philosophy meta-forum

Challenging the Lemoine Consensus

George

132 day(s) ago

Prominent philosophy blogs (e.g. Rightly Considered, Leiter) have promoted Lemoine's work basically uncritically, without comment. And others are not willing to speak up (at least not publicly). Perhaps here at the Meta-forum we can discuss Lemoine's inferences from the data in a critical fashion, something others are clearly too afraid to do. Here is the link for reference:

https://necpluribusimpar.net/women-underrepresented-philosophy-care/

So: are there any ways in which Lemoine's statistical analysis goes wrong? Does he import any pure speculation into it? Are there any ways in which he goes beyond what the data warrant? Does he fail to consider, or fail to give proper weight to, alternative explanations?

Holly

132 day(s) ago

Since sexism is most certainly the cause, and Lemoine's analysis suggests otherwise, it must be wrong. I can know without looking at his argument that it either contains mistaken premises or errors in reasoning.

Enver

132 day(s) ago

Good thread. I don't have much to add, since I think I largely agree with Lemoine. But I'm interested to hear the criticisms people come up with.

Christopher

132 day(s) ago

Since sexism is most certainly the cause, and Lemoine's analysis suggests otherwise, it must be wrong. I can know without looking at his argument that it either contains mistaken premises or errors in reasoning.

Holly

Such a funny, funny parody - but not the sort of serious, critical analysis the meta-forum is here to provide. No one else is willing to publicly get into the weeds and discuss Lemoine's analysis. Let's do that here, because we are not afraid.

Nelson

132 day(s) ago

"One particularly puzzling aspect of academic and public dialogue about implicit prejudice research has been the dearth of attention paid to the finding that men usually do not exhibit implicit sexism, while women do show pro-female implicit attitudes..."

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2973929

Roderick

132 day(s) ago

If there were serious flaws in Lemoine's argument the femphils & co would already have taken it apart. But as was the case with Wallace and the Gendered Conference Campaign, when they lose an argument they typically choose to look away and keep repeating their propaganda. They are bad at philosophy but good at politics.

Herman

132 day(s) ago

If there were serious flaws in Lemoine's argument the femphils & co would already have taken it apart. But as was the case with Wallace and the Gendered Conference Campaign, when they lose an argument they typically choose to look away and keep repeating their propaganda. They are bad at philosophy but good at politics.

Roderick

This is just the kind of uncritical promotion we're getting from the major blogs. At the metaforum we should be willing to take a critical look at Lemoine's work. Who will do this?

Miriam

131 day(s) ago

Wallace would be the best person to do it. But nobody publishes null findings. My guess really is that so far nobody has found important problems with the analysis.

Hilary

130 day(s) ago

Seems pretty clear now that there was nothing wrong with Lemoine's analysis, given the deafening silence here and elsewhere.

Peg

130 day(s) ago

The Ghent Balloon has a post on Facebook:

"There is a lot to be said about this post, some of it already said wisely by Liam Kofi Bright (and the commentators on his fb page). But if you take the (rather confusing) graph and the data-analysis that support it at face value, it basically tells you (unless I am still confused) that *more women* than men leave philosophy relative to the number of women and men initially interested in it. (This is true for all disciplines in the bottom left quadrant.) And, as a discipline, philosophy (a discipline near the curve) does worse on this score than economics (a discipline that is well above the curve) even though philosophy and economics start out with more or less the same reported interest. If we take the pipeline metaphor seriously, than economics keeps women in the pipeline at a better rate than philosophy's leaky one. So, even at face value, this data here do not support an optimistic interpretation of the disciplinary status quo."

I'm not really sure what he's talking about, though. Eyeballing the graph, the proportion of women among freshmen who declared the intention to major in philosophy is 0.31, while the proportion of women among phd recipients is 0.29; so the effect is hardly a major one. And indeed most subjects -- econ being one of the only few exceptions -- are also on the same side of the trend line, so philosophy is in the company of notoriously sexist subjects like anthropology and English (where the % of women phds is ~0.6).

I'm not friends with Liam Kofi Bright, so I don't know what he says in his post. Anyone?

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