Sunday, March 8, 2009

“Yawn” indeed

An embarrassed Brian Leiter frantically updates his post yet again, and devotes 194 words to ridiculing my “lengthy” (360 word) “cyber-treatise.”

Coming soon: A new post from Leiter explaining why I am beneath his attention!


  1. If he changed the sentence on stylistic grounds, why remove the content? Why not simply rewrite the sentence, or add a new one? As for its content being 'tangential,' since when does Leiter consider an opportunity to attack someone he dislikes 'tangential' to the content of his posts? If that were the case, we could write off half the content of his blog posts as 'tangential.' This is getting more and more bizarre...

  2. "An ad hominem fallacy is when you reject your opponent's argument because of some characteristic of the advocate that is irrelevant to the content of the argument made. In general, what matters is the argument, not who makes it."

    Let's agree with this. Now where exactly Does Leiter actually address your arguments and not your person? Could it be here:

    Leiter: "I'm happy to believe that his religious zealotry has so wrecked his mind, that he is noncuplable for his false statements about the nature of universities and the like."

    Um, nope. How about here:

    "Via Professor Hermes, I learn that the 'counterpetition' is the creation of Edward Feser, whom we encountered long ago, after this remarkably unhinged screed. He is also the author of this book (which seems to be in the same nonsensical genre as this one, i.e., "black is white" and "war is peace" and "squares are round"). His webpage does assure us, however, that The National Review deems him one of "the best contemporary writers about philosophy." One can be sure that is a judgment on the merits of his writing, and not on his ideology."

    Not there, either. In fact, it seems as if it would be a *compliment* to Leiter to suggest that he's guilty of an ad hominem when dealing with you -- at least then one could minimally say that he's paid a moment's attention to your arguments rather than attack you personally! Better a poor philosopher than a bully!

  3. Just curious, how old is Leiter?

    He reminds me when I was at high school "argung" with my classmates.

    Look at this Leiter's brillant, charitable, respectful, and specially deep and professional first-rate philosophical argumentation (a true masterpiece!): "I would like to assure Professor Feser that I do indeed think he is a crank--how could one not? The latter link supplies some evidence for thinking he is a liar too, but on that question I'm agnostic: I'm happy to believe that his religious zealotry has so wrecked his mind, that he is noncuplable for his false statements about the nature of universities and the like. And like so many other intellectual lightweights who populate the blogosphere, Professor Feser also doesn't know what an "ad hominen" is: this grad student offers some help"

    "Crank", "intellectual lightweight", "religious zealot"... rational disagreement at its best!

    Aristotle must be rolling in his grave!


    Eric, most bullies (even the philosophical ones) haven't arguments, nor rationality. Their main weapon is the use of force. In the case of intellectual bullies, their weapon is intimidation by sarcasm, mockery, labels in a condecending tone (e.g. intellectual ligthweight) and other sophistical means.

    No logic or reason at all.

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  5. Regarding secularism and "sexuality", please read my post where I document how a leading secularist publisher (Prometheus Books) has many books "promoting" (in a subtle way and in the name of science) practiques like paedophilia, abortion, zoophilia, etc:

    I didn't include homosexuality there because, even thought I agree it's an incorrect or non-desirable behaviour, I don't consider it a perversion or disease. I respect sexual orientations, even thought I disagree with the non-heterosexual ones.

    But actually, Prometheus Books has books on bisexuality, homosexuality and trasvestism too. See its website in the "human sexuality" section.