philosophy meta-forum

Tuvel Outrageously Given A Further Platform

Derek

8 day(s) ago

“This is entirely consistent with trannyism being a pathology brought about by constant exposure to an unhealthy social reality. Think about it: if you live in America and aren't in the South you are being bombarded by 24/7 messaging that being a man is "toxic", that being a (neurotic and unstable) woman is great, and that being gay is cool and desirable.”

This is the dumbest thing I’ve read in my life. Intense body dysmorphia doesn’t arise from people telling you “masculinity is toxic.” Transgenderism also existed in early recorded history and is not the product of our current sociocultural moment.

Pasquale

Fags are obsessed with molesting young boys, and surprise, a high rate of boys molested by fags go on to be fags and other sexual deviants.

You sound like one of those battle-trannies that likes to chimp out on social media. Well that crap doesn't work here on the metablog.

Wonhyo

8 day(s) ago

“This is entirely consistent with trannyism being a pathology brought about by constant exposure to an unhealthy social reality. Think about it: if you live in America and aren't in the South you are being bombarded by 24/7 messaging that being a man is "toxic", that being a (neurotic and unstable) woman is great, and that being gay is cool and desirable.”

This is the dumbest thing I’ve read in my life. Intense body dysmorphia doesn’t arise from people telling you “masculinity is toxic.” Transgenderism also existed in early recorded history and is not the product of our current sociocultural moment.

Pasquale

Fags are obsessed with molesting young boys, and surprise, a high rate of boys molested by fags go on to be fags and other sexual deviants.

You sound like one of those battle-trannies that likes to chimp out on social media. Well that crap doesn't work here on the metablog.

Derek

Shut the fuck up Derek. You are a moron, you are not funny or clever, and you have never in your life gotten up the balls to talk to someone that way in the real world, let alone back it up. Move along scum.

Wonhyo

8 day(s) ago

“This is entirely consistent with trannyism being a pathology brought about by constant exposure to an unhealthy social reality. Think about it: if you live in America and aren't in the South you are being bombarded by 24/7 messaging that being a man is "toxic", that being a (neurotic and unstable) woman is great, and that being gay is cool and desirable.”

This is the dumbest thing I’ve read in my life. Intense body dysmorphia doesn’t arise from people telling you “masculinity is toxic.” Transgenderism also existed in early recorded history and is not the product of our current sociocultural moment.

Pasquale

Fags are obsessed with molesting young boys, and surprise, a high rate of boys molested by fags go on to be fags and other sexual deviants.

You sound like one of those battle-trannies that likes to chimp out on social media. Well that crap doesn't work here on the metablog.

Derek

Shut the fuck up Derek. You are a moron, you are not funny or clever, and you have never in your life gotten up the balls to talk to someone that way in the real world, let alone back it up. Move along scum.

Wonhyo

And sorry that your 200+ likes from the metabronies can't be traded for a new life where you aren't a worthless cur.

Lev

8 day(s) ago

Mad pedo fag spotted in the wild.

Hu

8 day(s) ago

Mad pedo fag spotted in the wild.

Lev

Intellectual and moral lightweight.

Fazang

7 day(s) ago

Jesus Christ Liam Kofi, the pieces don't talk about the TUVEL AFFAIR, they talk about TUVEL'S PAPER precisely because the AFFAIR obscured discussions of her PAPER. It says that RIGHT in the fucking INTRODUCTION to the Philosophy Today issue, and Justin QUOTED that line in the goddamned daily nous post.

These fucking trendy identity-politics heroes in our field are insufferably stupid sometimes and it's impossible for an institutionally vulnerable person like me to reply to them without fear of consequences. Thank you metaforum, for the space.

Jon

7 day(s) ago

“Needless to say, though, some researchers are stretching hard to find something biological that's in some way relevant. When progressives want something to be true, social science and psychology hop to and immediately try to find it.”

This is also pure bullshit. The John Money/ David Reimer case shows pretty well that gender identity isn’t the product of socialization alone. But that also suggests it is extremely implausible that being trans is purely a product of social forces or straightforwardly a choice. If you don’t know what study I’m talking about you haven’t even taken baby steps toward an informed view about this subject.

Pasquale

David Reimer said that as a child, he looked in the mirror and saw that he looked like a boy. He also developed with a penis for the first few months of his life, so perhaps his neural pathways reflect that. He used to try and pee standing up, without a penis, even before he finally found out that his penis had been burned off when he was a few months old.

Reimer's story does not validate claims about innate gender identity: he is a one-off case in a very particular and bizarre situation, constantly getting told by people who knew he was actually a boy that he was a girl. And even if it is true that people are born with an innate gender identity, that doesn't mean that we should think of gender identity as the essential determinant of sex.

Wonhyo

7 day(s) ago

So "isn't the product of socialization alone" means "innate/ the essential determinant?"

Wonhyo

7 day(s) ago

Read shit bros

Robert

7 day(s) ago

jesus christ, the number of blindingly idiotic statements in Botts' piece is astounding. Here's just one gem:

" In many ways the ideological divide between the analytic and continental traditions on the degree of importance of lived experiences in addressing any philosophical question is an instantiation of the age old divide between East and West, between art and the humanities on the one hand and science on the other. "

'East' = art and humanities and 'West' = science. Nice bit of orientalism there. Time to round up the twitter mob!

Ted

7 day(s) ago

Ooooh let's have a Botts Brouhaha! (And officially rechristen the 'Tuvel Affair' the 'Tuvel To-Do'.)

Troy

7 day(s) ago

Botts's piece has nothing worth reading at all until section IV, and even that stuff is garbage.

Troy

7 day(s) ago

Botts's piece has nothing worth reading at all until section IV, and even that stuff is garbage.

Huai

6 day(s) ago

Anyway blithely mocking people with a severe mental illness manifesting in delusions as “deciding to become a woman one day” is as reprehensible and wrong headed as mocking people who were born that way.

Pasquale

You seem to think that people are denying that some people might want to be the other sex--or even perhaps feel as if they are the other sex--and that that might, in some cases, have some biological basis.

I would never deny that--it's an empirical, medical/psychological question. You also seem, at points, to think that it's those expressing skepticism about "trans" ideology that are saying that it's always a matter of mere preference and "social construction."

None of that is exactly right.

The question of whether and why some people have certain strange feelings and false beliefs about their sex is an empirical one. Now, I know that psychology, medicine and social science tend to conform themselves to progressive preferences, so I *am* skeptical about studies that are tripping all over themselves to find what progressives want. Also note that studies like Blanchard's that conclude that the phenomenon is largely a manifestation of a sexual fetish are now ignored for what seem like political reasons.

But none of that is relevant to the most common objections. Mostly people like me are pointing out that it doesn't matter how the medical studies turn out, because nothing about them can support the claim that "transgendered" men literally *are* women. (And vice-versa.) The philosophical arguments that try to show that they are are all a total bust. It's the philosophical left (or whatever we want to call it) that leans on social constructionism to claim that...well...the bad arguments are numerous...but things like: occupying a "woman's social role" can literally transform a man into a woman because *man* and *woman* have nothing to do with biology, but are social kinds. (Which would make your appeals to biology *entirely* irrelevant, actually...). You can't change your sex by feeling, nor by dressing differently, nor any such thing. In a way, you and I disagree less than you and they disagree, because at least you and I agree that biology is in play. Alternatively, they claim that mere feelings and beliefs are sufficient to make women into men (and vice-versa), and that these are privileged mental states that cannot be wrong and cannot be questioned (though they don't usually say that flat-out).

Back to the medical stuff, sort of: there's also the fact that the psychology seems to do what it's told on this issue, calling transgenderism a mental illness when progressives think that some territory can be captured in that way, then saying it isn't when progressives tell them they shouldn't. Flip-flopping on its inclusion in the DSM, for example.

Then there's the totalitarian bit where we're all told that we must believe this nonsense and pay lip service to it, along with ever more intrusive demands that we misuse English because people want us to use pronouns that aren't properly applied to them. Then there's the the general PC dogpiling problem--that the shrieking hordes accuse you of every horrible thing you can think of if you point out what's obvious to everyone--that the emperor has no clothes.

Then there's the laughable inconsistency of demanding that we *must* believe that Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner is a woman, but we *must not* believe that Rachel Dolezal is black.

Anyway, there are legitimate doubts about the biology / psychology. But those aren't really central.

Ehrenfried

6 day(s) ago

Huai-

"Then there's the totalitarian bit where we're all told that we must believe this nonsense and pay lip service to it, along with ever more intrusive demands that we misuse English because people want us to use pronouns that aren't properly applied to them. "

As contemporary analytic philosophers are wont to do when addressing anything that isn't a logic puzzle, you are completely missing the point. You can quibble about whether the word "woman" refers to sex or gender until the cows home. I don't care. What I care about is how we think of people in this situation, which no matter how you slice it is somewhat tragic (both due to their own psychological pain caused by dysphoria and society's misunderstanding and demonization). But the hard questions of how to think about these issue (if you have a trans child, for example, and are debating how to best care for them) can't be scratched if you deny the psychological reality of what is going on. Also while you pay lip service to respecting the empirical situation, you bely that you do not when writing "we must believe this nonsense" as if we all started talking about the world the way you like we wouldn't have these hard problems of collective living.

Aloysius

6 day(s) ago

Huai-

"Then there's the totalitarian bit where we're all told that we must believe this nonsense and pay lip service to it, along with ever more intrusive demands that we misuse English because people want us to use pronouns that aren't properly applied to them. "

As contemporary analytic philosophers are wont to do when addressing anything that isn't a logic puzzle, you are completely missing the point. You can quibble about whether the word "woman" refers to sex or gender until the cows home. I don't care. What I care about is how we think of people in this situation, which no matter how you slice it is somewhat tragic (both due to their own psychological pain caused by dysphoria and society's misunderstanding and demonization). But the hard questions of how to think about these issue (if you have a trans child, for example, and are debating how to best care for them) can't be scratched if you deny the psychological reality of what is going on. Also while you pay lip service to respecting the empirical situation, you bely that you do not when writing "we must believe this nonsense" as if we all started talking about the world the way you like we wouldn't have these hard problems of collective living.

Ehrenfried

Nothing but great swelling words of emptiness.

Enrique

6 day(s) ago

You seem so intelligent, resorting to insults rather than attacking the substance of the post. Go back to Intro to Philosophy kiddo- you seem to have gotten stuck there.

Georgi

6 day(s) ago

I didn't personally insult you. I expressed my judgment that your comments were void of substance.

Enrique

6 day(s) ago

I didn't personally insult you. I expressed my judgment that your comments were void of substance.

Georgi

I have on honest question- do you have any expertise in philosophy or the biomedical sciences? If not I really don't don't care what you think because your opinion is not educated.

Enrique

6 day(s) ago

Because I'm trying, as someone who does, to have a good faith intellectual discussion about these issues and you seem to be a fairly uninformed person quoting a bible verse in response.

Enrique

6 day(s) ago

The comments do have substance, which is why I find it insulting for you to (mistakenly) imply that they don't I kindly suggest taking up the argument or finding somewhere else to quote scripture and leaving discussions like this for people who have read/ have some relevant expertise on the topics.

Georgi

6 day(s) ago

In your post, you reference casually the notion of a "trans child." How am I supposed to argue rationally with someone who is so confused? Honestly, it makes me sad to see how confused people have become.

Enrique

6 day(s) ago

In your post, you reference casually the notion of a "trans child." How am I supposed to argue rationally with someone who is so confused? Honestly, it makes me sad to see how confused people have become.

Georgi

Again, if you do not understand the basic medical literature on this topic, please leave.

Georgi

6 day(s) ago

I see no need to attempt to understand that literature if it suggests that there exist trans children. Should I consult literature that implies there's unicorns and square circles, too?

Porphyry

6 day(s) ago

Huai,

We do have some basic points of agreement that I passed over too quickly. Tuvel’s argument from equivalence is right if you take these things to be just matters of social declaration, what her discussion misses is that there is no genuine psychological phenomenon of transracialism.

Huai

6 day(s) ago

Ehrenfried (and possibly Porphyry),

It may be of interest that I don't consider myself an analytic philosopher except in a very broad sense of 'analytic.' In narrower senses, I think that analytic philosophy was very wrong.

But I don't think I missed the point, and I don't think anything I said is peculiar to analytic philosophy. I think I basically answered your objections. I don't think you previously raised the points you raise here. So I don't think I was missing the point. I think you may have raised points that you later judged not to be the ones that you were really interested in. I hope that suggestion isn't too assholish.

I don't think it's controversial that there are questions of fact in play as well as questions of morality. My main objections to "trans" ideology focus on the former: Jenner, for example, is not a woman, and all the arguments that claim to show he is are terrible. If the trans ideologues admitted this and simply argued for the moral point that we are sometimes obligated to believe that people's false beliefs are true, about half of our disagreements would disappear immediately. But only about half. And they don't do that. At the risk of sounding even more like an asshole, I think they tend to do what I think you did above: argue on factual grounds until it's clear they're wrong, then switch to moral / political arguments (perhaps including the suggestion that it's their interlocutors who are confused...when I don't think it is.)

In fact, I think that this kind of blurring / bait- and-switch / motte-and-bailey move is very common among the sorts of scholars who created and want to defend trans ideology. Of course I could be wrong.

Also, of course, I think that *your* side is the side that thinks that speaking in certain ways makes things true; I certainly don't believe that. My rejection of that point is largely what drives my views.

Anyway: what if trans ideologues were to admit: our factual / descriptive arguments don't work; Jenner isn't a woman; but you are obligated to pretend that he is? We'd still disagree because I think that the truth matters, and that you can't (except, perhaps, under extremely weird circumstances) demand that others believe or pretend to believe your false beliefs about yourself. These sorts of views are way, way, *way* too Orwellian for me. I think they are dangerous in the extreme.

As for getting along with each other and so on: I'm willing to discuss those questions. I simply deny that they are the *only* questions, which is what I think "Continental" types tend to think...or think once they start losing on the other grounds. I'll admit that I doubt that there's much "gender disphoria" out there (and calling it *gender* disphoria is part of one of the problem; it's about sex, not gender.) Blanchard reports that many "MtF" transgenders are motivated by a sexual fetish, and others are homosexuals who desire masculine men and think they have a better chance of getting them if they represent themselves as women. There's no doubt in my mind that much of what we currently see is "transtrenders" jumping on a bandwagon. As for allegedly transgendered children, I have no doubt that we're manufacturing more than we're discovering.

How do we get along with each other?

Well first, here's the very *worst* template: I claim the right to force you to believe my false self-representations. If Smith is allegedly transgendered, he has obligations, too. And it doesn't give him *carte blanche* to make demands on me. The burden doesn't all fall on the rest of us. In fact, the solution is simple, and the same as our tried-and-true liberals answer that has been so successful in other contexts: we are obligated not to interfere with Smith's life and beliefs so long as they don't infringe on our rights. I'm not permitted to beat Smith up because he wears clothes I disapprove of, and I'm not permitted to insist that Smith stop calling himself a woman. But I also have no obligation to believe or pretend to believe that Smith's false self-representations are true. Smith has something akin to a religion. We should treat it as such. As for children: why shouldn't little Johnny get to play with dolls if he wants? But little Johnny should understand that liking "girl things" doesn't make him a girl. That's not what girls are. It's a very simple point. I'm not a parent; perhaps it's harder than I think. But is there any similar case in which we humor such false beliefs...even treat them as sacrosanct? Also, the weird case of children can't be used to draw general conclusions here. I'm no expert on how to deal with persistent, significant false beliefs in kids.

Huai

6 day(s) ago

Porphyry,

I sort of agree that it's possible that transgenderism (a misnomer, but whatevs) in the sense of having certain false beliefs and misleading feelings could turn out to be a real phenomenon, where as transracialism in an analogous sense might not. I'm skeptical, but not *extremely* skeptical. But still that'd only mean: there's a real phenomenon such that some men have a very strong desire (or: persistent real beliefs) that they're women. That should be dealt with as we deal with any other delusions: we should be as kind as possible, which might mean indulging the delusion under certain rather narrow circumstances. We should not, however, declare the delusions true and propose to restructure public policy on that basis.

Also, moving the public discussion in this direction would mean setting aside all the social construction nonsense...which would be a big step forward.

Anita

6 day(s) ago

Porphyry,

I sort of agree that it's possible that transgenderism (a misnomer, but whatevs) in the sense of having certain false beliefs and misleading feelings could turn out to be a real phenomenon, where as transracialism in an analogous sense might not. I'm skeptical, but not *extremely* skeptical. But still that'd only mean: there's a real phenomenon such that some men have a very strong desire (or: persistent real beliefs) that they're women. That should be dealt with as we deal with any other delusions: we should be as kind as possible, which might mean indulging the delusion under certain rather narrow circumstances. We should not, however, declare the delusions true and propose to restructure public policy on that basis.

Also, moving the public discussion in this direction would mean setting aside all the social construction nonsense...which would be a big step forward.

Huai

If we're loose enough about what constitutes a "race" and "identifying as", a particular race, then trans-racialism is definitely a real phenomenon. Many persons of African descent passed as white during the Jim Crow era. Although some may have done this for strategic, pragmatic, and defensive purposes, surely others "identified" as white or, over time, came to "identify" as white.

Porphyry

6 day(s) ago

Thanks for the thoughtful replies- I’d have to write a lot to express the now finer points of agreement/disagreement. In quick, I’d say the anecdote about Johnny still seems to conflate gender non- conformity (people have interests of the other gender) and gender dysphoria (people who genuinely believe their birth sex diverges from their gender). The latter sort of thing - whether you think of it as “real” or “a persistent delusion” can occur extremely young, is not a phase, and (while there are tons of debates about whether nonsurgical transitioning can be helpful in young people) will not respond to conversion therapy. If Johnny is dysphoric rather than non-confirming, he will not respond to the insistence that he is a boy and the issue is not well captured by the phrase “he is a boy who likes girl things.” Currently, the research seems to suggest that people in Johnny’s boat may be happier transitioning in various ways. This doesn’t get at the metaphysical issue of whether Johnny is a boy or a girl or in some sense a boy and in some sense a girl. And it doesn’t get at the question of whether anyone has moral obligations to believe Johnny or whether it is morally praiseworthy if they do or don’t. But acknowledging that there are genuinely people in this situation and that they are not just well described by - say- me (a guy) lying about being a woman or plus the false belief “I am a woman” is important.

RE the transracialism bit- I take the point. I think racial identity is super complicated and I don’t think I could say much more about it without thinking a lot or saying more flat footed things.

Huai

6 day(s) ago

Porphyry,

Thanks right back at you for this also thoughtful reply.

I tend to be interested primarily in what I see as the errors involved in declaring people to actually and literally be of the opposite sex on the basis of feelings and social roles. But I agree, it's important to know more about the actual psychology involved. It's something I've given short shrift. I hereby resolve to look harder in that direction.

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