Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Philosophy Twitter, YouTube, & Podcasts Over The Past Decade (guest post by Kelly Truelove)

The following is a guest post by Kelly Truelove, who keeps an eye on social media trends for a few academic disciplines at his site, TrueSciPhi. Philosophy Twitter, YouTube, & Podcasts Over The Past Decade by Kelly Truelove Social media grew enormously in the 2010s. This post presents a small assortment of statistics regarding philosophy in the contexts of Twitter, YouTube, and podcasting over the decade. Twitter For several years, I’ve maintained a list of philosophers who have over 1,000 followers (see earlier post for background). The number of accounts on the list has grown steadily, with the rate of additions noticeably increasing in 2019. Interestingly, the number of accounts with over 10,000 followers today is near the number with over 1,000 followers seven years ago. In short, 10K is the new 1K. How long does it take to reach 1,000 followers, and how has this changed? Because follower growth generally depends on tweeting activity, and because activity varies among individuals, it is useful to answer in terms of tweet count as opposed to time. The median number of tweets by philosophers at the point of passing 1,000 followers has varied between 2,000 and 4,000 since 2013, holding steady at the lower end of that range the last few years. The median tweet count upon reaching 10,000 followers shows more variation, bouncing between 5,000 and 15,000, but this is based on data from far fewer accounts (under a dozen per year). In any event, 10K usually arrives at [More]

How Familiarity with Philosophy Impacts Moral Decision Making

Stephanie Brown, an undergraduate at Williams College majoring in philosophy and psychology, is completing a senior thesis on moral psychology, including “how familiarity with philosophy impacts moral decision making,” and she is seeking responses to a brief survey from people with Ph.D.s in philosophy. Ms. Brown writes: This survey takes 3-5 minutes, and completing the survey provides you with a 5% chance of winning a 100 dollar Amazon gift card. We would greatly appreciate your help by participating in this survey, as I am sure you can understand how difficult it is to find individuals with philosophical expertise.  She is hoping to get 100 respondents. We can do that, no? Here is the link to the survey. The post How Familiarity with Philosophy Impacts Moral Decision Making appeared first on Daily [More]

The Philosophy Major Sees Increase in Numbers and Diversity (guest post)

“In the midst of this general sharp decline of the humanities, philosophy’s admittedly small and partial recovery stands out.” So writes Eric Schwitzgebel, professor of philosophy at University of California, Riverside, in the following guest post about the number and types of students majoring in philosophy. The post originally appeared at his site, The Splintered Mind. The Philosophy Major Is Back on the Rise in the U.S., with Increasing Gender and Ethnic Diversity by Eric Schwitzgebel In 2017, I reported three demographic trends in the philosophy major in the U.S. First, philosophy Bachelor’s degrees awarded had declined sharply since 2010, from 9297 in 2009-2010 (0.58% of all graduates) to 7507 in 2015-2016 (0.39% of all graduates). History, English, and foreign languages saw similar precipitous declines. (However, in broader context, the early 2010s were relatively good years for the philosophy and history majors, so the declines represented a return to rates of the early 2000s.) Second, women had been earning about 30-34% of Philosophy Bachelor’s degrees for at least the past 30 years — a strikingly steady flat line. Third, the ethnic diversity of philosophy graduates was slowly increasing, especially among Latinx students. Time for an update, and it is moderately good news! 1. The number of philosophy Bachelor’s degrees awarded is rising again … though the numbers are still substantially below 2010 levels, and as a [More]

Is X-Phi P-Hacked? (guest post by Mike Stuart, Edouard Machery and David Colaço)

Has experimental philosophy (“X-Phi”) exhibited signs of “p-hacking”? In this guest post*, Mike Stuart (Geneva), Edouard Machery (Pittsburgh), and David Colaço (Mississippi) report their findings. Is X-Phi P-Hacked? by Mike Stuart, with Edouard Machery and David Colaço Journals in psychology, neuroscience, and medicine pretty much only accept papers with significant p-values, usually setting the significance level at 0.05. Given that scientists are under immense pressure to publish often, and their papers will only be accepted if they report a p-value of 0.05 or lower, they may be tempted to make choices that help them reach this level. Without cooking the data, a significant p-value can be obtained in a number of ways, collectively known as p-hacking: You can perform statistical testing midway through a study to decide whether to collect more data (“optional stopping”); you can simply collect masses of data and then perform statistical tests on your data until something shows up (“data dredging”); you can drop outliers or rearrange treatment groups post hoc, etc. P-hacking is one of the main culprits for the replication crisis in psychology, neuroscience, and medicine. But what about experimental philosophy? Does it also suffer from p-hacking? In a paper just published in Analysis, David Colaço, Edouard Machery, and I examined a corpus of 365 experimental philosophy studies, which includes pretty much all the studies in x-phi from 1997 to 2016. We [More]

Study on Philosophy Job Market Underway

A team of researchers is conducting a study of the job market in academic philosophy and is currently seeking participants. Charles Lassiter (philosophy, Gonzaga University), Shane Wilkins (philosophy, USDA), and Sarah Arpin (psychology, Gonzaga University) write in with the following description and request: If you are planning to apply for academic jobs this year, we hope you’ll consider participating in our study “The Philosophy Job Market: Applicant Profiles and CV Review.”  Our aim in this first phase is to get a picture of job market applicants: what journals are they publishing in (if at all)? for how many classes are they the instructor of record (if at all)? There has been, as far as we know, no systematic attempt to collect information about people going into the job market. In the second phase of this study, we will the collected information to randomly generate CVs and investigate the behavior of potential search committee members in reviewing them. In consultation with the Gonzaga University IRB, it was determined that IRB approval was not needed for this phase project. IRB approval will be obtained for the second phase. Nonetheless, all responses will be kept private and information secured on the hard drives of the investigators. The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete. Participants will be entered into a drawing for two $25 Amazon gift cards. If you are willing to participate, you can find the survey here. Please email Charles [More]

The Career Trajectories and Workplace Skills of Philosophy and Language Majors

A new study looks at the jobs and skills of college graduates, including those who major in philosophy, finds that choice of major “isn’t as deterministic of our work as we might believe,” and aims to help students understand how their education has prepared them for the job market. The study, “Degrees at Work,” by Clare Coffey, Rob Sentz, and Yustina Saleh, and published by the data analytics firm, Emsi, sorted college graduates from a database of over 100 million people by group, putting together those who major in philosophy and languages—“Two degrees that aren’t career-specific or as tied to the world of work (and are therefore the ones that get a vast bulk of the criticism [for being impractical])”. Not surprisingly, philosophy and language graduates “go into a broad array of jobs”: The top five first jobs are in the fields of education (17% of language and philosophy grads go into education jobs), journalism/writing (10%), sales (10%), marketing (7%), and service-oriented non-profits (6%).  The following graph shows how the popularity of different types of jobs changes over time as graduates in philosophy and language move from their first to their second and third jobs. (It lists types of jobs on the left, listed in order of popularity as first job.) So, for example, when it comes to the first job taken by philosophy and language graduates, the fourth most popular type of job is in marketing. When it comes [More]

Report on the APA 2013 Graduate Guide: Attrition and Placements from MA Programs

An analysis and report by Philosophy News on the data contained in The American Philosophical Association's (APA) 2013 Guide to Graduate Programs in Philosophy. In this report on master's programs, we look at findings such as how many students graduated from or left programs, the average attrition and completion percentages for schools, and the types of work students find after graduating. [More]

Report on the APA 2013 Graduate Guide: Attrition and Placement from PhD Programs

Philosophy News's analysis and report on the data contained in The American Philosophical Association's (APA) 2013 Guide to Graduate Programs in Philosophy. We report on findings such as how many students graduated from or left programs, the average attrition and completion percentages for schools, and the distribution of men and women in tenure track positions. [More]

Report on the APA 2013 Graduate Guide: Degrees Awarded and Time to Complete PhD

Philosophy News's analysis and report on the data contained in The American Philosophical Association's (APA) 2013 Guide to Graduate Programs in Philosophy. We report on findings such as which school awarded the most philosophy PhDs, the average time to complete a PhD, and which schools have the highest and lowest completion rates. [More]

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