Is Boghossian still precontemplative?

A recent tweet I made actually provoked a response from the, almost infamous, Peter Boghossian:

ScreenHunter_01 Aug. 19 12.21

In the link I had provided some good evidence, from scholarly sources no less, correcting Boghossian’s mistaken (or perhaps I should say made up?) historical etymology of the Greek word ἔλεγχος.

Both in his book and in a lecture he claims there was some huge semantic change in the meaning of the word when used in the New Testament as opposed to more classical Greek. He made such a claim without any evidence whatsoever. He did not cite one single scholarly, or even a more popular, source that supported this claim. Nothing.

As I have said, I made the correction using scholarly literature.

In reply Boghossian appears to want my correction published in a peer-reviewed journal! Now this is hilarious for many reasons. Peer reviewed journals don’t tend to publish articles stating the bloody obvious! Peer review journals also don’t tend to publish articles written to correct claims of non-specialists that are completely unfounded and which agree with the already agreed scholarly consensus. An article that is simply pointing out a mistake that someone has not done their homework and looked up the meaning of a word properly is not going to make it to peer review.

I think, very likely, Boghossian knows this and that is why he has made the request. It is so he can avoid having to look at the evidence. On this matter it is quite unambiguous. He only needs to read my response and either apologize for his mistake or he needs to show that the scholarly literature is wrong and he is right (which is something which would interest a publishing journal in Greek language studies!).

I would also like to note the irony of such a request as well. Has Peter Boghossian got anything published in peer reviewed journals on the subject of philosophy of religion? Last time I checked he has not. Did he not go straight to writing a popular level book on the subject? Does this mean we can just ignore all his arguments in his book and instead wait until he got some of them peer reviewed? Well, according to Peter, that’s how we should have reacted. The hypocrisy here is really quite staggering. As well as bearing the hallmarks of precontemplation he also appears to have some serious issues with consistency and coherence.

My Twitter replies:

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Unfortunately Boghossian is unlikely to see them because he currently has me blocked! So much for dialogue eh Peter?

ScreenHunter_03 Aug. 19 12.46


And if you want a really good giggle…

About aRemonstrant'sRamblings

I graduated in philosophy of religion many years ago and have since acquired my PGCE and now teach religion, ethics and philosophy.
This entry was posted in Street Epistemology and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Is Boghossian still precontemplative?

  1. labreuer says:

    You didn’t include a link to your ἔλεγχος article, so here it is. 🙂

    Actually, I took a look at that article and couldn’t tell if you’d replicated Boghossian’s footnote in full—it looks like you haven’t. It might be easier to quickly tell that he’s full of Boghossian-fath. Or as Wayne C. Booth said in Modern Dogma and the Rhetoric of Assent:

    A good general rule is: scratch a skeptic and find a dogmatist. (56)

    • aRemonstrant'sRamblings says:

      Thanks Lab I thought I had.

      I think there’s much truth to that quote and I have found that the case myself many many times.

  2. Is this blog still active ?

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