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Catarina Dutilh Novaes
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By Catarina Dutilh Novaes A bit over five years ago I wrote a blog post on Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber’s then-recently published paper on their argumentative theory of reasoning. At that point I was about to start a research project on deductive reasoning, having as my main hypothesis the... Continue reading
I really like this point! This kind of openness to receive the reason as an epistemic asset does indeed look a lot like norms against rudeness in gift-exchange situations from this respect. One thing I haven't mentioned here, but was pointed out to me by Havi Carel when I gave a presentation on similar material, is the importance of listening, so to speak, really paying attention and remaining open to the other person's reasons being offered.
By Catarina Dutilh Novaes I am currently supervising a MA thesis on interpersonal justification (by Sebastiano Lommi), and this is providing me with the opportunity to connect the dots between a number of topics and questions I’ve been interested in for years. In particular questions pertaining the epistemic value of... Continue reading
By Catarina Dutilh Novaes Yesterday the Guardian published the results of a research conducted on the over 70 million comments that have been placed at Guardian articles over the years. The question was: is there a pattern in who gets most abusive comments? Given the Guardian’s policy to block comments... Continue reading
Well, be that as it may, the referee process seems to have failed, as the paper should not have been published in its current form - containing what you refer to as the 'idiotic things' he said. (The term 'idiotic' is btw now considered to be offensive, but you will probably say that this too is an exaggeration? And I mean no irony here, just to be clear.) These should have been caught in the refereeing process. I don't think JYB is a particularly homophobic or sexist person (not more than your average male academic in any case); I just think these remarks were made in a lighthearted tone but turned out to be infelicitous.
People have had different reactions to the (alleged) homophobic content of the passage. Speaking only for myself, what bothers me is that it is not a thorough, careful defense of a position (say, a critique of homosexuality). Instead it is a lighthearted, careless comparison intended to be 'funny' which packs in a lot of contentious presuppositions. So I'd say this just goes along with the lack of careful argumentation in the paper.
Wow Greg, that's hilarious! You had forgotten all about it, haha... But also, in your tweet linked to above, you were not sufficiently explicit on the paper's quality I suppose, hence the fact that people didn't pay that much attention back then. (I for one don't think I saw the tweet at all back then, but I'm not very good at keeping up with Twitter anyway...)
Agreed that the special issue thing seems to be the main problem with Synthese's editorial policies at the moment. I also agree that there is a difference between papers that seem competent at first sight, and that only at a later stage emerge as problematic (say, if fraud in how the data were assembled is discovered), and cases such as this one. But my impression is that outside philosophy too there are cases similar to this one, i.e. that obviously bad papers get published because of some flaw in the refereeing process.
I agree with pretty much everything you say, and I can see that my final paragraph may be read as suggesting that we 'go back' to more heuristics-based ways of evaluating people, which we of course know will be prone to all kinds of biases: pedigree biases, gender, racial, nationality etc. That's certainly not what I wanted to suggest, and taking publication record as metrics is in any case an improvement over these other ways of evaluating someone. However, I think the mistake that is often made is that publication record is viewed as a completely reliable, objective way to assess someone's qualities as a scholar. Given that we know how skewed the whole publishing business is (as per the above, among others), we should view it for what it is: an imperfect measure of someone's qualities and potential. What I mean is that there are truly excellent people with less than stellar publication record, whereas others who somehow manage to publish in top venues and yet whose work is much less creative and groundbreaking. Recently I was talking to an extremely talented junior female philosopher. She was telling me that she has a number of publications on more traditional themes, which get accepted at fancy places easily. She herself considers many of these pieces to be plain boring, nit-picking on some argument put forward by someone else. In contrast, the work she does that she herself considers to be much more interesting and important, but which is on less mainstream themes, is getting rejection after rejection. This just to illustrate that our editorial practices within philosophy seem to be skewed towards publishing conservative, not very ambitious work.
I agree. (And have I said thank you for handling my dialectica submission so diligently, Philipp? :) )
By Catarina Dutilh Novaes All of you reading this will certainly have witnessed the uproar this week in response to a paper published in Synthese which is problematic, to say the least, for a number of different reasons. (It is worth noticing, as has been often noticed, that this paper... Continue reading
Indeed, it is precisely this different model of interaction, give-and-take, which is widely present in other social practices, that I want to bring in in a discussion about argumentation. There is in fact work on argumentation as bargaining, which I am not yet very familiar with, but which is on my to-read list. (Fortunately I have colleagues who have been working on argumentation theory for years, and so I know where to turn to...).
Thanks for these very useful comments. The point you raise about the choice of metaphor sounding like a matter of consumer choice is very interesting, and points towards an important meta-philosophical question: should we be analyzing the concept of argumentation as it emerges from existing practices, or should we perhaps try to formulate a concept of argumentation that might help *improve* existing practices? (Ameliorative conceptual engineering.) For a number of reasons, I see myself involved in the latter project, and so in this case it is justified to look for potentially more fruitful ways of thinking about argumentation. As for your second point, the therapy conception is probably not intrinsically paternalistic, as you suggest. As it may be based on symmetric relationships between therapist and 'patient' (who may for example be the same person, as you point out). But certainly in some of the more cooperative of Plato's dialogues, Socrates clearly assumes the role of 'teacher', which of course is not a bad thing as such, but it is only one of the modes of cooperative interaction that I want to countenance.
Thanks for the comments. I think what you describe falls roughly under the 'therapy' metaphor, which as I said I do like quite a bit, even if there are aspects of it that I think may be problematic. But what seems important is to recognize that there is a plurality of such kinds of exchanges, and one of them may well be the one you describe, which may involve an asymmetry between participants (thus resembling the teacher-pupil model).
Thank you! This is very much in line with what authors such as my colleague E. Krabbe and Lavery have said (in e.g. the Protagoras), and I will definitely check it out! I haven't read any Gadamer for years and years, time to go back :)
Thank you! Lots of useful material here. I often use the dance metaphor too, especially as certain forms of dance display precisely cooperation and a form of adversariality combined (say, tango). I'm familiar with some but not all the sources you mention here, so definitely very useful. The one bit that I am very familiar with is the work of Walton, as I work closely with Erik Krabbe, who in turn has worked closely with Walton.
By Catarina Dutilh Novaes It is well known that philosophers like to argue, and one of the things they like to argue about is arguing itself. Argumentation is frequently (and rightly, to my mind) taken to be a core feature of philosophical practice, and thus how to argue becomes a... Continue reading
Thanks all for the comments and congratulations! :)
Well, I distinguished two kinds of luck, privilege-luck and fluke-luck. But yes, privilege-luck runs across all professional fields; what is particular to academia, and philosophy more than other fields, is that the competition is very stiff and so the gamble is much riskier.
By Catarina Dutilh Novaes I’ve just been promoted to (junior)* full professor in Groningen, and while I’m still duly enjoying the accompanying feeling of achievement and recognition, it got me thinking about how I got here. It does not take much to conclude that, while I've worked incredibly hard for... Continue reading
By Catarina Dutilh Novaes (Cross-posted at M-Phi) “A B C It's easy as, 1 2 3 As simple as, do re mi A B C, 1 2 3 Baby, you and me girl” 45 years ago, Michael Jackson and his troupe of brothers famously claimed that counting is easy peasy.... Continue reading
Yes, so I feel that the idea of a transformative experience, if it is described as an utterly individual experience, might have some problematic consequences for the kind of political intervention that seems desirable in a number of cases, e.g. the issue of paternity leave.
Yes, your case illustrates exactly the point I was trying to make in the post: while there is much that you can't predict with life-changing experiences, you can predict at least some of it. One thing that's absolutely clear in a number of ways (personal accounts, statistics etc.) is how important it is for fathers to have parental leave when a child arrives. Good for you, Julien! :)