Tuesday, March 31, 2009

An important perspective on global warming

More controversies to teach, I suppose.

(Thanks, AS.)

There's more.

Monday, March 30, 2009

To Whom It May Concern:

Recent discussions at Leiter's blog suggest that many of us aren't shouldering our share of the burden as referees. I know this is true in my case as I've only refereed three papers. If any editor is in need of a referee, my services are available and I've not yet turned down a request to referee. If any friend or colleague of an editor reads this, feel free to forward my name. I've previously refereed papers for Synthese and Nous. A recent version of my CV can be found here. In the past I've managed to get my reports in on time and have given what I think are pretty good comments. If anyone has any bright ideas about how to get the attentions of editors in need of referees, leave a comment. I was thinking that we might be able to start some sort of webpage/wiki for folks to volunteer their time to referee. If someone with initiative and web savvy wants to do that, that would be peachy.

Changing topic, I wanted to let readers know about Philosopher's Digest. It aims to give reviews of new articles. Reviewers look for pieces that they find interesting and write up a short review. Readers can comment and I think it might be a really nice place for philosophical discussion. At present, there are only a few reviews available. New reviews should be available soon. John Milliken, Ben Dyer, and Galen Foresman serve as PD's editors and I think they've created something really wonderful.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Good news for people who love criticism of nearly true views

Earlier this evening I received word that The Journal of Philosophy has accepted my discussion piece addressing Hawthorne and Stanley's arguments for their Knowledge-Reasons Principle.

I'd be celebrating, but our apartment has been invaded by very many very large dying roaches trying to escape our neighbor's apartment after they brought in the exterminator. It's really very disgusting.

Good news for people who love bad views

According to Gibbons (here), lovers of The Good simply love the idea that reasons and rationality are perspective-dependent. The baddies, on the other hand, think that rationality is perspective-dependent but reasons are perspective-independent. Gibbons is a lover of The Good. I’m a baddie. Here, I want to show that it’s good to be a baddie.

To make this just a tad more precise, let’s introduce two theses:
The Good: Both reasons and rationality are perspective-dependent.
The Bad: Reasons are perspective-independent but rationality is perspective-dependent.

Let’s say that facts about what you believe, how things seem, what you know, what you are in a position to know, and what you are justified in believing are all facts about your perspective. Thus, the fact that believe that there is milk in the fridge, that it seems to you that there is milk in the fridge, that you know there to be milk in the fridge, etc… are all facts about your perspective. The mere fact that there is no milk in the fridge, however, is not a fact about your perspective. I take it that if rationality is perspective-dependent, the facts that determine whether you rationally believe or act on your beliefs strongly supervene upon facts about your perspective and are wholly independent from any further facts that do not strongly supervene upon these facts. I take it that if reasons are perspective-independent, the facts that determine whether you have reason or most reason to believe or act on your beliefs strongly supervene upon facts about your perspective and are wholly independent from any further facts that do not strongly supervene upon these facts. To convince you that you ought to be a baddie, I’ll argue that reasons and rationality are not related in the way that Gibbons suggests they must be in trying to make us all lovers of the good. He thinks that reasons are things that make things reasonable. I shall argue that reasons would make little reasonable if reasons were what the lovers of the good say they are.

Let’s begin with story, Breakfast. The other morning, I went to the kitchen to make breakfast tacos. I had checked the night before to make sure I had all of the ingredients. I had the eggs, the milk, the tortillas, the cheese, the veggies (i.e., onions, spinach, peppers), and the fruits (i.e., tomato and avocado). Because I know Amy rarely eats avocado before lunch, it was reasonable for me to believe the ingredients were still there. I went to the fridge to take out the eggs and veggies. While chopping the veggies, I firmly believed that I would soon have breakfast tacos with avocado. (For the record, I wouldn’t bother to make breakfast tacos if I couldn’t have avocado. In the past, when I’ve discovered I couldn’t have avocado because, say, the avocado on hand has gone bad I’ve always thought it would be better to have granola instead of breakfast tacos without avocado. I’ll pitch the eggs and chopped veggies that I won’t use.) Unfortunately, in plain sight on the door of the fridge was a note saying ‘We’re out of avocado.’ I didn’t notice the note, but I should have. This is where notes like this after left in our apartment. I thought I was having avocado for breakfast but should have known better. If you should have known that ~p, your belief that p is the case isn’t justified.

Imagine a nearby possible world in which I’m the same on the inside down the last qualia, but things in the fridge and on the fridge’s door are different. In that possible world, there is avocado and no note on the door. The belief that I would have avocado for breakfast was based on the same reasonable grounds. Unlike the first case, there was no evidence or potential evidence available to me to override these grounds. So, I’m justified in my belief about breakfast.

Imagine events unfolded slightly differently in our first version of Breakfast. While believing on the basis of the same reasonable grounds that I do in the second version of the story that I have everything within I need to make delicious breakfast tacos I stop chopping the veggies and take the veggies I’ve chopped along with the eggs that I’ve beaten and throw them all away. I reach for the granola and pour myself a bowl. Did I see the note? No. Do I still want breakfast tacos? More than anything. Do I still believe that I have everything I need to get what I want most? Of course. Remember, I didn’t see the note. I still believe that I ought to make the tacos with avocado. I still believe that I can do what I have judged what I ought to do (i.e., make breakfast tacos with fresh avocado) by continuing to chop the veggies and cooking the eggs. I just throw all of it away. Do I know that I’m throwing it all away? Of course! I take the chopping board across the kitchen and scrape the veggies off into the trash. I then pitch the eggs into the trash and wash the bowl. I put the frying pan away. I make granola and eat it. I eat it with a sad look on my face as I believe I should be eating and making tacos and don’t particularly enjoy the taste of soggy granola.

I’m deeply irrational in this version of the story. I believe I ought to make tacos. I believe that I can make tacos only by cutting up an avocado and some veggies. I see no reason not to cut up an avocado and veggies and while nothing I know of prevents me from taking an avocado out of the fridge to cut into strips I do something else instead still believing quite firmly that I ought to make tacos and ought to cut up the avocado and veggies because of that. This much strikes me as obvious. However, some have the intuition that I oughtn’t make the tacos and oughtn’t believe that I ought to do that. That’s because they think that I’m not justified in believing that there is avocado in the fridge. Presumably, you should never believe without justification. If you believe something you epistemically shouldn’t there is a decisive epistemic reason for you to refrain from believing. You need a baddie to make sense of this. According to intuitions that I think everyone shares you are deeply irrational if you stop chopping the veggies and throw away the ingredients for your tacos. That’s because you would believe you ought to do one thing but knowingly you do something else. According to intuitions that I think everyone shares, if you just abandoned your belief that you should make tacos without taking any notice of the note, that would be an irrational move for the mind to make. If there’s a reason for you to make that move, to give up a belief because of evidence you are unaware of, it seems you need a baddie to make sense of this. It’s only the baddie that countenances reasons to modify your mind in ways such that if you were to modify your mind given your perspective we’d judge you as deeply irrational.

This particular objection only works if we say both that the justificatory status of the beliefs in the two stories differ in spite of the sameness of internal grounds. If you think that this is impossible, I have not give you any reason to think that reasons and rationality can come apart. If you think this is possible, you either have very weird intuitions about rationality or ought to see the importance of distinguishing between rational belief and justified belief. The rationality of a belief, it seems, is determined by facts about your perspective and is independent from any further facts that do not supervene upon these facts whereas the justification of a belief depends, inter alia, upon the absence of undefeated reasons not to hold that belief. According to the example above, such reasons can be found on the fridge contained in a note. Unless you are Bishop Berkeley, a good man by all accounts, you don’t think that such reasons are provided by facts that strongly supervene upon the sort of facts that determine whether your beliefs are rational (i.e., facts about your mind).

To defend the good, I suppose someone will either say that I shouldn’t have assumed that I’d get what I want in both versions of Breakfast or say that you can be justified in believing p even if you should have known better than to believe that p. I’ll let them decide which of these options they would prefer. I’ll note that while further attacks on The Good will make use of different examples, our first example gives us a recipe. If you oughtn’t Φ or oughtn’t believe p, there is an undefeated reason for you not to Φ or not to believe p. Such undefeated reasons are conclusive. It follows from The Good and the claim that there’s a conclusive reason not to Φ or not to believe p that if you Φ or believe p in spite of this reason, you believe or act irrationally. Just to avoid any confusion, in addition to talking about reasons and rationality I’ll sometimes also say something about justification. Justification, it seems, is a deontological notion in at least this sense. You shouldn’t ever believe without justification or perform unjustifiable actions and if your actions and attitudes are justified you’re not obliged to act or believe differently. Since I can keep constructing these cases I think it's good to be a baddie. I don't see that it's all that great to poison your neighbors (here) or eat the brains that used to belong to people from nearby tribes (here).

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What a Kalamity!

Andrew's post over at Prosblogion reminded me of this:

I think it's around 3:20 that you get something like this:
Philosophically, the idea of an infinite past seems absurd. Just think about it. If the universe never had a beginning then the series of past events in the universe is infinite. But, mathematicians recognize that the existence of an actually existing number of things leads to self-contradictions. For example, "What is infinity minus infinity?

I can't tell you how many times I've heard some variant on this in class or in coffee shops from kids yammering on and on about actual and potential infinities. Having taken three semesters of Calculus (during which time I completed Calc I and II!), I think I'm almost qualified to weigh in on this one.

Craig likes to argue that there must have been only a finite number of moments prior to this one on the grounds that there cannot be an actual infinity of anything. To bring out the absurdity of an actual infinite collection, he asks us to consider the following example:
Let us imagine a hotel with a finite number of rooms. Suppose, furthermore, that all the rooms are full. When a new guest arrives asking for a room, the proprietor apologizes, "Sorry, all the rooms are full." But now let us imagine a hotel with an infinite number of rooms and suppose once more that all the rooms are full. There is not a single vacant room throughout the entire infinite hotel. Now suppose a new guest shows up, asking for a room. "But of course!" says the proprietor, and he immediately shifts the person in room #1 into room #2, the person in room #2 into room #3, the person in room #3 into room #4 and so on, out to infinity. As a result of these room changes, room #1 now becomes vacant and the new guest gratefully checks in. But remember, before he arrived, all the rooms were full! Equally curious, according to the mathematicians, there are now no more persons in the hotel than there were before: the number is just infinite. But how can this be? ... But Hilbert's Hotel is even stranger than the German mathematician gave it out to be. For suppose some of the guests start to check out. Suppose the guest in room #1 departs. Is there not now one less person in the hotel? Not according to the mathematicians-but just ask the woman who makes the beds!

Maybe this is too quick, but isn't an answer to Craig's question that the mathematicians and the cleaning lady are both right in their own way? If the guest in room #1 is, say, Wes and he checks out at 9:00 a.m., then when the cleaning lady says at 10:00 a.m. "There is one less person in the hotel now than there was earlier this morning, his name was Wes" I think she speaks truthfully. No mathematician would deny this. If the mathematician says that "There are not fewer members in the set of guests in HH at 8:59 a.m. than there are in the set of guests at 10:00 a.m." I think the mathematician speaks truthfully. Here the mathematician is working from the idea that one set has fewer members than another only if you can't put the members of the first set into 1-1 correspondence with the members of the second. No cleaning lady would deny this.

We can do the same thing with numbers. If you have the set of primes and then kick out the smallest prime, there's a sense in which there is one less member in the first set than the second (i.e., 2 is contained in the first set only). There is a sense in which there is not one less member in the first set than the second because if you wanted to have a dance you could put the members of the sets into 1-1 correspondence.

Now, if I understand Craig's view, it is that everything I've said about the sets of numbers is correct but you can't have "in reality" collections of things that are infinite because that would lead to absurdities. But, to the extent that I've defused the absurdities in the mathematical case I think I've done so in the previous case with Hilbert's Hotel. The appearance of contradiction is really due to an ambiguity exposed. Close the hotel down.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bush Library in the News Again

That being said, I don't see anything in this article that suggests there are any new developments. So, it's news with nothing new.

You won't need to wait for the library to open to read this. The Red Cross has finally released its report containing pretty strong evidence that the CIA tortured suspects at various "black site" holding facilities. (As disturbing as this report is, it is pretty tame when compared to previous reports on Gitmo.) I'm guessing this sort of thing doesn't come up in Bush's chats with students on campus, but I'll buy a coffee for the first person who presses him on torture. (You get a latte if you ask him if there's been torture or severe beatings since beatings don't constitute torture on his view.)

You don't gotta do what you don't gotta do

I've been reading "You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do" in the latest edition of Nous (here, but institutional access is required) to see if it's really possible to derive the negation of the Humean theory of motivation from a tautology. It would be cool if it was possible. It would be just as cool if it was possible to derive the theory from a tautology. I'm sceptical.

Let's suppose that you can refute the Humean theory if you can show that there is a rational transition from a set of beliefs to an intention, desire, or attempt. The proposal is that there is such a rational transition, it's the transition in accordance with:
"The Move": B[OΦ] to Φ-ing.

In English, you make (The Move) when you transition from the belief that I ought to Φ to Φ-ing (or, I suppose intending to Φ, trying to Φ, etc...).

Is (The Move) a reasonable move for the mind to make? Gibbons says it is. Forget about (The Move) for a moment and think about (The Umbrella):

"The Umbrella": B[it's raining] to taking an umbrella.

This transition, from belief to action does depend upon what other mental states you're in (e.g., the desire to stay dry or make a friend at the bus stop).

Compare (The Umbrella) to (The Rule):

"The Rule": If it's raining, take an umbrella.

It seems that the transition (The Umbrella) is at least as rationally acceptable as (The Rule) and it seems that the rational acceptability of either depends upon pretty much the same sorts of wants, desires, further intentions, etc...

Little seems to distinguish (The Rule) and (The Umbrella) from (The "Ought"):

"The 'Ought'": If it's raining, you ought to take an umbrella.

To get from (The Umbrella) to (The Rule), you take the content of the belief and write that as the antecedent of the imperative. To get from this to (The "Ought"), we rewrite the consequent as a declarative sentence using "ought".

Important Point. After you construct your imperative and your ought statement, note that the starting point (e.g., (The Move), (The Umbrella) is no less acceptable than your derived ought statement.

If we make these sorts of changes to (The Move), we get:

(Just Do It): If you ought to Φ then Φ.
(Gotta Do): If you ought to Φ you ought to Φ.

Gibbons writes:
If (The Move) is at least as acceptable as (Just Do It), which is at least as acceptable as (Gotta Do), then (The Move) is looking pretty good. If (Gotta Do) is, as it appears to be, a tautology, then its acceptability cannot depend on your desires. If p is a tautology, you ought to believe p whether you want to be reasonable or not, at least when the question comes up. Since the question of (Gotta Do) has come up, you are rationally required to accept it. So you're rationally required to accept (Just Do It). So (The Move) has the same rational status as the transition from the beliefs that p and that if p then q t the belief that q. If the input to the transition is no good, the output may be just as bad. But if (Gotta Do) is a tautology, the transition itself is unimpeachable.

Here's a worry. Suppose someone doesn't make (The Move). It seems that there's something wrong with them. The Humean shouldn't deny that there's something wrong with someone who doesn't make (The Move). Does that mean that the subject has violated (Gotta Do) or (Just Do It)? No, not unless there's an entailment from B[OΦ] to Φ. There's no such entailment. Neither the Humean nor Gibbons thinks otherwise.

So, what does it mean to say that (The Move) is at least as acceptable as (Gotta Do)? It can't be that anyone who fails to make (The Move) has violated (Gotta Do). It has to be that from the perspective of the agent, if she fails to make (The Move) she has failed to conform to (Gotta Do). The transition from believing you ought to Φ to Φ-ing is no more problematic from the subject's perspective than accepting what you take to be a tautology. Fine. But isn't the Humean response simply this? Just as you shouldn't both believe p to be a tautology and fail to believe p, it doesn't follow from the fact that you believe p to be a tautology that you should believe p. That depends, inter alia, upon the status of your belief about p's status as a tautology. If you shouldn't believe p to be a tautology, even if you believe this it doesn't follow that you should believe p. Similarly, just as you shouldn't both believe you ought to Φ and fail to Φ, it doesn't follow from the fact that you believe you ought to Φ that you ought to Φ or that it would be the slightest bit rational to Φ. That depends upon whether you should believe you ought to Φ in the first place. Nothing said thus far shows that it can be reasonable, permissible, or justified to believe you ought to Φ without some sort of desire that Φ-ing would serve and so we haven't seen how (The Move) could be a rational one for the mind to make without any desires at all.

Putting the point slightly differently, we can see that the argument above is too good to be true. If (The Move) is at least as acceptable as (Just Do It), which is at least as acceptable as (Gotta Do), then (The Move) is looking pretty good. If (Gotta Do) is, as it appears to be, a tautology, then its acceptability cannot depend upon your further beliefs that you most certainly shouldn't Ψ and that you can't Φ without Ψ-ing. Since the question of (Gotta Do) has come up, you are rationally required to accept it. So you're rationally required to accept (Just Do It). So making (The Move) has the same rational status as accepting (Gotta Do) and (Just Do It). Just as the acceptance of these doesn't depend upon these further beliefs, making the transition in (The Move) doesn't depend upon these further beliefs. So, you can be rational in making the transition from believing that you ought to Φ to Φ-ing even if you also believe things that obviously entail that you shouldn't Φ.

I think that can't be right. Whether you ought to make the transition depends upon whether you ought to believe that you ought to Φ and that, says, the Humean depends upon your desires. I don't see that (The Move) is the move to make against the Humean.

Friday, March 13, 2009

What are the odds?

I was feeling sort of cruddy yesterday but after a vigorous sinus cleanse felt much better. This morning, I woke up with pain in my ears and what might be the worst headache I've ever had. The good doctor confirmed this morning that I do in fact have an ear infection. Two spring breaks in a row. That's some feat. I'll probably be healthy just in time to teach. The doc's hypothesis is that I caught it off of one of the kids. Thanks for ruining my spring break, kids. Don't think I'll forget this when you all start begging for extra credit at the end of the term.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Krasia & Detox

There's been some discussion over at Certain Doubts about my post, "Justification in Action" (here) but I need more! An exchange with Greg was really helpful for me in clarifying the sense in which Conee and Feldman might be properly described as defending a deontological theory of justification and the sense in which such a description is inappropriate. I think twice I've had referees list as among their reasons for rejecting a paper my claim that C&F defend a deontological theory of justification. Greg said that they didn't. I noted that they say in their essay, "Evidentialism" that, "We hold the general view that one epistemically ought to have the doxastic attitudes that fit one's evidence. We think that being epistemically obligatory is equivalent to being epistemically justified" (2004: 88). However, Greg is right that they reject most of what people associate with deontologism. They also seem to think that the underpinnings of our epistemic obligations have to do with epistemic value and that seems very un-deontological. Anyway, with that cleared up I'm sure I can count on referees to start rejecting my papers for much better reasons than they have previously.

Jacob raised a good question about the relationship between epistemic and moral permissibility and I wanted to see if I could give a defense of Link, a principle that is a commitment of yours if you accept Detox and Krasia:
Detox: If you intend to A and it’s not the case that you shouldn’t so intend, it’s not the case that you shouldn’t A.
Krasia: If you believe you should A and it’s not the case that you shouldn’t so believe, it’s not the case that you shouldn’t intend to act in accordance with this belief.
Link: If you believe you should A and it’s not the case that you shouldn’t so believe, it’s not the case that you shouldn’t act in accordance with this belief.

Suppose that an agent is in the good case, knowing all the external facts and internal facts that we might think matters to the justification of some action. Suppose she also knows what she ought to do and why she ought to do it. It seems to me that in such a scenario the subject would know that the reasons in light of which she's right to judge that she should A just as the reasons in light of which she should A.

[Let 'Rm' and 'Re' stand for the epistemic and moral reasons respectively.]

Now, suppose that an epistemic counterpart of this subject (i.e., a subject in precisely the non-factive mental states as our first subject) is in the bad case but her mistaken beliefs are all about non-normative matters. It might be that owing to such factual ignorance the subject doesn't know what reasons bear on whether to act or not (depending upon whether reasons are facts or provided by non-factive states of mind), but would such factual ignorance change the fact of the matter as to how the reasons that bear on belief and action relate? I can't see how that could be. And, if it can't be, then it seems whether the subject is in the good or bad case the subject knows that the reasons that bear on whether to act and whether to believe she should act are just the same thing. If one is inaccessible in the bad case, so is the other. If one is accessible in the bad case, so is the other. To deny Link, it seems you'd either have to (i) deny that in the case of full information the subject doesn't know that the reasons that bear on action and belief are the same or (ii) say that an agent's ignorance changes that relationship.

A confederacy of dunces

I've never been one to stare at car accidents or train wrecks, but I can't help but check in on the counterpetition. People occasionally say why they are signing the thing and I feel like I'm giving in to that urge that causes rubbernecking and traffic jams. To be fair, those who signed the original petition don't say what their reasons are so we can't have a laugh at their expense, but if you're home with a cold and want to have a laugh followed by a cry I'd recommend this.

There are these gems:
In a democratic society all voices have the right to speak--including those who are seeking philosophers with an AOS in "queer philosophy" and those who are seeking philosophers who are not practicing homosexuals.

The free exercise of religion, as well as freedom of speech, is essential to the maintenance of any free society.

It is the right of schools, esp. religious organizations, to be allowed to make their own policy as to their staff. To ban them from advertising is usurping the authority APA has.

The policy proposed by its advocates would, in fact, be an act of discrimination, favoring those who share their view. It seriously curtails the freedom of those institutions who treasure their religious heritage over the conveniences brought about by the APA, and it would hurt the APA more in the long run than implementing this amputative policy. Remember that any action restricting freedom in any one direction, once conceded, eventually restricts the freedom in both directions. To demand that you must not do X, frequently leads to the obligation that you must do non-X. To stigmatize your supposed opponents means to stigmatize yourself as one in opposition to them. It is best to err on the side of freedom for all and let traditionally religious institutions maintain their practices without those who are advocating the proposed practice branding themselves as preferring a specific view on morality to moral freedom for all. Let institution A hire anyone regardless of their orientation; let institution B restrict its hiring to those who serve best its constituency. It is in diversity that we are best off.

I hadn't realized that by signing the original petition I was encouraging the APA to violate someone's right to free speech!

Meanwhile, Maverick Philosopher has weighed in on this one here. He seems to think that the APA is being "politicized" and that it is inconsistent with the APA's charter to "take stands on debatable social and political questions". When I asked which debatable social and political question the APA would be taking a stand on if they either enforced their own policies or modified them, he pointed me to some letter he wrote to the APA about the Iraq war. His remarks were, I think, gratuitously rude. When I followed up and asked him about the apparent differences between the two cases he erased that comment. I think I now remember why I had stopped reading his blog and commenting.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Generality Constraint Fail


Last spring break I had some sort of ear infection and I spent the entire week and week after in bed sweating profusely watching endless loops of the first disc of the British version of The Office. Flash forward one year and I've been down all day and it turns out I have a fever. It's the world's smallest fever, but that's how they start out.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


There were reasons to love Lincoln, NE. There are, however, reasons to think I'm better off for having left Lincoln, NE. Here's one.

Barrel fish

I've been watching the "counter petition" (here) and thought I'd comment on some of the comments its supporters have written.

I find objectionable the intentions, speech, and actions of those above who would discriminate against certain religious institutions for exercising their set of religious and moral beliefs. Those who oppose such religious institutions do not understand their own position to be contradictory: they are filled with the very same kinds of hatred and bigotry they claim to oppose. They hate those they see as discriminating against homosexuality; however, what they fail to see is they themselves discriminate against certain persons with certain religious beliefs. That is discrimination based on religion. The APA specifically forbids such discrimination. This is a contradiction.


I think the practice is best kept as it is, for it respects the notion that private religious colleges can set their own behavioral standards, and that these standards can be defended or made explicit on a case-by-case basis to prospective applicants. The APA need not involve itself in enforcement (or approval) of such institutional policies.

Better, but no. The original petition is not saying that these institutions cannot set their own standards, but that these institutions cannot have it both ways. They cannot discriminate against members of the APA and expect to use the APA's publications to advertise for jobs without censure.

As thoughtful evangelical Christians, we desire to respectfully participate in the public square discussions of major social/political/ethical issues of the day. While we are firmly committed to the foundational beliefs that define our faith, we also respect the right of others to hold differing views.

Interesting. So, the right view to take is that we should respect the rights of evangelical Christians to participate in certain discussions and for that reason (?) protect their "right" to publish in the publication put out by a second party but there are not similar rights that homosexuals have that protects them from discriminatory hiring practices. Again, I'm sure that whatever rationale there is for saying that homosexuals do not have the right to demand that these private institutions modify their employment and hiring practices just is the rationale for denying that these evangelical institutions have the right to demand that the APA modify their practices when it comes to deciding who gets to advertise in the JFP.

The APA should be in the business of helping its members, and that business only. In philosophy, ALL issues are open, and values are not to be dictated.

Really? The capitalization suggests that the author is quite prepared to bite some bullets, and so it seems the author is defending the view most seem to think is the view we can't charitably ascribe to those who sign the counter petition. Does the author honestly believe that the APA should let schools that discriminate on grounds of race or sex use the JFP? Does the author believe that this would help its members? I can imagine it helping some.

C'mon. In philosophy, some "issues" aren't issues. There's not an "issue" as to whether racial discrimination is wrong. This is just dumb.

roger scruton

True conservatives capitalize. wtf.