1. The smokers love to talk pedigree. By a lot, our two most prolific threads are pedigree-related.
2. I think that in Marinoff's case, the "pedigree" charges are clearly warranted. It's not like he used it as a tie-breaker for APA interview invitations; he used it as a first-round weed-out criterion. It's the first consideration he mentions. That's pretty heavy.
3. In the first Marinoff post, I was inclined to be forgiving of the use of pedigree. In light of the discussion that followed, I am no longer so inclined. Whether fancy places really are better at producing productive philosophers is an empirical question; I'm not aware of any correspondingly empirical investigation.
4. And even if pedigree is good evidence of future productivity, there are enough exceptions in both directions--fancy people who aren't productive; non-fancy people who are--that it makes sense to look deeper. And Doug Portmore's suggestion that fanciness is related to productivity due to self-fulfilling prophecy ought not be ignored, neither.
5. I endorse Clayton Littlejohn's point here, about fairness. An advertisement is a request for applications. They're saying, please send us your dossiers. If you comply with the request, they have an obligation to give you a fair shake. Roundfiling your application because your Ph.D. is from a proletarian university does not satisfy that obligation.
6. There's no such thing as the Harvard of the proletariat. If your thing is a Harvard, it's not of the proletariat.
7. Grad-schools-that-train-you-to-be-a-teacher thread coming up.