What’s the difference between Northwestern and TAM?

In reading more background on the Leiter story I find interesting things.

Like this post at Feminist Philosophers last March.

Here are two articles from the Tribune and The Daily Northwestern discussing how Ludlow will no longer be teaching this semester, after students planned a walk-out of his class.

Also, here is a link to a Facebook event for the original walkout. It shows 500+ students “attending”, which I am guessing is a mixture of people who were planning on going and people who wanted to show support for the endeavor. You can read a statement of their protest there.

From that protest statement:

“We are upset that the University allows a professor who has been found in violation of this policy to i) continue his employment at Northwestern and ii) be in contact with undergraduate students, graduate students, and TAs.”

You can compare that to this quote from the Daily Northwestern article:

“[The administration] understood why people would be uncomfortable taking classes with Professor Ludlow,” Stephens [a student] said. “But they were also saying that’s not the view of all students. Some students want to take this particular class.”


Contra the viewpoint of the administration as expressed by Stephens in the quote above, this walk-out does not seem to be about individual students feeling “uncomfortable” taking a class with Ludlow.  Rather, as they put it in their protest statement, students are upset that the university’s would choose to have Ludlow retain his full teaching and mentoring duties with students even after he was found in violation of the sexual harassment policy.

That sounds familiar. I open the Tribune article.

A Northwestern University philosophy professor who was recently sued on allegations he sexually attacked a student two years ago will not teach the rest of the quarter, the university said today.

Alan Cubbage, a university spokesman, said the chair of the philosophy department will teach the two remaining lectures of the “Philosophy of Psychology” course in Peter Ludlow’s absence. The move comes a day after dozens of students protested how Northwestern handles complaints of sexual misconduct against faculty and its decision not to fire Ludlow.

Yes, that sounds familiar.

A Northwestern student sued Ludlow last month over allegations he got her drunk and sexually attacked her in 2012. She also filed a separate lawsuit against Northwestern, alleging the school mishandled her complaint about the professor.

So does that.

I wonder if any philosophers have taken to Twitter to muse about drinking and driving. That thought led me to a tweet of Richard Dawkins’s that I hadn’t seen before – part of the immortal series of “don’t get drunk and get raped” tweets. This one’s a real masterpiece – I can totally see why Michael Nugent is spending so much time and effort and so many words scolding people who say he’s a liability.

Richard Dawkins
.@mrgregariously Exactly. If you want to drive, don’t get drunk. If you want to be in a position to testify & jail a man, don’t get drunk.

Isn’t that just a motherfucking gem? If you want to be able to say that a man got you drunk and raped you, tough shit, because he got you drunk, so you can’t testify, so hahahahaha sucks to be you. If you want to get raped by a man who tricked you into drinking more than you meant to and realized you were, then don’t bother reporting him afterwards because we’ll all just laugh at you and make stupid mean self-regarding bro-defending tweets about you so you’re screwed. See what I did there hahaha?

Jesus. He’s worse than I realized.

What a lot of rot there is under the woodwork.



  1. says

    This whole comment is TW/CW. It is ugly as shit describing what seems to be going on in the heads of people like Dawkins, and I hate myself a whole bunch that I feel like I know what they’re thinking.

    I’ve been saying all along that Dawkins goes out of his way to erase the entire existence of rapists in order to protect his friend(s) who rape(s) people. As though women go out and get raped because they’ve been dreaming of accusing someone of rape since early childhood. According to Dawkins, women “want to be in a position to testify & jail a man”… rather than preferring not being raped and wanting to be in a much happier position. And the rapist? Apparently he was tricked/trapped into it by a dastardly evil women who got it in their heads to risk pregnancy/STDs/death in order to maybe someday trap a totally innocent man into raping them while they’re unconscious. According to Dawkins, there aren’t rapists, only men tricked by women into committing rape against their will.

  2. says

    t Dawkins goes out of his way to erase the entire existence of rapists in order to protect his friend(s) who rape(s) people

    … Friends who’d throw him under a bus in a heartbeat to protect themselves, if it came down to it.

  3. says

    If you want to be in a position to testify & jail a man,

    Yeah…seriously, who wants to be in that position?!?! The only words I have for that are a string of expletives.

  4. says

    It’s so vile I haven’t even processed all the ways it’s vile yet.

    I wonder if Michael Nugent will write any posts about that tweet. No I don’t; of course he won’t. He’s staked his reputation on Dawkins’s reputation, so he can ‘t.

  5. johnthedrunkard says

    So ignorant, so incoherent.

    If you want to be able to testify & jail an armed robber, don’t get shot!

    I recently re-read Shermer’s ‘The Unlikeliest Cult’ essay. I’d forgotten how deeply he clings to the worst of Randroidism. The essay ONLY addresses Rand’s failing regarding her affair with Nathaniel Branden. Shermer still embraces her wholehearted endorsement of the pursuit of self-gratification at the expense of others.

    AND: Rand’s philosophical incapacity to address the existence of alcoholism or addiction—while her husband drank himself to death and she declined in a haze of tobacco smoke and speed—seems to dovetail with Shermer’s rationalization of his own behavior.

  6. Pteryxx says

    Reposting from the Lounge –

    Adam Lee just posted a piece calling out the “wall of silence” protecting Shermer – specifically Randi, Dawkins, Nugent, Coyne – and DJ Grothe, because Pamela Gay has gone on the record.

    …Today I received the following threat from the person I thought was my friend, the person who intervened for me, person B. It was in the context of trying to get me to say nothing ever happened. He wrote, “I will also publicly speak about this as necessary, providing all documentation as necessary, including photos, emails, etc., and contact all relevant employers, as well.” He cc’d Famous Person A.

    I’ve corresponded with Dr. Gay, and she’s agreed to speak on the record. According to her, “person B” is D.J. Grothe, the former president of the James Randi Educational Foundation. (The Buzzfeed article cited Grothe as saying that “he had never once received a complaint” about Shermer’s behavior.)

    The Wall of Silence Around Michael Shermer

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