About Y

Y is a 30-something female tenured associate professor of philosophy at a liberal arts college somewhere in North America.

Passionless Professionalism in Academic Philosophy.

In his introduction to The Passions, Robert Solomon quite rightly insists that philosophy really matters. The field is not (or should not be) “a self-generating profession of conjectures and refutations” that concern “a self-contained system of problems and puzzles” (p. 1). Instead, we should keep in mind that because we are all philosophers, thinking about … [continue reading]

The Strange Case of Don-the-Monster, Or, Coercive Moralism in Professional Philosophy

Part 1. Y’s Take on The Strange Case of Don-the-Monster. One of my colleagues (let’s call him Don) considers himself a religious man and has a strong background in ethics. He specializes in health care ethics, and also plays an integral role in emphasizing the importance of “teaching values across the curriculum” at our institution. … [continue reading]

Death by Assessment?

An emerging trend over the last five years ago has been higher education’s increased emphasis on “assessment.” What I have in mind is not the assessment of students and the assignment of grades, but instead the evaluation of courses, departments, academic programs, and institutions. The general strategy is to develop “best practices” and “learning outcomes” … [continue reading]

“Mind the Gap”: How to Close Professional Philosophy’s Gender-Gap and Minority-Gap. With a Critical Postscript by X and Y.

I think it’s obvious that contemporary professional philosophy has a gender-gap and a minority-gap, no matter how one calculates the percentages of women or members of minority groups (ethnic and racial, economic class, sexual-orientation, disability, etc.) in the field: that is, whether it’s in relation to all current tenure-track faculty of any age-cohort (including emeritus/a … [continue reading]


The U.S. Supreme Court has declared that corporations are people, so I guess it’s not surprising that universities are corporations…. and College and University Presidents are much like CEOs. The main goal of higher education, then, must be to make a profit. At my home institution, online courses were developed as a means to boost summer … [continue reading]