I hadn’t realized that that was a fundamental philosophical dictum, but it’s sure looking that way. Thomas Pogge, a very big name in philosophical ethics, has been accused of being a serial sexual harasser, all while running a high profile Global Justice program at Yale. I say “accused”, but this very well written, very thorough, well documented account from Buzzfeed doesn’t leave him much wiggle room. As often seems to be the case, we’re looking at decades of constant allegations. He’d been accused when he was at Columbia, but of course that was ignored when Yale hired him. And then the accusations kept coming, and they kept being handled by university administrators who had a vested interest in keeping their superstar happy.
“It breaks my heart to have to say it,” said Christia Mercer, a former colleague from the Columbia philosophy department, “but it’s clear that Thomas uses his reputation as a supporter of justice to prey unjustly on those who trust and admire him, who then — once victimized — are too intimidated by his reputation and power to tell their stories.”
It is dismaying that someone can cultivate a public reputation for morality while acting as such a creepy sleaze with students.