Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Crapwatch: "I Had an Affair With My Hero, A Professor Who's Famous for Being 'Moral'"


This is the stupidest thing you'll read this week.

Maybe I'll complain about it in detail at some point. But for now:

1. This is a tale of private sexual douchebaggery. The professor in question has consensual sex with a lot of young women (many of them grad students). He lies about being married, and about his sexual history. He's obviously a shit.

2. Nothing that he has done warrants a post anywhere beyond, say Facebook...

3. But..."Thought" Catalog LOL.  Facebook is probably a more serious venue, actually...

4. This tale of private dochebaggery is, via the magic of mere assertion, supposed to show that "philosophy is a white boy's club" and something something patriarchy. How 'white' got in there at all, I don't know. What it actually shows is nothing. But if it did show anything, it would be that academia is a famous person's club. And fame in academia, like everywhere else, has its benefits. Especially if you're a douchebag.

5. There is kinda one lesson here, actually. There's no reason to think that the douchebag in question is even supposed to be particularly moral. He apparently writes on "global justice issues." This has nothing whatsoever to do with being a good person. In fact, it's a joke among some philosophers that some of the scummiest people in philosophy are moral theorists. (Also some really stellar people, of course...) Philosophy is a theoretical discipline. Studying theories of rationality doesn't make you more rational than anyone else. Studying moral theory doesn't make you more moral than anyone else. Studying the ancient Greeks doesn't make you more ancient Greek than anyone else.

Actually, the people who caterwaul the most about "global justice" actually strike me as a fairly sketchy lot. Consider this hilarious passage:
I falsely assumed that the man who calls affluent westerners human rights violators would treat women with dignity. I was naïve to believe that he’d be different. [emphasis in original]
 If you survived the flying facepalm you just gave yourself, congratulations. So...since this fellow makes absurdly hyperbolic/patently false criticisms of a group the academic left loves to hate, the author thought he'd be a good person. That is: since he is intellectually dishonest, he should be otherwise good. That is, since he is a bad person in one respect, she thought he'd be a good person in a different respect. The mind, it reels...and reels...and reels...

This guy sound like an ass. And the author sounds like an ass. And they both sound like they are part of a peripheral part of philosophy known to be fairly asinine. And people who try to make private douchebaggery out to be a general indictment of a discipline are asses. And anyplace that would post this private screed masquerading as something more than that is an ass. It's asses's asses all around...


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