Friday, July 22, 2016

Christina Hoff Sommers: Does Philosophy Have A Woman Problem?

   She's great, and she's right.
   The preponderance of the available evidence currently available to us weighs heavily against the hypothesis that the sex differential in philosophy is mostly a result of sexism, a "hostile environment," etc. Thing is that PC/social justice types have taken over the APA and many of the loudest megaphones on the web. They take the sexism hypothesis as, basically, a given. And they are not interested in honestly evaluating that hypothesis. In typical PC fashion, to question the hypothesis is to be a bigot. It is verboten.
   I'm not sure how much of the blame goes to the PCs / SJWs in philosophy, and how much goes to right-thinking philosophers who refuse to stand up to them. Philosophy requires a certain degree of bravery of a non-physical kind. But I find that not all that many philosophers have much of it--at least when it comes to standing up to the left. They seem to be ok at standing up to the right...but, then the right has little power in universities. What they're bad at, anyway, is standing up to the anger and disapproval of the left. If arguments as weak as those coming from feminists and the PC left were coming from the right, philosophers would be piling on them absolutely mercilessly.
   I shouldn't have to add: of course philosophy isn't perfect, not by any stretch of the imagination. But when we ignore the impressionistic interpretations of political partisans and look at actual numbers, the case for the centrality of the sexism hypothesis virtually evaporates.


Blogger The Mystic said...

“It’s not that women lack the talent or aptitude for philosophy or higher mathematics, but rather they are more unwilling than men to devote their lives to a frigid space from which the natural and the human have been eliminated.”

Note: also an explanation for the Interwebs.

7:33 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Also: The explanation must, of course, not suggest that men are in any way superior to women; ideally, it will turn on some alleged *defect* of men.

It's not that I disagree, really... My own pet explanation for such things is that men tend to be more monomaniacal / obsessive than women.

Still, an explanation that turned on some alleged superiority of men would have approximately no chance of being accepted in philosophy, whereas an explanation that turns on some defect of men has a much better shot. After all, that's what the sexism hypothesis does.

10:39 PM  

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