Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Leiter On The APA Statement On Bullying and Harassment

Ok this is worrisome...
I don't have any settled opinion on it as of yet. Some thoughts:
(a) I see some things in in that are wrong.
(b) I don't see anything in the letter of it that should send anyone to red alert.
(c) There are prominent/powerful PC / SJW elements in the APA.
(d) Reasonable people cannot help but wonder whether:
   (i) this is actually/partially aimed at opponents of far-left orthodoxy
   (ii) this will ultimately be used in an attempt to silence such dissent.

   If the APA is saying what it means and meaning what it says, I'm inclined to think that all is well. However, given the irrationality and illiberalism of certain views and groups with which powerful elements of the APA and the profession sympathize, reasonable people must be at least somewhat concerned about this statement. The problem is that centrists and genuine liberals get caught in the crossfire between the illiberal forces of the right and the illiberal forces of the left. I'm sorry that professor Yancy has received such awful emails and telephone calls...his piece in the Times was wrong in many crucial ways, but that doesn't matter a bit. He seems like a good guy with a good heart, and to hell with those people who are harassing him. But I am of the opinion that the illiberal left is powerful in the APA, and may be using this incident for its nefarious purposes. The question that exceeds the letter of the statement is: will it be used to silence those who disagree with the illiberal left?


Blogger The Mystic said...

Yeah...if their situational awareness were where it needs to be, you'd think they'd have at least mentioned the other side of the problem (e.g. attempts to stifle reasonable dissent with false accusations of bullying). One sort of expects the philosophers to present a high-quality survey of the land and blaze a trail along the middle way..

Kinda fell short there. The piece does leave one with the impression that it's either a quiet beginning to the kind of thing you're worried about or perhaps, on the other hand, a weak and purely pro forma "stop being jerkwads" response to relatively recent and high-profile incidents involving philosophers.

Weak, either way.

5:10 PM  

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