Top Ten Ways Daily Nous Should Respond to the Current Fracas

Top Ten Ways Daily Nous Should Respond to the Current Fracas


11. Learn to count.
10. Take a poll.
9. Do some work around the house, such as tighten hinges, remove all fans.
8. Finally figure out exactly what makes something an “implosion” rather than an “explosion.”
7. Threaten to leave the playground and take my ball.
6. Replace old poll with new poll.
5. Take the opportunity to expand my ignorance of continental philosophy.
4. Announce legal strategy for the 2014-15 academic year.
3. Commit a random act of kind of calling someone a “sanctimonious asshole.” Just because.
2. Post “Heap of Emails.”
1. Try to prove the idea of eternal recurrence by making the same mistakes over and over again.

guest
24 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Hans Raesias
Hans Raesias
6 years ago

12. Don’t kick a man when he’s down.Report

Justin
Justin
Reply to  Hans Raesias
6 years ago

Hans, no one seems down to me.Report

Anon
Anon
Reply to  Justin
6 years ago

I too find this post out of character for DN.Report

Mary
Mary
6 years ago

13. Add a ‘like’ button to certain posts.Report

mns
mns
6 years ago

You forgot the most important one:

Ignore it.Report

David Wallace
David Wallace
6 years ago

14. Make up your mind as to whether you want to run a site that aims at a more courteous and civilised discourse than the philosophy blogosphere norm, or one more that plays the snark game.

(I’m serious here. Snark arguably has its place but your site seems to equivocate as to what it’s intended to be.)Report

anonymous
anonymous
Reply to  David Wallace
6 years ago

This. Then I can make up my mind whether to read your site!Report

AnonymousGrad
AnonymousGrad
Reply to  David Wallace
6 years ago

Agreed. I love this blog because it’s free of the things that make LeiterReports, the other major source of news, distasteful. Now you’re mimicking those exact features, albeit on the other side? I don’t want to see DN play the same game as LR.Report

anon grad
anon grad
Reply to  AnonymousGrad
6 years ago

I agree. Though I find the list funny, I think one of the chief virtues of DN is its lack of divisiveness.Report

alethiam
alethiam
6 years ago

LOVE this. Thank you!Report

AnonVAP
AnonVAP
6 years ago

I was just about to post to facebook, reminding people of how excellent and civil this blog has been. I can’t do that in good conscience with this post near the top of the feed.Report

Justin
Justin
6 years ago

Dear Readers,
This is just a bit of relatively gentle humor. Generally, as you’ve noticed, I like to keep Daily Nous out of the mud but every once in a while it is fun to hop in and play. And this certainly doesn’t count as slinging mud; at worst all I’m doing is cataloging what has already been slung. But don’t worry, I will keep stuff like this as infrequent as it has been. Thanks for your feedback.
JustinReport

Anonymous
Anonymous
Reply to  Justin
6 years ago

It would be nice if there were a news-of-the-profession site that didn’t involve snarkiness. I think what David and others are pointing out is that we thought that you were marketing your site as exactly that. Of course, it’s your site, so do what you want with it. But just a couple of points in favor of not making posts like this:

I think that Brian Leiter’s behaviour is reprehensible. But I also think that almost everyone in this public discussion has lost sight of the fact that an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. I suspect that this partly has to do with the fact that the discussion is being conducted online. Many very good people I know have said things, e.g. on facebook or on blogs, that I think they would never say to someone in person whose behaviour resembled Leiter’s. Really, really unpleasant things. I am somewhat confused about the function of saying these things. When I try to imagine those people saying similar things to, say, one of their colleagues in their own department who behaved similarly reprehensibly, I simply cannot. When I try to think about what people are trying to accomplish by being so unpleasant, I really cannot come up with anything, except to reinforce a kind of “us against him” mentality that seems to me totally unnecessary in this case, or to exact revenge, which I think is deeply morally wrong, or simply to make themselves feel better, which I think in some sense is fine, but it would be better if people did that in ways that Leiter could not see, if the goal wasn’t also to exact revenge (e.g. in person to one another over drinks, or in a private online discussion).

Also, let me tell you that, as someone who, as a grad student, has been publicly compared to a four-year-old (by someone at another philosophy blog where people are supposedly nice to one another), this post is *not* just gentle humour. Granted, the claim was much less apt there than the thing about the ball/playground is here, but still. It was a horrible experience for me to be attacked in that way, especially given lots of facts about me at the time that no one in the public sphere would be aware of–for example, that I was suffering rather severely from a debilitating mental illness (not one which caused me to say anything in the public sphere that warranted comparison to a four-year-old, though). Why are we doing this? I genuinely don’t get what the point is of insulting this person by comparing him to a child, etc. It seems to me that the point is to harm the person you are insulting. But I can’t see how that is justified no matter how unbelievably bad we think his behaviour is.

Not to get all philosophical, and I don’t actually do moral philosophy, but I can’t see how this is the right thing to do on any reasonable, coherent moral theory. It reflects very badly on people’s characters, its consequences seem to me to be overwhelmingly negative, and it certainly violates some sort of Kantian maxim.

I also think that Leiter’s behaviour is so over-the-top, obviously reprehensible that strategically, the best thing philosophers can do even if they do want to harm him is to let it speak for itself.Report

Justin
Justin
Reply to  Anonymous
6 years ago

I have to teach in a few minutes, so just a quick reply.
– Thank you for your thoughtful comments.
– I think that what I posted could hardly be described as “an eye for an eye.”
– Context and target matter. I would never tease a grad student or junior member of the profession on this site, even one who dishes it out herself/himself.
– As for letting bad behavior go unremarked upon or letting it “speak for itself,” I have long found this strategy to be disappointingly ineffective.Report

Andrew Bacon
Andrew Bacon
Reply to  Justin
6 years ago

Thanks for this Justin. I have to say that one of the primary reasons I prefer this blog over others is that it usually manages to stay above most of the drama (that, and the comments don’t as often read like those you’d find underneath a youtube video).Report

Tom
Tom
6 years ago

I’ll have to agree with Justin that this is gentle humor, especially in the context of the viciousness and ridiculousness that reigns elsewhere. I mean, someone has to expose the ridiculousness of (1) pretending to cast an open vote as to whether the PGR continue (2) opening up a second poll after strikingly negative results on the first, (3) pretending that one does not personally favor a specific outcome and (worst of all) (4) posting uniformly positive comments on the PGR from neatly categorized anonymous corresponds (“a senior philosopher” “a grad student in a ranked department”).Report

Anon2
Anon2
6 years ago

Yeah, I personally found the post hilarious but also think that DN probably shouldn’t post things like this in the future.Report

Clement
Clement
6 years ago

An implosion is when the force moves towards a central point. An explosion is when the force moves from a central point outwards.

That’s probably the most reasonable thing I can say about this fracas.Report

catherine womack
catherine womack
6 years ago

I loved this! And yes, sometimes a little playfulness is indeed the best way to get perspective on both the fracas du jour and serious crises of the profession (while not weighing in on how to categorize the Leiter/PGR upheavals).

Keep up the great work.Report

Anon
Anon
6 years ago

If you learn how to expand your ignorance (about any topic), will you please share? There are lots of things I wish I was more ignorant of.Report

SCM
SCM
6 years ago

I’m surprised some people are getting an attack of the vapours over this post. I find it positively saintly in comparison with the kind of reaction that would be warranted by recent events.

There comes a point when ignoring abuse becomes tolerating abuse, when it becomes necessary to repudiate unacceptable behaviour, not just in dulcet, friendly tones, but with a few well-placed balloon-popping pins.

Plus Justin is just funnier …Report

JS
JS
6 years ago

There is no worthwhile comparison to be made between this post and Brian Leiter’s behavior. And to suggest otherwise is probably defamatory per se.Report

NS
NS
6 years ago

Justin, I have a deep, personal need to read philosophy blogs without snark, and for some reason I’m forced to read your blog; I’m literally prevented from clicking elsewhere, closing my browser, or leaving my computer. Could you please cater to my particular needs?Report

anonymous
anonymous
Reply to  NS
6 years ago

Oh come on. You’re being super rude and no one said anything remotely like that. Or was rude. Both David Wallace’s and my own comments were about wanting to get clear about what this blog is all about. For me, that is so I can decide whether to stop reading it, as I’ve stopped reading multiple other blogs (e.g. Leiter, Feminist Philosophers) because their negative aspects seem to me to outweigh their positive ones. Plus, Justin seems to value input about his blog (he is a friend of mine, and we often disagree, and he always takes my views seriously) in a way that other people often don’t. Which is why I bothered to spell out some reasons against making posts like this.Report