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I don't know how you're supposed to make it in philosophy if you don't have family money backing you up. A philosophy PhD is a huge risk for anyone from a disadvantaged background. I had to depend on family money at multiple points just to survive the economic environment, for example, having to pay deposits at new apartments before you get the old deposit back, having to wait to get all of your moving expenses back for when you get your tax rebate (assuming you get anything to help you move), having to pay for air plane tickets for conferences, and, of course, having to survive a year when you don't find a job. These issues have all been talked about ad nauseum. I'm not saying this is the main reason people from disadvantaged backgrounds don't do philosophy PhDs (I imagine they are prone to the same fallacious thinking as rich people), but it's certainly a reason why they shouldn't. Before worrying about the diversity within philosophy, why don't we fix our job market?

an asian

Thank you for mentioning Asians. Not everyone thinks about Asians when thinking about minorities. I've once been told that I'm not the right kind of diversity when applying for a job.


I think that there are several good initiatives here. However, I do have concerns about some of the overarching norms that are being applied when this kind of work is done. The question of how we achieve social justice is a complex one. It is very unlikely that the answers currently accepted in left-wing academia are all the correct, optimal answers. Indeed, there is a good chance that at least some of the currently accepted answers are mistakes that will impede rather than enhance social justice (there is clearly a pessimistic meta-induction here from the history of social justice initiatives). Given this, it is very important that, at the collective decision making level, we foster an intellectually open ethos that encourages different viewpoints, including non-standard viewpoints, and gives them all due consideration. Without this, the risk of groupthink is significant. Yet, recent evidence suggests this is not happening, or not happening enough. In particular, I have heard many BAME students, who have unorthodox views about what the key issues are and how they are best solved, complain that at universities they are expected to affirm the standard social justice narrative and personally criticized as letting their race/demographic group down, and internalizing the oppressor's ideology, if they even slightly deviate from it. They feel like there is a climate that refuses to hear their voice if they don't parrot the orthodox take on these issues in contemporary academia.

Given this issue, I wonder if you took any steps in the meetings you organized to address these problems and have any advice for others on how to deal with them?

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