9 thoughts on “FauxPhil on McGinn

  1. I hope that this comment is not too off topic.

    I’ve followed the discussion about McGinn with interest and read his comments about
    “hand jobs”, which struck me as specious and sophistical.

    However, I’m sure that if I tried to show McGinn that his comments about the hand job are specious, his arguments would leave me looking like a fool because of his superior arguing-skills and IQ.

    I wonder if philosophy as a discipline in valuing arguing-skills and IQ for themselves (that is my perception as a non-philosopher) does not legitimize or endorse (I can’t think of the exact word, sorry) sophists like McGinn.

    How different would be my reaction to McGinn if he had said: “I messed up. I’m sorry. I apologize for the harm I caused the young woman in question. I’d like another chance to teach philosophy. I’m willing to go into therapy to change myself”.

    It seems that many professional sophists like McGinn are unable to admit that they are wrong (in both the ethical and epistemological senses of the word). Being able to admit that one is wrong is a virtue that is not cultivated enough, in my opinion.

  2. He’s really done himself a huge disservice by writing these two posts. They’re not even the e-mails that got him in trouble, and they’re not even addressed to me, but reading them makes me feel so uncomfortable that I now feel even more inclined to believe that the original messages were bad enough to warrant the response. The whole thing just exudes the worst kind of smugness, a profoundly cringeworthy sense of humor, and just to make it all feel just that much more bizarre presupposes a number of points about certain phrases that are outright false. I hasten to add, of course, that these qualities in his writing do not by themselves justify pushing him out of his job, but they do make it much easier to imagine him behaving in a way that would.

  3. Anon at 5:03: yup. When I read the original I thought, oh lord, *stop digging*.

    That parody version is brilliant.

  4. The fact that he cannot see that his latest “Pygmalion Defense” only makes him look worse says a lot about his superiority-complex personality.

  5. What I find most encouraging isn’t that McGinn has been punished but that he has been ridiculed.

    This shows progress. Within living memory, things would have gone differently. Males would have circled the wagons, complaining about ‘political correctness’–after all, it was just a little fun, right? And the girl was probably just out to entrap him. Anyway he boosted U. Miami into the top 40, he’s a big gun–and it’s always been an alpha male’s prerogative to screw all the nubile young chickies: that’s just good sociobiology. I’m very encouraged that most of us, male and female, can see McGinn as the silly ass he is. (I do recognize the seriousness of what he did–I just don’t think that precludes ridicule)

    May McGinn’s name become a verb. Remember years ago the Philosophers Dictionary that included such verbs as “to chisholm”? “McGinn” is practically a verb already. In conjugates quite naturally: “mcginn, mcgann, has mcgunn.” Example: “Clarence Thomas mcgann Anita Hill.” “Dominique Strauss-Kahn had mcgunn a number of women before mcginning that hotel maid.”

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