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Yet another atheist icon wrongsides the rules?

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Apparently, U Chicago prof Brian Leiter is author of numerous screeds, of which this is an example in our field of interest: “pathological liars from the Discovery [sic] Institute, the public relations arm of the “Intelligent Design” scam; on the other, Larry Arnhart, a professor of political science at Northern Illinois, and John Derbyshire, a pontificator at the National Review (who at least knows enough to know that “Intelligent Design” is bogus), who are championing a different intellectual muddle:”

The whole planet is dumb except Leiter?

Well, he has finally got his colleagues’ attention. We have it on good authority that a well-known British philosophy department has started to complain about a guy with good degrees who sounds like a fishwife on market day.

Here’s some info:

Just this year, there have been several episodes in which Brian Leiter has publicly insulted people with whom he disagreed and/or sent those people insulting and threatening emails. What follows recounts the basic facts about these episodes and provides links to relevant information. There have been several other such episodes over the last decade or so, some of which involved not philosophers but lawyers. But we do not have the energy to catalogue all of them, and we are not sure what purpose it would serve. What follows, we hope, is sufficiently illuminating.

It seems worth noting explicitly that, of the seven people targeted by Leiter in recent months (we are including Tom Stern), six of them were women, two of them were junior faculty (one of them very junior), one was a post-doc, and one was a graduate student.

Here’s a snip from a Statement of Concern:

UPDATE about the publication of private emails. The emails published here contain serious and credible threats aimed at silencing the recipients. Such threats are not protected either by academic freedom or by confidentiality. The target of these threats may have no means of self-protection other than to expose them, and therefore cannot be obligated to suffer them in silence.

Absolutely not! Note to fishwives of all genders: There is a difference between making a point and making a scene.

For some people, the worst news is, people won’t take them seriously. But, of course, if a person is a fishwife of any gender, the worst possible news might be: Someone thinks they actually know what they are saying and mean it. Could this be happening here?

Also: Insider Wrongsider: Guy at Salon wants atheists to stop behaving like Maher and Dawkins

and Breaking News: Michael Shermer issues cease and desist order against PZ Myers


Note: Here’s another online statement.

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@ News, The acts of these people have nothing to do with science. The massive displays of hate, anger, and abuse these people dish out to others is not related to science, truth, facts, philosophy, nor any empirical evidence of any type. These people are very mad, angry, and mean for some other reason and display it this way. What that is, I don't know. MrCollins
We have it on good authority that a well-known British philosophy department has started to complain about a guy with good degrees who sounds like a fishwife on market day.
LOL. O'Leary, I read UD News as much for the humour as for the news content. I almost spilled my coffee when I read that piece. :-D Mapou
No surprise people are annoyed by the hatestorm. Traditionally, there were classes of people (at least where I have lived) who were allowed to shout abuse with little censure. As my mother (not always known for tact) put it, "No one cares what SHE says anyway." But if a professional philosopher, whose word might be taken seriously, is talking like that, well ... But now, what if that guy were an ordained Christian minister? Well, he wouldn't be an ordained minister, most likely. What is it about atheists that brings this out? Or do I misunderstand? News
Apparently over 500 professional philosophers have signed a petition to oust the screedy little "fishwife." https://sites.google.com/site/septemberstatement/ Vishnu
Whew! Just read some of Leiter's correspondence. That is one angry, bald little fellow! lpadron

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