Assessing Philosophy

Here’s some of Cambridge philosopher Simon Blackburn’s take on it:

Our postgraduate philosophy education is primarily vital in ensuring the quality of the incoming stream of future teachers of philosophy. These provide the continuing educational resource for very acute and educated people to flow into very diverse channels of administration, business and other branches of employment, including what used to exist as and be known as "public service", before that fell into the hands of people unable to conceive of it as anything other than a cornucopia of opportunities for corruption.

and

[W]e don’t think that you should pay slavish attention to what business people, especially those who believe themselves fit to judge things about which they know nothing, say are their "needs" because we do not have any confidence that without more philosophy than most of them possess, they have the least idea what those needs are.

and

the impact of ideas is not measurable, even by double-blind clinical tests decked out with the best Bayesian interpretations

Blackburn here submits as evidence that the great Cathedrals were built a thousand years after the life of the one who inspired them.  When should we expect to see the “outcomes” from our students’ first experience with philosophy?

Read the rest here.

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