SPEP Resolution on the Pluralist’s Guide to Philosophy

The passage of the following resolution is not intended to endorse the methodologies or conclusions of the Pluralist’s Guide to Philosophy but to express, on behalf of the SPEP membership, appreciation of and support for the efforts of the Pluralist’s Guide to inform prospective students about graduate programs friendly to philosophical pluralism. For a statement regarding SPEP’s position on all ranking statements see: http://www.spep.org/?page_id=78.

Proposal for Resolution for SPEP Members Regarding the Pluralist’s Guide to Philosophy (accepted, with amendments, 10-21-2011 at the SPEP Business Meeting)

I. The membership of the Society of Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy supports the independent efforts of the new Pluralist’s Guide to Philosophy to:

  1. provide new sources of information on areas of philosophy that remain underrepresented in most doctoral programs in the discipline and
  2. provide information on the conditions for women and minorities in graduate philosophy programs.

The membership of SPEP has long championed pluralistic approaches to philosophy, as well as increased diversity in a field that continues to have the lowest representation by women and people of color compared to all other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

II. For the same set of reasons, the membership also supports the new APA-sponsored Guide to Graduate Study in Philosophy, which complements the Pluralist’s Guide by providing a comprehensive survey of all Ph.D. and M.A. graduate programs in the U.S. It includes concise information on women and people of color among faculty and graduate students as well as figures on average number of years to completion of the degree and placement data, while furnishing a profile of departments’ distinctive emphases.

III. We commend those committed to providing enhanced information about doctoral programs in philosophy in the US, as well as those working to promote diversity in the profession. While we appreciate those who have engaged in constructive dialogue about both Guides and their production, we condemn the incivility that has marked some criticisms, especially ad hominem attacks on the Pluralist’s Guide’s organizers and contributors as well as on SPEP and its membership despite the latter’s independence from the construction of this Guide. We are grateful to the authors of and contributors to both Guides for their work. Philosophy currently faces unprecedented marginalization within the academy; we support efforts to move past archaic divisions and find common ground.