I think I know whom you primarily have in mind when you speak of "those for whom philosophy is only ever politics by other means." I don't wish to mention him by name, though, for he is a notorious self-Googler.
Yes. And he’s so vain, he probably thinks this post is about him.
Compare the reception that Parsons received to the one Antony Flew got. Parsons is a nobody; a two-bit net skeptic who writes a lot of so-so replies to Plantinga and Co. Flew, on the other hand, is a fairly prominent philosopher who has a number of well-known articles and books to his credit. When Parsons says that the case for God is a fraud: "Devastating! Maybe the case for Theism IS a fraud!" When Flew abandons Atheism: "He's soft in the head! Doesn't know enough ‘science’!”
Good point. But since Religion Dispatches didn’t mind reheating the months-old Parsons “story,” perhaps they’ll be serving up the years-old Flew story next. (Apparently their “dispatches” aren’t posted with dispatch.) On the other hand, in fairness to Parsons, Eric writes:
When this "news" first came to my attention, I wondered, "What if [insert prominent theistic philosopher of religion] announced that he was no longer going to do any work in philosophy of religion because the arguments for atheism were mind numbingly bad – fraudulent, even (to use Parson's term, which he concedes was hyperbolic)? Would we ever see a post on Leiter Reports like this: "This is Striking: Peter Kreeft Quits Philosophy of Religion, Claims the Case for Atheism is a Fraud," followed by serious analysis of Kreeft's claims about the overall weakness of the case for atheism? Not likely. (In Parson's defense, I asked him this question, and he said that he thinks his decision vis-a-vis philosophy of religion has "zero epistemic significance," and that he was surprised by all the attention it got in the blogosphere.)
Interesting. Glad to hear that Parsons himself, unlike certain people who have been pushing this “story,” isn’t as full of it as the diaper I just changed.
Finally, some fun from MMcCue, who writes:
A poem relating to "professional philosophers"
I am a Prestigious Professor of Philosophy,
At a quite Elite University.
I get generous grants,
To sit on my pants,
And write books that nobody reads
Yup. And to bitch and moan about his "workload," too.