By exerting their imaginations and their talent for coming up with pesky counterexamples, probe away at the conceptual boundaries of God, free will, morality, etc, and try to determine, by the power of thought experiments alone, just what is and isn’t possible, and what conclusions are the most reasonable. (more…)
“My aim has been to remind philosophers that their subject, whether or not ‘handmaiden to the sciences’, ought to be handmaiden also to the humanities”
From 2010 to 2015 there was, on average, a 3% annual decrease in the number of applicants to doctoral programs, and in 2015-2016 there was a 7.1% decrease, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education, reporting on data published by the Council of Graduate Schools. (more…)
A new program at the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University combines philosophy and other humanities disciplines with a business education. “Integrated Business and Humanities” is a business major that requires its students to philosophy, language, culture, and other humanities courses. (more…)
“Had I received this job offer under the newly proposed plan for immigration reform endorsed by President Trump, I’d have been deported back to Canada.” (more…)
The following is a guest post* by J. David Velleman, professor of philosophy at New York University. It discusses the problems that arise from graduate students publishing more and more, and presents a pair of suggestions for how to improve matters. (more…)
The number of philosophy majors in the United States declined in the years leading up to 2015, part of a general decline in the number of humanities majors. (more…)
I can only speak for myself, but being trained by a philosopher, I often feel I was exposed to an expectation of argumentative rigor that, to be perfectly frank, I can’t say I always find in the field of political theory proper. But this can result in drawbacks. Philosophers sometimes look at the rest of the humanities in the way that social scientists look at socia..
What should humanities institutes at universities do? Among other things, “prompt general efforts toward identifying the varied roles that the humanities can play in 21st-century society,” says Robert Frodeman, a philosopher at the University of North Texas, in an essay at Inside Higher Ed. He argues that institutes should focus on the future and relevance of the hu..
Philosophy is largely male, white, cis, straight, able-bodied—why? Well, maybe it has little or nothing to do with philosophy.
Psychologist Anna Vedel (Aarhus University) writes: “The choice of education is perhaps the first highly important decision that young people have to make for themselves in the developed world. Each education paves the way for certain vocational paths, and the choice has a lasting impact on the young adult’s life.” It might be useful, then, to see what we can learn ..
Two sources of information appear to present slightly different figures regarding the number of job openings advertised in philosophy through the American Philosophical Association (APA) and PhilJobs—that is, through PhilJobs: Jobs for Philosophers—in recent years. (See update)
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a new edition of its Survey of Earned Doctorates, according Inside Higher Ed, including data through 2014. According to the survey, 54,070 PhDs were bestowed in 2014,with 5,486 of them in humanities fields. Of those, only 54.3% had “job or post-doc commitments.” For 2004, these figures were 5,210 and 63.4%, respecti..
There is a different unifying principle for most non-STEM disciplines—among them English, history, politics and civics, languages and literatures, education, the arts, philosophy, psychology and sociology—which I call the human disciplines. All of the subjects within human disciplines are fundamentally interested in people and with subjectivity. Our disciplines ..
In an era in which we are hearing more and more about threats to the humanities, including the consolidation and elimination of departments, it is nice to have some good news. Tiger Roholt of Montclair State University writes in with some:
Since the 1960s, the Philosophy program at Montclair State University has existed within a shared department, alongside Relig..
The American Academy of Arts & Sciences has published its Humanities Indicators report for the United States, “The State of the Humanities: Higher Education 2015.” Among its findings:
- Humanities represent a little more than 10% of all Bachelor’s degrees, slightly more than 8% of all doctoral degrees, and just under 4% of all masters degrees.
- The number of stu..
Data about the earnings, occupations, and unemployment of humanities undergraduates (as of 2013) is featured in a new report by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Robert Townsend, director of the organization’s Washington office, writes:
As usual, the main narrative is about the humanities as a whole—where we can at least demonstrate that overall earn..
Last week, Susanna Siegel and Steven Pinker (both of Harvard) participated in a debate about the role of the humanities and the sciences in the study of the mind. The debate was videotaped and can be watched here (update: link fixed). Below is Professor Siegel’s summary of the event, the topic of which raises questions about the value of the humanities more general..
In his contribution to A Teacher’s Life: Essays for Steven M. Cahn, David Rosenthal (CUNY) raises questions about philosophy’s fit with the humanities and the sciences, framed around the study of history.
A striking difference between those fields we classify as humanities and those we regard as sciences is the attitude within each field toward its history. Learning..
Times Higher Education reports:
Many social sciences and humanities faculties in Japan are to close after universities were ordered to “serve areas that better meet society’s needs”. Of the 60 national universities that offer courses in these disciplines, 26 have confirmed that they will either close or scale back their relevant faculties at the behest of Japan’s..
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has released a second version of its Humanities Departmental Survey, the aim of which is to “fill critical gaps in our knowledge about the state of the humanities in higher education; specifically, about the number of faculty and students in the field and the role of humanities departments in their institutions and society” ..
Nakul Krishna, a graduate student at Oxford, has written a beautiful essay at The Point called “Add Your Own Egg.” Go read it, and we can talk about it here, if you’d like.
The essay originates from the feeling that something is missing from contemporary philosophical practice. It is not a piece of simple declinism that romanticizes the past. Rather, it wonders whe..
A couple of weeks back we discussed questions related to funding and philosophy in the context of Daniel Dennett’s review of a recent book by Alfred Mele (original post; Mele’s reply). Matthew Brown, a philosopher of science (UT Dallas), thinks that one of the central questions raised there should get more attention. He wants us to “think past the specific details o..