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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bharath Vallabha on "The Function of the Philosophical Gourmet Report"

In a discussion over at Feminist Philosophers, Bharath Vallabha made an interesting set of comments about the role that the Philosophical Gourmet Report plays in philosophy. It turns out that there is a longer version, "The Function of the Philosophical Gourmet Report", which Bharath has given me permission to share. Obviously, you should click the link to download it.

For those who are not familiar with this sort of analysis, let me emphasize right now that Bharath's essay is not about the intentions of people involved with the Gourmet Report. It is about its function in a different sense: its effect upon the field and the larger social and professional forces that have made it seem so essential.

Bharath has also written a piece at Hippo Reads, "Eugene Park Was Right: Academic Philosophy Is Failing Its Cosmopolitan Values". For those who do not know, Park's essay described his reasons for leaving the field, which largely concern its 'homogeneity'. Bharath's essay is a response to a typically derogatory commentary on Park's essay by one Brian Leiter, who more or less manages to prove Park's point while thinking he is refuting it. (Thanks to Feminist Philosophers for the link.)

Disclosure: Bharath received his PhD in philosophy from Harvard, and I taught him during the time I was there. I was not on his committee. As is mentioned at the beginning of the Park essay, he too has now left academic philosophy, which is something I personally regard as a serious loss for the field. If we are losing such people, then we are doing something very wrong.

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