Monday, July 21, 2008

Easily the best philosophical exchange I've read in months.

This is a little behind the times, but I just got around to reading last week's thread from Leiter where folks were discussing whether the olds have an obligation to clear their deadwood asses out at some point.

Now, I believe I've already made my views on the matter quite clear. But check out this awesome exchange between Gil Harman and Tom Hurka:
Harman: "More ageism."

Hurka: "
Ageism? Balls. It's about reducing the huge inequality between an age-cohort that's had it extremely good (those hired in the 1960s) and an age-cohort that are going to find it very tough (those now coming onto the job market). Or do we just say the latter group can go to hell?"
Oh man. So awesome. Hurka--you interested in a little guest blogging? Call me.

-- PGOAT

58 comments:

KateNorlock said...

Awesome? Balls. It's a false dilemma between invoking an obligation to retire, and telling a generation to go to hell.

However, like you I wish to give Hurka style points. Way to go with the balls thing.

Shout out to feminist philosophers who didn't come out of the feminist closet until they were closer to retirement than to the beginning: Stick around, you fringy transgressives! Don't retire just because of Tom Hurka's testes or anything.

Sisyphus said...

Ooh, anybody see this thread over at The Chronicle?

http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,51799.0.html

sighhhhh. Not a tale to lift your spirits.

Anonymous said...

Tom Hurka used to write in the Globe & Mail a long time ago. And wrote well, as I recall, but it's been a while (20 years?)

Anonymous said...

Awesome? Punani. Agree on the false dilemma.

Anonymous said...

relatedly (Im not a leiter h8r) but I ran into the concerns with style thread (with high expectations) and was immediately depressed that La Rochefouaculd, Nietzsche, Plato, or Derrida (apparently leiter loathes him) did not even show up on a list; in their place were all these nobodies..........sadfase

keatskeatskeats

"because it sounds like skeet skeet skeet"

Anonymous said...

I agree that it's not ageism. It is, however, idiotic. I am not from that generation: I am a young tenured philosopher. But as I understand it, it was tough to get jobs in that generation, as well; just like the current generation, you had to fight like hell to get a job, and you had to be exceptional. No one owes any duty to those who aren't getting jobs: it's a buyer's market, and you knew that going into it, or you should have. There are more jobs than there are excellent job seekers (although let's not kid ourselves into thinking there are *way* more - we receive many applications for each job that are simply non-starters) - the result is that there are going to be frustrated job seekers. But to suggest that the available jobs should be divided amongst the candidates like time shares is just ridiculous. If you get a job: well done - now it's yours! And you shouldn't have to go until you're dead.

Cynical said...

So, rather than endorsing the idea that older philosophers have an obligation to retire, Hurka is saying that Harman, who had it easy getting a job in the 60's, should retire, but that when Hurka gets to that age he doesn't have to because he was first on the market in the late 1970's.

Awesome!

Anonymous said...

If you look at the qualifications of 30-something white males on faculties now, almost all of them have multiple masters degrees, doctorates or some other feature in their background that makes them head-and-shoulders above their colleagues, whether faculty who are older, ethnic minorities or women. It is a sign of the times...the white man has been forced to prove that he is superior in order to secure a job!

Anonymous said...

Hum... I wonder where all the race/gender trolls have been. Ahh, there you are, 7:40 am...

Anonymous said...

Compare tenure with the lifetime appointment of a US Supreme Court justice: At some point, they become so old as to be ineffective (or worse). You lose an important motivator when you eliminate the fear of getting sacked, which is what leads tenured faculty to do such dumb things in the classroom; so mandatory retirement is a good compromise with a flawed tenure system. And by the time, they no longer "need" a job, since they will have a nice retirement account fully funded.

All of this are reasons they ought to retire, coupled with the extremely tight job market for new, poor PhDs. These junior faculty would presumably be held to the same standard of mandatory retirement when they are of age, so it's not an unfair advantage to them or anyone else.

We wouldn't be having this discussion if university budgets were fat and philosophy jobs were a-plenty. But that's clearly not the case. If the mandatory retirement argument (or mandatory anything!) works in other industries, then it seems to also apply here.

Time to go spin some barrelhoops down to the taffy store...

Akratic Irishman said...

Anon 2:25 am said: "But as I understand it, it was tough to get jobs in that generation, as well..."

Then you understand incorrectly, as it was comparatively quite easy for people with PhDs to get academic jobs in the 1960s and early 1970s, thanks to the huge expansion of universities during that era (in order to accommodate the baby-boomers). Hell, even people with only MAs could get tenure-track jobs those days!

Hurka's observation about the differences between the job markets then and now is entirely correct.

Anonymous said...

If you look at the qualifications of 30-something white males on faculties now, almost all of them have multiple masters degrees, doctorates or some other feature in their background that makes them head-and-shoulders above their colleagues, whether faculty who are older, ethnic minorities or women. It is a sign of the times...the white man has been forced to prove that he is superior in order to secure a job!

This simply isn't my experience. Look at the faculty at eg UNC Chapel Hill - what do the young white males have? Excellent ability and achievement. What do the older males and women have? Excellent ability and achievement.

Matt Kotzen, Jesse Prinz, Marc Lange, Josh Knobe ... the only thing that they stand out for is their ability, as far as I can tell from the website ... which is just how it should be.

Take your paranoia elsewhere.

holyoke said...

I'll repeat the comment I made on Leiter's blog (which he chose not to post):

Do individual philosophers over a certain age have an obligation to retire? Nope.

Do retirement age academics as a group have an obligation to free up room for the rest of us? You bet.


And what the hell, you bet it was easier to get an academic job 40 years ago. The only way to see otherwise is willful blindness.

Anonymous said...

I, for one, see it as a *huge* advantage of a career as a philosophy professor that you can go on working into your eighties if you want to and are able. Just as I see the tenure system as a huge advantage. Without these, perhaps I (and some others) would have chosen a different career, especially considering the low monetary rewards for philosophy professors. I don't flatter myself that philosophy is particularly interested in attracting me, but on average, these features of a career in philosophy do make it attractive, and thus make the "best and brightest" more likely to choose it. So it seems good for the profession, to me. (Granted, "easy to get a job" would also make it attractive.)

Anonymous said...

Race/ethnicity/gender should not be left out of this debate. Why? The older generation of faculty hired by philosophy departments in the 60s are mostly white males. Many of those same white males, if they were younger and in the job market now, would be unable to obtain academic employment given the strength of current affirmative action policies. They would have to go back to school or look for employment elsewhere, as many white males in philosophy are doing today. So, as the older faculty likely see things (remember they come from a different generation), they would be leaving their TT position to make room for philosophers who are, in many cases, the beneficiaries of affirmative action policies. Whether they view that as good or not and why are matters to be considered. Again, race/ethnicity/gender must be part of the debate. Ignoring them is a symptom of the Political Correctness silencing that goes on far too often in the halls of academe today.

Anonymous said...

"Anon 2:25 am said: "But as I understand it, it was tough to get jobs in that generation, as well..."

Then you understand incorrectly, as it was comparatively quite easy for people with PhDs to get academic jobs in the 1960s and early 1970s, thanks to the huge expansion of universities during that era"

No, actually I understand it perfectly well. There wasn't a huge expansion in the number of teaching positions available; it's just that some places that didn't used to be called 'universities' became so. Good jobs - at real universities - were just as hard to obtain as good jobs are now. Both then and now are there loads of jobs at stupid places that go to thoroughly pathetic philosophers.

Anonymous said...

For all those who are tempted to harness the steam that is coming out of their ears and write a long, patient comment about how white males are doing just fine in academic philosophy, thank you very much, let me remind you:

DON'T FEED THE TROLLS. It only makes it worse. For all we know, someone is posting these comments just to be mischievous and mess with us.

Anonymous said...

Mandatory retirement is ridiculous, in any field. Why should I stop working at age N if I'm still good at it and if the dept. still wants me? Because there's a younger generation who wants jobs, I am no longer allowed to work?

In cases where it really is a problem this sort of thing could be solved with a general institutional reform, like tenure reform. It could be that made it so that elderly senior faculty who were draining more resources from a dept. than they were contributing could be phased out.

confused said...

If the older philosophers retired to make way for the next couple of years of grads, who will retire for the group following them? With young philosophers flooding the market every year, wouldn't we run out of "old" philosophers quickly? Would it get to the point that one could only be a philosophy professor for 5 years to allow the younger group following her to enter the market?

philo said...

sisyphus,

yeah, that's a rough story over at the CHE, but it sounds pretty realistic. drive for academic glory meets the withering psychological consequences of the job market. passion for philosophy becomes obsession... it does sound like the guy in question blew it when it came to tenure at his original institution.

it's also a good reminder of how one's struggles with the job market affect one's partner and/or family. a cautionary tale...

p.s. FWIW, i don't think older faculty have any responsibility to make way for the younger generation of philosophers, but maybe this problem will be solved if tenure goes by the wayside! faculty do, however, have a responsibility to their students -- to provide them with an excellent learning environment. if a professor loses interest in doing this, then perhaps they should no longer be in the classroom...

Anonymous said...

speaking of tenure, apparently you *can* lose tenure just for a bout of kinky sex:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080721.LPERSONAL21/TPStory/?query=spank

Anonymous said...

requiring the older philosophers to make way for the young is preposterous.

The real problem is that nationally, administrators have caught on to the fact that part-time/adjunct is cheaper than tenure-track. I dare you to find a CC with more than 40% TT jobs, and a state U with more than 60%.

Here is the REAL scandal: voting union members (on campuses with unions) have approved their raises, and never pushed for wage-parity for their part-time colleagues. The irony is thick - stand up for your leftest ideals in the classroom and publication, only being able to do so because of your tacit approval of wage-serfdom.

Higher education may claim to be vastly leftist. They may vote left and talk left. But it is not left. Wal-Mart, quite literally, has better employment fairness.

THAT'S why there is a tight job market. It's not the OLD professors.

Anonymous said...

Forcing older philosophers to retire obviously isn't a workable long term solution given the rate we are producing new Ph.D.'s.

Older philosophers (indeed TT philosophers young and old) are not selfish for wanting to hold on to their jobs past the age of 65. However, many of them are selfish for wanting their schools to have Ph.D. programs that the overall market can't support.

If more faculty were willing to cut their programs (or if all faculty in Ph.D. programs were willing to reduce their admission by 50%) the problems with the job market would get much better for prof. philosophers of all ages.

Akratic Irishman said...

Anon 12:18 p.m. said: "No, actually I understand it perfectly well. There wasn't a huge expansion in the number of teaching positions available; it's just that some places that didn't used to be called 'universities' became so."

No, apparently you don't understand 'it' at all.

Many (although obviously not all) 'real' universities did indeed expand during the 1960s and 1970s, and many new 'real' universities were established during that era (some of which now have respectable philosophy departments). This certainly was the case in Canada and the U.S.

It is true that 'polytechnics' became 'universities' in the U.K., but that happened during the 1990s when John Major was PM, not the time period in question (and the change did not improve the number of jobs -- 'good' or 'stupid' -- available for philosophers).

"Good jobs - at real universities - were just as hard to obtain as good jobs are now. Both then and now are there loads of jobs at stupid places that go to thoroughly pathetic philosophers."

Wow. Surely such an erudite comment could only be made by a 'good' philosopher at a 'real university'! In any case, there simply are not 'loads of jobs' at even 'stupid places' these days. Oh, and feel free to clarify precisely what you mean by 'real universities' as opposed to 'stupid places'. That should be quite entertaining!

Akratic said...

"However, many of them are selfish for wanting their schools to have Ph.D. programs that the overall market can't support."

Spot on.

Anonymous said...

"I dare you to find a CC with more than 40% TT jobs, and a state U with more than 60%."

Texas-Austin looks like it has 32 faculty excluding emeriti: 29 are TT with 3 lecturers and no visitors. ~90%

Carolina del Norte en Chapel Hill has 32: 27 are TT, 5 are visitors. ~85%

UCLA has 24: 19 are TT with 2 visitors, 2 postdocs and 1 adjunct. ~80%

Michigan has 29: 22 are TT with 4 lecturers and 3 visitors. ~75%

Please don't use the expression "state U" so indiscriminately.

Anonymous said...

The shoddy argument that gets repeated over and over again is that the fairness of the market depends on the percentage of PhDs who get jobs (or better yet "good" jobs). I think the fact that universities are willing to sponsor people's graduate training in philosophy is a good thing when it may be easily said that there is no obvious evidence that this is "beneficial to society" (I'm not endorsing this view, of course). Why should the solution be trimming graduate programs? Only if we think that every philosophy PhD should get a job would this make sense. (Come now -- do the worst philosophers trained at the worst philosophy-PhD-granting 'deserve' a job? If not, where are you going to draw the line? Clearly, the line is arbitrary and it is not fixed by desert but by the market)

So, a lot of people are disappointed, yes, but not because the market is unfair, but because people are deluded (by others in large part) about the reality of the job situation. If you read this blog, you can't possibly still be deluded.

Anonymous said...

It's true there are too many Philosophy PhD programs (or at least, too many spaces in PhD programs)

And yet there's a mass outcry whenever anyone threatens to shut one of these programs down (see, most recently, the hue and cry at the University of Florida)

Anonymous said...

4:24 :

I think the sentence you quote is more charitably read as being about the percentage of student credit hours that are covered by TT faculty, not about the percentage of faculty listed on the web-page that are TT vs visiting.

Measuring the former is not that simple. When departments hire adjuncts to teach a section or two of critical thinking, they dont usually put them on the web page. I know we dont.

Anonymous said...

"Please don't use the expression "state U" so indiscriminately."

No dice.

I won't doubt your statistics regarding well-regarded philosophy departments in major resesarch universities. I could even be forced to add the caveat "except for flagship State U." But your citations of these cases hardly dents the case made earlier (and recall that I was talking about institutions, not departments). Just look around you, and try to tell me that it ain't so. I was downright kind by postulating 60% at State U. In a great many cases (Most SUNY, Most CUNY, Most CA state, Most TX state) it's more like 35%. Those are publicly available facts.

Do you have any idea how many TT jobs that would be if State U did the right thing?

The jobs are scarce because faculty went along with the administration (an administration who themselves faced pressures). We have been moral cowards who prefer to enrich ourselves. It helps us psychologically, I think, to call ourselves leftist. Makes us think we care.

Note to self: save the academic left from itself.

Philosophy Prof said...

Indeed, isn't there a lot of personal and social benefit if a person gets a Philosophy PhD and then goes into another career? Perhaps finishing the degree in 4-5 years, and then maybe going to law school or library school or medical school or who knows what? My education has changed my life, and it would have done so had I not gone into academia.

And I just have to weigh in re: the trolls...

I can only speak to my personal experience, but so far as I can tell almost _all_ philosophy jobs are going either to white males with fancy degrees and a short publication list or else non-white-males who are extremely qualified in terms of publications or pedigree or both. I have been on search committees at a couple of different universities, and even though there is a desire to recruit people who are from the non-white-male category, we have _never_ hired the person we did not think was the most qualified overall. In perhaps a couple of cases there was a perceived tie, but then the consensus is usually that we are basing our decision on a very small amount of information, and for all we know the top candidates could be either boom or bust, and so we go with the non-white-male in that case, but again only if it's a tie with respect to all other considerations. I would bet a lot to win a little that the angry/resentful people writing in here are from lower-ranked programs, or have lots of publications but in crappy non-selective journals or crappy non-selective publishing houses (and these mean NOTHING, as they should), and that in most cases these people have been beaten out for jobs by white males from fancy programs and with only a few pubs., but who are judged to be cutting edge, etc. This is a joke to blame to non-white-males, really.

Anonymous said...

Philosophy Prof:
If you're right (and I hope you're not) that almost all the jobs are going either to WMs from fancy places or non-WMs, then surely the many talented WMs from non-fancy places who have multiple publications in reputable journals would be justifiably resentful (though you're right that directing their resentment at non-WMs would be inappropriate).

Statist said...

I could even be forced to add the caveat "except for flagship State U."

That still won't do it. NC State, Arizona State, Florida State, to name a few.

Instead of trying to defend your incorrect over-generalization (which is what your respondent was objecting to), why don't you just say that many departments rely very heavily on adjunct teaching? That's true, and it's perfectly adequate to support your main point, which is a very important point.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the generalisation about State Unis is spot the fuck on. Think about Texas, for every UT, Tech, and A&M there are about a gajillion Southwest Texas States and UT at ButtFuck. Same for every state. Univ of N. Carolina at Jed's BBQ, Univ of Vermont at Nearest Open Field, and Rutgers FUCKING CAMDEN where you are more likely to get a bullet to the dome than get a TT job.

Anonymous said...

"Instead of trying to defend your incorrect over-generalization (which is what your respondent was objecting to), why don't you just say that many departments rely very heavily on adjunct teaching?"

Firstly, I want to say that I appreciate the back-and-forth of this blog.

I don't say "many" because that would be but a euphamism for the state of the problem out there. Yes, I happened to have taken logic, and am fully aware that "many" is compatible with a statement such as "All but one". But the point that I am endorsing is that this is a deep, systematic problem that pervades the vast majority of higher education in this country. "many", as logically consistent as the term may be when construed as an existential quantifier, fails to capture the natural language "rub" I want to give it.

You can't have looked at how higher education makes its staffing decisions and think that you have made a substantive rebuttal by pointing out that UCLA pays well. Tack on thirty other research institutions, for all I care. Do you know how many universities and colleges exist in this country?

There are so many ironies here - such as the tenured professor running a course in Marx, and only able to do so becaue the adjunct is working his/her intro course.

Do you need specific stories? I've got a slew of very galling ones if you want them. But they're generally circumstantial.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I'm a new TT Assistant Prof. YES, I use my position to vigorously advocate for part-time employees.

Ok. I'm done defending. Have at me.

Philosophy Prof said...

Thanks -- my comments were indeed targeted at the act of blaming the non-white-male. Plenty of people from non-fancy programs get jobs, but almost all of these are white males also. Perhaps this is due to the utter lack of diversity in philosophy grad. programs, which has a whole background of its own. But that's all independent of the question of who in fact is getting the jobs. It's just silly to blast the non-white-male. I would be resentful also if I wasn't getting a job, I would just want to be careful how I directed it.

Statist said...

Actually, the generalisation about State Unis is spot the fuck on.

Look, I gave a straightforward refutation of the generalization. I suggested an alternative claim that's true and helpful. But now you insist that the original generalization is spot the fuck on.

...FUCKING CAMDEN where you are more likely to get a bullet to the dome than get a TT job.

I am extremely unlikely to get a TT job at FUCKING CAMDEN, but that's irrelevant. Philosophy at Rutgers FUCKING CAMDEN offered six, count 'em, six philosophy courses this past semester; they have two full-time philosophers.

Statist said...

Yes, I happened to have taken logic, and am fully aware that "many" is compatible with a statement such as "All but one".

I don't follow you. What you originally said just wasn't true, and someone (not me) pointed out that you had overgeneralized. When you qualified it to something like 'all but one', it still wasn't true, as I pointed out. Maybe there's something stronger than 'many' here that's still true, but if so you haven't found it!

You can't have looked at how higher education makes its staffing decisions and think that you have made a substantive rebuttal by pointing out that UCLA pays well.

I didn't say anything remotely resembling that. You don't give a 'substantive rebuttal' by attacking a straw man!

Tack on thirty other research institutions, for all I care. Do you know how many universities and colleges exist in this country?

I do, yes. And I know that many of them rely heavily on adjunct labor, and I agree that's bad. Since you're not satisfied with that, maybe you could say something more precise?

Do you need specific stories?

Of course not. What would be the point of giving stories? Nobody doubts that some, indeed many philosophy departments rely heavily on adjunct labor. Your stories, presumably, illustrate that. But you want to make some stronger claim. It's just that so far, the stronger claims you've made aren't true.

mr. zero said...

Statist,

It didn't seem to me that your interlocutor was commenting on philosophy departments in particular. Rather, your interlocutor was decrying a university-wide phenomenon. Faculty unions don't represent only philosophy faculty, after all. Pointing out that philosophy departments in particular are not among the worst offenders doesn't touch the larger point that there's a serious problem.

Statist said...

Mr. Zero,
I did think we were talking about philosophy departments (if not, an earlier reply to my interlocutor, mentioning some philosophy departments at some state universities, were misguided).
But in any case I wasn't claiming that "philosophy departments in particular are not among the worst offenders" (nor anything similar). And it's obvious that I agree with the "larger point that there's a serious problem." Haven't I said so more than once?

So I don't understand what you're on about there.

Anonymous said...

Look, Statist, anon 1:39 was just speaking loosely, okay? Lighten up, already. He wasn't trying to convey that absolutely every CC and State U relies heavily on adjuncts, just that the vast majority do. And when he said "I dare you to find a CC with more than 40% TT jobs, and a state U with more than 60%," he must have really meant something like, "I dare you to find more than 500 CCs with more than 40% TT jobs, and more than 200 State Us with more than 60% TT jobs." I mean, learn to read, already.

Either that, or he's just one more philosopher constitutionally incapable of admitting he's wrong.

Oh, and for all those other philosophers constitutionally incapable of detecting sarcasm? That's it, right up there.

mr. zero said...

So I don't understand what you're on about there.

If you agree with the point, why were you arguing? That's what.

Statistical Statist said...

I'm the anonymous poster of some relevant statistics regarding state universities with well-regarded philosophy departments (information which is far easier to acquire than that regarding entire universities, though I think that the readers here are more interested in philosophy departments and can project to the broader sample with the requisite caveats). I wasn't intending to be tendentious, though I admire my fellow Statist's defense of my point in principle. I merely object to the use of "State U" as a pejorative label. Not that I prefer PC nonsense like "less selective institution of higher education," of course.

I also think bandying about top-of-the-head statistics for rhetorical effect is a strategy that invites derision.

Statistical Statist said...

One further comment:

It has been suggested that my numbers were flawed because they didn't represent percentage of the overall teaching load. So, let's consider one of my 4 state departments at random, say Chapel Hill. Fortunately, they have a well-organized website in this respect.

The 5 visitors are teaching 9 out of 47 undergraduate sections (a mixture of intro and more advanced courses, which suits the appropriate role of these part-time instructors in not simply filling in for senior scholars in 'service' courses, but broadening the range of instruction of the faculty) and 0 of 11 graduate sections in Fall term 2008. So that's just over 80% of undergrad sections and 85% of total sections, matching the TT percentage (also ~85%) nicely.

Statist said...

Mr. Zero,

If you agree with the point, why were you arguing? That's what.

Really?
This is slightly depressing. I thought I stated pretty clearly what I was disagreeing with, and why, and even how the original claim, which was not true, and the version with the 'caveat', which was still not true, could be changed so that it is both true and to what I took to be the main point, which point I expressed agreement with.

I guess I could say it again, if it's necessary.

mr. zero said...

I thought I stated pretty clearly what I was disagreeing with, and why, and even how the original claim, which was not true, and the version with the 'caveat', which was still not true, could be changed so that it is both true and to what I took to be the main point, which point I expressed agreement with.

That's quite a sentence.

I took the main claim to be that universities (state universities in particular--I presume this is for budgetary challenges that privates don't tend to face) rely too much on part time teachers, whom they exploit. This, in turn, creates a TT job crunch, since TT faculty should be teaching those classes. I put no stock in the numbers mentioned, and I take nitpicking about them to be pointless, since they were obviously made-up rough approximations, and not specifically about philosophy departments.

I think there's a legitimate question about whether philosophy departments are particularly guilty of this, and I think it's legitimately questionable whether this is a main cause of the philosophy job market clusterfuck.

I'm sorry to depress you, but when I look under the name "statist," I don't see any clear, coherently expressed objection to any clear, coherently expressed claim. If I squint, it's possible to imagine you were trying to say that philosophy departments are not especially part-timey. But since you later denied that this was your point, I wouldn't say you clearly expressed your claim, or that you clearly identified your target.

new thread please? said...

I submitted the following post anonymously on Leiter's most recent thread re: phil. journals. But you know how he is with anonymous posts or timeliness...

Background: The issue is, how can we get journals to reply to authors more quickly, since waiting 3-6 months is really an unreasonable amount of time?

As someone who's been frustrated on both sides of the debate (i.e., as an author and as an editor), here's my proposal: Get rid of the non-simultaneous submission requirement for ALL journals.

By 'leaving it up to the free market', this would motivate the editors to quickly respond to an author, not necessarily with a definitive response but at least with a note back that the journal is interested and please give us the first right of refusal for the next 30-60-90 days. After that time limit expires, the author is free to submit again elsewhere; again, this second journal has no expectation of exclusive review unless they reply back with interest first.

Sound reasonable? Even so, I doubt anything like this would be adopted, since the 'top-tier' journals have a monopoly of influence and can continue to make authors wait an unreasonable amount of time. Funny how 'justice' and 'fairness' are concepts lost in the business of philosophy, if not also the job market...

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed the strange posting on the JFP summer web ads by U Texas El Paso - hiring for a TT position, starting in the spring? They had a search for this position in the fall... Suddenly it appears again now, with the application deadline in early August; Huh?

Anonymous said...

Oh, Christ. This is why I hate philosophy/ers. There are too many adjuncts. For the good of our careers, but clearly also for the good of students. No more quibbling.

New post?

Statist said...

Zero,

I agree with you about what the main point is, and I agree with your suggestion about it.

Okay, you can't figure out what my objection was from the comments I had already given. I guess I wasn't clear enough. But others understood perfectly, so I guess you have to share the blame.

I'm all done now.

Anonymous said...

11:54am: That could just as well back things up even more. We've already got both grad students and professors submitted papers like mad, but if your proposal went through, we'd have them all sending out the same papers to 5-10 additional places. That's 5-10 times as much material that needs to be refereed. Can we find 5-10 times as many referees?

Anonymous said...

I'm with anon. 11:54.

Journals look a hell of a lot like a license to print money. Free market away.....

Anonymous said...

er.... I meant "new thread please" at 11:54....

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that here and over at Leiter there is no discussion, during the mandatory retirement debate, of what's best for the students and the institution. As a student, I remember plenty of geezers who were retailing old 50's style analytic philosophy that drove the students out of the department en masse. Of course there should be a mandatory retirement age. People who say "no it's the professors decision" would only be true if the professors ran owned the institution and payed the bills out of their own pockets.

philo said...

Anon 6:59 wrote:

It's interesting that here and over at Leiter there is no discussion, during the mandatory retirement debate, of what's best for the students and the institution.

No discussion?

FWIW, i don't think older faculty have any responsibility to make way for the younger generation of philosophers, but maybe this problem will be solved if tenure goes by the wayside! faculty do, however, have a responsibility to their students -- to provide them with an excellent learning environment. if a professor loses interest in doing this, then perhaps they should no longer be in the classroom...

I'm just sayin'...

new thread please (again) said...

7:29pm said: That could just as well back things up even more. We've already got both grad students and professors submitted papers like mad, but if your proposal went through, we'd have them all sending out the same papers to 5-10 additional places. That's 5-10 times as much material that needs to be refereed. Can we find 5-10 times as many referees?


I don't see how this backs things up. Yes, an author would spam 5-10 journals with the paper, but all the journals need to do is give a 5-10 min. read-through of the paper and give a "Yes, we'll do a more thorough review if you give us first right of refusal (i.e., decline similar offers from other journals" or "No, this doesn't seem to be a fit because of ___."

We can also devise a mechanism to minimize submission-spam: the journals can track the authors, and limit submissions to, say, 4 a year; or if their papers are summarily rejected more than 3 times, then they're automatically put on a lower-priority list of quick review.

How about creating a website to manage all this?: A central location to accept submissions, farm them out to the requested journals, and then automatically contact the non-responding journals that the paper has been snapped up by another journal already (i.e., don't bother to read it now).

Contrary to some other post, it IS a race or competition among journals; you're fooling yourself if you think not. So let's really let unbridled competition begin on both sides!

phree said...

The journals are elitist and if you're a new scholar without connections, they have no incentive or motive to reply at all. If we boycotted the slow responding journals and exposed the pretentious persons who control what is "in" and "out" by the process of systematic exclusion, this would warn others to stay away from their journals. The Philosophy Journal Information wiki deserves our continued attention. We should be constantly updating it and making it useful for members of our profession.

Anonymous said...

Yo, when and if I ever get a job, I'm going to hang onto it until I fucking die.

Actually, I'm planning to hold onto it for a year or two after I die. I mean, who'd know the diff?