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Graduate Students on Diversity and Inclusivity in Philosophy (guest post by Carolyn Dicey Jennings)

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The following is a guest post* by Carolyn Dicey Jennings, associate professor of philosophy and cognitive science at University of California, Merced, and creator of Academic Placement Data and Analysis (APDA). Graduate Students on Diversity and Inclusivity in Philosophy by Carolyn Dicey Jennings Many philosophers recognize that the field has a “gender problem,” and maybe even a “race problem,” but I have come to believe that it has a diversity problem. This is because I helped lead a survey that revealed problems for women, those who identify as non-binary, racial and ethnic minorities, those from a low socioeconomic background, those with military or veteran status, LGBTQ philosophers, and those with disabilities. Graduate students from these backgrounds are underrepresented, find themselves less comfortable in philosophy, find philosophy less welcoming, are less likely to recommend their graduate program, are less satisfied with the research preparation, teaching preparation, and financial support of their graduate program, and are less interested in an academic career. This is a problem not only for reasons of equity and inclusion in philosophy, but also because diversity improves collective performance—philosophy is worse off as an academic discipline so long as it has this diversity problem. Fortunately, the participants in our survey provided some insight on how we might move forward, especially favoring increased representation from these groups among faculty and graduate students, at conferences and workshops, on syllabi, and in publications. Some background: In 2018 three groups came together to run a survey on diversity and inclusivity: the Graduate Student Council of the APA, the Data Task Force of the APA, and the Academic Placement Data and Analysis team. We provided a preliminary report to the APA in 2018, and this summer I wrote and delivered the final report, available here. That report is around 12,500 words, so I thought it would be useful. . .

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News source: Daily Nous

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