Friday, February 11, 2011

The Young Philosopher makes the case for ending APA interviews

Here, at Inside Higher Ed.



PA said...

I was shocked to learn that "The Young Philosopher" is a pseudonym.

Anonymous said...

Is "fit" used legitimately or is appealing to fit-feelings after an APA interview a chance to let all the bullshit that shouldn't factor into a hiring decision swamp all the useful information you should have been paying attention to?

To me, this stuff about fit seems like code for not hiring someone with the wrong body type or the wrong religious beliefs.

WV: rentent

As in, thanks to the shitty market, I'll be lucky to live in a rentent next year.

Erick said...


If only one person was making the decision to give you a flyover then yes, considerations of fit may be likely to masking some ugly biases.

I would assume that the ugliest biases are ruled out since normally three (or four, or six!) people tend to be present for interviews. If the biases are so widely shared that all members of a SC share them then they are either quite deep seated (there's some indication that gender or racial bias may be at work) or entirely reasonable (they may have a reasonable bias against people who don't answer questions well).

But yes, the market is shitty. As shitty as it's ever been. It stands to be shittier next year. I've been on the market this year and it's been such a blow to my entire sense of self worth and respect...brutal! But I don't think it had as much to do with SC bias as much as the state of a profession in transition.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only who finds "The Young Philosopher" unbearably pretentious?

Anonymous said...

No, I find TYP unbearably pretentious as well.

zombie said...

The Young Philosopher is responding to a practical problem in a practical way, and s/he is attempting to use philosophically sound reasoning to articulate a case for changing an entrenched institution. What is pretentious about that?

Whether or not s/he contributes to genuine change, the effort is worthwhile and commendable.

Anonymous said...

Zombie, I thought the remark was about the appellation, "The Young Philosopher". (Use/mention confusion?)

Mr. Zero said...

I guess I think you could intepret 7:41's comment that way, although it is customary to use single quotes to indicate mention rather than use. But 8:54 makes no effort to indicate that he is not using the expression 'TYP.'

I find myself regretting the decision to approve those comments, since they're completely worthless ad hominems and contribute nothing of value to this interesting topic of discussion. I think I'm going to tighten the reins on the commentary a little.

I think 10:54 has an interesting point I'd like to hear more about.

Anonymous said...

Fit talk is interesting, and important -- I don't think it's a question of body type. There truly is such an issue, 'fit'. Last year I was on campus with a dept I was not a good fit for. I could teach what was required; I could be a good colleague; most people were nice enough. But I was not the kind of person who would fit in without constantly denying a part of myself (on my end), or was simply not the right fit (from their pov). I could see it.
When it comes to religious beliefs and the like, we may like to say that they should not be a part of hiring decisions. If it were up to me, they would not be a part of anything whatsoever. But there is a social reality to hiring, and one has to fit in with the hiring department, with their norms and mores, philosophical ideals - just as one has to fit the basics of the job description. There is something about the hiring process that is more like picking a mate than it is like hiring a day worker. You are hired to live among the members of the department, in a sense. More room for biases, more room for personalities, more room for facts other than your quality as a philosopher to interfere. Grim but true.