The focus here at Daily Nous is on the philosophy profession, but the following dispute down the street caught my attention. Here’s Susan Fiske, a psychology professor at Princeton and past president of the Association for Psychological Science (APS), in “Mob Rule or Wisdom of Crowds,” which will be appearing in the APS news periodical, Observer:
Our field has always encouraged—required, really—peer critiques. But the new media (e.g., blogs, Twitter, Facebook posts) are encouraging uncurated, unfiltered, trash-talk. In the most extreme examples, online vigilantes are attacking individuals, their research programs, and their careers… volunteering critiques [with] personal ferocity and relentless frequency.
She says that people psychology are fearful to the point of leaving academia because of the “sheer adversarial viciousness” showing up online. She adds:
And what kind of man am I? One of those who would gladly be refuted if anything I say is not true, and would gladly refute another who says what is not true, but would be no less happy to be refuted myself than to refute. (Plato, Gorgias 458a)
UPDATE: Readers should also see the post at The Philosophers’ Cocoon, “Where does blogging fit into promotion and tenure (or should it)?” by Joshua Mugg (Indiana University Kokomo).