Have Jews insinuated themselves into positions of power and influence in politics and culture because they are innately gifted with higher IQs, or is it also because they are ethnocentric and hypocritical networkers good at using non-Jews in their self-serving mission of “transforming America contrary to white interests”? Race science and/or conspiracy theory? This—pardon the editorializing—outrageous question is currently under discussion in the pages of the academic philosophy journal Philosophia.
Welcome to 2022.
January 1st saw the online publication of “The ‘Default Hypothesis’ Fails to Explain Jewish Influence” by Kevin MacDonald, who is described on Wikipedia as an “anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist, white supremacist, and retired professor of evolutionary psychology.” MacDonald’s 32-page article is a response to a piece by Nathan Cofnas, “The Anti-Jewish Narrative,” that Philosophia published last February, and which is one of a series of pieces in which Cofnas critiques McDonald.
Both MacDonald and Cofnas are preoccupied with the question: “Did Jews create liberal multiculturalism to advance their ethnic interests?” (Cofnas, p.1332).
Cofnas’s take on that issue is ultimately based on his claim that “Jews are overrepresented in all intellectual movements and activities that are not overtly anti-Semitic primarily because they have high mean IQs” (Cofnas, p.1331). This is part of his view that there is “legitimate science on race differences” (Cofnas, p. 1332) in regard to intelligence (previously).
Cofnas characterizes MacDonald as claiming that “intelligent, ethnocentric Jews created liberal intellectual and political movements to promote Jewish interests at the expense of gentiles” (Cofnas, pp. 1330-31). MacDonald posits ethnocentric “ethnic networking” (MacDonald, p.2), “Jewish hypocrisy” (p.9), “Jewish activism” (throughout), and efforts to “recruit gentiles as ‘window dressing’ to conceal the extent of Jewish dominance” (p.3) in leftwing organizations, among other things, as elements of the Jewish conspiracy.
MacDonald also takes up the question of whether Jews should be welcomed by white supremacists. Here is his answer, which I reproduce as a screenshot for those who might otherwise be incredulous that an academic journal published these words:
Did I mention that Philosophia‘s subtitle is “Philosophical Quarterly of Israel“? One might wonder to what extent Cofnas and MacDonald consider the publication of their articles in an Israel-based journal evidence against the presumptions of their debate.
Philosophia is edited by Asa Kasher (Tel Aviv). In response to questions about the publication of these articles, he wrote that the papers were refereed prior to publication, but that it was “a mistake” to publish them, explaining that he was “not aware of the general background of the debate” and that he is “sorry for treating the discussion as an ordinary philosophical debate.” He added that further comments from him may be forthcoming.
Yesterday, Moti Mizrahi (Florida Institute of Technology) who was until last night the associate editor of Philosophia, wrote on Twitter: “I had nothing to do with the publication of this [MacDonald’s] paper in Philosophia. I’ve asked the EiC to reconsider its publication in Philosophia.” Later in the day, he announced his resignation from the journal.
Readers may recall that Philosophia was in the news in 2020 for another paper that was published by “mistake.” Dr. Kasher informs me that he “asked Springer to start a procedure of retracting” that paper, though it remains online.
UPDATE 1 (1/3/22): The first sentence of this post has now been changed to better distinguish between the views of Cofnas and MacDonald.
UPDATE 2 (1/5/22): The following editorial note has been added to webpage for MacDonald’s article:
UPDATE 3 (1/7/22): A person has claimed to be one of the referees for the MacDonald’s paper published in Philosophia, saying that he sent the manuscript back to for revisions a few times, but conveying that he approves of its publication:
Edward Dutton appears to be a self-taught evolutionary psychologist with a PhD in religious studies. According to his Wikipedia entry:
he has written controversial racialist articles for fringe far-right journals such as Mankind Quarterly and OpenPsych, as well as articles for mainstream scientific journals such as Personality and Individual Differences and Intelligence. Some of the books Dutton has authored have been published by Washington Summit Publishers operated by neo-Nazi Richard B. Spencer… Dutton wrote a paper in defense of Kevin MacDonald’s Culture of Critique series, which claims that Jewish people are biologically ethnocentric to the detriment of other groups…
Dutton was previously editor-in-chief of the pseudoscientific journal Mankind Quarterly. He currently sits on their Advisory Board. He is currently an editor of the Radix Journal, founded by American white supremacist Richard B. Spencer.
He does not appear to have any formal graduate training in philosophy, science, sociology, history, or any discipline related to the content of the article he claims to have refereed.
I have written to Philosophia’s editor-in-chief, Asa Kasher, asking whether Dutton was in fact one of the referees, and if so, why. I’ll let you know if I hear back.
(via Lewis Powell, who shared the news in a comment)
UPDATE 4 (1/11/22): A representative of Springer, responding to inquiries, informs me that the Research Integrity Group at Springer Nature is working with the Editor-in-Chief to investigate the concerns and, reiterating the statement placed on the page of MacDonald’s article, “editorial action will be taken as appropriate once investigation of the concerns is complete and all parties have been given an opportunity to respond in full.”
UPDATE 5 (1/13/22): A representative of Springer, responding to an inquiry about a 2020 article that the editor of Philosophia initially said had been published by mistake, writes that “This case was investigated with the support of the Springer Nature Research Integrity Group, which concluded that the peer review process was sufficient, but also noted that the article was submitted under an alias. The editorial note that has been added to the article reflects this.”
UPDATE 6 (6/29/22): “The ‘Default Hypothesis’ Fails to Explain Jewish Influence” by Kevin MacDonald has been retracted, effective June 3rd, 2022. A representative of Springer wrote in to share the retraction notice, which reads:
The Editor-in-Chief has retracted this article. After publication concerns were raised regarding the content in this article and the validity of its arguments. Post-publication peer review concluded that the article does not establish a consistent methodology or document its claims with well-established sources. The article also makes several comparative claims without providing appropriate comparison data. Kevin MacDonald does not agree to this retraction. The online version of this article contains the full text of the retracted article as supplementary information.
UPDATE 7 (7/2/22): In response to inquiries regarding Philosophia editor-in-chief Asa Kasher’s choice of Edward Dutton as a referee for MacDonald’s paper (see update 3, above), a representative of Springer writes:
All concerns have been passed on to the Editor in Chief and we know that he has considered them carefully and is committed to rigorous editorial standards for the journal. We can’t comment on specifics relating to reviewers as we treat this as confidential.
UPDATE 8 (7/29/22): Philosophia will have a new editor-in-chief beginning August 1st, 2022: Mitchell Green, professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut. Further details about changes to the rest of the journal’s editorial team will be forthcoming.
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