Brian Leiter on boycotting Synthese

I don’t consider the Intelligent Design movement of much intellectual interest anymore. It remains, however, fascinating from a political and cultural point of view.

So, make what you will about this latest political flap. The ID movement has brought some influence to bear on a usually well-respected philosophy of science journal, Synthese. Brian Leiter describes a boycott effort being organized as a consequence.

This is likely to remain largely an issue in academic circles. Still, it bears watching.

About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12045468316613818510 Blue Devil Knight

    I don't really get Leiter's point. What happened, exactly? He starts en media res and I have no idea, plus he writes so long-windedly I lose patience. Cliffnotes please?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12045468316613818510 Blue Devil Knight

    Wilkins has post about it at his blog. Synthese screwed up, but largely a tempest in a teapot. Boycott is silly, those that want tenure will gladly fill any void produced by a boycott from those that already have it. Leiter seems a bit of a crusader in search of a cause sometimes.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10962948073162156902 Victor Reppert

    It looks to me as if Forrest published an article which portrayed Beckwith as a full-blown advocate of ID, when in fact he isn't one. Beckwith, in his response, pointed this out. The editors of Synthese realized it, and also have standards of proper representation which they realized were not met in Forrest's paper, so they issued their disclaimer.

    But I'll have to look at Wilkins to see if there is something about this situation I have not taken into consideration.

    It is as if, if Beckwith said something positive about ID in some context or other, that he must then be part of the Vast Right-Wing ID Conspiracy that wants to bring all the science buildings down. After all, he's pro-life and anti-gay. This seems to be ideological thinking, the kind that leads people to think that all Muslims from the Middle East are al-Qaeda supporters.

    But I am going to see if there are some facts about this that I am missing.


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