Issues in the Philosophy ProfessionCategory
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..
The American Philosophical Association (APA) has released a statement on bullying and harassment:
The American Philosophical Association appreciates the work of philosophers who bring their philosophical expertise to the public by way of op-ed essays, public forums, teach-ins, and other venues. We see this increased public engagement by philosophers as important ..
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..
On one understanding of diversity—perhaps an understanding that was once the dominant one—making professional philosophy more diverse means making it the case that it is not exclusively the province of just a few kinds of people (with “kind” understood in terms of sex, race, culture, ethnicity, class, sexuality, physical ability, education, experiences). Th..
Over the past week, Daily Nous has hosted a discussion of criticisms of the Philosophical Gourmet Report (PGR), a ranking of PhD programs in philosophy. This latest round of criticism began with a post excerpting from “Appearance and Reality in the Philosophical Gourmet Report: Why the Discrepancy Matters to the Profession of Philosophy” by Brian Bruya (Eastern Mich..
Yesterday’s post, “A Detailed Critique of the Philosophical Gourmet Report,” contained excerpts from “Appearance and Reality in The Philosophical Gourmet Report: Why the Discrepancy Matters to the Profession of Philosophy,” an article in Metaphilosophy by Brian Bruya (Eastern Michigan) in which various criticism of the PGR were summarized. As noted in an update to t..
The latest issue of Metaphilosophy (October 2015) contains “Appearance and Reality in The Philosophical Gourmet Report: Why the Discrepancy Matters to the Profession of Philosophy” by Brian Bruya (Eastern Michigan). It is a “data-driven critique” of the Philosophical Gourmet Report (PGR) that argues that “the actual value of the PGR, in its current form, is not near..
Here’s our situation: for many professions—actor, artist, astronaut, athlete, musician, novelist, philosopher, just to name a few—there are more people who aspire to enter them than succeed in doing so.
How bad is this? There are some problems with it, of course: mainly the disappointment of and opportunity costs borne by those who are unable to join what is ..
A tenure-track woman professor at a private U.S. university writes:
In light of a situation that recently came up in my department, I’ve been thinking quite a lot about the following question… I’m honestly at a loss for how to deal with this, and I’d love to hear some (sensible) thoughts of others on the issue.
The issue is this: Take it as a given that ther..
After program cut upon program cut, at what point does a liberal arts institution cease to be one?
That’s the question in an article at Inside Higher Ed that centers around faculty cuts at Wartburg College in Iowa, a Christian college.
This month, at least three tenure-track faculty members at Wartburg received notices that the college was not recommending the..
Here are five predictions about the state of philosophy in ten years:
1. Philosophy’s popularity as a major will increase. This will be owed in part to the swing of the cultural pendulum, to economic growth making people more comfortable with a major lacking a clearly-defined career path, to efforts by the profession to emphasize the practical value of philosophy..
Some colleges have no philosophers. Some colleges have philosophers, but not many, yielding a very low philosopher-to-student ratio, particularly when compared to elite institutions or flagship state schools. Such colleges—which include many community colleges, state branch campuses, and historically black colleges and universities—seem to turn out very few stud..