Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Beckwith contra Forrest

We had occasion some time back to take note of Prof. Barbara Forrest’s shameful hatchet job on Frank Beckwith in the pages of Synthese.  Beckwith has now published a response to Forrest in the same journal, excerpts from which you can read at his blog.

15 comments:

mattghg said...

I survived about four paragraphs of Forrest's screed before wretching. How could a journal like Synthese publish such a heap of garbage?

Ismael said...

@ Matt:

well writing style counts a lot in publishing... even in journals of hard sciences like physics.

If someone can 'sell his story' well with words, it will more likely to be published than a poor written article with much better content.

Anonymous said...

Except Forrest doesn't have a very good writing style either.

Untenured said...

Wow. That was an utterly devastating response by Beckwith. I would feel sorry for Barbara Forrest if I didn't already know that she was a lock-step, paint-by-numbers feminist ideologue. But I do know this. Wow again. What a pack of clowns we are up against.

Leo Carton Mollica said...

@mattghg:

As Prof. Beckwith explains, the ordinary editors of the journal did not oversee the production of the special issue wherein Forrest's article appeared and, indeed, put a disclaimer in that issue clarifying the matter.

Francis J. Beckwith said...

I am big fan of yours, Untenured. To receive your imprimatur for my article is indeed an honor.

Anonymous said...

I love the covert shot at Leiter at the end of Beckwith's article:

"We can take our cue from Forrest, and a few of her compatriots higher up on the philosophical food chain..."

A reference to the Gourmet who praised Forrest's crappy article when it first came out?

Because Leiter probably didn't take the time to read Forrest's article, Beckwith's stinging rebuttal and the editors' unprecedented disclaimer of the object of Leiter's praise, leaves the Big Brian with loads of egg on his face. If you're an anti-ID whore, sometimes you get the philosophical clap. A lesson learned for the top of the philosophical food chain.

derp said...

Prof. Beckwith, I'm glad you had a good chance to clear this up.

But now that I read it, it impresses me how far we have fallen. I just can't believe how can some people be so dishonest.

There's definitely something wrong with the world...

Crude said...

There's definitely something wrong with the world...

Indeed. Someone should start a website devoted to that. whatswrongwiththeworld.net or something!

mattghg said...

I see. I wonder what other products we can expect in 'special edition' - i.e. without the quality control normally required. Anyone fancy trying some 'special edition' vodka I have?

David Parker said...

That entire issue of Synthese was B.S. if you ask me.

Untenured said...

@anon 9:00:

Leiter doesn't care, because he knows that there is no one who is perceived as a "neutral" authority within the profession who will call him out on it. Regarding Daniel Dennett, Searle once said something to the following effect: "He always talks as if he has some devastating argument waiting in the wings, but he never comes out and states it. He just postures as if he is victorious even though he never actually delivers the goods." That paraphase describes Leiter to a "T". He occasionally makes a good point, but most of what he says is just rhetorical fretboard tapping and is backed up by nothing in the way of serious argument.

Greg said...

Having read similar excerpts of Forrest's work elsewhere, I pity you professionals who have to read the whole thing.

It amazes me that people can collect paychecks as snot-nosed academic tattletales: "teacher, teacher! Francis believes in God! Make him stop!"

Good for us, ultimately. Let the ossified pharaohs of institutional philosophy continue to inbreed themselves into irrelevance.

romishgraffiti said...

I'd be inclined to say Forrest invented the academic equivalent of "All black people look the same."

Clint Douzat said...

This was unexpected! Dr. Forrest is the philosophy professor at my university (Southeastern Louisiana University) and I didn't think she was very significant academically.

I took a class from her on critical thinking and on the final we had to analyze some extremist material and find fallacies in it. On the final exam she put the KKK, Nation of Islam, and Neo-Nazi's under the group title of "Creationists". That was SUCH A CHEAP SHOT!!

There was also a time when the overhead projector wasn't working for a few minutes. After a while it finally came back on and she cynically said "someone must have been praying".....

There was also a true or false question on one of her tests that said, "Most scientists don't believe in God, true or false?"