Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Reflexions on Philosophy in the Profession

I was at a major conference yesterday and some remarks being made by a philosopher there (tenure track) caught my attention and occasioned the following reflexions.

It is felicitous for philosophers to admit their fallibility and we need to incorporate a wide range of different materials. Our students are here to learn, and we may not always remember this when we are knee-deep in our favourite journals, but we have to break things down and help them to get excited about philosophical activities. Experimental philosophy provides one way of showing students how philosophy is not just a lot of boring old men thinking in their armchairs! Joshua Knobe runs a great workshop on statistics and we would like more people to have their input. Please contact me if you have any ideas!

I know what you're thinking. It's not always easy in philosophy, and some members of the profession and students face serious problems. It's our duty to try to evaluate these concerns and respond to them in a n appropriate manner. A number of my colleagues have shown problematic behaviour in response to these concerns, and while I will not name them, I hope they soon learn what philosophy really means. It means thinking hard about the best ideas, going out and testing them, and having a truly omnivorous informational diet. This is not easy - sure, I have my bad days. But it's not about being perfect, it's about doing our best. And hey, I think I might be doing that.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this. I start work as a graduate philosopher tomorrow and am looking forward to surprising my departmental colleagues with the ideas contained in this post.