Tuesday, March 3, 2009

And on the Leiter side…

Brian Leiter “learns” from Charles Hermes that the counter-petition mentioned below is “the creation of Edward Feser,” of whose “unhinged screed” Leiter has (as my long-time readers know) been critical before. Except that, as even a cursory reading reveals, the counter-petition was sponsored by a group calling ourselves “Concerned philosophers." And except that, in my response to the email from Hermes cited by Leiter (a response Hermes posted on Leiter’s own blog), I refer to the “authors” of the petition. Leiter, apparently fascinated by minutiae to the point of carefully inspecting his commenters’ IP addresses (see the crack detective work in identifying “Matt Hart” and “Michelle” exhibited in the first link above), has, nevertheless, apparently yet to master simple English plural noun forms.

Leiter kindly directs his readers to my book The Last Superstition, which he compares, bizarrely, to Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism. Apparently Leiter hasn’t mastered the difficult art of reading subtitles either, since a glance at mine would reveal that my book has absolutely nothing to do with the topic Goldberg addresses. (Yes, my puzzlement is feigned. The scare reference to Goldberg is, of course, just “boob bait for the bubbas,” viz. Leiter’s left-of-center readers.)

Readers unfamiliar with Leiter should be made aware of the moral seriousness he brings to this debate. As someone who knew him back in the day has attested, Leiter “was the only guy I knew who openly regretted the collapse of the Soviet Union.”

Those wondering how any philosopher could countenance turning the APA over to ideologues and commissars, take note.


  1. A small point about everybody's favorite Internet Nietzsche.

    Brian Leiter says that J. Budziszewski is "to be sure, a complete philosophical hack, unlike the others [at UT Austin who signed the petition]--his main appointment is in Government at Texas."

    Let it be noted that Brian Leiter's main appointment at UT Austin, like his current main appointment at Chicago, was in the law school and not the philosophy department.

  2. Although originally intended for a somewhat different context (Dawkins), I think a line from South Park applies to Leiter as well:

    "Logic and reason aren’t enough: You also have to be a dick to everyone who doesn’t think like you."

  3. Looks like Leiter frantically updated his post to answer your comment, Anonymous. Somehow, though, the idea of correcting the error I call attention to here seems to have slipped his mind.

  4. Off-topic, but possibly of interest to the ever-bloggin' Prof Feser:

  5. Thanks, Anonymous, I'll take a look.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. . I've heard many analytic philosophers speak poorly of Leiter, but didn't know why. Then, thanks to this blog I ran into his. He looks creepy. I got the same feeling seeing his face as I did the first time I saw Bill Marr's face (without knowing what he was about). But readinghis blog did not help his case. Oh well.