Wednesday, January 21, 2009

PGR on Political Philosophy

Professor Leiter has generously provided a partial preview of the PGR rankings in Political Philosophy. Check it:

Group 1: Harvard, NYU, Arizona.

Group 2: Brown, Oxford, Princeton, Stanford, UCL, Yale.

Seems about right to me, though I'd advise a student to go to Arizona over either of the other Group 1 places. In fact, it seems to me that a lot turns on what a student's particular interest within political philosophy happens to be. For students who want to work in democratic theory, I'd say Brown, Stanford, and Arizona are tops. Stanford would also be tops for political philosophers interested in feminism. For those interested in history of political theory, liberalism, and freedom, Princeton is certainly the place to be. For those interested in justice and global issues, I'd advise Yale. So a lot depends on what one's interests within the area are.

Of course, this is precisely the kind of conversation that the PGR is aimed at helping students to be able to initiate and participate in. Three cheers for the PGR!


Anonymous said...

some days i think spiros = brian leiter.

Spiros said...

And which "is" do you mean by "="?

729 said...

Anon @ 2:02: I'm really curious--what is it about Spiros' more fined-grained assessments of Political Philosophy specializations, given the PGR rankings, that you find egregious and/or unhelpful? Can you help us out and provide specific recommendations about programs with strengths in political philosophy so as to add to the conversation?

Philip Philete said...

I'd advise a student to apply to Arizona before NYU, but I don't think I would advise them to go to Arizona over NYU.

Brian Leiter said...

I'm not as funny as Spiros.

Paul Gowder said...

Many of the major places have as good a claim as Yale for being a great place for global justice... Princeton, obviously, with Beitz, Singer, Macedo, etc. in residence... and I have to put in a plug for Stanford and Josh Cohen's center for global justice, of course. :-)

Anonymous said...

"Stanford would also be tops for political philosophers interested in feminism."


Why? It's one of Debra Satz' areas, but as I recall over time it's become a less and less central area for her. I can't think that Josh Cohen or anyone else there does much in feminist political philosophy.

Unfortunately there aren't likely to be a lot of options if what a student wants is a top philosophy department that also happens to have strength in feminist philosophy that overlaps with strength in political philosophy. Chicago (Nussbaum), Michigan (Anderson), and Stanford (Satz) are all that spring to mind, if you're looking for one viable advisor in a strong philosophy program. But your post suggests that preferring Stanford seems easy and obvious to you, and I can't see why. I'd probably say Michigan, but in any case I can't see Stanford being obviously right.

I guess what I want to gingerly ask is: you know Susan Okin's not there anymore (and wasn't in philosophy anyways), right?

Spiros said...


I was recommending Stanford *from the list of top PGR pol phil programs*, not overall. There are indeed better places to go for feminist philosophy, and I'd say that Michigan is probably one of them.

And as for your gingerly posed question: yes, I of course know about Susan no longer being with us. Seems an odd thing to ask gingerly.

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