If you would like to report hiring information from 2013-2014, please fill in the form at this link; the data entered there feeds into a spreadsheet available here. Quite a bit of hiring information is already available at Leiter Reports, here.
UPDATE 8 March 10:30 am CDT: This form and spreadsheet need not be limited to this NewAPPS post. If any other blog would like to link to it, they are welcome. In that case, I would be happy to make the relevant bloggers co-owners of the Google documents in question. Ideally, the information would be available in a neutral location, but having the links posted to several different blogs would come close to that.
I theorized and defended my use of snark here, but I hereby renounce its use. Although I do not think it "apt" to describe New APPS as instantiating a "self-righteous lynch-mob mentality"* (if indeed that phrase was meant to encompass us among its targets), I will nonetheless refrain from further use of snark or sarcasm or related modes. I will instead simply point out the rhetorical moves I think some folks are making; if I think someone is proposing ad hoc and inflated standards of proof, I'll just say so. Etc.
Really nice conversation between Gary Gutting and John Caputo about religious belief at the Stone here.
Gutting's interventions are great, with the exception of: "After all the deconstructive talk, the law of noncontradiction still holds."
No. No. No. Deconstruction in part shows exactly where it fails (cf. Chapter 14 of Priest's Beyond the Limits of Thought). This is not just Priest's appropriation of Derrida (as making a version of Russell's paradox) though. In the interview itself, Caputo puts enough on the table to suggest an enclosure paradox with respect to religious belief and practice.
The story is here. I think there are two things to note here:
1: the threat to jobs of our colleagues: "The head of the University of Maine System said Friday that further state budget cuts could force the system to shed 95 jobs, on top of its plan to eliminate 165 in the next budget year."
2: the use of the seemingly neutral and technocratic term "revenue shortfall" here: "Page said the potential funding cut of nearly $10 million – part of an across-the-board spending reduction to cover a state revenue shortfall – could force the system to eliminate another 95 jobs in the year that starts July 1."
The problem with the use of that term is that it hides deliberate decisions by Maine politicians to cut state taxes, thereby creating the "shortfall" that is then the pretext to gut the university. I'd say this is a perfect example of ideology, as the hidden ratchet effect of taking previous decisions as unquestionable baselines.
I second this. I also await Brian Leiter's promised reply, which I hope, in addition to an apology to McKinnon, will explain that he did not mean to imply that criticism of his use of "vigilante justice" to describe the non-violent protest of Northwestern students constitutes "a lynch mob."
In "Changing Places" David Lodge describes "the humiliation game," where English professors have to list the most important book they've never read. The winner is the person for whom it is the most humiliating to admit s/he hasnt read the book s/he gives.
In the novel, humiliation ends up generating something analagous to a Priest type enclosure paradox with respect to practical reasoning.* Howard Ringbaum represents a particular kind of hyper-competitive obnoxious American academic, and so of course at a party with all of his colleagues present the game renders him momentarily speechless as his will battles out what to do. He has to win the game, but you win by looking the stupidest, which for someone like Ringbaum also means losing game in a broader sense.**
Lodge's game worked perfectly as satire given the level of status anxiety of the star culture of the 1980s English departments. I don't know the extent to which it works for philosophy today. First, we don't quite have that star culture any more. With punk/grunge DIY, the internet and open access, our swath of academia is increasingly starting to resemble folk art, where you get small groups of people making philosophy for each other*** (in the Baby Boomer era Lodge satirizes, all of the pressures worked to push people to ape mass art with respect to academic celebrity). Second, analytic philosophy isn't really a culture of the book.
Continental philosophers can I think still play humiliation in its original form. What's the most important philosophical book that you haven't read? For analytic philosophy at least, the analogue would have to concern a position or argument or maybe paper. It would be something like this- Given your area of expertise, what is the most important argument about which you are shockingly ignorant.
All philosophers could amend the game in this way. What is your most strongly held commitment that is deemed least plausible to those around you? Call the contest involving this question "humiliation-prime."
[H]e is proclaiming his new project, the Wolfram Language, to be the biggest computer language of all time. It has been in the works for more than 20 years, and, while in development, formed the underlying basis of Wolfram’s popular Mathematica software. In the words of Wolfram, now 54, his new language “knows about the world” and makes the world computable.
From the point of view of the philosophical debates on artificial intelligence, the crucial bit is the claim that his new language, unlike all other computer languages, “knows about the world”. Could it be that this language does indeed constitute a convincing reply to Searle’s Chinese Room argument?
To be clear, I take Searle’s argument to be problematic in a number of ways (some of which very aptly discussed in M. Boden’s classic paper), but the challenge posed by the Chinese Room seems to me to still stand; it still is one of the main questions in the philosophy of artificial intelligence. So if Wolfram’s new language does indeed differ from the other computer languages thus far developed specifically in this respect, it may offer us reasons to revisit the whole debate (which for now seems to have reached a stalemate).
Today, March 8, is International Women's Day. To celebrate this day, the APA’s Committee on the Status of Women offers a challenge: you can help to raise $10,000 to support the work of the committee. More information here:
Northwestern University professor Peter Ludlow, the target of a sexual harassment complaint by a female student, filed a response to that woman’s lawsuit in Cook County Court on Friday, denying her allegations and stating that she was the real aggressor.
The graduate students of the Department of Philosophy at Northwestern University, have by a majority vote, adopted the following statement:
We find the alleged behavior of gross professional misconduct recently leveled against a faculty member in our department to be deplorable. Further, we judge that the university has failed our community in the way that they have handled these allegations of gross professional misconduct. In addition, we stand in solidarity with the victim of the aforementioned misconduct, with victims of sexual harassment and violence globally, as well as with their advocates (whom we do not consider to be vigilantes). As students, and educators, we take seriously the wellness of every member of our community. The members of our philosophy department have been genuinely dedicated to promoting inclusiveness at Northwestern, as well as within the broader philosophical community. It is among our highest priorities that we create and sustain a safe environment for all members of our community. In the spirit of these affirmations, we are deeply saddened that a member of our department has been found to be in violation of these moral and professional obligations.
We feel, however, that it bears saying that the behavior outlined in the recent lawsuit leveled against Northwestern is not representative of our sense of the prevailing culture in our department. The overwhelming majority of our community — both professors and graduate students, male and female — are engaged jointly in a project of inclusiveness and mutual support.
Since 2011 our department has maintained a committee to promote and sustain inclusiveness among the graduate student community. Among their duties, the Climate Committee hosts the Annual Inclusiveness Lecture on implicit bias and other issues affecting underrepresented and marginalized groups in the discipline. That same year we also founded an initiative geared towards fostering female undergraduate majors: WiPhi is a female-only group of members of the philosophical community at Northwestern at all levels (undergraduate, graduate, and professors) who regularly meet. WiPhi also hosts the Annual Gertrude Bussey Lecture, in honor of the first woman to receive a PhD in philosophy from Northwestern.
Additionally, our course listings represent our shared commitment to exploring issues of diversity and underrepresentation in the field, and in the broader community at large: Our department makes it a priority to regularly teach courses with substantial feminist philosophy content, as well as substantial focus on issues of race. We, the graduate students, feel that our community is home to several upstanding, vocally feminist, junior and senior faculty members. Our community is committed to fighting the sexism that has long been rampant in the broader philosophical community. And while we jointly feel compelled to express our deep sadness in response to the alleged behavior of a faculty member in our department, we also feel compelled to express our commitment to our community.
As teachers, mentors and colleagues, we, professional philosophers, take our tasks of teaching, research, and service to the profession very seriously. We want to create a supportive environment where fellow faculty members and students feel safe and where their concerns are heard and addressed.
In light of recent events at more than one university, we the undersigned hereby petition the Board of Officers of the American Philosophical Association to produce, by one means or another, a code of conduct and a statement of professional ethics for the academic discipline of philosophy. We particularly urge past presidents of each division of the APA to sign this petition.
Arthur Ripstein, Chair of the Graduate Department of Philosophy at the University of Toronto, writes:
It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the death of Andre Gombay, who died last Friday, February 28th. He died at home, surrounded by family, and without sadness or fear.
Andre loved philosophy, and was intimately involved in every aspect of our department's life, bridging everything that anyone ever thought of as a divide He wrote and taught about both contemporary issues and the history of philosophy, in both theoretical and practical philosophy, engaging with figures classified as both analytic and continental, and he taught on all three campuses. A dedicated and much loved teacher, Andre taught for 15 years after his retirement in 1998; last year he re-retired, joking that this made him Professor Emeritus Emeritus.
He was a model to us all.
Andre was a distinguished scholar of Descartes, a much loved teacher and colleague, and it is hard to think of Toronto without him.
UPDATE You can post reminiscences and condolences here.
As many readers will have seen, the great Paco de Lucia passed away last week. So to honor him, here is the (to my knowledge) only song recorded by him with a Brazilian musician, namely Djavan. The song is ‘Oceano’ of 1989, and to be honest it is not among my favorite Djavan songs (it doesn’t help that it was the main theme of the ‘love story’ between the protagonists of a soap-opera, so we all got over-exposed to it back in the day). But there is a beautiful solo by Paco de Lucia between 2.30 and 3.00 mins., which already makes it all worth it. I’m also posting one of the many breath-taking duos of Paco de Lucia with the equally great (and also prematurely deceased) Camarón de la Isla, simply because one can never get enough of these two; here, 'Tu cariño es mi castigo'.
Why do things like "professional development," "continuing education," "team-building," and (yes, this too) "assessment" always have to tend towards infantalizing the poor people subjected to them?
It's one thing to bureaucratically humiliate people by making them waste huge gobs of time. But this business of making them engage in ritualistic idiotic performances (which always involve to some extent enthusiastically presupposing that everyone is not in fact wasting time) is a much higher echelon of evil. How can the adult human beings in this video (courtesy Washington Post) have any self-respect?*
Mark my words. First they came for the high school teachers. . .**
[*To be fair, everyone involved in making the video and smuggling it to the Washington Post gained back their self-respect fourfold.
**If I was doing my normal thing and putting a rock video in the upper right hand corner, it would probably have been Jane's Addiction's "Idiots Rule." But I realized that it didn't scan because even if team-builder/professional development/assessment types are self-deluded enough to believe in the rightness of what they make the rest of us do, it takes quite a bit of intelligence to get people so complicit in their own immiseration.]
The journal's webpage for submissions is here. The editorial board is just about as distinguished as it could get. Editors don't write a journal, but the prestige of this board ought to make this a good venue to have on one's cv.
Discussion on FB of this post at Leiter Reports about rejection led me to remark:
I hesitate to say this, since I made it through the wars by dint of being married to the right person, but here goes. My wife likes to say "you can't take rejection personally; there are too many factors involved that have nothing to do with your qualifications. [Wait two beats.] In fact, you can't even take acceptance personally, for exactly the same reason."
Further reflections below the fold, taken from a talk on inclusivity in conference organizing (points which hold, mutatis mutandis, for hiring decisions) at the APA Eastern, 2013. (See also this post, on why we should change our frame away from "job market".)