Weapons of the Weak Revisited: The Problem of Contingent Faculty and Everyday Forms of Philosophical Resistance. (With Follow-Up Discussion by Boethius and Z)

I. THE ESSAY 1. In 2014, there were roughly 140 philosophy departments with graduate philosophy programs in the USA and Canada. I would conservatively guess that on average, each such program has roughly 20-25 graduate students. So that’s roughly 3000 people, at least. Therefore, assuming that enrolment in philosophy graduate programs is relatively constant, then … [continue reading]

“Fuck the Second Amendment!” Redux,
and “Fuck the Death Penalty!” Too.

APP Editors’ note: This discussion is based on the recent (15 May) post, “Fuck the Second Amendment!”: Free Speech and Contemporary Professional Philosophy. A Short But Very Edgy Essay by Z. Y: My sense is that uttering “fuck the second amendment” would be received very differently at an urban east coast school, where students are … [continue reading]

“Fuck the Second Amendment!” Free Speech and Contemporary Professional Philosophy. A Short But Very Edgy Essay.

Author’s Note: This little essay is dedicated to The Colorado Three: Morris Judd, Ward Churchill, and David Barnett. (1) The First Amendment to the US Constitution says this: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of … [continue reading]

“Analytic” Philosophy vs. “Continental” Philosophy: WtF? Why Does It Still Matter So Much? (with Critical Discussion by Y, X, and W)

Quarrels between professors are never entirely disconnected from larger quarrels. There was a hidden agenda behind the split between old-fashioned “humanistic” philosophy (of the Dewey-Whitehead sort) and the positivists, and a similar agenda lies behind the current split between devotees of “analytic” and of “Continental” philosophy. The heavy breathing on both sides about the immorality … [continue reading]

APA Conferences, Bullshit, Racism, Ethnic Hatred, Guns, & How Contemporary Professional Philosophers Might Change Their Lives

In the Theses on Feuerbach, Marx wrote that “philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways; the point is to change it.” Now I completely agree with Marx that an essential aim of real philosophy is to change the world, not merely interpret it. But I also sharply disagree, in that I think that … [continue reading]

What Is the Real Point of Graduate Programs in Philosophy? (Featuring a Critical Discussion by X and Y)

I. THE ESSAY 1. Until recently, I was a tenured full professor of philosophy at a public university somewhere in North America, and as I say in my APP site-blurb, nevertheless I still managed to escape with my life. It’s therefore somewhat ironic that my former department hasn’t yet purged me from their e-mail lists, … [continue reading]