11/30/14

I heard something by someone I am supposed to disagree with. Therefore I will spend a bunch of time figuring out how to disagree with it, elaborately constructing responses that confirm my own biases. I will use a lot of complicated words and drop a lot of names to sound smart. I’ll use Facebook to […]

Continue reading →

On Getting a Ph.D. in the Humanities

Jordan Weissmann reports that job opportunities for academics are pathetic and shrinking. He wonders why humanities Ph.D. programs haven’t “collapsed:” “From 2011 to 2012… the number of first-time students enrolled in arts and humanities Ph.D. programs had grown 7.7 percent.” [my emphasis] He’s curious to know what drove the decision making of those of us […]

Continue reading →

The Impersonal University

For this discussion: Mike Rice, the administration and Rutgers faculty | Preserving class at Princeton When I first started in political philosophy, I wondered about the French “liberty, equality, fraternity” versus the whole of American history. All of American history is the tension between liberty and equality, with we the people at various times emphasizing […]

Continue reading →

I’m fed up with Megan McArdle’s condescending rants about the academy, even though the picture she paints has a lot of truth

McArdle has another rant about universities and grad school. I don’t feel like saying anything that hasn’t already been said. To sum up previous commentary: I do know academia is in dire need of reform, but I don’t know how much McArdle is helping that cause. See “In Defense of the Liberal Arts” for the […]

Continue reading →

In Defense of the Liberal Arts

“…in many liberal arts fields, the only possible consumer of the research in question is a handful of scholars in the same field.  That sort of research is valuable in the same way that children’s craft projects are priceless–to their mothers.  Basically, these people are supporting an expensive hobby with a sideline business certifying the […]

Continue reading →

The State of Philosophy on the Internet

1. Sometimes the Internet and modern media technology are responsible for explosions of new talent. There’s no doubt in my mind we’ve been treated to a bunch of exceptional chess players and some great photographers because of our increasingly digital life. I have reasons to suspect that despite access to a number of terrific resources, […]

Continue reading →

Letter to a Young Intellectual

for Madeline Frohlich – happy birthday Dear Madeline: Humid air yesterday and today weighed us on campus down. It refreshed at first. Before – too much dryness, an annoying cold. A breeze and some accompanying warmth, moisture and sunshine invigorated many. Then we started feeling sluggish and sleepy. I got little done yesterday, a bit […]

Continue reading →

The Accessibility of Philosophy

1. At Barnes & Noble today. It looked trashed from holiday shopping. There wasn’t much left on the Philosophy shelves. Very few volumes of Nietzsche or Plato; couldn’t even find a copy of “Twilight and Philosophy” (my favorite book, besides this). The store was also reorganized. Philosophy was back in a corner that it took […]

Continue reading →