Thursday, June 12, 2008

My, My, My, I'm so happy, I'm Going to Join a Band

You know, no doubt other disciplines have their caste systems too, since that's just the way of the world. But I wonder if they celebrate them as much as philosophers do?

-- PGS


Anonymous said...

Insofar as the philosopher's caste system is based on intellectual merits or more so than other caste-type systems, I don't find our intellectual aristocracy that odd. It still smacks of elitism, though, and that's arguably bad.

Sisyphus said...

Yay! PGS is back!

Let the cynicism return! Let the profanities flow! Fuck yeah!

Anonymous said...

I say so much the worse for all you unclean pariah-looking untouchables. I'm a fucking supernova. YeeeeeeHawwwww!

Anonymous said...

If we were in the discipline of political science (assuming that we would all be political theorists), we would be among the bottom-feeders, no matter what our pedigree. Publishing in philosophy is the leveler, bringing the Brahman low (observe the Harvard Ph.D.s who end up teaching at state universities and even colleges) and the Untouchables high (observe the Ph.D.s from second-tier institutions who end up teaching amidst the Ivy).

Anonymous said...

I concur with a couple of the commenters so far: compared to many other areas, philosophy is probably more meritocratic. For all the kvetching about Leiter's unofficially calling some people "rising stars", we don't have anything like a Bates Clark medal. And, at the other end of our careers, we don't have anything like a Nobel prize.

And, perhaps most importantly, future success is far, far less dependent on near-term success in philosophy than it is in other areas, because we are a comparatively resource-poor discipline. Contrast with the sciences, in which landing big funding early on can make a HUGE difference in what kind of funding one can get later.

That doesn't mean things can't be better, but I don't think there's a lot of evidence that things are especially awful over here, when it comes to fetishization of rank.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, fuck all you people. EVERY. LAST. ONE. OF. YOU.

Anonymous said...

".....the philosopher's caste system is based on intellectual merits or more so than other caste-type systems..."

yeah, keep telling yourself that.

I'm sure intellect counts for something.

But I'll try to remember that the next time a guy with an average mind but a fat wallet and a Harvard undergrad degree gets admitted instead of me / gets hired instead of me / gets a bigger scholarship than me / etc etc.