« Divination, Sacrifice, Art | Main | It's Time to Stop Saying 'Caucasian' »

April 26, 2012



Most excellent. Insightful and informative. So little media attention from this side of the border. And I, too, feel this pressure for the humanities to explain themselves...to show their value to universities seeking to train students for jobs and careers and whatnot. I feel a bit afraid.

howl of minerva

I am tempted to say that higher education is a public good and should be accessible and affordable to all. When does this publicly-funded higher education end though? With an undergraduate degree, a master's, a PhD, a post-doc?

I think it's reasonable for the taxpayer to question whether funding another ten thousand PhDs in sociology or philosophy of science is really a sensible use of public resources.

This is not simply a 'philosophy bakes no bread' perspective but a genuine question as to what these people will do subsequently. Academia is bloated and churning out huge numbers of higher degrees of dubious standard. People who have written a thesis on Derrida without troubling themselves to learn French. Anthropology graduates who have never been into the field.

There are simply not places in academia for them all. I know many, many PhD graduates who end up taking (yet) further degrees in business, law or medicine to get jobs that have nothing to do with (most of) their many years of publicly-subsidised education. It's not unreasonable to question the benefits that have accrued to the individual and to society through all that fancy and expensive education.


Un excellent article qui cerne bien les enjeux et qui, en même temps, voit plus loin que les débats actuels qui sont souvent trop ciblés sur l'avenir immédiat. Vraiment dommage qu'il soit tombé dans les "craques" du système.

Devra Wiseman

C'est la même chose en Angleterre (L'Ecosse va mieux). In the same vein, trains do not carry passengers, but customers. Soon the 'Sort of health service' we will be left with will not have patients either, but more customers...
The question is, how did it happen? Obviously the philosophers who were produced by universities when they were still educational institutions did not prevent the grubby money-drunk neo-cons taking power in so-called democracies. So what was the use of all that precious education?
(BA Hons. Oxford, of many years ago).

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)