Issues in the Philosophy ProfessionCategory
Selections from the 2014 Philosophical Gourmet Report (PGR), a controversial ranking of the reputations of PhD-granting philosophy departments, have been appearing at Leiter Reports recently. Parts of the following specialty rankings, along with the names of those philosophers who did them, have been released: philosophy of physics, Kant, metaethics, 19th Century Co..
Derek Bowman, a recent philosophy PhD who is currently employed as a part-time lecturer, writes in with a suggestion for addressing the increasingly prevalent practice of hiring part-time or adjunct faculty to meet teaching needs. I present it here for your consideration and discussion.
In recent years, the philosophy blogosphere has done an admirable job mak..
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 ..
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…)
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…)
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..
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..
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..
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 lawsuit against Northwestern University by the student who alleges she was sexually assaulted by Peter Ludlow was thrown out by a federal judge earlier today. The lawsuit had claimed that the university had mishandled the student’s complaints, and asked for the university to pay her medical and legal bills, her tuition, and to compensate her for emotional distre..
The Department of Philosophy at the University of Colorado will resume admissions to its graduate program for the 2015-16 academic year. Admissions had been suspended last year following the site visit report of the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on the Status of Women (previously). From the university press release:
The move follows the enactment..
The Department of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield has made the following announcement: “Prospective postgraduates should note that the Department is not supplying updates and corrections to the 2014 Philosophy Gourmet Report, and should not assume that this report is based on accurate information.”
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..
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..
The Northwestern University undergraduate whose Title IX lawsuit against Northwestern University, for its handling of her alleged sexual assault by philosophy professor Peter Ludlow, had been dismissed, is asking a judge to reconsider his decision, according to an article in The Daily Northwestern.
The student’s new motion is apparently spurred by her acquisition..
Adèle Mercier, associate professor of philosophy at Queen’s University, has accused the school of using “intimidation tactics to silence her and two other professors” since she complained about gender discrimination in her department in 2008. That year, after being approached by several female graduate students, she and two other female philosophy professors filed c..
“This Is What We Look Like” is a new campaign aimed at “Promoting the presence, awareness, and progress of women in traditionally male dominated fields,” including philosophy. They’d like to fill the web with images of women doing what is stereotypically considered men’s work. You can buy one of their shirts at their storefront, and then send in a photo of yourself ..
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..
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..
Evidence from a new study seeking to explain why women are under-represented among philosophy majors suggests that they are not discouraged by introductory philosophy courses, but rather come to college already with certain attitudes that discourage them from studying philosophy. The findings are presented in “Why Is There Female Under-Representation among Philosoph..
Bob Hanna retired on December 31st from his position as professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado. Hanna had been “suspended without pay for a semester in 2013 for sexual harassment and unprofessional conduct” (previously). According to an article in the Daily Camera: “Hanna made frequent unwanted romantic advances, often in the form of emails, toward wo..
I very much doubt that I would be able to provide anything like reliable judgments of philosophical quality based on the names of individuals in faculties, without spending an enormous amount of time reading people’s work. Although I’ve been in professional philosophy for nearly ten years, and have gained at least some familiarity with a large number of philosopher..
The following is a guest post* from a woman graduate student in philosophy who wishes to remain anonymous.
Lately, I’ve been reflecting on the complicated ways issues of equity connect with intellectual and professional respect. On philosophy blogs there has been extensive discussion regarding the climate for women in philosophy, issues of sexual misconduct, ..
Heidi Lockwood (Southern Connecticut) and Michael Tooley (Colorado) met at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) earlier this month for a debate sponsored by VCU’s Department of Philosophy. The subject was “Sexual Assault on Campus.” A video of the event was kindly provided to me by Mikhail Valdman, who moderated the event and cleared its release with the relevant ..
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, ..
David Barnett, whom the University of Colorado is moving to fire (previously), is suing the university for $2 million, claiming that university Chancellor Phil DiStefano and philosophy professor Alison Jaggar made defamatory statements about him. From The Daily Camera:
In his notice of claim, Barnett says the statements made by CU officials have damaged his reput..
Brian Leiter (Chicago) announced that he will be stepping down as editor of the Philosophical Gourmet Report (PGR), a highly influential reputational ranking of philosophy Ph.D. programs he created in 1989 while he was a graduate student, and which has been published on the Internet since 1996. The 2014-15 edition of the PGR will be officially co-edited by Leiter an..
Alex Rosenberg is the R. Taylor Cole Professor of Philosophy at Duke University. He is known for his work in philosophy of science, particularly philosophy of biology, as well as the philosophy of social science and metaphysics. In the following guest post* he discusses the current controversy regarding the Philosophical Gourmet Report, defending its accuracy, value..