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Sexual Harassment in Philosophy, Part 2 (guest post by Janice Dowell and David Sobel)

The following is a guest post* by Janice Dowell and David Sobel, professors of philosophy at Syracuse University, with help from several other philosophers. It is the second in a two-part series on sexual harassment in philosophy. Part 1 is here. Like the first installment, this one was also published at PEA Soup. Professors Dowell and Sobel have included some prefatory remarks for this post: Below is the second installment in our two-part series on sexual harassment in academia. In this installment, we discuss proposals for what individual philosophers and departments can do to prevent harassment and support victims. Some of these proposals will likely be controversial. The ongoing discussion of this topic is important; we hope people will carefully consider our proposals and the rationale offered for them. And while proposals for change frequently come with the risk of creating new problems, we hope people keep in mind that the status quo has very serious costs. Before those who disagree publicly express their dissent, I very much hope they will keep two considerations in mind:  (i) Whether the proposals advocated by the signatories to the statement below are warranted depends very much on what’s known about the rates of harassment and retaliation in academia and their impact on victims. Anyone who is unfamiliar with these facts will find it difficult to reasonably assess these proposals. So, we hope that anyone not yet familiar with the empirical data will first [More]

Sexual Harassment in Philosophy (guest post by Janice Dowell and David Sobel)

The following is a guest post* by Janice Dowell and David Sobel, professors of philosophy at Syracuse University. It is also posted at PEA Soup. Sexual Harassment in Philosophy by Janice Dowell and David Sobel Our aim in this short post is to provide a brief summary of the general picture of sexual harassment as it applies to the academic community and to philosophy in particular. In a follow-up post, we will offer a number of proposals for how departments and individuals can act to fight harassment and support victims. Some of those proposals will no doubt seem controversial to some. Understanding why those proposals are warranted will require first understanding the extent and repercussions of harassment. We need to understand that we as philosophers and teachers operate in a world in which sexual harassment is not rare. This recognition should be reflected in our practice, and two points are especially important. First, philosophers are well aware both of the multiple ways in which language communicates information and of the effects of language that extend beyond communication. So, we should be particularly alive to such considerations in the language we use for teaching and discussing philosophy. When we casually and unnecessarily offer examples involving rape, sexual harassment, or false accusations of either, we should be aware of how probable it is that some audience members, readers, or fellow discussants will have been sexually harassed or assaulted and [More]

Waithe Awarded 2019 Elisabeth of Bohemia Prize

Mary Ellen Waithe, professor emerita of philosophy at Cleveland State University, has been awarded the 2019 Elisabeth of Bohemia Prize.  The Elisabeth of Bohemia Prize is awarded to “an outstanding contemporary philosopher” whose work “preserves the memory of women in philosophy.” It is named for the philosopher Elisabeth, Princess of Bohemia (1618-1680). The prize notice states: Mary Ellen Waithe is the author of the ground-breaking book series “A History of Women Philosophers”, published from 1987 to 1995, from ancient to contemporary women philosophers. With this work, she was the first to publish a book dedicated solely to women philosophers and a pioneer in the field of study on women philosophers. Her dedication motivated many others to join her cause and the project provided a much-needed impulse to further the recognition of women philosophers. The series presents an unparalleled contribution to the research on women in the history of philosophy and is extremely relevant to this day.  The prize of €3000 (approximately $3330) is sponsored by Ulrike Detmers and awarded in cooperation with Ruth Hagengruber, the director of the Center for the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists. It was awarded to Professor Waithe during the closing ceremony of the 2019 Libori Summer School. The post Waithe Awarded 2019 Elisabeth of Bohemia Prize appeared first on Daily [More]

Gender, Topics, and Publication: Clues from Political Science?

A new study in political science provides evidence for an explanation of why “women are more likely to leave the profession than men” and why “those who stay are promoted at lower rates.” The study, “You Research Like a Girl: Gendered Research Agendas and Their Implications,” looks at the gender distribution of authors on various topics in political science and then checks to see how well those topics are discussed in top political science journals. The authors, Ellen M. Key (Appalachian State) and Jane Lawrence Sumner (Minnesota), used dissertation topics in political science to determine the gender distribution on specific topics and created the following chart depicting them: They then asked, “Are topics most favored by women less likely to appear in top journals?” adding: If this were true, it could provide an explanation for the leaky pipeline. That is, if women pursue topics that—for whatever reason—are less likely to be published in major journals than topics pursued by men, they may fare less well in tenure and promotion and therefore be less likely to be promoted or more likely to leave the discipline. If “appearing in the top three journals” is also a heuristic for being valued by the field as a whole, this could indicate that topics written about more often by women may be less valued by hiring committees, suggesting another pathway by which women may leave the discipline. They looked at three top [More]

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