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Clark Glymour

With gratitude for the agreement, one comment on the complaint about "my generation" above. My generation struggled for civil rights and against the Vietnam war. My first serious girlfriend, Donna Howell, was a freedom rider, raped in the process; my cousin who grew up in my family as a brother, went to Canada; I dropped out of graduate school to campaign across the country against the war; my student, David Malament, went to prison. And when we grew up, we fought for women's rights. Match it.

Clark Glymour

Eric Schliesser

Thank you for your response, Clark. I am proud to count David as one of my teachers and exemplars of philosophical integrity.

Jonathan Strassfeld

With apologies, an edited version:
Professors, with respect there is a leap being made from a Heidegger problem to a problem of "Continental philosophy" that needs to be interrogated. Heidegger's malfeasance is, on the Continental side, balanced by men and women of integrity whose heroic actions parallel, if not outstrip those of the positivists. As the extreme example there is, of course, Edith Stein. But there is also the great bulk of Husserl's most prominent students (and others who embraced his and Heidegger's work) who fled Germany and totalitarianism for the United States: Moritz Geiger, Herbert Marcuse, Fritz Kaufmann (who remained in Germany for years after his dismissal from his teaching post to offer Volkshochchulkursen to Jewish children), Maximillian Beck (who fled Germany to prevent the Nazification of his journal), Felix Kaufmann, Aron Gurwitsch, Karl Lowith, Dietrich von Hildebrand, Alfred Schutz, and Herbert Spiegelberg (who joined you as an activist against the Vietnam War). By this coterie I am far from embarrassed.

Mark Lance

It is baffling to me that a person who has made foundational contributions to statistical inference is saying things like this. I mean I get rooting for one’s home team, rhetorical posturing, bragging. I do. I engage in all of them. But infering from “Hempel was a better human being than Heidegger” to “continentals are embarrassing and analytics not”?? (And from there to “I can dismiss the former’s theoretical work.) In addition to Jonathan’s list above, I’m not seeing any dissection of Frege. Nice list of Clarke’s friends, but do we add Searle, in our assessment of the moral character and relation to movements of generations of philosophers?

Is there anything not patently silly about these generalizations?

I’m happy to see aspirational calls like yours, Eric, that ask “us” as a profession to do better. That makes clear sense when the “better” concerns what we do professionally, and it has some value when it is a call to contribute to the great struggles of our time, though there really is no “us” of professional philosophers in that context. But using these to prove that one group of philosophers was superior to another, or one generation more moral than another is descriptively silly and aspirationally destructive.


I refuse to take anyone seriously who would take that absurd and baseless swipe at English Professors who remonstrate against sexual oppression blah blah. Sorry. Just stupid. And that's too bad. The question of bad politics/good work is an interesting one that ramifies across the history of philosophy and literature. My own very strong inclinations are against the genetic fallacy. But I'm sorry. The quotation is juvenile.

Margaret Atherton

While the Academy and Philosophy has a long way to go to rid itself of sexism, it was Clark's generation that transformed the Job Market from one in which department chairs called up their friends and said, send me one, to an institution with advertised jobs, interviews and all the rest of the stuff we are familiar with today. By no means perfect, but believe me, a whole lot better than what went before.

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.


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