Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Anne Jaap Jacobson interview

Anne Jaap Jacobson is interviewed at 3AM Magazine, called "the neurofeminist philosofunkster."
I'm not exactly sure what a Philosofunkster is, but I'm quite sure that the world needs more of them!

The interview ranges across intentionality (skepticism but not eliminativism), neuroscience, experimental philosophy, what makes certain forms of analytic philosophy so excruciatingly tedious, what feminist philosophy adds to other approaches, David Hume, and the roadblocks put down for women in philosophy and science.

One part worth noting quotes a report from the AHA:

People seem to be uncertain about whether a woman can do science, and dead certain that a female philosopher has no place in that world.
I could recount a host of other insults, some quite large and some small, and the very worst of it all is that it accomplishes just about nothing, saps one’s strength and weakens one’s morale. This is happening to women in philosophy across the country. When I recently felt I was being done substantial harm, I hired a lawyer. I have since learned I know a number of successful women who have finally gone the same route. The American History Association’s 2005 report on the Status of Women notes that among senior women in their field:
“There is more than enough resignation, bitterness, disillusionment, and discouragement to warrant a more serious and extensive consideration of gender in the profession than we were able to carry out in this survey. … The profession as a whole should be concerned that so many successful women feel they have suffered from gender discrimination. Female talent is being squandered in fights over large and small issues that could be ameliorated by the attentiveness of administrators, department chairs, and colleagues, and the establishment of more transparent institutional procedures.”
And history is supposed to be much better than philosophy. As numerous studies are pointing out, we badly need administrators who will not accept what can amount to a prolonged harassment of women.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Twin-Earth, Hilary Putnam, and the 47%

Philosophy of science exam question:
What does a theory of reference aim to give an account of? Why is a theory of reference relevant for philosophy of science?
An exam answer:
A theory of reference aims to provide a guide for finding the source for entitlement

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Women in Politics = Women in Philosophy

Sam, a student in my Feminist Theory course, points out that the percentage of people with full-time teaching jobs who are women is about 17% and that the percentage of people in Congress who are women is also about 17%.

No claim about magic numbers here, but just an interesting mirroring.
17% of U.S. Senators are women.
16.6% of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives are women.

In both cases, there is nothing about the work that's done that would predispose women to have less ability or experience than men. (Indeed, in both cases isn't the work related to universals? That is, in the political body, a single representative stands for all constituents, and in philosophy, the philosopher identifies universal truths.) Also in both cases, the methods involve adversarial discussion, and the field's history is predominately male and symbolically masculine.