Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I was in a car this evening, and three of the local rock radio stations were simultaneously playing songs (three different ones) by The Eagles.  For a moment, I had a brilliant stroke of optimism and thought that someone must have finally decided to assassinate self-important buffoon at-large Don Henley.  Alas, no such luck. 

But then I got to thinking. Which would be the greater advance from the point of view of justice, the painful death of Henley, or that of Billy Joel?  Tough call. And John Rawls is of no help to us here....

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Wiley's Philosophy Spotlight

Good to see that this blog is not listed among the "key blogs" on Wiley's new Philosophy Spotlight app. The whole thing looks pretty useless to me.  Has anyone found it helpful?  If so, for what? (Apart from wasting time, of course.)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Philosophy Blogs

Does the world need a Leiter Reports mimic? 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Department Meeting Rule #1

That one of your female colleagues has the floor does not mean that it's time to take a bathroom break, or begin a separate conversation in whispers with your neighbor, or check your Blackberry or iPad, or blow you nose loudly, or re-tie your shoelaces in a very overt way, or do anything else but listen as you do when a male colleague is speaking.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Everyone's a Critic?

From a bathroom... 

Department Meeting Rule #2

If the department's votes are not typically conducted by secret ballot, anyone on faculty should be able to confidentially request that any vote be conducted that way.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Department Meeting Rule #3

If you're untenured, you don't have to take the minutes.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Robin Gibb Posse

Robin Gibb has a posse.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Is it Wrong?

Is it wrong to send out a paper that you believe isn't quite ready for prime time to a journal that you know does a good job of securing good reviewers who write good reports, simply for the purposes of getting good comments on your current draft?

This seems to me an abuse of the system of journal peer-review. I have a colleague who does this regularly and sees nothing wrong with it on the stipulations that if the under-cooked paper gets accepted (or conditionally accepted), one must publish it with that journal, and if the paper gets an R&R, one must revise and resubmit to that journal.   

Friday, May 18, 2012

Department Meeting Rule #4

In general, the specifics of the faculty meeting discussions (and especially votes) are not to be repeated to your graduate students. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Donna Summer Posse

Donna Summer has a posse.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Department Meeting Rule #5

The department meeting is not the appropriate forum for you to take out / work through / air your personal dislike of your colleagues. 

Do that at lunch after the meeting.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Department Meeting Rule #6

If you failed to ask the chairperson to add your issue to the meeting agenda by the advertised deadline for such requests, you'll have to wait for the next department meeting.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Plea to Academic Publishers

Dear Academic Publishers,

Please, let's call a moratorium on philosophical Companions, Handbooks, and Encyclopedias.  This morning, I received four separate emails from four different Presses announcing the latest "state of the art" compilations of "new essays by top scholars" about "cutting edge" topics in various fields that I work in and around.  Enough already.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Department Meeting Rule #7

7.1 That something was done at your PhD-granting institution at the time you were a graduate student is no argument for doing it now in your present department.

7.2 If you earned your PhD more than 15 years ago, that something was done at your PhD-granting institution at the time you were a graduate student is an argument for not doing it now in your present department. 

Maurice Sendak Posse

Maurice Sendak has a posse.


Let the wild rumpus start!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Crap Websites

I was just doing something that required me to look up the contact information (email, phone, and ground mail address) of several fairly well-known philosophers, all of whom are at fairly well-known universities.  I was shocked to find that for many of these people, their departmental webpages completely suck.  I'm not talking website aesthetics here, by the way.  I mean that the pages either do not list the faculty member's complete contact information at all, or they do list it but have it located across multiple pages so that, for example, one has to go to one page for an email address and another for a ground mail address.  What the hell?

Friday, May 4, 2012

MCA Posse

MCA has a posse.


Department Meeting Rule #8

If you're in the habit of eating especially smelly or messy food for lunch, don't bring your lunch to the meeting.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Department Meeting Rule #9

When a colleague has made a point with which you agree, do not put your hand up so that you may waste everyone's time by repeating the point.