Speculation about me

I’m not fond of drawing attention to myself or discussing my life, as some have noted. But some recent speculation about my identity has prompted me to write a short account of who I am to protect the innocent from being associated with anything scandalous.

Though I’ve been passionate about philosophy since the 1970s, I have always approached it more as an enjoyable and important pastime than as a source of income. As a result, my name has never been featured prominently, which suits my desire for privacy well. Over the years, I have developed a number of good friendships with other devotees of philosophy, some of whom are better known than others. That is the extent of my being an ‘insider in the profession’, as one commenter put it elsewhere.

My concern for the direction of the profession stems from a conviction I have always had that the discipline must be a bastion of free and open debate, and that philosophy must serve society by introducing college students to the practice of rigorous thinking and impartial investigation even when it is uncomfortable to them to do so (no ‘sacred cows’, as the masthead of this blog reads). Owing to some recent developments in the profession, I have tended to dwell considerably in these little posts on disturbing (to me) aspects of these changes that I have not seen discussed anywhere else and that seem to me to threaten the desirable aspects of the discipline while failing (as I see it) to achieve the positive goals they are apparently meant to pursue, all the while putting philosophy departments under the increasing powers of administrators, as in the Colorado case. But it was never my intention for this blog to be as devoted to questions of sexual harassment and sexism as I have allowed it to become, and I look forward to broadening the scope of the blog soon.

I hope readers will forgive me for not saying more to satisfy those who wish to track down my personal details. I think recent developments have underscored the likely consequences of my doing so. I will therefore not respond to questions or comments in that direction. Thanks to all of you for your support of this little project of mine.

8 thoughts on “Speculation about me

  1. Keep up the excellent work. You’re doing yeoman’s work exposing some of the ridiculous (yet frightening) trends in professional philosophy these days, and the poor reasoning and relative paucity of evidence used to push them forward.

    I’d also like to dub a new fallacy for the Internet age: “argument ad troll-em” (definition: to reject a dialectical opponent’s position because one deems it an instance of ‘trolling’)

  2. Let me get this straight.

    -A reasonably civil dialogue here between two anonymous commenters, one of whom merely entertained the possibility that a genetic hypothesis, as opposed to a merely social hypothesis, better explains the statistical inequalities between the genders reflected in the profession.
    -Brogaard is so insulted by this discussion that in one post she quotes a portion of it to incite public scorn.
    -Brogaard somehow tracks down the IP addresses of these anonymous commenters, associates them with Rutgers based on vague location, then proceeds to not only publicly smear male graduate students at Rutgers, but also presumably contacted the department demanding their heads on a platter.
    -The Rutgers-smearing post is up just long enough to do its damage, then mysteriously disappears in cyberspace.

    Did I get that right? Am I missing an essential step here? If this is the right, it is downright frightening. The fact that she thinks—no, scrap that—the fact that she can get away with publicly smearing and possibly torpedoing the careers of male grad students at Rutgers based on nothing bust a possible IP address association should strike fear into the heart of anyone who thinks such behavior is indefensible.

    The unprofessional and duplicitous actions of the site visit team at Boulder are being defended, even encouraged. The Hydra eats one of its own heads for suggesting Ludlow at least deserves due process. Now the smearing of Rutgers male grad students, who, for all we know, could have been away from their computers all weekend leading a diversity training camp. I am completely dismayed—almost speechless—at these behaviors. Such behavior is so ideologically extreme and mind-boggling irrational as to be inexplicable apart from seeing them as public displays of what they’ve been getting away with behind the scenes for a long time.

    What level of gratuitous violence will open the eyes of the spectators to the barbarism of these gladiatorial games? This snowball has been allowed to roll too far for too long, and has gathered enough size and momentum that any perceived resistance in its path will be summarily flattened. How does a Nero or Hitler ascend to power? Incrementally, secretly, duplicitously. Before long, you have an entire army who unquestionably follows orders—out of fear or zeal—to slaughter without question or concern for their victims or fear of consequences. This feminist Leviathan is prepared to send anyone who doesn’t share its vision to the gas champers. They’re like the unpopular kid in high school who seeks to redress their insecurities and victim mentality with the illegitimate power of a gun.

  3. Update: two additional bullet points:

    -The Rutgers-smearing page magically reappears.
    -The comments are now censored and fielded by Brogaard herself.

    This is truly shameless, abusive behavior. Disciplinary action ought to be taken against her.

  4. > This feminist Leviathan is prepared to send anyone who doesn’t share its vision to the gas champers. They’re like the unpopular kid in high school who seeks to redress their insecurities and victim mentality with the illegitimate power of a gun.

    The sound of sublime subtlety.

    Please, do continue.

  5. According to Leiter, Brogaard has now quit the blog. I’d love to see some of the behind-the-scenes emails that must have been flying around.

  6. Have a look at the statement from Jeffrey Ketland over at Leiter. If what he says is right, he was fired from Oxford University without even a minimal consideration of due process in investigating the accusations made against him.

    Can there be any doubt among reasonable people that there is cause for concern about the way feminist political advocacy operates today?

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