Neven Sesardić is a Croatian philosopher, born in 1949. He has taught philosophy at universities in Croatia, the United States, Japan, England, and Hong Kong. An earlier book of his is Making Sense of Heritability (Cambridge U. P., 2005).
“Gripping, thoroughly researched and documented, judiciously argued, and alternately depressing and infuriating, Sesardić’s courageous book offers the astounding spectacle of some of the greatest minds of the past century―including Carnap, Einstein, Gödel, and Wittgenstein―adopting odious political views, supporting Lenin, Stalin, and Mao, for simplistic and plainly fallacious reasons. More shocking still is the story of how prominent journals, encyclopedias, and the American Philosophical Association itself have sacrificed academic integrity on the altar of political activism. Great philosophers repeatedly reveal themselves as terrible thinkers when it comes to morality and politics, plunging headlong into complex controversies without drawing elementary distinctions or differentiating degrees of good or evil.” ―Daniel Bonevac, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin
The book arrived yesterday. Flipping though it, I was surprised and pleased to find a quotation from one William Vallicella on p. 168. This is from a letter that protests a proposed group resolution on the death penalty:
What then could justify the APA in taking sides on the sort of broadly philosophical issues that tend to become bones of contention in the political arena? . . . Furthermore, by what principle was the death penalty chosen as the topic of an APA resolution rather than, say, partial-birth abortions? Should the APA endorse a package of positions, issuing pronunciamentos on the Balanced Budget Amendment, handgun control and ebonics? If not, why not? (William Vallicella).
Here is a second, later letter of protest (November 2003) that I sent to the A. P. A. before cancelling my membership: