It’s Up to Five
Update on update. Just by way of reporting, because I think it’s interesting, as a display of apparently unembarrassed irrationality and Bad Argument. I mean, this is a guy who teaches philosophy, at a university; a guy who, one of our readers reports, has written a book about bad arguments. And yet here he is. He doesn’t have time to answer everyone who disagrees with him, he wrote yesterday, and yet so far he has posted no fewer than five complaints about ‘the lack of decency, civility, and common sense’ and the illogic of people at Crooked Timber who take exception to his doggy analogy. And yet the posts at CT are in fact substantive; B-J could easily have addressed that substance; he never has; he just keeps announcing that he is an outsider and that explains all. That’s such an obvious diversionary tactic that one would think he would refrain from using it merely on prudential grounds. But no.
If you think I’m making this up, read the posts and letters at Crooked Timber. Note the ganging up. Note the attempt to build solidarity within liberalism by attacking outsiders, such as me. Note the snide, condescending comments. Note the lack of decency, civility, and common sense. Note the illogic. These are people who are sworn by their universities to seek truth. They don’t give a damn about truth.
Note the attempt to get people to note things that aren’t in fact there, on the basis of nothing but a series of imperatives. He doesn’t quote, he doesn’t give examples, he just asserts. And he continues to do nothing whatever to address what is actually being discussed. Why doesn’t he just confound their knavish tricks by explaining why his analogy is perfectly appropriate? Since he’s presumably sworn by his university to seek truth and all. Several people have suggested that he’s just trolling, and it may be so, but it seems awfully self-shooting-in-foot if so. He’s not exactly covering himself with cognitive glory.