Archive for the ‘Academia’ Category


Philosophy and Business

January 14, 2010

Can’t say I disagree with this guy. It’s often difficult to get the practically minded graduate student to take the bait that philosophy actually does offer practical guidance, and that it can be helpful in a huge range of areas… but having spoken with innumerable philosophy and non-philosophy majors, I believe that it does. Not sure that this article makes the case any better than simply asserting that it does, but philosophy is more-or-less a post-experience good.

The financial and climate crises, global consumption habits, and other 21st-century challenges call for a “killer app.” I think I’ve found it: philosophy.

Philosophy can help us address the (literally) existential challenges the world currently confronts, but only if we take it off the back burner and apply it as a burning platform in business.

It’s all very interesting, coming out at approximately the same time that the UK is training its guns on the “blue skies” disciplines that have no apparent economic value.


Fresh Meat

December 27, 2009

I’ve just finished the first evening of the APA. So far it’s been a fun little venture, hanging out with friends from years past. As an exercise in commisery, I’ve been conducting an informal poll of those on the market. Given my deeply scientific sample, I think that I can finally lay the “fresh meat” hypothesis to rest.

The “fresh meat” hypothesis, as I understand it, is that newbies on the philosophy job market have a leg up on the dried and stagnant meat on the market. The governing thought is that being mysterious works in one’s favor, where having a tried and tested track record can actually count against a candidate. Most philosophers like a healthy enigma or two, so I suppose that such a hypothesis may actually carry some weight in a less anomalous market than this one.

Having spoken now to twenty some odd job candidates, it appears that those with the most publications and those who are the furthest away from the PhD are faring far better than those who are either newly minted or are still ABD.

Again, this is hardly a scientific sample, and maybe the dynamics work differently for those in different areas of specializations, or for those with maybe a different pedigree, but the hypothesis that I think is governing this market is the “shark hypothesis.”

These are nasty employment waters, by every account, so it makes sense for all comers to hire those who might be snatched up in an otherwise more robust market. I suspect that search committees are instead seeking out well-established academics, looking to purchase those who might not be available in less competitive years. Not that other years are all that much less competitive, mind you, just that in a “normal” year, there are reasons for search committees to hire according to fit.

At any rate, take heart newbies. It’s a bad year for you. I think market dynamics are pushing search committees to act opportunistically and to take advantage of those with extremely long CVs.


No APA Overflow Hotel

December 4, 2009

Wow. This is pretty unbelievable.

I’m sorry to have caught this so late, but the APA regretfully announces that they have failed to secure an overflow hotel for the Eastern meetings.

So, all you job seekers who, quite sensibly, were waiting to make travel arrangements until you discovered whether you had any interviews (and thus any reason to travel to New York City over the Holidays): If you’re lucky enough to have interviews at the Eastern, you’re on your own for a hotel! Thankfully, the APA has provided a list of nearby hotels. Enjoy the criminal booking rates!


Philosophy and Class

December 1, 2009

There’s a thoughtful discussion going on over at Leiter’s blog on philosophy and class. Philosophers, I assume, are already watching this. Non-philosophers may also find something of interest there.


Philosophy of Journalism

November 24, 2009

Maybe I’ll tip this one off to Yulsman, Kloor, and Fleck (all readers of this blog), as well as any other journalists out there, but there’s a somewhat interesting discussion going on about the philosophy of journalism on Leiter’s blog. Carlin Romano laments in the Chronicle of Higher Education that there is no philosophy of journalism. As we’ve seen in the past, Brian Leiter no likey Carlin Romano. The daggers are out for him on this one too.

I’m surprised that Leiter didn’t point this out, but there’s definitely a discussion about journalism ethics, though that discussion tends to be sequestered primarily to journalism schools and shocked audience reactions after films like Shattered Glass. (Peter Sarsgaard is amazing, btw. Darth Vader leaves a bit to be desired, though he’s better there than with Jar Jar.) It’s an understandable oversight. Journalism ethics deals with a different set of questions than philosophical ethics, and even applied ethics as conducted by philosophers. I don’t see any reason why philosophers can’t, in principle, contribute to that discussion. Maybe the journalistically inclined readers have something to add.


New APA Policy

November 19, 2009

My colleague Alastair Norcross has done a fair bit to get the American Philosophical Association (APA) to adopt new language for institutions that discriminate against gay men and women. Philosopher Brian Leiter has the story, along with a growing string of comments, over at his blog. Way to go, Alastair!


California Raises Tuition

November 19, 2009

There goes the neighborhood. Who’s next?


Philosopher Fight!

November 16, 2009

This must’ve been quite an event! If my experiences in Russia are any guide, something tells me that vodka was involved:

A debate between philosophers at an international forum ended in a fistfight Monday that left two people slightly injured, Interfax reported.


November JFP

November 6, 2009

The November JFP is out, and apparently it’s worse than the unemployment statistics from today.


Goose and Gander

October 30, 2009

On this fine Friday afternoon, how about partaking in a bit of “Gender Bias Bingo.”