The academic world is filled with “scholars” who write papers that are almost never cited, and which are so filled with gobbledygook and periphrasis that they are almost impossible to read.
Without cracking up, anyway.
A year and a half ago I wrote about one team who authored fake papers to show up postmodernist academics for the phonies they are. But the sad truth is that even serious papers prove to be nothing more than “cryptic, pretentious, prolix nonsense.”
Since then, the team that wrote the infamous “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct” went on to successfully place some incredibly goofy papers into prestigious journals — and even garner earnest praise from peer reviewers.
Now, the humiliated academic world is striking back. One of the japers, Professor Peter Boghossian of Portland State University, is facing academic censure and misconduct charges.
“This strikes me (and every colleague I’ve spoken with) as an attempt to weaponize an important [principle] of academic ethics in order to punish a scholar for expressing an unpopular opinion,” wrote Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker, entreating PSU not to persecute their philosopher. Biologist Richard Dawkins and psychologist Jordan Peterson joined Pinker in support of the rogue-but-reasonable academic.
PSU administrators say that Boghossian, by trying to trick academic journals into publishing fake studies, has violated Institutional Review Board protocols. You see, he did not seek approval to carry out experiments on human subjects!
The thing is, the whole post-structuralist, post-modernist, “‘Studies’ studies” mob has been experimenting on their alleged clients, the students, for decades. And the results have been . . . enlightening if not praiseworthy.
It is hard to see Boghossian’s antics as anything but heroic.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.