The Futile ‘Beyond the Pale’ Strategy

October 11, 2016 Ideal Observer 38

Liberal academics often prefer to dismiss arguments in favor of socially conservative views rather than engage them. This is done, in part, on a principled basis: Since conservative views are (supposedly) excessively harmful to minorities, treating arguments in their favor as worthy of consideration contributes to the perception of conservative views as at least somewhat reasonable. But we cannot have that; and so we must exclude conservative arguments from the realm of polite discourse and as entirely unworthy [Continue reading]

Leiter on ‘Bigotry’

October 6, 2016 Ideal Observer 29

In a post yesterday, Brian Leiter continued to report on the Swinburne controversy. He also responded to my comment regarding his original post. On the one hand — aside from his silly and tendentious characterization of the traditional Christian view of sexuality as “anti-gay bigotry” — Leiter does make legitimate points concerning the Swinburne debacle. He also notes the characteristically imperious devices of the academic left, a la Stanley, Kukla, et al. (Fortunately, Leiter has not generally [Continue reading]

Philosophers Voting for Trump: A Defense

October 4, 2016 Ideal Observer 13

Several philosophers, including Rob Koons, Daniel Bonevac, and Scott Soames, announced that they would be casting their votes for Donald Trump this election. Justin at the Daily Nous produced a post asking how these philosophers could vote for Donald Trump, and proceeded to document Trump’s well-known (even to conservatives) character flaws. His central question: “What has led these scholars to endorse this horror show of a human being?” Leaving aside the rudeness with which these [Continue reading]