Hackslanger’s Fake Diversity Challenge

Apparently “philosopher” SJW-in-chief Sally Haslanger has issued a “diversity fund challenge” to any and all who are unfortunate enough to read her silly Facebook posts. As reported by Daily Douche, it reads:

OK, so I’m pissed off, and this is what happens when I’m pissed off. I hear people in our profession complaining about how little diversity there is…right, got it. It is SO TRUE. But some of us have been working on this for lifetimes, and there is NO MONEY to support diversity initiatives in the APA. (Do you realize that now the APA can only afford $20K per year for diversity initiatives? This is PITIFUL.) So I hereby challenge each philosopher who reads this (or who reads the reposting of it) to get at least 50% of their colleagues to commit to $50/year for 3 years in THIS FUND. I’m serious. You make the commitment. You do it. I am not joking… P.S. the Mellon grant ends in 2017, which is this year folks, and many of us are busting our butts to raise money for 2018 forward. We need you now.

Here is a diversity challenge of my own: (i) what, exactly, does Haslanger mean by “diversity”, and (ii)  why, exactly, is a lack of diversity in that sense a problem (i.e., worth “complaining about”)?

The challenge is rhetorical (although I welcome comments). We already know the answer. What “diversity” means to hacks like Hackslanger is “fewer straight, white men.” Seriously. That’s it. Nothing more to it. Their hackneyed view of diversity has nothing to do with thought or ideas. If the institution of professional philosophy consisted solely of women and people of “minority” skin color, or even of only women or only people of some “minority” skin color, it would be praised as diverse by Hackslanger & co.. In fact, it would be praised as diverse even if they all believed the same things (as leftist philosophers pretty much already do).

What this shows is that they also have a hackneyed view of philosophy that has nothing to do with timeless questions. They do not care about the love of wisdom. They do not care about truth for its own sake.

They might say that differences in sex and race and orientation will ensure differences in philosophical perspective. But why think that is true? Why not think that philosophical perspectives qua philosophical perspectives can, nay, ought to transcend such contingencies as sex, race, and orientation? Allan Bloom had it right when he said:

Greek and French philosophy were universalistic in intention and fact. They appealed to the use of a faculty potentially possessed by all men everywhere and at all times. The proper noun in Greek philosophy is only an inessential tag, as it is in French Enlightenment. (The same is true of Italian Renaissance, a rebirth that is proof of the accidental character of nations and of the universality of Greek thinkers.) The good life and the just regime they taught knew no limits of race, nation, religion or climate. This relation to man as man was the very definition of philosophy. We are aware of this when we speak of science, and no one seriously talks of German, Italian, or English physics. [(The Closing of the American Mind, p. 53]

I, for one, believe that philosophical questions and answers can and should transcend “limits of race, nation, religion or climate.” And I, for one, am therefore a true liberal, a true egalitarian, for I will consider the merits of an idea regardless of who it comes from. Hackslanger & co. apparently will not. So what do they do? They try to change what philosophy is (see especially point 6). Make no mistake: they are the avant garde bigots of today.


Former feminist turned conservative. PhD. Proud helpmeet. Teaches at a liberal arts school somewhere in the Midwest. Enjoys hunting and eating animals. Favorite musician: Hank Williams Jr.

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  1. Is there anything intrinsically good about diversity? My intuition is that diversity is an instrumental good. For example, diversity of thought and opinion is good because open discussion and argument is the best means to discover truth. However, I don’t see any good in a racially diverse nation. Anytime there are large groups of people with competing identities, it will pose unique problems for national cohesion and unity.

  2. It might be interesting to read Haslanger’s “challenge” in conjunction with Tosi & Warmke’s ‘Moral Grandstanding’ article, which Daily Nous highlighted (and criticized) around the same time. Apart from “trumping up” and “self-evidence”, there is the usual manifestation, in Haslanger’s case, of “excessive outrage”.

  3. The attack on liberalism from the US Left is in full flow. The US Left do not advocate liberal principles, such as,
    – free speech,
    – due process,
    – non-discrimination,
    – government by consent.
    Instead, the US Left attacks free speech; they attack due process; they attack civil rights; they implement discrimination. The US Left is authoritarian, and not “liberal”. It is also anti-democratic, as they reject democratic consent as the basis for government. From their positions of power, the elite demonizes the electorate as “deplorables”: anti-democratic demonization, by an elite, directing its rage and anger at their socio-economic inferiors, the working-class.

    There is little-to-no “diversity” in academic settings and this phenomenon becomes more and more severe as one looks at the elite institutions – a point repeatedly made by Jon Haidt and others. There is enforced ideological conformity to the prevailing, illiberal, identity politics ideology; backed by intimidation, threats, silencing or worse. This direct repression of epistemic, political and cultural diversity by the US Left is now the basis of a dissenting group of academics at Heterodox Academy,


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