This is a blog that discusses and advises people about how to make the climate in their philosophy department and other professional spaces more hospitable. Some have argued that the norms of behavior in philosophy departments are part of what explains why Anglophone philosophy is not as diverse as other disciplines in the academy. We are sympathetic to this hypothesis, but also believe that an inhospitable environment is bad for everyone and does not produce the best philosophy.
The blog’s authors consist of a group of philosophers who have been involved in climate issues for some time.* Many of them have been trained for the APA Site Visit Program. Although we don’t represent a full cross-section of the profession, we are committed to diversity of all kinds and reach out to others to get input when we recognize that our own experience may be inadequate to address the issue at hand. We don’t have all the answers and recognize that there are complexities to any situation that we will not fully appreciate, given that we are responding to a question posed online. Because usually more than one strategy will be worth considering, we may post more than one reply to a given question. But even when only one reply is posted, other options should be considered. We are doing our best to offer helpful suggestions, but the responsibility lies with the reader to use good judgment in acting.
This is not a place to raise concerns about whether there are any problems at all for women or other underrepresented groups in philosophy. There are plenty of other blogs that welcome such discussions, but we don’t. This is a place for people who agree that there’s a problem. The blog will, accordingly, be heavily moderated with this in mind. We have decided to start the blog with comments open (though moderated), but this may change if we find that it is counter-productive. Commenters should also observe our version of the ‘BE NICE’ rule from Feminist Philosophers:
BE NICE. Engage authors and ideas, but do not insult people. When commenting, do so respectfully. Don’t attribute nasty motivations to people unless they really make it clear that they have those motivations. Try to be as charitable as possible. Abusive comments may be deleted, including but not limited to sexist and racist comments. Repeatedly abusive posters may be blocked. Why do we have this policy? Because we think it’s the best way to facilitate productive dialogue. We might be wrong. But it’s our blog and our policy.
* The group of respondents includes but is not limited to: Susan Brison, Ruth Chang, Shannon Dea, Carrie Figdor, Juliet Floyd, Ann Garry, Jill Gordon, Valerie Hardcastle, Sally Haslanger, Nancy Holland, Hilde Lindemann, Donna Marcano, Ned Markosian, Desiree Melton, Roberta Millstein, James L. Nelson, Laura Ruetsche, Jennifer Saul, Alison Wylie. Individual replies will not be signed with the author’s name, but authors have chosen colors as pseudonymns (e.g., ‘Pink,’ ‘Teal,’ ‘Bleen,’) so you can track a particular author’s replies.