philosophy meta-forum

Leiter pushes back against affirmative action in hiring

Ota

11 day(s) ago

Guys, why are you wasting your time on this? The word 'diversity hire' alone gives me a headache.

Timon

11 day(s) ago

Guys, why are you wasting your time on this? The word 'diversity hire' alone gives me a headache.

Ota

Because we don’t want to be unemployed?

Vandana

11 day(s) ago

^ Well how about you rage against the adjunctification and administrationization of academia and do something about it?

I love that we're fighting for scraps here.

Wladyslaw

11 day(s) ago

^ Well how about you rage against the adjunctification and administrationization of academia and do something about it?

I love that we're fighting for scraps here.

Vandana

These things are not mutually exclusive.

Also, large segments of the academic left appear to be entirely unwilling to entertain any remedies to adjunctification that call for limiting the supply of PhDs. That suggests to me they are fundamentally unserious about this matter.

Onora

10 day(s) ago

Limiting the supply of PhDs means disparate impact on all the women, blacks, and mystery-meat foreigners who demand, nay, are owed, a job in the American university system.

Imre

10 day(s) ago

Got it- I wasn't presenting evidence against strong bias (it may be true). I am claiming that a mean publication difference between hired men and women is not sufficient to prove strong bias. So I stipulated a case where the difference in mean publications exists, but strong bias doesn't. It was: 1) men publish more on average in grad school, 2) this doesn't give them a leg up because search committees consistently use other metrics to rank candidates (leiter rank, letters, writing sample, etc.), and 3) men and women don't much differ in these other metrics (e.g., they are as likely to go to a top 5 leiter program). I claim that under these conditions, the pool of hired men could have more pubs on average even though selection is not for pub # or for gender. You might think strong bias is just more likely. I'm not sure- search committees seem to mostly hire people with 0-1 publications. In fact, it might be hard to show strong bias convincingly if hiring decisions rely on intangibles and ignore things like pub. #.

Richard

Sure. Then, of course, you'd have to deal with the CDJ data which showed that being female increased one's chances on the market by a factor of 1.665. I mean, why burrow our heads in the sand on this? Because we don't want to admit that this is not a meritocracy?

Ludwig

10 day(s) ago

I think the fact that most people get hired with 0-1 publications is sufficient to conclude this isn't a meritocracy ;) I'm hammering on the points because we do philosophy and making precise claims based on the evidence we have is important. What if I just concede that some SCs have a bias toward hiring women at this time? That doesn't mean that the present ratio of male: female tenured faculty has nothing to do with a history of sexism, it doesn't mean that men and women differ in philosophical interest/ ability, it doesn't mean that the candidates being hired now are less able to do the job, or even have less potential to do the job, etc. All those things rely on assumptions vastly outstripping any data and are quite likely rooted in sexism rather than reality. And people on this thread have been sliding between these various claims with troubling ease. But sure. Suppose the data say: some SCs have a preference to hire a woman. Will they get a worse candidate? God knows, because 70% of the time they are going to hire a man with 0-1 papers or a woman with 0-1 papers. If you think there is a huge difference there, go nuts. If you want to debate (as Leiter did) the fairness of a system where: (1) the representation of men/women at the tenured level is skewed male, (2) some SCs want to hire women to un-skew the representation, (3) this makes it more difficulty for a white guy philosopher to get a job (since some SCs are determined to hire a woman and some are open to a man or women) that's all good. It's just that right from the gate in the thread people wanted to "go there" with the sexist just so stories. Incidentally, I think the evidence on hand (a few years of placement data, some anecdotes, etc.) isn't an airtight case for rampant bias either.

Paracelsus

6 day(s) ago

Leiter is making it at least possible to raise this sort of topic in a search committee without being shouted down. Fair play to him.

Graham

6 day(s) ago

Leiter is making it at least possible to raise this sort of topic in a search committee without being shouted down. Fair play to him.

Paracelsus

"Hidden search criteria" is a useful coinage.

Sebastian

6 day(s) ago

There are two relevant quantitative facts here. First, the representation of students at university is heavily skewed female and has been for decades. Women are majorities in universities and dominate most disciplines. Second, at higher levels, both hiring and the general atmosphere involves systemic anti-male bias and hostility.

Gustav

4 day(s) ago

There are two relevant quantitative facts here. First, the representation of students at university is heavily skewed female and has been for decades. Women are majorities in universities and dominate most disciplines. Second, at higher levels, both hiring and the general atmosphere involves systemic anti-male bias and hostility.

Sebastian

Let's not get overdramatic. There is a problem, but that doesn't mean there is "systemic anti-male bias and hostility." Even moderate efforts in this direction can violate laws and, at the very least, well-established norms.



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