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Thursday, December 11, 2014

The PGR Numbers, from Mitchell Aboulafia

The results of the latest iteration of the peculiar exercise known as the PGR survey have been slow to appear, but, as the "area" rankings have trickled out, Mitchell Aboulafia has been tracking the participation rate over at Up@Night. And, so far, it does not look good. The most recent area he has mentioned is Philosophy of Language.

As he summarizes the situation:

In 2011 there were 52 evaluators in the Philosophy of Language.

Of these 52 evaluators, 31 did not participate in the Philosophy of Language rankings in 2014.

This is a 60% drop from 2011 to 2014.

There were a total of 27 evaluators in 2014.

This is a net drop of 48% from 2011 to 2014.

In other words, the Philosophy of Language lost 31 evaluators in 2014 and found only 6 replacements.
Other areas have also shown a drop, but this is the worst yet.

Congratulations to everyone who refused to participate.

Mitchell's other recent articles on PGR are also worth reading:
The most amusing part of these is Leiter's apparent claim (no I won't link to it) that one "big difference between academic law and academic philosophy is that in the former there is far less consensus on scholarly paradigms than in the latter". I confess to not knowing a lot about academic law, but one wonders how much less consensus there could be in any discipline than there is in academic philosophy. Unless, of course, "academic philosophy" means, by definition, only what is done at the "top" departments. And, in particular, whether it excludes, by definition, the sort of work that people like Mitchell do.

No doubt, there is plenty of consensus among the PGR evaluator pool. But that, as has often been pointed out, is not a reflection of reality but a bias that creates the reality it purports to reflect.

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