The Contingency Of Academic, ‘Disciplinary’ Classification

The textbook I use for my Social Philosophy class, Social Thought: From the Enlightenment to the Present (ed. Alan Sica, Pearson, 2005) is a standard anthology featuring selections from a wide range of historical periods and schools of thought (and the theorists identified with them). This collection may not only serve as ‘a textbook of socialContinue reading “The Contingency Of Academic, ‘Disciplinary’ Classification”

Meritocracies, Rankings, Curricula: A Personal Take On Academic Philosophy

Some six years ago, shortly after I had been appointed to its faculty, the philosophy department at the CUNY Graduate Center began revising its long-standing curriculum; part of its expressed motivation for doing so was to bring its curriculum into line with those of “leading” and “top-ranked” programs. As part of this process, it invitedContinue reading “Meritocracies, Rankings, Curricula: A Personal Take On Academic Philosophy”

Changing Philosophical Career Paths

I began my academic philosophy career as a ‘logician.’ I wrote a dissertation on belief revision, and was advised by a brilliant logician, Rohit Parikh, someone equally comfortable in the departments of computer science, philosophy and mathematics. Belief revision (or ‘theory change’ if you prefer) is a topic of interest to mathematicians, logicians, and computerContinue reading “Changing Philosophical Career Paths”

On Being a ‘Professional Philosopher’, Contd.

In my previous post on being a professional philosopher, I had emphasized the scholarly world: publishing, writing, theoretical orientation etc. Today, I want to take note of another very important duty of the modern professional philosopher: teaching. Most philosophers in the modern university teach a mixture of classes: the introductory ‘service’ courses, which in manyContinue reading “On Being a ‘Professional Philosopher’, Contd.”

On Being a ‘Professional Philosopher’

A recent post in The Philosopher’s Magazine blog set me thinking about some of the strictures on being a professional or academic philosopher, which today amount to pretty much the same thing. (I realize this might leave out bioethicists, some of whom do not have the typical duties or work profiles of philosophers that are facultyContinue reading “On Being a ‘Professional Philosopher’”