Saturday, December 7, 2013

Philosopher Equality Now!

Everyone should be allowed to be recognized as a tenured philosophy professor at a public university. One might object that this would entail the re-definition of philosophy, but philosophy has been re-defined all the time from 'love of wisdom' to 'pursuit after the truth' to 'learning how to die' to 'some peculiar language game we play'. You don't even have to advocate philosophy to be a tenured philosophy professor. You can, in fact, make it your job to destroy philosophy (whatever it may be) and STILL have tenure as a philosophy professor. Just ask Rorty and Wittgenstein. But, wait, you say, shouldn't one be able at least to convey his or her philosophy (whatever it may be) clearly and intelligibly to qualify as a tenured philosophy professor? That's never been a qualification for the position historically. Otherwise, Kant, Hegel, Ayer, Davidson, and Rawls would never have been tenured philosophy professors. Well, shouldn't you then at least be expected to publish stuff for peer review? Seriously? Would you then deny Socrates tenure, the patron saint of philosophers?

Philosophy has no definition. It is simply a convention that can be defined however political fiat lists. Since philosophy has no definition, neither can the teaching thereof. Therefore, there can be no reasonable qualifications for being a tenured philosophy professor, save the willingness to be one. Since this is the case, it is simply unfair to limit the honor, prestige, and economic benefits that attend a tenured professorship in philosophy to those few who know how to game the tenure system. Thus, the dictates of equality demand that the position of tenured philosophy professor be made available to all for the mere asking. And if you disagree, then, well, you are a bigot. As vile as any anti-Semite or White Supremacist.

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