If I can do anything to help the people in the androsphere, it is generally to do what I get paid to do, by a big research hub, for free. What I get paid to do is to teach students how to think and write arguments. Some semesters, those arguments have been in the form of mathematical proofs, and other semesters, those arguments have been in plain English, originating in points that incipient lawyers and philosophers are practicing. Usually, my feedback strikes kids as a bit rough, but you have to take your punches in this life, and that’s that.
Brother Derek was good enough to linkback to an article on his blog, which contains a whole host of poor arguments. I’ll go through just a few here.
Bruce Charlton has a medical degree. He also has an academic master’s degree from Durham University, in the north of England. I got paid to go read one of my papers at Durham, a couple of years ago, and I know some of the faculty there. I like the place a lot, and it regularly churns out tons of thinkers who are brighter than I am. If you ever visit Durham, a quick trip to Hadrian’s Wall is interesting.
I don’t think it’s terrible for Charlton to give his opinion on politics, philosophy or economics; but, it should be noted that his degree is in literature, not politics, philosophy or economics, and if Derek quotes him giving his opinion, it’s dishonest not to point that out. Calling him Professor Charlton, and quoting him giving his opinion, is incredibly poor rhetoric, and it derails any points one might make, before the writer makes them.
All that aside, Bruce G Charlton is a completely discredited source on any topic, because he doesn’t believe in peer review. From nature dot com…
As Kripke and Wittgenstein would remind us, peer review is everything. Some measure of community is a pre-requisite to the notion of truth and meaning, and if you have no one to bounce ideas off of, you’re really just spouting “nine out of ten doctors recommend” nonsense.
They are approximations of truth, often really useful approximations, but ultimately are false because they are not true.
A couple of points:
1. Being “not true” is not a necessary and sufficient condition for being strictly false. This is very basic stuff, and if you are this illogical, you’re not going to win any arguments with serious feminist thinkers.
If you don’t know what I mean, consider these two propositions:
Proposition a is not true, because no one knows (at least with our conventional arithmetic) what the value of one divided by zero is. It doesn’t really mean anything, without a pre-existing axiom to define it. Proposition b, in contrast, is strictly false. By the principle we usually call ‘identity,’ 1 = 1, and 1 != 5. So there’s that.
truth cannot [sic] come from abstraction…
2. Truth can easily come from abstraction, and regularly does. If I write the proposition:
1 = 1
Then by the principle of identity, we can judge that proposition to be true. The numeral ‘1’ is abstract, inasmuch as it is both causally inert and observer independent. The same holds for the equivalence relation between ‘1’ and ‘1’.
I don’t mean to pick on anyone, but if you’re going to write arguments, then make them sound arguments. It’s better not to fraudulently use dodgy sources (like Charlton) and make sure you define the terms you use in the premises.
While Derek admits that the term ‘leftism’ has a very wide lexical range, he never bothers to define it for his argument. For that matter, he never defines ‘metaphysics,’ which is a serious discipline in the university, and which is sort of a joke at the bookstore, where it is used to denote things like crystals, finding one’s spirit animal, and nonsensical pseudosatanic occultnik texts.
Remember: if you can’t win an argument with me, then you stand no chance with our feminist enemies. Given that they’re jockeying to kill you and abuse your children, you have a positive (little joke there) duty to get good at logic and critical thinking.