You don’t exist just ‘to be useful’, President tells young philosophers

Posted in Life on May 16th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Ireland needs to guard against a reengineering of the education system under the assumption that ‘we exist to be made useful’, President Michael D Higgins has said. Attending the Irish Young Philosopher Awards 2019 at UCD’s O’Reilly Hall, the President said …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 15 May]

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If Philosophy Won’t Diversify, Let’s Call It What It Really Is

Posted in Research on May 12th, 2016 by steve

USA“The vast majority of philosophy departments in the United States offer courses only on philosophy derived from Europe and the English-speaking world. For example, of the 118 doctoral programs in philosophy in the United States and Canada, only 10% have a specialist in Chinese philosophy …” (more)

[Jay Garfield and Bryan Van Norden, New York Times, 11 May]


Philosophy in UCD

Posted in Research on November 10th, 2015 by steve

IrelandWhat kind of a place was UCD then to do philosophy in? It was actually quite good. It was mixed. All of the professors and many of the staff were priests. The philosophy course had been designed, really, as the undergraduate course for students from Clonliffe who were going to be trained as priests, so it was not particularly scholarly and it was very authoritarian. There was a very public UCD student revolt in 1968/69 and one chapter focused on the department of metaphysics …” (more)

[Attracta Ingram and Clara Fischer, Dublin Review of Books, November]

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Women in Philosophy

Posted in Research on October 18th, 2015 by steve

USA“Over the last several years, I’ve been disheartened to read so much about how philosophy is hostile to women and that there simply aren’t enough women doing philosophy. While I’m not a philosopher, I care deeply about the discipline, hold it in high regard, and want to see it flourish …” (more)

[Leiter Reports, 17 October]

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Education for what? The compelling case for critical thinking

Posted in Teaching on August 22nd, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Philosophers and entrepreneurs are both neglected, it appears. Now both are demanding due recognition in our education system as pivotal elements of the core curriculum – pertinent subjects for 21st century students …” (more)

[Irish Times, 22 August]

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On Not Being Smart Enough

Posted in Governance and administration on March 19th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“‘During my early beginnings as a graduate student, I did not realise that the kinds of treatment I received had a name: sexism. I began to learn that much of what was happening to me was about me as a woman (not as a person or a philosopher) and that it was caused by overt and covert sexism at both personal and institutional levels …'” (more)

[Clara Fischer, Dublin Review of Books, 1 March]

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The Eclipse of Reason in the University

Posted in Life on March 9th, 2015 by steve

UK“Have we put engineers in charge of our Universities? With what appears to be rampant managerialism in education, it looks like it. Why have we done this? Horkenheimer, in his Eclipse of Reason was alert to the problem, seeing the roots of modern technocracy in Platonic idealism …” (more)

[Mark Johnson, Improvisation Blog, 8 March]

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Philosophy is for posh, white boys with trust funds’ – why are there so few women?

Posted in Governance and administration on January 5th, 2015 by steve

UK“Philosophy stands out among the humanities: it’s one of the few subject areas where women are vastly outnumbered by men. Although male and female students take philosophy undergraduate courses in almost equal numbers, the number of women who pursue a career in philosophy is much lower …” (more)

[Rebecca Ratcliffe and Claire Shaw, Higher Education Network, 5 January]

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O’Sullivan signals philosophy to be taught in schools

Posted in Teaching on December 30th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Philosophy is set to become a subject on the school curriculum for the first time under a plan formulated by Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan to extend reform of the junior cycle …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 30 December]

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Eight Staff Cut from Philosophy Department

Posted in Governance and administration on October 21st, 2014 by steve

Ireland“The Department of Philosophy has been forced to cut eight members of staff as a result of budget cuts, The University Times has learned. The cuts come as a senior College source within the faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences warns that cuts to be imposed in this academic year have the potential to do ‘irreversible harm’ to teaching activity …” (more)

[Jack Leahy, University Times, 20 October]

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The QS – ‘Quirky Silliness’ – world university rankings are back

Posted in Governance and administration on September 15th, 2014 by steve

“The good news is that it’s clear more philosophers who actually have some idea what’s going on are filling out the surveys (even I’m a participant now!), so the results in Philosophy are less totally worthless than before, though the halo effect looms large …” (more)

[Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog, 15 September]

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Why I Left Academia: Philosophy’s Homogeneity Needs Rethinking

Posted in Research on September 3rd, 2014 by steve

“Philosophy is predominantly white and predominantly male. This homogeneity exists in almost all aspects and at all levels of the discipline. The philosophical canon, especially in so-called ‘analytic’ departments, consists almost exclusively of dead, white men …” (more)

[Eugene Park, Huffington Post, 3 September]

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The Evils of OSO

Posted in Research on August 27th, 2014 by steve

“I have come to the conviction over the summer that the field of Philosophy, and academic publishing more broadly, faces a dire threat — one that, so far as I can find, hardly anyone has taken notice of. I refer to the evils of Oxford Scholarship Online …” (more)

[In medias PHIL, 22 August]

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Angry Birds, and other philosophical topics: Why Are Animals Funny?

Posted in Research on July 26th, 2014 by steve

“Review: These essays by the Everyday Analysis collective distil complex theory to show the full ideological significance of that which may otherwise be regarded as insignificant. The career prospects for young academics, especially in the humanities, are dire …” (more)

[Matt Foley, Irish Times, 26 July]


How can we end the male domination of philosophy?

Posted in Research on November 26th, 2013 by steve

“There is still an ‘aristocracy of sex’ in the world of philosophy, says Jonathan Wolff, where women find it hard to thrive …” (more)

[Guardian, 26 November]

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Say no to groupthink: how philosophy can transform learning

Posted in Teaching on November 19th, 2013 by steve

“If philosophy had been on the curriculum 30 years ago, would we be in the same mess we’re in today? It’s a tantalising thought and the very sort of ‘what if?’ question philosophers love to debate …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 19 November]


Petition: Introduce philosophy into the Leaving Certificate

Posted in Teaching on September 26th, 2013 by steve

“… This petition is a call for the Education Minister Ruairi Quinn to continue his efforts to expand the curriculum by introducing philosophy as a full subject. In September 2013, President Michael D Higgins enthusiastically recommended the introduction of such a course …” (more)

[Steven Lydon,, 25 September]

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Philosophy is not a ‘ridiculous’ pursuit – It is worth funding

Posted in Research on September 17th, 2013 by steve

“My work was targetted by a Coalition MP, who described our research as ‘ridiculous’ – but philosophy is work, and the discipline is crucial to helping us understand our world …” (more)

[Paul Redding, Guardian, 17 September]

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‘I think therefore I am a man’: philosophy’s woman problem

Posted in Research on September 16th, 2013 by steve

“While just under half of all philosophy undergraduates in the UK are women, women account for less than a third of PhD completions and less than a quarter of permanent academic staff. So where did all the women go, and – more importantly – why? …” (more)

[Helen Beebee, The Conversation, 16 September]

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Women in Philosophy? Do the Math

Posted in Life on September 3rd, 2013 by steve

“Since the resignation of the well known philosopher Colin McGinn from his tenured post at the University of Miami, following sexual harassment allegations made against him by a graduate student, the longstanding debate about the obstacles faced by women in academic philosophy has been renewed …” (more)

[Sally Haslanger, New York Times, 2 September]

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