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UD takes the train up to Boston again today…

… to be with her relative who’s recovering from surgery. She will blog all along the way. She will in particular try to say something meaningful about professors who say outrageous things and professors who say outrageous things.


Somewhere north of Philly. I seem to have said what I wanted to say in this post’s comment thread.

Margaret Soltan, March 8, 2016 8:04AM
Posted in: professors, snapshots from home

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8 Responses to “UD takes the train up to Boston again today…”

  1. dmf Says:

    safe travels.


  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Thanks, dmf. Interesting thing about the Daily Nous coverage – several commenters argue it’s not proper to post on the story at all — too vague, too early —

  3. dmf Says:

    sure, ah yeah always struck by how academic philosophers don’t really bring anything special/particular to these sorts of questions and how they don’t seem to notice this lack when they get to trying to sell/defend their jobs/discipline as somehow necessary parts of higher-ed.

  4. theprofessor Says:

    I suspect that the plagiarized philosopher has an upcoming stay in a mental facility. The Oberlin kook? No doubt they knew exactly what they were getting when they hired her, and her anti-Semitism was seen as a positive, not a problem.

  5. Margaret Soltan Says:

    tp: I’ve now read the philosophy professor’s blog posts on his situation – I’ve read them more than once – and I’ve read the Daily Nous post and comments, as well as various newspaper accounts of this – and it’s difficult to see how this situation represents much more than a mental/spiritual tipping point. If the plagiarism case had more merit than it seems to have, this man’s description of his immediate situation would still be troubling, but one could understand his rage. I can’t see, on the evidence he’s provided, even a rather weak case for plagiarism.

    His situation is a far more interesting one than the Oberlin professor’s. Like a lot of professors I’ve covered on this blog – the most recent being the professor in Florida with moronic and obscene theories about a massacre of elementary school children, and an older one being Colorado’s Ward Churchill, with his equally moronic and obscene 9/11 theories – she is a standard-issue conspiracy theorist whose theories have become so grotesque as to remove her from the realm of responsible public discourse. Though of course it’s totally up to Oberlin how it chooses to play this.

    He’s more interesting because his work looks valuable (hers not so much), and because he seems in principle the sort of person universities should find attractive. He’s for sure on the wild side – anarchistic, out there – but his mind appears to represent the sort of very free thought (but not too free) from which students can often benefit. You shouldn’t leave a serious college, I think, without encountering at least one strange and provocative personality/thinker. In many ways, as I try to “read” this guy, he seems to represent that. But as I say I think he has experienced a tipping point…

  6. Van L. Hayhow Says:

    UD. Interesting that you bring up old friend Ward Churchill. I was thinking of him earlier this week and ran his name through Google. I stumbled upon the AAUP report on the case. I read only the executive summary. I was shocked that they supported him down the line and concluded that no professor should take a job there if they have other options. Did you see the report? I would curious as to your take on it.

  7. dmf Says:


  8. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Van: I think I only read the parts of that report quoted in various newspaper articles. I’ll take a look at it.

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