About shunning

We quoted the New APPS blog’s discussion of shunning as saying, among other things, the following:

The Feminist Philosophers blog recently suggested not inviting serial harassers to conferences. One could easily extend this to not inviting them to publish, not conversing with them at conferences, advising students to avoid their graduate program, etc. We can hope that such informal shunning would have a significant effect. Of course, without a naming and shaming mechanism this approach will be limited to folk somehow in the know.

What I’m wondering about is what falls under the “etc” at the end of the second sentence. And that’s because I’m finishing some work that contains a discussion of two views clearly linked to X, where X is a major figure in a sub-area of the field I’m discussing, and a sexual harasser of, in my opinion, a particulary scummy sort.

In fact, someone who supported the shunning idea recommended that I discuss two views the harasser has.

Because I don’t have views connected in my mind to harassment, I’ve only just realized what my citing him means. Now in fact other people have discussed his views with approval, and I can quote them rather than him. So I’m not so concerned about my own work here as I am concerned about somewhat more general princples and questions.

The first set: Should shunning be extended to discussing in journals? I.e., don’t discuss them even if it is a bit strange to avoid mentioning them. How about when we have a world-class figure who started off a field, and the discussion in the literature so far is largely about their view.

The second set: What effect do we think such shunning will have? Clearly, it could be a major thing if the literature omits any discussion of him. But will anything like that happen? And if it doesn’t, how will we feel. Lots of people know about X’s behavior, and I haven’t seen it affect anyone’s professional treatment of him. Will that somehow start to change? And if it doesn’t, won’t one’s own sense of alienation from the field simply increase?

And actually I am now wondering about the shunning. Will women find that shunning’s main effect is to make them feel more like outsiders as the profession itself flocks around the abusers. Of course, shunning has to start somewhere, but if it is principally women who do it, then the effects may overall not be good.

These are just initial questions; I’ve only started to think about it. But I am wondering if in effect the shunning will be effective only when done consistently by the professionally stronger members of our profession, at least at the beginning.

42 thoughts on “About shunning

  1. You could help me out of my employability conundrum by hiring me as your professional creep buster. You fly me to wherever the creep in question is doing his worst harassing, and I make myself look like bait. Then I wait for him to make his move.

    And ZAP BLAM KABLOWEY!! I pick up whatever’s lying around and beat him black&blue with it!! And I can make sure I leave a nice little scar on his face, to warn his future victims that he’s a perv, but also easy to whup. Maybe more of them will kick his ass just like me.

    I’d charge a small fee, of course.

    It’s kinda hard to keep defending somebody whose victims keep beating him down, no matter how brilliant he is. And BANGO PRESTO!! We have our own reality show! “When sexual justice is outlawed, only outlaws like Ms.Xena can bring sexual justice back to the people.” Well, ok, I’ll have to come up with another name–copyrights and all…

    I know, academics don’t resort to action movie tactics. After re-reading this comment, I’ll be very surprised if you don’t delete it. I’ll take the chance and post it anyway.

    It’s nice to dream.

  2. This may not be your present concern, but seems to me a further important one, so I hope I’m not derailing the conversation by asking if you have any views on what kind of proceedural safeguards and so on the practice of shunning should have, if any?

    Do you think it would be sensible to make clear and transparent who is being shunned by publicly identifying them as such – presumably also necessary for any ‘naming and shaming’ mechanism. What about making clear and transparent who is shunning, and so on (I recognise power imbalances may put limits on this).

  3. PS – not trying to concern troll! – if it’s beside the present point feel free to ignore….

  4. ck, I think that is an important question. It was discussed at length at New Apps:
    When I first read about the proposal I was very concerned. Shunning is used in departments that go in for mobbing, and I’m reluctant to endorse that sort of viciousness or provide any excuse for it. I still don’t know the answer to the general question. I think that if the proposal is just that one avoid professional interactions with people you know are harassers there may be less of a procedural problem.
    The problem I raised above still concerns me though. I’m wondering if the status of the shunning proposal – if indeed it was strong enough to count as a proposal as opposed to an enquiry – should be revisited.

  5. A practical concern.

    Goal: shun X
    Practice: don’t cite X in journal article, in X’s area
    Possible result: Reviewer rejects article because it fails to cite a major person in the field, X.

    Alienation plus professional hit.

    Could one respond to an editor, “I cited people who cite X, but I refuse to cite X because of his (un)professional practice?”

    I doubt that would work, unless one was a muckety muck.

    I think that you are correct, that the practice is likely to be most effective when it comes from those in positions of professional or institutional power. Which means that an effective strategy is to cultivate allies.

  6. On another note, someone very dear to me was shunned, in the good old fashioned love your neighbor sense, from a religious community for fighting for politically progressive concerns. The effect was to destroy an identity and the life long ramifications were horrible and significant.

    As a result, this talk about shunning makes my skin crawl. I am not sure what to make of this. Part of the concern is that it comes from people who I would consider allies. Another part is that I understand the justification, and do it myself in terms of choices that I make in constructing syllabi and such things.

    On one hand, perhaps this is a unique and personal account that ought not enter into discussion. On the other hand, it seems that we are co-opting a religious term of significance. I suspect that since most academics are not particularly religious, the possible consequences of using the term to describe a particular set of practices in the academy is not particularly salient. But, if our goal is to create a culture that celebrates and respects difference, it might be worth considering the alienating effect of calling this shunning in the first place.

  7. Alpha, I am very sorry to hear about what you witnessed. I saw at too close a hand what the English call “sending to Coventry.” It can be quite evil.

    I had thought it was my experience that led to my initial negative reaction to the New Apps proposal, but your suggestion of the terminology may be a better explanation. In any case, I agree with your previous comment too.

  8. I hope this comment doesn’t seem too off topic, but I’d like to highlight the importance of shunning in the form of “advising students to avoid [a harasser’s] graduate department.” As an incoming graduate student, I can’t speak to harassers at conferences or in publishing. However, this one factor proved to significantly impact my own decision on which graduate school to attend. I am interested in areas of philosophy that are known for being primarily male-dominated. Unsurprisingly, all the professors in my area of interest at the graduate schools I was admitted to are male. However, graduate students has starkly different stories to tell about working with these professors. At one school, there is a hugely famous philosopher in my primary area of interest. At the other school, there are a few (only moderately) lesser-known, but equally amazing professors in my primary area of interest. I was then informed that the famous professor is a harasser. Similar to the “But you can’t work with *him*” story on the “What is it like?” blog, I discovered that a prominent philosopher in my area of interest is off limits to me by virtue of my sex. I don’t feel bad at all about where I will be attending graduate school in the fall; in fact, I was leaning toward this school anyway. I do, however, feel very thankful that the information that some professor is a harasser was passed on to me. I am positive that, at this point in my studies, having a harasser as a teacher and mentor would drive me from the school in question and potentially even the profession.

  9. KT, that’s a great point. I hope other people wade in. It’s a complex issue.

    Are you certain the famous philosopher is really a harasser?

    It would be funny to find out that we have the same person in mind. Unfortunately, there appear to be all too many harassers in the profession for that to be very likely.

  10. jj: I suppose I’m not 100% positive because I’ve not been a victim. I do have it on decent authority though.

    Another related point, it seems that often those in the best position or those most willing to participate in shunning harassers are in dangerous situations in their careers. For example, the person who informed me is vulnerable, and so I couldn’t fully explain to the professors at my undergraduate department all the reasons for my decision. (I was able to state that an egregious percentage of tenure-track female faculty members seems indicative of an unfriendliness toward women.) As pointed out in the original post, it appears that shunning could actually have a negative effect on the shunner rather than the shunned.

  11. Reading over my post, I realize it sounds as if I’d come up with the idea myself. That’s not what I intended. It was obviously brought up by jj in the original post.

  12. jj, thanks for bringing this up again. I was discussing this issue with a friend just today — I am quite certain that more women than men know of sexual harassers in our profession, so even some of the men who blogged about this at new apps are friends with men who I know to be harassers. At this point, I’m more comfortable with informing people that I believe Prof. A to be harasser and let people make their own choices about including/excluding Prof. A than I am with shunning. I think KT’s comments illustrate that this works well — she received relevant information about a harasser and has made a good choice about her future on the basis of it.

  13. KT and JT, thank you so much for contributing to this discussion. KT,I don’t think I meant to suggest this was all just your idea. It’s just important to get a picture about what sort of mentoring is going on.

    It’s late here and I’m going to try to think about this over night. These issues are very important.

    Thank you again, and I hope others will join in!

  14. I’m not sure what I think overall of shunning, but an anecdote perhaps in it’s favor: I will be starting graduate school this fall as well, except that I actually chose a program despite being told that one faculty member may be a harasser. Though I’m certainly not thrilled with that possibilty, the faculty member in question has a very good academic reputation, and my other options were not as strong in my main area of interest, nor was their job placement as good. I think so long as academic reputations are safe from being tarnished by sexual harassment, it’s not unlikely that more students will find themselves needing to choose between academic prestige (and whatever that carries) and an environment in which they feel secure.

  15. I’m way, way uncomfortable with the idea of not citing someone’s work because he is a harasser. This compromises the intellectual rigor and academic integrity of the work. I can’t imagine how this could be a good plan. Call me old-school, but it seems that the scholarly duty to cite one’s sources and to do as good a job as possible of engaging with the relevant literature is as close to sacrosanct as these things get (and I would hope that there is no exception to the rule for ‘mucky mucks’).

  16. I’m uncomfortable with the idea shunning — as distinct from holding people directly accountable for their actions to their faces, and also from sharing information about behavioral patterns with grad students. But I’m with Rebecca about being really uncomfortable with not appealing to someone’s work because of their behavior. Rebecca’s reasons are good ones. But really, if we refused to engage with any philosopher who was a demonstrable misogynist, there really wouldn’t be much left to engage with. Rousseau: out. Socrates: out. Kant: out. Aristotle: out (maybe). Seriously. The misogyny is of course problematic, but one part of the methodology of philosophy is just to separate the views being put forward from the person putting them forward. Maybe the idea of of such impersonal ideas is problematic but that is a philosophical questions that very very few people have addressed.

  17. I’m largely with Lisa. There is, I take it, an institutional problem in philosophy: at the level of the profession generally, and with quite a few departments specifically. Shunning seems to focus on individual bad behavior, and in a very indirect and insider-ish manner. Moreover, attempting to shun the already famous or powerful is unlikely to make a critical difference to them, since the effort is unlikely to gain widespread support in high places.

    Why not simply name the departments in which there are patterns of misconduct (from outright harrassment to serial sleeping with member students)? This would provide a real incentive on the part of departments and universities to deal more expeditiously and effectively with such behavior. If departments, universities, and particular colleagues were to worry a lot more about public taint by association, the misconduct (or toleration of it) would begin to change in a hurry.

  18. I am not very concerned about the possibility of refusing to cite a serial harrasser hurting the intellectual rigor of the discipline. No one is suggesting that we boycott Kant.

    What I am concerned about is the negative effect of engaging serial harassers on the intellectual rigor of the discipline.

    Consider those who have had their educational opportunities curtailed, who have been silenced, or who have been driven from the field. A multitude of mostly women’s voices who are marginalized or are absent from our discourse. That hurts the intellectual rigor of philosophy.

    I am reminded of Helen Longino’s arguments that objectivity and justification are maximized in epistemic communities that are diverse and have practices that cultivate dissent. And I am reminded of the positive epistemic impact of the increase of women in fields such as primatology.

    Harassment leads to a lack of diversity and a lack of diversity leads to a lack of intellectual rigor.

  19. Anonymous suggests: “Why not simply name the departments in which there are patterns of misconduct (from outright harrassment to serial sleeping with member students)?”

    That seems like a good idea. I was surprised that even the tenured newapps bloggers and the anonymous participants in that otherwise good discussion declined to name those they say they know have committed gross misconduct. They also declined to name the departments where they claim to know that the problems are most severe. I really don’t know what to make of this.

  20. I am not very concerned about the possibility of refusing to cite a serial harrasser hurting the intellectual rigor of the discipline. No one is suggesting that we boycott Kant.

    OK, but what if any of the following people were serial harassers (PLEASE PLEASE NOTE that I’m not suggesting that any of them are! I’m just tossing out names off the the top of my head):

    –David Chalmers and you’re writing on 2D semantics.
    –Thomas Pogge and you’re writing on Cosmopolitanism.
    –Matt McGrath and you’re writing on pragmatic encroachment.

    You’d advocate refusing to cite them? It would make it difficult to write a good paper I think.

    Lots of terrible people have put forward influential and often insightful arguments. Many of them are still alive.

  21. Many thanks for these thoughtful comments. The issues are important and airing them can make the underlying problems more visible, which is still needed.

    Let me make a few comments: I think there’s agreement that students need information about harassers when they pick grad schools. And if there are any in one’s dept, your students need to know. I think it is safe to inform them about grad schools. I’m less clear about the safety of outing your own colleagues to students. Do remember that your university might not support your whistle-blowing role. Your colleague could sue.

    The issue of citations seems to bring up two types of question. One is about what is required of one as an honorable scholar. The other is more about self-interest. I have to say that my heart sank when I first read Rebecca’s comment. “O no! I’m contemplating dishonorable behavior!” I thought.But then… . I agree with Alpha about the problem of silencing women. But I am also really genuinely puzzled by the notion of honor and what it requires of people in our profession. Many supposedly honorable men simply ignore or forget women philosophers. Clearly 2 wrongs do not make a right, but when the wrongs of common practice far out do the rights, what standing do our standards have?

    We discuss elsewhere some of Dovidio’s ideas that come from his research on outsider status. People tend not to hold in memory mucjh about the outsiders’ accomplishments, to put it roughly. I feel a bit like the mythical Tainto, “what’s this ‘we’ Kimo Sabe.”. To the extent that I can use “we” to cover the profession, I’m far from sure we have much in the way of genuinely scholarly standards.

  22. JJ:
    You write – “I think there’s agreement that students need information about harassers when they pick grad schools.”

    Why do you think there’s agreement about this given that people who claim to know about serial harassers at various programs will not name the harassers and will not name the PhD programs where they say harassment is common? Or is the idea that people agree that students need this information but they don’t agree to provide the information?

  23. CL- I can’t speak for jj, but I would imagine that the if there are students being harassed, there may be privacy issues with others specifically mentioning them by name, there are credibility concerns if others do not provide those specifics, and there are career concerns if students identify harassers themselves.

  24. CL and K, I wasn’t clear. I meant to refer just to the discussion here. No one was contesting informing students, fraught though that might turn out to be.

  25. @ Tim,

    Not citing harassing and famous Dr. X would indeed make it hard to write such a paper, and even harder to get it accepted. I would also find it difficult to write a paper engaging and supporting a scholar who I knew had a significant negative impact on myself and on women (and men of goodwill) in the profession. It would also be hard to write a good paper for an epistemic community that was so deeply complicit with Dr. X’s behavior for so long as to allow X to become an eminent scholar and role model in that community. None of this is easy.

    So far I am not advocating anything. I am deliberating. I would not lay blame on a person who, for ethical or broader epistemic reasons refused to cite X. I would also not blame someone who took those concerns seriously, but in light of hanging onto a job did cite them.

    My main point is that it is important not to overlook the broader epistemic concerns. The ethics and the epistemology are intertwined.

  26. BTW, issues of the negative epistemic consequences of sexism in philosophy is starting to make it into ‘mainstream’ journals. There is also a growing discussion in a number of edited volumes.

    See for example, Sarah Richardson’s paper, “Feminist Philosophy of Science: History, Contributions, and Challenges.” Synthese 177 (3).

    I would be happy to find out about other examples of this kind of work.

  27. jj- I took it that CL was asking about why folks won’t inform students by identifying harassers in these sorts of public online forums (here, and new apps).

    So far it seems the suggestions for ways to deal with sexual harassers are to a. shun them (which depending on the scope of shunning, may ultimately harm the shunners and may not harm the shunned), or b. publicly identify them or their programs as being problematic (which may not be possible given legal concerns, privacy concerns, etc.).

    Are there any other ideas?

  28. Alpha, thanks for the thoughtful reply.

    I think that ‘shunning by refusing to cite,’ although understandable, would be a bad idea, much more likely to harm the shunner than the shunned.

    The main possible downside to the shunner is obvious, but it’s worth reiterating: it would be more difficult to get stuff published if you refused to engage with influential and/or insightful arguments put forward by a scummy sexual harasser. This would be bad both for narrowly prudential reasons (getting hired, promotion and tenure, etc.), and for loftier intellectual ones (your own writings might suffer in quality from not engaging with scumbag’s arguments). This gives reason not to ‘shun’ in this manner, although it can be overridden.

    I can think of two sorts of countervailing considerations, but neither seems terribly weighty to me.

    On the one hand, you could (for basically non-consequentialist reasons) think that it’s dishonorable or unethical somehow to support the scumbag Dr. X by supporting his arguments, or that citing him expresses complicity or tolerance of his harassment. But I don’t see that. First of all, citing or engaging with somebody’s arguments and/or positions isn’t the same as supporting them (you could criticize them!). But leaving that aside, I think that one can separate out the person from his arguments enough so that endorsing a person’s arguments (or at least considering them worthy of extended consideration) need not and usually would not imply an endorsement of the person’s character or behavior. This (I think) differentiates citing a person from other actions one might take regarding Dr. X, such as inviting him to one’s colloquium series and paying him an honorarium, having him as a visiting professor, asking him to serve on the editorial board of a journal, or inviting him to contribute to an edited volume you’re putting together.

    On the consequentialist side, I’m dubious that refusing to cite Dr. X would have much of an impact. Are you going to include a footnote saying “Although I would normally cite Dr. X when writing on this topic, I refuse to engage with the work of scumbags like him”? That won’t fly. But if not, how will not citing him help to create a norm against sexual harassment in the philosophical community?

  29. Tim, i meant to say before that I thought your earlier post made a strong point, which you expand here. I hope I anticipated it some in the original post by considering the postion of the weaker members.

    I do think, though, that discussing someone may increase their standing and so power a bit. That is one reason why ignoring women can produce a lop- sided profession in terms of gender.

  30. I do think, though, that discussing someone may increase their standing and so power a bit. That is one reason why ignoring women can produce a lop- sided profession in terms of gender.

    OK, I can see that. You’re right that citing a person (or at least the cumulative effect of citation after citation) increases a person’s standing and power. But two points:

    (1) I suspect that the impact of refusing to cite Dr. X would be quite small, unless lots and lots of people knew about Dr. X and followed suit.

    (2) More importantly, merely reducing the prominence of individual sexual harassers won’t do that much on its own to create and strengthen a norm against harassment. Contrast Dr. X’s article receiving somewhat fewer citations (and why is that?) with: speaking out when unacceptable behavior is being engaged in, telling potential grad students that they should be wary of going to Dr. X’s department, objecting in a departmental meeting to including Dr. X on one’s colloquium series on the grounds that you know he’s a scummy serial harasser and you don’t want to honor people like him, and in other ways refusing to be silent and to let things ‘slide.’ Even if one fewer colloquium presentation or grad student has little impact on Dr. X’s own prominence, your actions can have an impact on the people you’re speaking with and help reinforce the idea that certain behavior are unacceptable.

  31. I think that a kind of boycotting in publishing happens all the time, in ways that are largely invisible, and for very practical career advancement and life happiness reasons.

    It is hard to write a paper that excludes X and hard to write a paper that engages X, for a community of which me and X are both members. (Think about Marilyn Frye’s discussion of the double bind as constitutive of oppression.) There is a way through the horns of this dilemma: vote with your feet and find a different community where there are fewer of these kinds of constraints. As a result, one boycott’s X (in a slightly different sense of the term) and also those complicit with X, and can write and publish good papers while still being able to look in the mirror every morning.

    I wonder how many feminist philosophers started out doing non-feminist philosophy?

  32. Alpha: fair enough. Can’t see any objection to that practice, although it’s unfortunate that people are driven away from working in areas they’d otherwise like to work in because they find the choice between engaging X and excluding X is so unpalatable.

  33. unfortunate indeed, raises the of merits of Xena’s suggestion above–comment 1.

  34. Alpha and Tim, xena’s comment raises in another way the question of honor in a discriminatory field, I think.

  35. jj,
    Ha! (amused chuckle, not disgruntled snort), I thought you were very nicely saying, ‘be nice.”

    I am curious about what you were thinking about in #35.
    “I am also really genuinely puzzled by the notion of honor and what it requires of people in our profession. Many supposedly honorable men simply ignore or forget women philosophers. Clearly 2 wrongs do not make a right, but when the wrongs of common practice far out do the rights, what standing do our standards have?”

    I find it weird to think about this debate in terms of honour, for lots of reasons. In response to a particularly egregious instance of harassment, my partner made an offer very similar to Xena’s, minus the request for a fee. ;) In fact it was a challenge to dissuade him. Our conversation was really interesting, was it his honour as a ‘good’ man, (pistols, dawn, in the meadow) or mine as a ‘good’ woman, or just a case of ‘you hurt someone I care about and so I will hurt you,” or some sort of deterrent (to the individual or the community)? It turned out to be sort of fun (and therapeutic) sorting through all of these possibilities with him.

    But, it has me thinking about honour, and the ways that it is gendered and specific to the norms of a particular community. I think that honour boils down to following the norms for someone ‘like you’ in a particular cultural context. In some communities I think that a man’s responding with violence to the mistreatment of his women is required as a response to some sort of property crime, and is to uphold _his_ status in his community. IE it is a case of conforming to some really messed up and gendered norms.

    So, (perhaps this is just restating your point) if we consider the norms demonstrated in practice in philosophy and call conforming to them honorable, then being honorable, means not engaging women philosophers or their views. Messed up norms. Conforming to these norms hurts me, requires that I defer to patriarchy, and puts me in a subordinate position in my own community. Not conforming to these norms also hurts me and puts me in a subordinate position in my community. So much for being honourable. How can one be an honourable dissenter?

    There is ample opportunity for increasing the reflexivity regarding philosophical practice and norms, and for thinking about how drawing a rigid line between what some might call personal practices (being a sexist a-hole) and professional practice (the arguments we publish) reinforces problematic norms. Why don’t we do some social epistemology on ourselves?

    One need not study the history of philosophy to find cases demonstrating that this line is not rigid. It is not that hard to find gratuitously gendered or sexist examples and language in contemporary literature. There is not a rigid barrier between what we publish and the other aspects of our professional work. I think that ideally teaching, mentoring and research are mutually supportive and integrated activities.

    Last point, perhaps the community norms that people are worried about are ‘don’t steal someone else’s work,” and ‘don’t commit a genetic fallacy.’ I like those norms. In fact, I would like it if they were consistently applied to women and feminist work. I don’t think they are.

  36. Alpha, I’ve read this comment three or four times. I’d really like to hear what you think about doing a social epistemology on ourselves would be like. On this blog and the two others run by Jender, we’ve managed to high light genered conferences and harassment, but perhaps we should also stress more the failure to read women’s work, to cite it, and so on. Of course these are all interconnected, but making an effort to correct for one may not lead to corrections for others.

  37. There is so much to say about this.

    I think of it as using concepts and theories and approaches from feminist philosophy of science, to do feminist philosophy of philosophy. Similar with feminist epistemology.

    So, for example in the gendered conference campaign, there is a focus on the harms done by creating all male conferences. These harms are largely characterized as harms to women in philosophy, and I think they are largely couched in terms of ethical harms and injustices. But, these ethical harms have epistemic consequences. There are selfish epistemic reasons why _all_ philosophers ought to care about this, as well as what might be thought of as more altruistic or ethical reasons.

    An all male Wittgenstein conference suffers because the ideas are scrutinized by a group that lacks women’s perspectives or feminist standpoints. What does it mean for philosophical knowledge claims themselves to be justified? or philosophical theories to be confirmed? How might some version of the underdetermination problem play out in philosophy? What are the relationships between contextual and constitutive values in philosophy?

    This is the sort of thing I had in mind in mentioning reflexivity and doing social epistemology on ourselves.

  38. @alpha #38: Thought I’d let you and jj finish your business before I butt in again. I don’t mind being chided for my lowbrow comic relief. I’d be delusional if I actually took myself seriously as an academic. Don’t worry about “being nice.” Just be constructive :-) I’m here to learn.

    What you were saying about “a good man’s honour” as opposed to “a good woman’s honour” was spot on. When we’re attacked or harassed, the only reason it matters at all IS in the context of some ‘property crime’. So we have to either get our doodz to do our fighting for us, or get some behind-the-scenes committee to rework their legal apparatus. We, the ‘livestock’ are not allowed to simply use brute force against an attacker, or we get labelled ‘mad cows’ or ‘draepetomania sufferers’ or some other nonsense.

    Cheers to (somewhat) honourable dissenters! Our current concepts of ‘honour’ desperately need revision anyway. I can’t wait to see the results of the good work you philosophers are doing right now. Things WILL be much better for the next generation. From those of us who might have had cause to stress out about fairness in education for our daughters, thanx so much.

  39. Alpha, I really like the idea of stressing the epistemic effects too.

    I am continually puzzled and shocked (usually successively) by the way philosophers of mind so often seem to think human cognition starts alone in a study. In contrast, feminist philosophy has many rich examinations of the social-relatedness of cognition.

    I wonder if we should discuss ways in which women’s work is ignored, and the costs of doing that. It isn’t just the all male conferences. There’s also so often not citing women. There’s the a priori conviction that feminist philosophy is not worth attention.

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