Friday, February 24, 2012

 

Slap Shot


You may remember L'Affaire Synthese. If not, you can bone up on it here and here. For amusement's sake, you can see Casey Luskin's fumbling attempts to exploit the matter here and here.

Briefly, the Editors in Chief of Synthese collectively waffled about the "tone" of certain anti-ID articles in a special issue of the journal but it was published online without change or comment. The EICs then went behind the backs of the editors and all the authors of the special issue and a issued a disclaimer in the printed version that deplored the tone of some of the articles (without specifying which, thus smearing all the authors). Because of outrage in the philosophical community, a petition was begun demanding an explanation. The EICs issued a statement that, even charitably, could only be described as a non-explanation. It did, however, reveal that they received messages from unnamed parties "that we take seriously as legal threats." There were then calls for a boycott against Synthese.

The whole mess began as fairly high drama, descended to petty con games by the DI, and now, perhaps predictably, has managed to become slapstick.

One of the EICs, Vincent Hendricks, had pictures taken for a magazine article showing him in "manly" poses with young women dressed scantily as cheerleaders in an apparent classroom and, worse, posted them to his academic website. There was, of course, a minor uproar (see here, here and here) that I was initially ambivalent about ... stupidity is such a common human failing, even among the intelligent, as to hardly qualify as a major crime. On the other hand, I do have sympathy for this position.

In any event, Professor Hendricks has now "apologized" for "offending various parties in the philosophical community," which is more than he ever did for offending various parties in the philosophical community over his mistreatment of Barbara Forrest and the other authors of the special issue.

Maybe Professor Hendricks will give greater thought in the future before taking actions harmful to others, including the innocent, over matters of "tone."
.

Comments:
"In any event, Professor Hendricks has now "apologized" for "offending various parties in the philosophical community," which is more than he ever did for offending various parties in the philosophical community over his mistreatment of Barbara Forrest and the other authors of the special issue."

That would be asking an apology for an disclaimer. Seems similar to the hypothetical case that the magazine in which the photos were to appear asked him for an apology for apologizing on his blog.

You can't knock a spineless man over twice on the same issue, because he'll be lying spread out on the floor after the first time.
 
You can't knock a spineless man over twice on the same issue, because he'll be lying spread out on the floor after the first time.

I'd like to think that I'm above kicking a man when he's down ...

but that would be a lie.
 
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