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« How grad applications are evaluated? | Main | Public Philosophy for the Common Good »

10/28/2019

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German-speaking philosopher

Thank you for this post that entails very important information and critique. I studied and worked in the German-speaking context as well (Austria and Germany), hence I know the context too. I believe you should contextualize the depiction of the focus of teaching at German universities. The universities I know do not concentrate only on the "the most important German philosophers”, but integrate the so-called analytic tradition (e.g. Muenster,Konstanz, HU Berlin, FU Berlin, Vienna, Graz). Moreover, there are universities which focus on the so-called analytic tradition only (e.g. Bochum II, Salzburg). Analytic philosophy in Germany has an independent organization (https://www.gap-im-netz.de/en/): their board only consists of distinguished German professors. This shows that analytic philosophy is very well embedded in the German context. I would argue that German-speaking universities focus on the male-dominated European-American tradition (and I completely agree with your critique of that). Hence, they lack real diversity (as so many departments in the European-American context do). It is also pretty common to teach in English and I have encountered no student who would not be willing to read or write in English. Some of my students at a German-speaking university even asked me, if they could write their seminar papers in English.

a philosopher

The whole thing sounds very paternalistic to me, as if one is still a student needing supervision until their habilitation. I'm not often one to defend the free market, but I must say that I find myself glad I'm mostly working within the US system where the only (semi) formal requirement is the PhD and after that schools and departments set their own procedures and compete for talent. There are many downsides to the fact that (humanities) research and universities in the US are funded mostly by tuition dollars and donors, but the tight structural restrictions of more regulated systems in Europe strike me as worse. It's interesting to hear your perspective and thoughts on how this stifles change and protects bias. (I assume my libertarian and conservative colleagues are rolling their eyes now.)

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