraduates regularly, is the author on to something or not?
Adam Pautz (philosophy of mind, metaphysics), Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin, has accepted a senior offer from the Department of Philosophy at Brown University. That's a significant catch for Brown, which will solidify its top twenty status even after Jaegwon Kim's retirement.
One is left with the misgiving that this was a work conceived and executed with an eye only to Kant’s famous example (‘7+5=12’), which subsequently had to be hedged and qualified as soon as an expert critic drew attention to Gödelian incompleteness (for, surely, any epistemology for arithmetic must be able to deal with quantified sentences).
Readers of this journal are unlikely to be persuaded by this brand of empiricist apriorism, interesting though the prospects for some account of that kind might be. The details of execution are neither adequate nor convincing. The author observes that ‘The approach I am advocating does not seem to have been considered before’ (p. 199). If her account, as here executed, turns out to be the only possible one of this kind, then we have an explanation, perhaps, as to why it has not been considered before....
...she had asked if I wanted to post more about this, and I declined (she found a taker, needless to say). Kipnis was wronged by the frivolous Title IX retaliation complaint. The students responsible are suffering for their unfortunate decision. No good will come of prolonging this. The comments on Kipnis's response are mostly and predictably stupid (though there are a few adult responses later on, see, e.g., "DC" and "Andy Metz"). (ADDENDUM: Just to be clear, I fully understand why Prof. Kipnis wanted to reply, given the misleading accusations being made against her.)
UPDATE: Philippe Lemoine writes:
While I understand why you didn't want to publish Kipnis's reply to the student who filed a complaint against her, I wish you had and had opened comment for people to discuss it, for the way in which Prof. Weinberg has been moderating this discussion is quite scandalous. Several of my comments have been censored and, when asked why by email, Prof. Weinberg gave me reasons that were patently fallacious.
I was in particular noting that, despite what many people assume (including apparently Kipnis), nothing in the public record indicate that the graduate student who accused Ludlow of rape denied that she had previously been dating him. Not even Pogin, in the ridiculous letter that she sent to Kipnis, said that. Yet, if the graduate student had denied that she had at some point been dating Ludlow, Pogin would presumably be in a position to know that.
In fact, in his complaint against Northwestern and the graduate student in question, Ludlow claims not just that he was in a relationship with her, but that she admitted as much both in her complaint against him and in answering the questions of the private investigator hired by the university to investigate it. Of course, he could lie about that, but it strikes me as rather unlikely given how easily this could be verified.
Prof. Weinberg justified his decision of censoring the comment where I was making this point by claiming that I was suggesting that the graduate student was lying about the nature of her relationship with Ludlow, when it's clear that I did nothing of the sort, since the central point I was making is that nothing in the public record indicates that she denied that she had previously been dating him.
When I read so many established philosophers defending the anonymous graduate student who justified the frivolous complaint that s/he filed against Kipnis on Daily Nous, I have to assume that they only do so out of a misguided desire to protect a student and not because they actually agree with the complete nonsense s/he wrote, otherwise this profession is really in trouble.
One small comment: since no one has a presumptive entitlement to their comment appearing here on any other blog, I don't think "censorship" is the relevant issue. But I do think, given that I've heard from others that certain points are being excluded from the debate elsewhere, that it is worthwhile to open comments here, though I will edit and/or moderate for relevance and constructive content. Comments on either side of this issue are of course welcome.
...because of his views on killing the disabled (the article is in German, I'm opening comments if someone has time to translate more of it). This is, as I recall, not the first time Singer has had trouble in Germany, where, given the history, they are more sensitive than the typical utilitarian to the implications of such views.
Professor Emeritus at Boston University, he was especially well-known for his philosophical work in philosophy of religion, where he was a defender of atheism. (He also wrote one of the only books in English on American and Scandinavian legal realism.) There is an obituary here.
Here. It's an open question, of course, whether the Philosopher's Annual is really neglecting this area (it is admittedly a small subfield) or whether these papers are as strong as the "top ten" that PA comes up with. Other subfields might do something similar, not so much because they are being "neglected" by PA, but because it might be useful to have some notable papers identified each year by experts in the various subfields.
One of the complainants apparently believes that factual errors in Kipnis's first article--which the complainant believes were significant and harmful, but which seem to Kipnis (and many other readers, myself included) minor and largely beside the point--somehow justify the filing of a Title IX "retaliation" complaint. They do not, and they should not. This student is getting terrible advice, and only digging her hole deeper. The only sensible response to events of the last week is a mea culpa for having abused Title IX by filing a frivolous retaliation complaint against lawful speech by a faculty member with no professional or other connection with the graduate student victim of sexual harassment.
...this time at CHE (behind their paywall). It does contain some new information (new to me, at least, I had not seen this previously) about the rape complaint against Peter Ludlow: it says "the university found him responsible for sexual harassment" but not rape. It also reports that, "Northwestern has banned him from the campus, [Ludlow] said, and has scheduled a hearing for next month on whether he should be fired."
The University of Wisconsin System would see $250 million in cuts and sweeping changes in its operations, under a proposal put forward by GOP lawmakers Friday that would still be less dramatic than changes proposed by Gov. Scott Walker.
Lawmakers on the Legislature's budget committee are poised to reduce Walker's controversial proposed cuts to the UW System from $300 million over two years to $250 million, which UW System leaders praised, but faculty members on campuses said was not nearly enough. The extra $50 million would be distributed to campuses around the state that are judged by UW leaders to be hardest hit by the cuts, according to a GOP motion.
The Joint Finance Committee would continue for another two years the freeze on tuition for undergraduate state residents that was proposed by the governor and likely 2016 presidential candidate.
In addition, the provisions of academic tenure for professors would no longer be included in state law. The UW Board of Regents could choose to retain tenure under its rules or decline to do so, which would allow it to lay off any faculty in cases of budget difficulties or changes to academic programs.
The hypocrisy is that they reduce funding but freeze tuition: they should take their own neoliberal ideology seriously. Let the University of Wisconsin be a private university, which is what it's becoming. Let it charge what the fabled "market" will bear, but don't slash its funding and freeze its tuition, that's just hypocrisy and cowardice. Let the universities raise salaries to compensate for eliminating tenure, since tenure is the single most important form of non-monetary compensation faculty receive.
Unless the Neanderthal Scott Walker and the Repugs in Wisconsin are soundly defeated, this is America's future.
UPDATE: More on the legislative attack on tenure and other mischief. Comments open for more information, insight, perspective.
A wise decision, though the comments of the student suggests she still does not understand the wrongfulness of her conduct; Prof. Eisenman's observations are interesting:
"I don't blame any students who brought charges against me," Eisenman told The Huffington Post on Monday. "They're just students, they're learning, they're smart, they're trying things out, they make mistakes." He continued: "I do hold responsible the administrators overseeing Title IX. It was well within their prerogative to examine the charge and to determine it was without merit...."
The student, who didn't want her name publicly revealed, said part of the reason she withdrew her complaint against Eisenman was that investigators had begun to probe the case without getting her full statement.
"I cannot continue to be so naive as to hope that internal complaint processes can safely be made use of in good faith. It's clear that they cannot," the student wrote in withdrawing her complaint on Sunday....
Eisenman said he believes Title IX is essential, but the law's protections must "be treated with respect." He said he worries that unfounded investigations weaken the law. "This makes it much more [susceptible to] attacks with from the right," he said.
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)