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”

Philosophical Silencing: A Follow-Up

In response to my post on an act of philosophical silencing, Wesley Buckwalter wrote the following comment (over at the NewAPPS blog, where I cross-posted): As you know, I was the gentleman that made that remark in a private facebook thread with a close friend. If I recall correctly, people in that thread were askingContinue reading “Philosophical Silencing: A Follow-Up”

An Act Of Philosophical Silencing

A few months ago, I noticed an interesting and telling interaction between a group of academic philosophers. A Facebook friend posted a little note about how one of her students had written to her about having encountered a so-called “Gettier case” i.e., she had acquired a true belief for invalid reasons. In the email, theContinue reading “An Act Of Philosophical Silencing”

‘Don’t Call Me A Philosopher’

I cringe, I wince, when I hear someone refer to me as a ‘philosopher.’ I never use that description for myself. Instead, I prefer locutions like, “I teach philosophy at the City University of New York”, or “I am a professor of philosophy.” This is especially the case if someone asks me, “Are you aContinue reading “‘Don’t Call Me A Philosopher’”

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”

Fiction On Philosophy Reading Lists

Last week, over at the NewAPPS (Arts, Politics, Philosophy, Science) blog, where I’ve started blogging as part of a group of academic philosophers, I posted the following: In my post yesterday, I had written of how discussion centering on a classic philosophical debate could be sparked by a reading of fiction. (The upper-tier core classContinue reading “Fiction On Philosophy Reading Lists”

Academic Writing In Philosophy: On Finding Older Writing Samples

Yesterday, while cleaning up an old homepage of mine, I found some old papers written while I was in graduate school. Overcome by curiosity–and rather recklessly, if I may say so–I converted the old Postscript format to PDF, and took a closer look. The first is titled ‘No Cognition Without Representation’; its abstract reads: AContinue reading “Academic Writing In Philosophy: On Finding Older Writing Samples”

Epistolary Warfare in the Letters Section

Readers of the New York Review of Books are used to the sometimes intemperate, bordering-on-pedantic, yet-always-carefully-crafted display of bruised egos that takes up so much space toward the end of each issue. I am referring, of course, to the Letters section. Here the author, formerly delighted to find out his masterpiece was to be reviewedContinue reading “Epistolary Warfare in the Letters Section”