Some might look at the recent outrage over Hypatia‘s publication of Rebecca Tuvel’s paper defending transracialism as an indication that the radical left in philosophy has finally gone too far—we have finally hit the high water mark of cultural Marxism in the academy.
I don’t see much grounds for optimism here, if you are on the right. The fact of the matter is that this is an in-house fight between people unified in their belief that non-progressives are evil and/or stupid. So when it comes to truly opening up the profession and seeking true diversity of ideas, there will be no such opening up.
Here’s how the controversy seems to be playing out. The radical feminists who signed the Open Letter against Hypatia, call them the Sally Haslangers, do seem to have gone a bit too far, for they are getting heavily criticized by the mainstream of the profession, call them the Brian Leiters. This is interesting, as it is the first time that I can think of that Haslanger has been accused of politicizing the discipline by the mainstream of the profession. In fact, Leiter’s balanced response to the Open Letter and the apology issued by the associate editors seems to have boosted his credibility.
Coming back to the title question, have the Sally Haslangers gone too far? Perhaps a little. No doubt they will feel all the more adamantly the need to transform the discipline. But for those of us on the right, who cares? Would you rather the discipline be dominated by the Sally Haslangers or the Brian Leiters? It makes no difference to us. The bottom line is that the Sally Haslangers and the Brian Leiters together rule the roost, and they think we are scum. We can have 10 more Hypatia scandals. It won’t matter.
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