The Society for Philosophy and Psychology, one of the original ‘cognitive science’ societies, has formed a committee on diversity.  The committee’s initial – but not exclusionary – focus will be on women in philosophy.  One reason for this is that the representation of women is considerably lower in philosophy than it is in the other disciplines that are represented by the society.

The committee on diversity has a blog, and a first shot at an initial set-up can be found at diversityspp.wordpress.com.  It hasn’t gone officially public yet, and the chair would like feedback from FP readers before it does.

The blog will post newsletters, information about conferences, funding opportunites, and so on.  The initial post are trying to set up a problematic:  Philosophy has supposedly been making an effort to hire women for some time.  The results are pretty dismal.  One thing we might consider is the amount of unconscious bias against women.

So see what you think.  And helpful comments you might have should be left here; the diversity blog isn’t yet really set up for comments.

We might note that there’s some reason to think this might have some positive effect.  If we could get a number of philosophy faculty somewhat versed in the problems of diversity, decisions about  who gets what might change a bit.

The author of the posts is the chair of the committee.

3 thoughts on “Diversity@SPP

  1. The Woman’s Caucus of the American Philosophy of Science Association and the Association for Feminist Epistemology, Methodology, Metaphysics and Science Studies, could be great allies in this work.

    I have been working on educating my department on the implicit bias work. As one might imagine, they immediately scrutinized the methodologies of the studies and proved to their satisfaction that the results did not apply to us in philosophy. One thing that we need is accurate demographic data regarding our graduate students and faculty. Michigan ADVANCE is a great resource that I am pleased to see.

    One topic that I would like to see is a discussion of how we attribute prestige to the professional associations of which women philosophers tend to be members and the journals in which we publish. Lieter’s comments on Hypatia have a bearing here, and so does Haslanger’s initial study of gender and philosophy journals.

    Finally, I know that all women philosophers are not feminists, and that it is important to embrace women who do non feminist work. But the way that feminist work is devalued in philosophy, especially when compared to other disciplines, can play an important role.

    I am glad to see this blog starting up.

  2. Thanks, alpha. I can’t believe Sally’s paper is linked to yet!

    Given the misconceptions, I wonder if SPP is going to have members thinking that all the women in SPP do feminist philosophy.

    The site asks whether philosophy has reached a tipping point or a dead end. I’m pretty concerned that it’s a tipping point More and more women students notice the absence of women in philosophy.

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