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Posts tagged ‘Leiter’

Performing Philosophy’s Exclusions: The Role of Publicity In Changing the Field

Last week, one of the tone-setting figures in the field of philosophy, University of Chicago law professor Brian Leiter, allowed for some speculation on the reasons for the employment of a nontenured woman philosopher on a thread on his blog (see comment #2 by AnonUntenured).  That thread did not take long to deteriorate into a #MRA meltdown where anonymous trolls insist that it is men not women who are the true victims in the current state of the discipline.  The target of the initial speculation, Leigh Johnson of Christian Brothers University, submitted a comment in reply to the moderated thread where the speculation first arose but it was not approved.  Johnson included that comment in a response which articulated pretty clearly that she is one among many women in philosophy who is just not going to take it anymore.  I witnessed some discussion on social media in light of Johnson’s response where there was disagreement over whether Johnson, and not just Johnson but anyone who was upset that a very senior very influential person was allowing speculation over the legitimacy of a junior woman philosopher’s employment, should bring attention to this behavior by addressing it head on or just ignore it.  I’ve been thinking all week about why I think this kind of thing needs to be publicized rather than ignored.  Her post received 12,000 hits in the first 24 hours it was up in an effort, as she said quoting Gilles Deleuze, “to harm stupidity, to make stupidity shameful.”  I completely support that reasoning for publicizing it, but I want to add another. Read more