Saturday, September 18, 2010

The joys of tenure

Presented without comment:
it's nice not to be the only academic blogger who isn't afraid of his own shadow.
(Links added; not part of original post.)

-- Jaded Dissertator


Anonymous said...

i don't mind the academic / intellectual whackings. but the mcdonald's post and (whose original title, since changed, is something like "does being in photos with famous philosophers make you a better philosopher?) just seem petty and unwarranted.

Anonymous said...

"Petty and unwarranted," alas, seems aptly to describe Mr. Leiter himself, if one's impression of Mr. Leiter is based on the contents of his blog. 'Tis a pity that our profession has a craven windbag with such a poor grasp of the distinction between hero and bully for its most prominent webresentative. One would hope that philosophers could do better, wouldn't one?

Anonymous said...

"alas, seems aptly to describe Mr. Leiter himself, if one's impression of Mr. Leiter is based on the contents of his blog"

I had a wretched time on the job market for a few years and during that time I spent a lot of time weighing the respective merits of going to law school or throwing myself off of a bridge. I don't recall getting much encouragement or support from the faculty from my old department. For reasons that are just beyond me, Leiter tracked me down to give me a pep talk and told me to keep my chin up. I've only interacted with him a few times in the real world, but I can say that he is an exceptionally good guy. I wonder if unwarranted and petty better describes people who work from observations about blog posts to public statements about a stranger's character. Fwiw.

Jaded, Ph.D. said...

In no way was I trying to impugn anyone's character and I hope our readers will do the same. This was not an invitation for insults.

The post has nothing to do with Brian Leiter qua Brian Leiter, private individual (I hope your comments to follow suit). Instead, to some degree it's about Brian Leiter qua online (and eminent) face of philosophy and the responsibilities one might see that entailing.

To another degree, it's about what's implied in the title of the post and has nothing to do with Brian Leiter qua anything: as an almost Ph.D I have to worry more (a lot more) than those more advanced in their career by writing mildly snarky posts pointing out things I find disheartening about our profession and how it is presented at large and issues of collegiality. Whereas a certain level of comfort is afforded by tenure such that collegiality sometimes finds its way out of the window.

But, we needn't even go there: collegiality full stop sometimes seems to me a loss art. That this fact is celebrated is disappointing.

The themes highlighted in my latter point are of special relevance to our readership. In the future, perhaps I'll present them less snarkily and at the level of discourse I hope we can have as philosophers concerned with the state of our discipline.