Look, Simon Critchley wouldn’t be my first choice either, and it wasn’t perhaps the best of invites on the part of the gray lady (if it was an invite at all), but gatekeeper of the profession, Brian Leiter is very upset:
They create a blog forum related to philosophy (“The Stone”), and then choose a complete hack as its moderator. Simon Critchley? Even among scholars of Continental philosophy (his purported area of expertise), he’s not taken seriously, let alone among philosophers in any other part of the discipline. (When Michael Rosen [Harvard] and I edited The Oxford Handbook of Continental Philosophy, the idea of inviting Critchley never came up–how could it?) If the APA weren’t fatally compromised by its need to pander to everyone, it would launch a formal protest. Unbelievable.
I would urge readers to send a short note to the public editor, Clark Hoyt, stating, roughly, that you are pleased to see increased attention to philosophy in the NY Times, but are concerned that someone who is not taken seriously as a philosopher or scholar has been invited to serve as “moderator.” Keep it short and sweet. If they get a couple thousand e-mails to that effect, maybe they will wake up to the spectacular mistake they’ve made.
I don’t know. This just sounds bitchy and somewhat petty to me. Am I wrong? What was that comment from Socrates Critchley cited? Something about the philosopher’s clumsiness in day to day affairs makes him appear stupid or, “gives the impression of plain silliness.” Hmm…