An excellent discussion of the way that the “presumption of innocence” is used in internet discussions, by Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa here.
The admonition not to pass judgement about the allegations is simply the admonition to ignore them. “Don’t believe anything unless it’s been proven in a court of law.” But this is just a ludicrous epistemic standard. Do you care whether powerful men in academic philosophy are using their stature to coerce students into compromising sexual situations? Then you should be interested in credible testimony to the effect that this one has been. Don’t be tempted by the fallacious inference from it hasn’t been proven in court to you have no way to tell whether it’s true.
Eric Schliesser notices the strangeness of Pogge’s invocation of lie detector tests here.
I was baffled to read the quoted sentence in Thomas Pogge’s Response to the Allegations (see here) My gut reaction was, “if a mutually agreeable experts can be found, such an expert would be a fraudster.” It is widely known that Polygraph testing is a pseudo-science.
Philosophy Goes Pop on testimonial injustice in discussions of the case here.
This is not an isolated phenomenon. When Bill Cosby was accused of rape by 58 women, a surprising number of people leapt to his defense, delegitimizing the women’s claims altogether as hearsay. We are consistently taught to view women as liars, starting with the stereotype that women are gossips who believe whatever they are told. This stereotype pervades depictions of women who claim to have been assaulted or harassed. In fact, one police unit even called their sexual assault division the ‘Lying Bitches Unit.’ There is a tendency to believe that women are lying about sexual harassment and assault, and to find alternative explanations that exonerate the perpetrators.
Huffington Post here.
Pogge’s response, here.
Buzzfeed, discussing Pogge’s response, here.
Here, we’d welcome discussion from those grappling with how to improve our profession. Those who want to undermine victims’ credibility can head somewhere else. We’ll be confining ourselves to useful discussion.