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06/09/2020

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Concerned1

Hello. I would like to comment on this post to point out a worry I have had in faculty interact with graduate students on this website. I believe that most faculty are wealthy white people and when they interact with graduate students there is the expectation that they occupy a position of delayed adolescence — that is, that they have few or no financial or familial responsibilities. If the philosophers here are serious about changing the culture of philosophy departments (which actively despise minority students — see Jason Stanley’s recent tweet about how professional philosophers would regularly boast about white women ‘diversity hires’) then there needs to be a tectonic shift in how you understand graduate students.

A similar worry motivates hesitation about all of the vocational training advocated for here. While in principle I think it is a good idea, I desperately fear that the white elite of philosophy departments will naturally considered privileged white men as more likely to achieve faculty positions and so will be trained for this purpose while less fortunate graduate students will be “subtly” encouraged to look for opportunities elsewhere. In other words, in currently existing philosophy departments, where there is often the de facto segregation of black students, these vocational trainings can be further impediments to seeing students of color as “really” philosophers in the same sense as their white peers.

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