Saturday, October 22, 2011

Really? (UPDATED)

So, it's Saturday. I went to a recruitment fair. I am alternating working on changing the debate budget in response to across the board budget cuts here, and at the same time editing a chapter. Frustrated with both, I made the mistake to check my google reader.

The SPEP resolution passed. Jon Cogburn, in response to Peter, had this to say:
[...]will prove to be concretely harmful [...] to graduates of SPEP programs trying to get jobs in non SPEP dominated departments (do not underestimate how destructive this will be). [...] And now they have sacrificed job prospects of their own students.
Really? Really? (side note, I am not reading this as Professor Cogburn as advocating such a position as a good idea. I know from reading his blog is that he wouldn't adopt such a position personally).

Now, I can't say exactly what Professor Cogburn means here, but I really cannot understand it outside of some of the claims of some outrageous behavior (again, not on Professor Cogburn's part). Namely, that schools will decide to blacklist graduates from certain schools, for things these students/graduates probably had nothing to do with. Can we all slow down a bit and recognize how anti-intellectual, insulting, and plain stupid such a response would be? Can we also admit that such a reaction really only goes to further a view that a certain strand of analytic philosophers (as opposed to analytic philosophy) uses their clear and obvious institutional strength to act as childish bullies? Can we all take a deep breath, and admit all of that?

Look, most of this blew up over the summer, when I was on my honeymoon, or moving, or whatever. So, I have never followed this issue to the degree I feel I have a good sense of what is going on. But even if the Pluralist Guide is the Devil herself, a blacklisting on hiring from people not involved is absurd, more than absurd.


UPDATE: I somehow missed this post by Jon Cogburn over at the APPS. He clarifies his position, somewhat. I have very little doubt he is right that this will make people getting hired from so-called SPEP affiliated institutions at other places harder. Of course, it is already pretty hard. And despite the truth of this that anyone who engages in such blacklisting (either overtly or covertly), is simply engaging in anti-philosophical practices.