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Helen De Cruz
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Thank you, Sebastian Lutz - this sort of feedback is very helpful for us to assess whether there is sufficient interest, motivation etc for a specialized OA philosophy book press. My sense is that by having a specialized press for philosophy books, we'd have more control over the editorial practice, peer review, etc (all aspects of quality control that philosophers might be concerned about).
Philosophers: Please take the following survey to help us assess the feasibility and interest for an open access philosophy press, by following this link. It should take no more than 5 minutes to complete. This survey aims to gage the interest of professional philosophers in helping to create, operate,... Continue reading
Hi Sara: One way those numbers might be distorted is if people from top-5 schools got earlier offers (since Marcus' figures only report the first 100 hires).
Hi Joe: Thanks - that's good food for thought. Personally, I found Carolyn's numbers comforting (I thought, well at least prestige isn't everything and some lower-ranked programs still manage to place their candidates well). But if Marcus' figures for the first 100 hires extrapolate to the total job season, to have nearly 40% of new TT hires from only 5 schools seems to me pretty skewed. To assess whether 25% would be fair, we'd have to know how much % of new candidates the top 5 schools jointly produce, and to assess how much of a skew towards those programs we would deem fair.
Do you know the figures for the rest? 100 seems a good sample to me (except if the first 100 hires are skewed in some respect).
I've put together some numbers on pedigree bias from various websites and sources, and it seems the problem is pervasive in academia: In computer science, business and history, 25% of doctoral granting institutions provide 71-86% of all tenure track jobs (Clauset et al.) In computer science, business and history, only... Continue reading
Thanks for your comments - The Cocoon is for everyone, not just academic philosophers with PhDs! Anyway, I suspected too that it's a matter of style, and not just of subject. I personally work associatively, whenever I find a topic to write about, lots of other things come into my mind and I develop these are second and subsequent minor strands in the paper.
Thanks - I did not know about this blogpost (and it's remarkable that it has the same probably-not-Hemingway flash fiction)! I was recently reminded of the art of ultra-short philosophical works by letting my biology students read a philosophy paper in class, using David Concepcion's method of reading philosophy with meta-cognition.
I have always wanted to have a paper in Analysis or Thought. A really neat, short, paper, that is self-contained and makes an substantive philosophical point. Unfortunately, I tend to write articles of about 8000-9000 words, and first drafts are typically even longer. I've written some pre-read papers for conferences... Continue reading
Religious disagreements are conspicuous in everyday life. Most societies, except perhaps for theocracies or theocracy-like regimes, show a diversity of religious beliefs, a diversity that young children already are aware of. One emerging topic of interest in the social epistemology of religion is how we should respond to religious disagreement.... Continue reading
I am co-signing Helen De Cruz British Academy postdoctoral fellow University of Oxford
What do philosophers think about religious disagreement? This is a brief survey (takes about 5-10 minutes) to find this out. The survey is aimed at academic philosophers, by which I mean people who hold a PhD in philosophy or are graduate students in philosophy. If you fit these criteria, please... Continue reading
Hi Ambrose: I think older professors *can* make a difference, but I don't think the solution is to give up their spot so that a younger person (often indeed with a comparably better publication record, such is the arms race we are in) can take their place. For one thing, many tenure lines go away when the person retires (I think in the previous place I worked only about 1/3 retirees were replaced by new tenure-line hires). Second, I know there's an overproduction of PhDs but I would still question the wisdom of hiring and retaining people in terms purely of their productivity (because then why should we hire parents, or indeed anyone who has a life outside of academia). Older professors could advocate for and mentor younger people, do some small things towards making life for new hires and for adjuncts a bit easier (e.g., many friends of mine who are tenure track hires have difficulties figuring out how the dept works, for instance, learning too late about a bonus they could get for good teachng evals.) Precisely because the protection tenure offers, older professors don't need to compete with their younger (more productive etc) colleagues, and so can make a positive difference.
Dear Steven, thanks for the clarification. If there are exceptions (pilots etc), one could imagine an exception being added for professors if it turned out that they hung on as long as possible and beyond the capacity to do their job properly (I don't think that is the cade, to be clear). What I mean is that there's no individual moral duty for professors to retire when they reach a certain age, even if it turned out that the lack of a mandatory retirement age was detrimental.
I don't know what other people's intuitions are on this. Personally, I don't see the problem. For instance, I've heard of people at regional state schools, which were hard hit by budget cuts, who are stuck with the same (not too great, in the proximity of high school teacher) salary and only ever get a significant raise if they get promoted (which would only happen twice, e.g., to associate and to full professor). In the meantime the administrators, who have many more levels to climb regularly get paid raises. It seems that getting a counteroffer is a perfectly reasonable way to improve your wage. Also, note that applying for another job with no intention to take it does come with its costs. In the private sector, accepting a counteroffer comes with a higher subsequent attrition rate and lower job satisfaction (after all, your colleagues know or are bound to find out you've gotten a counteroffer, it may not be the best way to foster collegiality). So it is definitely not without its risks.
I put in that proviso "as long as they can meet the expectations for teaching and research that they have met earlier" because I know that this sometimes happens. I don't think cases of forcibly retiring faculty members who are not able to do their teaching or research adequately are structurally different from other cases (involving younger people) who have mental health issues that prevent them from doing their jobs. I knew about two such cases with tenured professors who had mental health problems.In both cases, they were removed from their positions (one of them left academia entirely, the other was given an administrative position).
Thanks, Mark! I think this is an important thing to realize - that privilege is not automatically accrued with age, and many people are working for relatively modest wages at less prestigious universities. There's a mistaken perception among non-tenureline faculty that all tenure-track faculty members are raking in the big money, and similarly, there's a perception among junior people that older tenureline faculty members are all making the wages of endowed chairs at research-intensive institutions.
John: sorry for my delayed response and delay in approving the comment. I think for philosophy you need to assess on a case-by-case basis. A flabby way to go about it is to say you'll be doing conceptual analysis, thought experiment and other philosophical techniques. A better way (I think) is to be specific about your philosophical methodology, e.g., you could say that you'll be combining your philosophical techniques such as conceptual analysis with case-studies of actual examples (e.g., in political philosophy and philosophy of science) and that you'll use review of literature from such fields.
A few years ago, I read the Philosophy Smoker on a regular basis. In the comments threads, several job seekers complained about older professors who didn't retire. If only they finally went away, more tenure lines would become available for junior people. In a provocative essay, professor emerita Laurie Frendrich... Continue reading
Hi Eric: Thank you for this. It's a difficult balancing exercise, I agree. It is exacerbated by the fact that the grant model in Belgium is too much modeled on the sciences. When my sister did her PhD in medium-energy nuclear physics, her lab director's name was on all her publications, although his contribution was usually not creative (he did of course check the work of his PhD students, and actively mentored them in how to present their research using the practices of the profession, and where to submit to etc). Other lab members who had little creative input, but, for instance, just ran some analyses, were also on her first-authored papers. However, in physics, it is generally understood that this is how it works. The first author gets the credit, but there is an understanding that this is the result of teamwork. So it is totally unproblematic in physics to have all your papers co-authored with your lab colleagues and promotor. The problem is that this model cannot be emulated in the humanities. As you know, I like to co-author and have co-authored a lot [although never with my advisor] but I think the situation of a humanities PhD who has nothing but co-authored articles with his or her advisor is undesirable. I once heard an advisor say to his PhD student that she should write more papers with him, because that way he could write grants at which she could be employed, he would need to make a case for why he was writing this project (she wasn't eligible for one of the personal postdoc grants anymore). But this makes it more difficult for the former student to find employment elsewhere and makes her too dependent on the goodwill and ability of her former advisor to win funding. She will not be perceived as someone who has her own philosophical voice, regardless of her own contribution. One problem - specific for Flemish academia - is that professors can't have course release based on their grants. I've found this situation incomprehensible: how can you do enough work on the grant without course release? In such a situation, putting one's name under papers where one's contribution is perhaps not as big as to merit co-authorship becomes the way to get enough publications on one's CV, which is necessary to win new grants. So one could counter the situation by providing profs with course release so they can work more on their own research, perhaps also by putting some more weight on their first-authored publications than on those in which they are not first author (which presumably are a better measure of their output, for in stance in the social sciences, where almost everything is co-authored).
Hi Neil it's not specified where each fragment comes from. The text corpora that are being analyzed in the paper come from the UK and from the US. In sports there may be an exception to the social convention against bragging. Bragging by athletes and other competitive sportspeople might be a form of psychological warfare. For instance, Muhammad Ali had his signature "talking trash" (belittling and taunting his opponents), see here for examples:
Hi Neil: You are right that in the broader field, theists seem to be neither more or less ethical than non-theists (there are some studies suggesting theists give more charitably, but that incorporates donations to churches, which is misleading). This is also why I think that epistemic distance could be achieved in many other means (as in the example I provide, being a parent. Again, I don't think parents are better people - if anything, you need to invest in your children which might make altruism towards other less easily attainable). Nevertheless, I think Rea's self-reflective view that his identity as a Christian is helpful (or should be helpful, it's interesting he draws this distinction) in achieving reflective distance toward the pernicious norms of our discipline, which mean putting yourself forward and being clever (often at the expense of others). So my empirical prediction would be that people who take most of their identity out of being a professional philosopher would be more vulnerable to regarding these norms as absolute without any sense of relativizing them.
The following letter was adopted by the Northwestern University Philosophy Graduate Students by way of a vote: As many in the philosophical community already know, sexual misconduct is a prevalent problem in the discipline. Our department is currently bearing the weight of its own controversy regarding sexual misconduct, and we... Continue reading
Hi Patrick: I agree the GCC is a great thing, and diversity within philosophy of religion (in its practitioners) is low. Kevin Timpe crunched some numbers, suggesting that women might be even less represented in PoR than in other fields, across different samples, he has about 10% women in PoR (or even less), whereas the percentage across philosophy in general is about 20% for faculty members. Still, addressing just the demographics (a laudable aim and something I support 100%) only addresses part of the problem. In fact, the problem will only be seriously addressed if there is also an openness to diversity in *subject matters*, for instance, feminist analytic theology, work on female mystics, etc, is still fringe within philosophy of religion. So while increasing diversity of practitioners is a good thing, we should also be more open to other approaches, otherwise, as Park said, our increased diversity is just cosmetic, and we might not be able to retain people who aren't white males.