Sunday, February 01, 2015

A Philosopher Walks Into A Coffee Shop

A lot of the references to philosophers (then economists) went over my head over at Slate Star Codex, but I warmed up to it and laughed out loud once we got to William of Occam.  The site itself is quite excellent.  If any of you caught the research about women being less welcome in those disciplines which are perceived to need that spark of genius, he does an efficient takedown here.


Sam L. said...

I got 4 or 5 of the philosopher jokes.

Perceptions and gender gap: Maybe women don't like to do those things, qualified/able to do them or not. Personal choice (which is completely unacceptable!).

Homonormativity: The HORROR! The horror... Because we all know we need a new horror.

james said...

At first I was getting some of the jokes, but after a while they started referencing people I'd never heard of.

I guess Darwin is a handy club to beat on Christians with, but he doesn't understand intersectionality well enough to be a reliable guide. Or something. The jargon of the movement sounds like something to summon Cthulhu... Actually, there are quite a few parallels with that story, now that I think of it.

bs king said...

I actually went to forward you SlateStarCodex about 3 weeks ago, and then stopped because I was sure you'd cited him before. So much for memory.

Texan99 said...

Yeah, a lot of those went "zing" right over my head. The ones I could get were funny, though. "Proper tea is theft." Kind of like "The koala tea of Mersey is not strained."

bs king said...

Also, there's a gap in his take down: philosophy and music composition. Both of those were rated as worse than all the STEM fields in terms of the low number of women vs high belief in innate talent, and I'd be interested to see if that gap is real.

At least in some music fields, there has been evidence found that gender bias was pretty influential:
When the reviewers were blinded to the musician's appearance and went solely on sound, women won spots 7 times as often.

Not sure what's going on with philosophy, but I never do.

Grim said...

What's going on in philosophy is that the Anglo-American academy divides it in a particular way. In Europe, literature and philosophy are one department. In America and England, they're not. Also, in both those places the dominant trend is toward "analytical philosophy," which relies on advanced symbolic logic that is much like mathematics (there's a standing debate as to whether mathematics is a subset of logic, or logic a relative of math). What is called "Continental philosophy" is less purely logical, and more inclusive of influences from literature, theater, etc.

So really, it's purely an artifact of the way we divide things up. If you were to combine the philosophy department with the English Lit and Romance Languages departments, you'd find that women were slightly over-represented just as they are throughout the academy.

The Mad Soprano said...

I remember discussing Descartes and Kant in Intro to Philosophy last year.