A post from The Splintered Mind
“Nor need we think that philosophical work must consist of expository argumentation targeted toward disciplinary experts and students in the classroom. This, too, is a narrow and historically recent conception of philosophical work. Popular essays, fictions, aphorisms, dialogues, autobiographical reflections, and personal letters have historically played a central role in philosophy. We could potentially add, too, public performances, movies, video games, political activism, and interactions with the judicial system and governmental agencies.”
“If one approaches popular writing as a means of “dumbing down” pre-existing philosophical ideas for an audience of non-experts whose reactions one does not plan to take seriously, then, yes, that popular writing is not really research. But if the popular essay is itself a locus of philosophical creativity, where philosophical ideas are explored in hopes of discovering new possibilities, advancing (and not just marketing) one’s own thinking, furthering the community’s philosophical dialogue in a way that might strike professional philosophers, too, as interesting rather than merely familiar re-hashing, and if it’s done in a way that is properly intellectually responsive to the work of others, then it is every bit as much “research” as is a standard journal article. Analogously with consulting — and with Twitter feeds, TED videos, and poetry.
“I urge our discipline to conceptualize philosophical work more broadly than we typically do. A Philosophical Review article can be an amazing, awesome thing. Yes! But we should see journal articles of that style, in that type of venue, as only one of many possible forms of important, field-shaping philosophical work.”
Well, this is cool: JISC’s journal archives now include Spare Rib, and selected highlights from Spare Rib are introduced at a British Library page. From the British Library page:
Spare Rib was an active part of the emerging women’s liberation movement in the late 20th century. Running from 1972 – 93, this now iconic magazine challenged the stereotyping and exploitation of women, while supporting collective, realistic solutions to the hurdles women faced. Spare Rib became the debating chamber of feminism in the UK, and it now provides a valuable insight into the lives of women in this period.
A new edited volume from OUP with thirteen papers and zero female authors.
From the description:
This volume presents thirteen essays by some of the most important scholars in the field of philosophical logic. The essays offer ground-breaking new insights into the nature of logical consequence; the relation between logic and inference; how the semantics and pragmatics of natural language bear on logic; the relativity of logic; and the structural properties of the consequence relation.
People teaching a course on human rights or global justice may like to look at this new edited volume, Poverty, Agency, and Human Rights by Diana Tietjens Meyers which not only has a very good gender balance, but also discusses plenty of issues in feminist philosophy.
Philosop-Her has opened up another discussion on an important topic: whether quotas could help address gender balance in philosophy journal publishing. (The aim of the post is to start a conversation, rather than to argue for a view about this issue.)
In response to a comment that notes a familiar kind of worry about whether such actions may serve to reinforce prejudice, Meena writes (also in the comments):
Many people argue against affirmative action in the workplace for the reasons that you mention – namely, that it may be stigmatizing. In the end, I’m not sure if this is really the case. Research shows that once people are surrounded by people of colour, for example, and start working with them they start to perceive people of colour differently and more positively. I wonder if something similar wouldn’t apply to the case of seeing more articles by women in top tier journals. Once they are there, we may view the authors and their work more positively.
From boingboing, here‘s an example of how not to promote disciplinary diversity. And, if you scroll to the bottom, also a handy example from Elsevier’s Tom Reller of how not to respond to legitimate concerns about gender exclusive advertizing.
Hypatia editors have sent us an updated version of the survey of alternative venues for publishing originally posted at the Hypatia website here (pdf); since that link isn’t yet updated, we are posting the full updated survey here, as a separate page on our blog with a tab that will remain above until the new Hypatia editors update the old webpage or make a new one. We will provide an update when the Hypatia website is updated or changed, but in the meantime, enjoy!
A pretty striking statement about the underrepresentation of women from the Editors at Nature. A cause for cautious optimism? Might have been nice if they’d said more about what those ‘unconscious factors’ are, but the resulting heuristic is still a promising one:
We believe that in commissioning articles or in thinking about who is doing interesting or relevant work, for all of the social factors already mentioned, and possibly for psychological reasons too, men most readily come to editorial minds. The September paper speculated about an unconscious assumption that women are less competent than men. A moment’s reflection about past and present female colleagues should lead most researchers to correct any such assumption.
We therefore believe that there is a need for every editor to work through a conscious loop before proceeding with commissioning: to ask themselves, “Who are the five women I could ask?”
UPDATED: It was brought to my attention that the Handbook on Placement was similarly unsung and behind a subscription-only firewall. I’ve added that to the Publications page of the Status of Women site (linked to below).
I’ve posted this on the offsite webpage of the Committee on the Status of Women:
The May 2012 issue of the APA Proceedings ( Vol. 85, No. 5) includes a statement on Best Practices for Journals on pp. 59-63, which we excerpt here [full text linked there] for those who cannot access the Publications available on the Members Only site of APAonline.
This was drafted by many members including those on the Committee on the Status and Future of the Profession, and journal editors such as Thom Brooks and Carol Gould, and includes the following sections:
I Guidelines for Journals
II Guidelines for Authors
III Guidelines for Referees
IV Editorial Practices Related to Copyright and Publication.
Thanks to all those who worked on and deliberated over the Statement!
A reader (thanks TB!) directs us to a typically lively discussion that occurred over at The Philosophy Smoker at the end of April concerning Carolyn Dicey Jennings’s data on hiring in Philosophy in the past year. Dicey Jennings reports that
…overall prospects are at around 24% chance of getting any job, 17% chance of getting any tenure-track job, 6% chance of getting a ranked tenure-track job.
…one’s overall chance of getting any job (post-doc or tenure-track) coming from an NRC ranked institution may be as high as 51%, 39% for any tenure-track job, and 11% for a ranked tenure-track job.
if you are a woman from an NRC ranked department looking for a ranked job, your chances might be around 9%, whereas if you are looking for a tenure-track job in general they at are around 44%. If you are a woman from an NRC ranked school looking for a post-doc, be advised that only 15% of ranked women achieved post-docs this year (5 out of 34 ranked post-doc achievers), whether or not the post-doc was itself ranked. Because of that fact, the chance of a woman from an NRC ranked department getting a tenure-track job or post-doc is about the same as for a man from these departments: 51%.
The comment thread is worth a look too. The discussion ranges from Dicey Jennings’s methodology to differentials in publishing rates between men and women (as reported by Dicey Jennings). Our reader highlights as especially interesting the following comment:
There are a lot of things that can affect publication rates that
aren’t just straightforward discrimination by editors (though 8:24
does target an important problem for women – and, by association, men
– working in certain areas). Feeling encouraged and like one’s ideas
are worth publishing can contribute greatly to publishing rates. It is
often very hard to know oneself whether one’s ideas are worthwhile, or
just “obvious”. I can really only speak from my own point of view on
this, but this means I end up publishing only things that seem really
clearly worthwhile to me (although I’m not a perfect judge of such
things). Which means I pass up on publishing things that are probably
publishable somewhere, which would up my publication rate…but that I
don’t think would make me a better candidate.
As our reader points out, the above comment is especially timely “in light of the one year anniversary of the APA [Mentoring Project] , which was focused on supporting increasing publications.”