Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Market for Philosophy

Over at Crooked Timber (here), Ingryd Robbins has an interesting post on efforts to close down Philosophy departments at various universities in the UK. This is part of a disturbing trend I have posted about previously (see here). Here is one very good paragraph from Robbins' post:
I think the tendencies are clear. If you are teaching/doing research in a field/discipline that can not easily show (quantitatively, please!) to policy makers & bureaucrats that you will make a significant positive contribute to economic growth, your very existence is at stake. Never mind that you’re opening up minds, teaching logic or the arts, passing on history to the next generations. Either someone on the market should be willing to pay for what you’re doing, or else you are at mercy of the benevolence of your government. The University as a public good? That’s an old fashioned idea from premodern times, obviously.

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