Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Philosophy's not like counting beans

In Britain the academic-administative beancounters call it "impact," in Tennessee they call it "learning outcomes assessment," but Nigel Warburton calls it absurd. I agree.
One of the most disturbing things about academic philosophy today is the way that so many supposed gadflies and rebels in philosophy have just rolled over in the face of the ["accountability movement"] – particularly by going along with the idea of measuring and quantifying impact,” he says, making inverted commas with his fingers, “a technical notion which was constructed for completely different disciplines. I’m not even sure what research means in philosophy. Philosophers are struggling to find ways of describing what they do as having impact as defined by people who don’t seem to appreciate what sort of things they do. This is absurd. Why are you wasting your time? Why aren’t you standing up and saying philosophy’s not like that?
How can you call yourselves philosophers? | Talking Philosophy

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