Diversity@SPP

Welcome to the blog for the SPP Committee on Diversity!

Posted by anonfemphil on October 13, 2008

 The Committee on Diversity of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology

 

This blog should be  the locus for the Committee’s newsletter and more, including articles and discussions.

The Committee was convened to address the issue of diversity in the fields that the SPP encompasses, with some special initial emphasis on women in philosophy.  The emphasis on philosophy is due to the fact that philosophy is less diverse than the other fields.  Though the committee takes very seriously a goal of diversity that is more than gender diversity, the expertise in the society makes women’s participation a reasonable starting point.

Overall, philosophy’s diversity profile is quite different  from that of most other fields, including not just the humanities, but also many of the sciences.  For example, though the figures for philosophy have been compiled somewhat informally, it looks as though women comprise 25% of the recent tenure track hire in physics, while in the philosophy the comparable figure looks to be about 20%.

Why is that and what can be done about it?  Those are questions the committee is asking, and we hope you will participate in finding answers and solutions.

There is one rule for the blog:  This place must allow for open discussion.  Hostile attacks, so common on the internet, will make participation here less desirable for many people.  Though we will not start off with any moderation, offensive comments will be deleted.

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One Response to “Welcome to the blog for the SPP Committee on Diversity!”

  1. Steven Brown said

    There is at least one area in philosophy I’d very much like to see represented: “experimental” philosophy. See, e.g., the work of J. Knobe, S. Nichols, and so forth.

    Next, a huge problem in philosophy, in my opinion, is the idea that collaboration implies that the collaborators are individually incompetent as philosophers, in contrast to merely lacking some background in a particular area. I think that this needs to be addressed, in papers, meetings, blogs, etc. The examples of multiple authors in *other* fields are legion, and normal, while in philosophy they are the exception. While it is true that argument has been a mainstay of philosophical checks and balances, nonetheless dialogue can take place in a slightly different model. It might be interesting to look for analogues in the restructuring of arguments to the repeated experiments employed by the sciences.

    The two points above are related. In order to integrate experimental work with philosophy, one’s education must be extremely broad, and graduate schools, in this country at least, actively discourage that. Collaborations could overcome this deficit in our educational system.

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