Issues in the Philosophy ProfessionCategory
Recently, the Journal of Political Philosophy published an issue with a special symposium section on “Black Lives Matter.” It’s an important and timely subject, and fits with recent calls to bring the tools of philosophy to bear on matters of pressing public concern. A philosopher told me about the symposium last week. I took a quick look and put it in the Heap of..
Last year, Valerie Tiberius, professor of philosophy at the University of Minnesota, conducted what she called “The Value of Philosophy Survey.” Over 2,500 philosophers responded to the survey, which asked 24 questions, and in her Presidential Address at the Central Division meeting of the American Philosophical Association (APA) last month, Professor Tiberius discu..
Philosophy is largely male, white, cis, straight, able-bodied—why? Well, maybe it has little or nothing to do with philosophy.
“A perverse feature of American life is that calling a white person racist is allegedly a very wounding insult.”
That’s Lionel McPherson (Tufts), in a post currently up at Philosopher. I start with that quote because reflection on it might forestall some knee-jerk reactions to some of the other things McPherson says. It is worth noting the relative seriousness wi..
In August we learned that the Philosophy Department at Indiana University – Purdue University, Fort Wayne (IPFW) was confronting the possibility of a “restructuring” that could result in its elimination, owing to the university’s financial problems and what appeared to be a stacking of the deck against units in the school’s College of Arts and Sciences in the proced..
Towards the end of an in-depth and highlyy informative interview with Marya Schechtman (UIC) about the philosophy of personal identity, interviewer Richard Marshall asks her about “difficulties for women in the academy” and whether there’s “something weird going on in philosophy departments that is avoided elsewhere.” Schechtman’s answer includes the following intri..
Thomas Pogge, whose alleged extracurricular activities, including sexual harassment, have been the subject of numerous posts here, is having his own place in the curriculum questioned. Pogge retains, for now, a prestigious named professorship at Yale. An article at Inside Higher Ed this morning discusses whether professors who believe he has acted at least problemat..
Interestingly, having studied a lot of logic in graduate school, I observed that the culture of logic is more accepting of mental illness, though not for most people. Given the stereotype of the “crazy genius logician”—exemplified, for instance, by Kurt Gӧdel—neuro-typicality does not seem to be a precondition for success. (more…)
Ruth Chang (Rutgers), acting in her capacity as Ombudsperson of the American Philosophical Association (APA), passes along the following message from two former students of Thomas Pogge (Yale), who has been accused of sexual harassment and other unprofessional behavior and criticized by hundreds of academics for it. The authors are concerned about the situation of P..
The first evening of the conference, there was scheduled a reception for Women in Philosophy at one of the local pubs, and upon viewing this on the schedule, she and I had one of those “Are you going?” “I dunno, are you going?” “I don’t really want to go if I’m going to be the only one.” “I’ll go if you go.” sorts of conversations. Neither of us had an inherent des..
The German newspaper, Zeit, has an article on the recent allegations of sexual harassment and other unprofessional behavior against Thomas Pogge. In it, Seyla Benhabib, Pogge’s colleague in Yale’s Department of Political Science, is reported as calling for Yale to act.
The various sexual harassment scandals and other controversies involving some well-known philosophers raise the question of how to determine whether information regarding such events is to appear in reference works about them, especially the world’s most popular reference, the constantly updated and largely crowd-sourced Wikipedia. (more…)
The Huffington Post’s Tyler Kingkade has interviewed Shelly Kagan, who was chair of the philosophy department at Yale when Thomas Pogge was hired. In the article based on the interview, Kingkade reports Kagan as saying:
Over 160 academics have signed an open letter regarding the allegations of sexual harassment and professional misconduct of Thomas Pogge, Leitner Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Political Science at Yale University, including at least 16 of his colleagues at Yale. (more…)
In this paper, I argue that prestige bias is both the first and the final hurdle to make academic philosophy more inclusive…. Prestige bias is a first hurdle to diversity, because countering it provides a wide-reaching way to make philosophy more diverse even if we did not increase our efforts to increase diversity specifically. By actively working against presti..
The other day we reported that the Department of Philosophy at Western Illinois University is being targeted for elimination by the university’s Board of Trustees. The Board will be voting on the matter on June 10th. Please take a moment to sign a petition supporting the department.
The petition stresses the findings of the Academic Program Elimination Review (AP..
Thomas Pogge, the Leitner Professor of Philosophy & International Affairs and Political Science at Yale University, has published a response to allegations he sexually harassed and retaliated against a student, Fernanda Lopez Aguilar. (more…)
When Thomas Pogge travels around the world, he finds eager young fans waiting for him in every lecture hall. The 62-year-old German-born professor, a protégé of the philosopher John Rawls, is bespectacled and slight of stature. But he’s a giant in the field of global ethics, and one of only a small handful of philosophers who have managed to translate prominence wit..
A gem of a comment from Amy Olberding on the post earlier this week about expanding the philosophical canon is worth excerpting:
…let me just explain how these sorts of conversations read to me and how, it seems to me, they repeat endlessly. On my most cynical days, I think we can dispense with any further conversations about including non-western traditions. F..
American Philosophical Association (APA) Chairperson Cheshire Calhoun (ASU), at the Blog of the APA, writes:
What the APA does for philosophy and philosophers gets done in virtue of the hard work of hundreds of members. All told, more than 200 individuals graciously volunteer their time and expertise in serving on APA committees and task forces, on divisional pro..
Seven philosophers are interviewed in The Guardian in the wake of a recent report by the UK’s Equality Challenge Unit that found that “among non-Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects, philosophy is one of the most male-dominated, with men accounting for 71.2% of the profession” in the UK. They were asked “Why aren’t there more female philosopher..
Namita Goswami was denied tenure in the Department of Philosophy at DePaul University in the 2009-2010 academic year. She claimed that discrimination played a role in the decision and sued. Her story was covered a few years back in Inside Higher Ed:
“I was teaching exactly what I was hired to do and it was used against me,” said Goswami, a native of India who all..
A new blog project, What Is It Like to be a Person of Color in Philosophy?, has just launched. From the “about” page:
This blog contains narratives of personal experiences, submitted by readers, of life in philosophy as a person of color. Some of these stories will undoubtedly be accounts of racial bias, whether explicit, unconscious, or institutional. However, o..
The Geek Feminism Wiki, a site aimed primarily at people involved in computing and technology, has a “Conference anti-harrasment” page. Brought to my attention by Maarten Steenhagen (thanks!), the site has a sample conference anti-harassment policy, a resource page with suggestions and answers to frequently asked questions, and other information.
In answer to the..
Clara Fisher, Newton International Fellow at the Gender Institute at London School of Economics, makes “the case for a tentatively optimistic reading of women’s contemporary place in philosophy” in an article in the Dublin Review of Books. She writes:
On the one hand, structural inequalities, such as women’s representation and inclusion, seem utterly entrenched, ..
The post, “Philosophers from Poverty,” is still growing, with a range of interesting, informative, and often moving accounts of the lives of philosophers from poor and lower class backgrounds. As that discussion continues, it may be useful to expand upon suggestions for how, if at all, we might alter our thinking, behavior, practices, policies, and the like, in ligh..
Brad Monton will resign from his position as associate professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, effective June 1st, 2015. In exchange, the university will pay him an additional $120,000 and halt its investigation into him for possible violations of its policies regarding amorous relationships with students. Monton is currently on paid leave, and will n..