Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Talia Mae Bettcher: "When Tables Speak"--Response To Stock On Transgenderism

This is so bad I can barely get through Part 1.
 I might go through it in some detail later, but, honestly, I just can't believe how bad this stuff is, and how much the philosophical left props it up. Stuff this bad would never survive in real areas of actual philosophy. I mean, there is bad epistemology--really, really bad epistemology. But a whole lot of the stuff is at least pretty good, and a fair amount of it is notably good. But once we start sliding toward issues that matter to leftist politics, things get ugly fast. And the "trans" stuff is just about as bad as it gets. A lot of it is jaw-droppingly bad. But it's a little weird because much of what's really awful about it is a feature, not a bug. For example, if real philosophy were going on, there'd be no question of mixing up questions like What is F? and What does 'F' mean? with (a)meliorative questions about what concepts or meanings it would be politically correct for us to use. But as things swerve leftward in philosophy...and especially as they swerve toward feminism and "trans" stuff...things start getting reeeally sloppy.
   Bettcher pretends that it's Stock who's proliferating questions. But it isn't. Mixing up descriptive and normative questions is one of the central tactics of people who want to prop up the leftist theory of transgenderism. And Bettcher's discussion runs true to form, immediately seeking to obfuscate via conflation. Here's a hint: focus on the descriptive question and stay focused on it: What makes a person a woman? Of course feminists have done a lot to obfuscate that question, too...but, in actual fact, it's pretty simple: a woman is an adult, female human being. Ergo males are not women. QED.
   Bettcher's next move is to name-drop a bunch of literature and pretend that Stock's discussion is defective because she hasn't read and cited it all...for an article in Medium, mind you. This is a well-known tactic for people on the losing end of an argument. Because there's always something that anyone hasn't read. But those defending trans ideology have raised it to an art form. Tuvel has read the literature...but recall that she was criticized for not having cited enough works by "trans" authors... Defenders of trans ideology will do just about anything to avoid discussion of the actual logic of their arguments--they must realize that their position is indefensible. It's not like that's difficult to see. Hell, even some defenders of the the view admit that the metaphysical position is a lost cause, and admit that they've got to switch the focus to questions of morality / politics / etiquette: the claim that (e.g.) Caitlyn Jenner is actually a woman is simply not true. The point then becomes to try to argue for conclusions like: we should try to do whatever we can to change the meaning of 'woman' so that we can convince people to speak in more politically correct ways.
   It's an embarrassment to philosophy that such shoddy arguments are tolerated. Philosophers would be climbing all over each other to shred arguments this shitty were they coming from the right. Instead, they remain guiltily silent, too pusillanimous to point out that the emperor has no clothes.

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