Revealing story on attitudes regarding McGinn

It’s an understatement to say that they haven’t found many philosophers still willing to defend McGinn, though they appear to have tried hard to do so. Here’s what I say in the story, which I firmly believe to be true. The outpouring of support for Monica Morrison from the philosophical community has confirmed my impression.

Jennifer Saul, who teaches at the University of Sheffield and is director of the Society for Women in Philosophy UK, believes few supporters of McGinn remain. “There is, from what I can tell, near universal agreement that he acted appallingly,” she said.

Coming forward as a victim of sexual harassment in the philosophy world is incredibly risky, Saul said, but she believes things are changing.

“There’s an increasing understanding of these dynamics, and so I think a lessened tendency to view victims as ‘troublemakers,’ and actually increasing admiration for their bravery in speaking out,” Saul said.

For more, go here.

Trigger Warnings and our “incapacity to unexperience”

I just want to draw readers attention to a really interesting piece by Leigh Johnson over at her blog

A few weeks ago in my Philosophy and Film course, we screened Werner Hertzog‘s film Grizzly Man for our “documentary” week. Grizzly Man tells the story of Timothy Treadwell, who spent thirteen summers in the Alaskan wilderness living with grizzly bears– all the while filming his trans-species communion– before being tragically attacked and killed by a bear in 2003. Treadwell was filming on the day that he died, though he did not have time to remove the lens caps from his camera before being attacked, so there remains only an audio recording of his (and his girlfriend, Anna Huguenard’s) gruesome death. Hertzog does not include that audio in his documentary.  In fact, there is a scene in the film where we see Hertzog listening to the recording for the first time and then, afterwards, remarking to Treadwell’s friend: “You must never listen to this.” What is more, in a gesture practicallyverboten for documentary filmmakers, Hertzog instructs Treadwell’s friend to destroy the tape.

You can literally hear the regret in Hertzog’s voice, his longing to unring the bell, as he instructs Treadwell’s friend to destroy the recording.  For cinephiles like myself, this is an especially powerful injunction, coming as it does from Hertzog, a man who was once shot during an interview and responded only with the calmly stoic remark: “it was not a significant bullet.”

. . . I’m still unsure if we should have listened to the recording in class or not.  If we had–which, again, we did not–this would have constituted (for me, anyway) an unequivocal case for a trigger warning. That this is an “unequivocal” case is important, as I’ve found myself increasingly ambivalent about the merits and demerits of trigger warnings over the last year or so.

Read the whole piece here.