Simon Blackburn om utvärdering av akademin

Simon Blackburn (en känd brittisk filosof) har av en brittisk myndighet blivit ombedd att fylla i ett formulär med frågor angående nyttan och behovet av doktorandutbildning inom hans ämne. Myndigheten är ”The Departement for Business, Innovation and Skills” och deras sätt att formulera frågorna är sprungna ur affärsvärlden. Blackburn svarar syrligt i Times Higher Education att det slags uppfattningar om behov och nytta som gett upphov till den finansiella expertisens bedrifter, särskild med tanke på de senaste åren, ”seem strange instruments with which to assess institutions that enabled such legacies as those left by Bacon, Locke, Hume and Wittgenstein.”


Our postgraduate philosophy education is primarily vital in ensuring the quality of the incoming stream of future teachers of philosophy. These provide the continuing educational resource for very acute and educated people to flow into very diverse channels of administration, business and other branches of employment, including what used to exist as and be known as ”public service”, before that fell into the hands of people unable to conceive of it as anything other than a cornucopia of opportunities for corruption.

Angående filosofins ”impact”:

We note that the chairman of your committee, Adrian Smith, director-general of science and research at BIS, is a committed advocate of ”evidence-based” practice. While we applaud this, we also note that the impact of ideas is not measurable, even by double-blind clinical tests decked out with the best Bayesian interpretations. [. . .] Nobody has done a controlled experiment on what the impact of either Christianity or Communism was, but only an idiot therefore believes that the jury should stay out on whether they had any.

If historical timescales are deemed inappropriate, we note that the £1 trillion bank bailout last year would have paid the Arts and Humanities Research Council budget for 10,000 years.


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