According to…

Kathleen Stock
May 31, 2019 · 3 min read

..Brian Leiter’s blog, “numerous” philosophers are sharing this on Facebook. A quick statement is as follows.

I’m a parent, and I used to be a child (well into my thirties, in fact). I know what childish, performatively passive-aggressive, “you made me do it”-style behaviour looks like.

I’m also familiar with the behaviour of projection, both as the frequent object of it these days, and as the occasional dabbler myself — easy enough to do when reading disembodied words on a screen.

I’m also aware of social media bubbles, and of the fact that, with some kind exceptions, my writing tends to be shared by professional philosophers on social media — especially on Facebook — nearly exclusively by my vocal detractors.

I advise anyone reading the linked post, and so tempted to participate in any related psychodrama, to bear these three things just listed in mind, as I did when the post was brought to my attention yesterday. Adults make their own decisions, and clearly, a job in philosophy doesn’t suit everyone.

Readers might also bear in mind that at least one of my supposedly terrible views, that subjective “gender identity” doesn’t determine womanhood or manhood, is very clearly entailed by the work of some well-known contemporary feminist philosophers on gender, whether or not they would recant it now. These latter philosophers are often lauded by the very same people who argue for my no-platforming. Obviously, this isn’t a hint to start bombarding those feminist philosophers with outrage too! (please don’t). It’s an observation about the strange and apparently hypocritical dynamics of all this, as it plays out online.

To the enthusiastic sharers of the post: I believe that you’re letting down your female students and colleagues, including the ones who vociferously will tell you that you aren’t; but also including the many that read your words and feel intimidated into silence. They write to me. I also find you to be poor role models for philosophy. If the main gallery you’re playing to is under the age of 30, this should worry you — intellectual fashions will change, and they’ll grow up eventually. The question is: will you?

To the philosophers who talk a good game about academic freedom, but look away here, because it’s all so “complicated”: I’m looking at you, even so. We need to cancel cancel-culture online, and it won’t happen without you.

The only other thing I want to say (apart from reassuring nervous readers that I’m unlikely to be invited to the APA), is to ask readers to locate any judgement of my thought or character in what I’ve actually said, in context.

Reading this would be a good start

or listening to this

Other things to listen to/ watch -

On BBC Woman’s Hour, with Sally Hines

At A Woman’s Place, Brighton

On Feminist Current, with Natasha Chart and Meghan Murphy

With Benjamin Boyce

On BBC Newsnight

Other things to read -

For The Economist:

For The Conversation:

For The Article:

Other Medium pieces

(I especially like these two:

A draft of my Aristotelian Society paper

I’m on Twitter here @docstockk Thanks for reading.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store