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Eric Schliesser
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the question is why starting in the 1970s much of academic macroeconomics was taken over by a school of thought that began by denying any useful role for policies to raise demand in a slump, and eventually coalesced around denial that the demand side of the economy has any role... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Digressions&Impressions
David there is overwhelming reason to think that the PGR has made no effort to reach out to its critics and have us help improve it. When folk have asked for data -- and this is amply documented -- they have been told it's private and that to share it would risk jeopardizing raters' privacy (and Leiter has repeatedly said this on his own site). But maybe you could get more out of the PGR than others so please try your own recipe.
David, perhaps, you try your out your own recipe on obtaining PGR data before you tell us what "there is good reason to think."
Over at DailyNous there are two extremely eloquent guest posts on the PGR controversy; one is by Simon May, which is stirring reminder what philosophical nobility looks like. I happen to agree with most of it, although I am inclined to think that the statement that it is "impossible to... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
No, the claims are not merely prudential. I think having a measure of quality in the decision-mix is also an intrinsic good of high value. I am open to encouraging other measures of quality, feel free to suggest them and develop them. But without specifics I can't judge if they are better or worse than the status quo. (I think scientific metrics are definitely worse--and I say that as somebody who thrives in an ecology built around them.) I don't think you can claim that the issue of leverage is a joke because that undercuts the harms claim, too. Like all measures it can be used and abused, but I think it is special pleading to stipulate the good uses away. Feel free to suggest ways that may be less harmful; I am genuinely interested in those.
Aaron, I think you are partially right here. (Partial because given field/specialty rankings individual contributions in ranked departments can be tracked in some imperfect way.) I agree that folk in un-ranked departments but within PGR ecology are harmed in the way you describe. (My own solution is to expand PGR so that more folk are trapped in the ranking!) We do disagree about move-ability; I think before the financial crisis quite a few non-top15 departments hire senior folk out of unranked departments. But I am unsure if that would happen more w/o a ranking.
Mark, on the salary part; I have my own experience, but it's not an official part of my argument. I am making no comparative claims about the past (I think); higher education is different now than it was when PGR got introduced. I agree that a measure can be used against departments in the way you describe. (I would hope it's an argument for more resources--look we're only ranked X, but could move up with strategic hiring.) I am convinced it has been used against departments outside the PGR ecology; these are real harms.
Kristina, I think there is a lot that ought to be told folk upfront. As I say above I recognize that a PGR can be useful to prospective graduate students, but I would not defend it on those grounds.
Lisa, I think it be great if we experiment with other forms of measures. We can then learn how they do. In practice, lots of hierarchies get reinforced, some pull in different directions.
Well, the Ivies were not first movers on meritocracy.
Lynne, I am stipulating that there will be overlooked philosophers (for all I know the vast majority), but I am claiming it does a decent enough (albeit improvable, flawed, biased, etc.) job at tracking the views of folk within the PGR ecology.
I guess there can be value in snobbery, Enzo, when it is directed at proper objects.
I am not denying the harms you mention, Lynne, and I have never claimed the PGR represents the discipline as a whole (In fact, I have repeatedly stressed that the PGR ecology is not representative.)
On the final question: yes. And I advocate that the PGR ecology ought to be creatively expanded and become more porous.
The PGR can be useful to prospective students, but I agree they could be reached by other means, too.
Now that the future of PGR is hanging in the balance, some folk are thinking a future not just with multiple rankings (recall Weatherson and my response), but no philosophy rankings [HT Winsberg & Huebner on Facebook]. Several of my friends in the discipline have expressed surprise that I defend... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
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Thank you for this elaboration, Prof. McCabe! I guess, I can imagine (well I know the type) a philosopher that is animated by anger (at injustice, at fate, etc.)--so that the attitude is problematic from your vantage point. I think that for such a philosopher anger could still be constitutive not just of her practice but even of her notion of civility (in your attitude focused sense which I like).
In the corridor or the classroom or the seminar, civility is at least an aspiration – that we speak and listen to each other in a civil manner: it is an aspiration within an existing community – hence the political overtones of the word. Why should we bother? Civility is... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
The philosophical blogosphere and social media are abuzz. Brian Leiter speaks of a "smear campaign" in the headlines of two of his posts (here and here)--it's unclear if he thinks there is a smear campaign against the PGR, his stewardship of the PGR, his blog (Leiter reports), or him personally.... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
[T]he arbitrariness of art careers, or were they really arbitrary? Who gets to speak and why?--Chris Kraus I love Dick (164) [I]sn't sincerity just the denial of complexity?--Chris Kraus I love Dick (181) These letters're the first time I've ever tried to talk about ideas that I need to, not... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
Hi Aaron, yes, we agree that philosophy has a class issue more generally. My claim is that aesthetics (unintentionally) makes those issues visible in ways that generate discomfort/risk aversion. I know what I am about to say is very controversial and would require more evidence than I have given, but professional philosophy in the UK is shot-through with unacknowledged class issues (basically access to Oxbridge, the main credentialing schools, is still very much determined along class lines [I have done some research on that]) in ways that make class anxiety within higher education less pronounced. (But yeah, this is still sketchy.) But I see my role here as facilitating self-reflection among aestheticians; I am learning a lot from your responses.
Don't let your question (or your answer) run on forever.--David Chalmers "Guidelines for respectful, constructive, and inclusive philosophical discussion." Most of Chalmers's "guidelines" are sensible suggestions for the smooth runing of public philosophical discussion. It's sobering to look at them and recognize that I violate a number of them regularly... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
Thank you, Ainslie. There is only a powerpoint presentation (if you are interested).
On a crisp day, during the Fall on 2001, I suddenly felt a sharp pain in my left knee as I crossed 53rd street. There had been no warning signs. Each step was painful, and by the time I reached my home a block and a half up, I was... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2014 at Digressions&Impressions
Kenji Hayakawa, the anti-elitist strategies you mention are not going to work because the underlying problem is class.
Toggle Commented Sep 23, 2014 on On Aesthetics & Elitism at Digressions&Impressions