A Job Advert

Well, this is an FP first: someone has sent us a job advertisement. If this starts happening all the time, we may have to not post, but for now it seems like a good idea to help a department that wants to recruit feminist philosophers; and to help feminist philosophers in search of jobs:

The following job is available in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Cincinnati:

University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH. One-year Visiting Assistant Professor to begin 1 September 2009. AOS/AOC open. PhD required. Introductory to advanced undergraduate, possible graduate instruction; quarter system, 3-3-3 load. The successful candidate must teach introductory lecture courses in philosophy through film, and contemporary moral and political ideas. The department has additional teaching opportunities in philosophy of mind, epistemology, philosophy of law, feminist philosophy, environmental ethics, and business ethics. Minimal service requirements. However, the visitor will be expected to participate in departmental functions and generally contribute to the life of the department. The University of Cincinnati is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. Women, minorities, disabled persons, and Vietnam Era and disabled veterans are encouraged to apply. Applicants must apply online for job reference number 29UC4308:


Applications must include a cover letter, CV, writing sample, names of three individuals who will be sending letters of recommendation, and evidence of teaching excellence. Initial consideration of applications begins 15 June 2009. The position will remain open until filled. To complete the application proceess, candidates need to have 3 letter of recommendation sent via paper mail to Chair of VAP Search, University of Cincinnati, Philosophy Department ML 374, Cincinnati OH 45221-0374.

Feeling for White fire fighters

Here’s the conservative view:

Good conservative judges apply the law rationally and they do not get involved in empathy and identity politics.

The issue before the SCOTUS on Monday:  A test was given to those applying for  promotion  in a New Haven fire department; no blacks qualified for promotion with the test.  Does that mean that the test was discriminatory?  Apparently yes

1.  Linda Greenhouse, prof of  law at Yale:    Congress enacted Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the statute at issue in the Ricci case, with a simple command to employers: thou shalt not discriminate on the basis of race or other protected characteristics, including sex and religion. .. In a 1971 decision, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a test that was “fair in form, but discriminatory in operation” could violate Title VII even without proof that the discrimination was intentional. Congress eventually amended Title VII to codify that decision, Griggs v. Duke Power. The rule was clear: if a job requirement produced a “disparate impact,” the employer had the burden of showing that the requirement was actually necessary.  


Powerful voices on the court, including Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion on Monday, began to call for something close to a zero-tolerance policy when it came to government counting its citizens by race for any purpose. And the court became skeptical of Congress’s making its own legislative judgments in ways that threatened to expand the boundaries of the court’s own narrowing constitutional vision.

As far as I can tell, the grounds for reaching a conclusion about disparate impact have been strenghtened, but also made highly problematic, since emplying it invokves racial thinking, according to the SCOTUS.

And a recurring them of the SCOTUS discussion:  we all feel for the while guys! Greenwald notes:

…Justice Kennedy devotes multiple paragraphs at the beginning of his opinion to highlighting all of the facts (as opposed to legal arguments) which make people sympathetic to Ricci.  Conversely, Justice Ginsburg, writing for the dissenters, noted upfront that the white firefighters “understandably attract this Court’s sympathy,” but it must be the law — i.e., long-standing legal precedent and the purpose of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act — which determines the outcome.

Have you signed to be an organ donor?

Treat this story as a mystery story.  A bad deed has been done.  The mystery is in how it is undone. 

Background:  A family member  died  three weeks ago; the circumstances made her an excellent organ donor, which she wanted to be.  Presumably, a number of  people now have better lives because of her death.

The bad deed:  The hospital where her organs were collected have charged her widower for the procedure.  Or, more precisely, they’ve charged the insurance.  But insurance comes with a deductable.  The bill is very high; around $20K.**

I’ve looked around on the internet.  The family of the donor is never charged, many sites say.  In fact, one site says, sometimes the hospital donates the costs.  In any case, if something has to be paid, it is the recipients’ responsibility. 

I cannot find any reference to any legal protection the donor’s family has.  But stay tuned.  You can bet that if you hand an unjust bill for 20K to a very stressed out individual, there will be objections.  And the insurance company is not too happy either.

This is all in the US, of course.


**Actually, the whole bill is $38K; she arrived at the hospital brain dead, but it was about 15 hours before that was officially determined and declared.  It looks like those hours may have cost somewhere around 15-18K, from what  I understand.

This may well seem quite insane.  It is medicine in American.

Crop Circles Explained

Or, The Sunday Cat likes Stoned Wallabies.

“The one interesting bit that I found recently in one of my briefs on the poppy industry was that we have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles,” Lara Giddings told the hearing.
“Then they crash,” she added. “We see crop circles in the poppy industry from wallabies that are high.”

Thanks, Jender-Parents!

Searching– Women plenary speakers for conference in France

Prof. dr. Dvora Yanow sent this request to the FEMMSS list serve and I am sending portions of  it out to all of you with her permission.  She is in search of  French scholars (working outside of France is ok; or it could be a non-French scholar working in France).


I am assisting a group planning the 2010 Interpretive Policy Analysis conference, which will be at one of the universities in France.

The leader of that group blanked when asked about a woman to include as a plenary speaker.

I unfortunately don’t know colleagues there myself.

Can anyone  make some suggestions?  To give you a sense of the thing, they are planning to ask Bruno Latour.  So someone from sciences-po or with that orientation, and/or who engages questions of phenomenology, hermeneutics, critical theory, discourse analysis, etc. with application(s) to science studies/science policy or other areas of public policy, especially someone concerned with the methodological side of things.

Please write me at d.yanow@fsw.vu.nl

Many thanks in advance,

Lying on the News: Perfectly Legal

I already knew the bizarre and troubling fact that political advertising is not subject to false advertising law in the US. A new ruling holds that there is no law against lying on the news, either.

On February 14, a Florida Appeals court ruled there is absolutely nothing illegal about lying, concealing or distorting information by a major press organization…The attorneys for Fox, owned by media baron Rupert Murdock, argued the First Amendment gives broadcasters the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on the public airwaves.

I’m a little curious about this bit, and wondering if anyone can fill me in on what it comes to:

In its six-page written decision, the Court of Appeals held that the Federal Communications Commission position against news distortion is only a “policy,” not a promulgated law, rule, or regulation. Fox aired a report after the ruling saying it was “totally vindicated” by the verdict.

How binding (if at all) is the FCC policy?

Anyway, I find this both fascinating and appalling.

Help Dan Choi

Dan Choi, the gay Arab linguist who came out on the Rachel Maddow show, is on trial Tuesday. He writes:

Now I need your help. ANYONE who believes the Army should not fire me can take a stand right now. I am bringing a statement of support to Tuesday’s trial and I need you to add your signature to it. Will you support me by signing this statement before Tuesday?

I want to thank the 141,262 people who have signed the “Don’t Fire Dan” letter launched a few weeks ago by the Courage Campaign and CREDO Mobile to President Obama, asking him to take leadership to bring this tragic policy to an end.

The momentum is building. This week, 77 members of Congress signed a letter to the President citing my service as an example of why DADT should be repealed. And a Gallup poll was recently released showing that 69 percent of Americans — including 58 percent of Republicans – favor allowing openly gay men and lesbian women to serve their country .

As I learned at West Point, deception and lies poison a unit and cripple a fighting force. That’s why more than 70 of my fellow West Point graduates have also come out of the closet to join Knights Out, the organization I co-founded to build support for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.

The only way we will eventually overturn “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is by speaking up together. You can help me fight back right now by adding your name to my statement of support. On Tuesday morning, I will bring your signature — and thousands of others — to my trial as a demonstration of your collective support.

Here’s where to go to sign.

Women Logicians!

Catarina Dutilh Novaes sent an email to philos-l which has now been re-posted with her permission at LogBlog. The post in its entirety is excellent, but here I just want to draw attention to its main point:

The purpose of this message now is to question the widespread impression that there are not (or very few) prominent female logicians and philosophers of logic, people with the standing to be keynote speakers at major conferences. I was thinking it might be useful to compile a list of such people, sort of a handy device that could help those organizing conferences in the area to ensure a better gender balance among the speakers. Please send me names off list, and I will post the results to the whole list once we have a significant number of names.

So do send her some names! The email address is cdutilhnovaes@yahoo.com.

Relatedly, Hippocampa has suggested that perhaps we should all be making more use of http://www.academia.edu/ as a way of keeping track of women in various areas of philosophy. (Thanks Hippocampa and Richard!)