Martha Nussbaum’s “Objectification”, preceded by a digression on analytical feminism.

There are limits to how interesting I can be if I simply review the same Steven Pinker books that every similar blog reviews, so I’m making an effort to cover different ground.  I recently read Martha Nussbaum’s essay Objectification, from a 1995 issue of Philosophy and Public Affairs.  I chose this piece for the very simple reason that it’s the main source cited in the the Wikipedia article on objectification.

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A non-essentialist take on gender essentialism.

Several weeks ago, Ozy of Things of Things posted about three different ways of thinking about psychological gender differences:

  1. There may be no psychological differences between men and women.
  2. There may be population-level differences between men and women, but overlapping ranges.
  3. The may be differences between men and women that are so large that the ranges do not overlap.

The problem I see is that two of these three ways are trivially wrong and I think hardly anyone believes them.  There are quite a few measurable psychological differences between men and women, but most of them are small, and the ranges overlap even for the large ones.  I suspect that few conservative Christians or radical feminists would dispute that, and that their disagreements lie elsewhere.

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The newly unearthed.

I have been exploring new blogs over the past several weeks, so here’s a grab bag of links to some of the more interesting things I’ve found – including older articles:

Hawks and Handsaws: “In defense of prescriptive labeling” is a defense of something I thought I was against, and comes dangerously close to changing my mind.

Socratic Form Micscropy: “Book Review: The Righteous Mind” is notable for its visual depiction of the replication crisis. Also, “When to worry about public debt” is notable because most people will either tell you we should be freaking out about public debt right now or that only right-wing crazies are freaking out about public debt; it’s relatively rare to ask just when a reasonable person should be worried.

Everything Studies: “A deep dive into the Harris-Klein controversy” is a refreshingly critical analysis of the dialogue in question, and of what norms should cover public discussion of politicized, scientific issues.

How did I not know this blog existed? Otium: “Psycho-conservativism: What it is, when to doubt it” and “Hoe cultures: A type of non-patriarchal society.”

In Due Course: “The problem with critical studies” which may or may not be exactly the same thing as postmodernism.

And on an entirely different note, The Angry GM on design rationale in the most controversial edition of Dungeons & Dragons.

Bayesian analysis of Slate Star Codex survey data.

[Epistemic status: I’m teaching myself Bayesian analysis out of an O’Reilly-esque programming book; I haven’t yet mustered myself to crack the intimidating Andrew Gelman tome on my shelf. I beg you, correct me if I have screwed this up.]

Scott Alexander posted his survey data results several months ago, and recently has been posting some interesting things about how different groups perceive optical illusions.

As part of my quest to finally understand the differences between Bayesian analysis and frequentist analysis, I downloaded his data and poked at it with PyMC, again modeling my analyses after those in chapter 2 of Bayesian Methods for Hackers, by Cameron Davidson-Pilon (the A/B testing example and the Challenger example.)

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