In September of last year, Andrew Nicholson posted a thread on Philosophy’s Western Bias, centered on Christian Coseru’s reflections on the systemic marginalization of non-Western thought in our discipline. One important subtheme of the ensuing discussions was the way that the Philosophical Gourmet Report and its peculiar rankings system feeds into this marginalization. Please see the link below for a Daily Nous summary of the major points in Brian Bruya’s new article in Metaphilosophy, which is a “data-driven critique” of the PGR and its methodology.
While we aren’t keen on the cancerous gossipy side of disciplinary politics on this site, this issue is, imho, centrally important to those of us who work in Indian philosophy for a variety of reasons. There are a number of concerns we have, including how best to serve those who are interested in Indian philosophy and who would like to learn about what’s available. Of course, a prospective student should start here!
But further, there are ways that Leiter’s rankings, intentionally or not, disincentivize philosophy departments from hiring non-Western philosophers. In the robust comments on original discussion initiated by Christian Coseru, my own thoughts were as follows.
I wonder if things like Leiter’s own rankings have unintentionally contributed to this issue in big philosophy departments at research schools. If one can build on one’s existing strengths in say, philosophy of mind, by filling a line with an up-and-coming hotshot in the field, you can move up in the rankings by adding a 5th phil-mind person. If a department wanted to expand the the width of its offerings by including a qualified non-Western specialist, there is no net gain in terms of rankings. There is thus an incentive for departments to stay narrow.
Any thoughts on what we can do to improve the situation, esp. things that are actually realistic?
Link with summary here: http://dailynous.com/2015/12/14/a-detailed-critique-of-the-philosophical-gourmet-report/
Thanks to Jonardon Ganeri for bringing this to my attention.