Pennsylvania may get rid of a number of its Philosophy (and other useless) departments because they graduate fewer than 30 majors over five years.
Unless they justify their existence.
That's an ironically philosophical task. Scheherazadian (a word which justifies its existence as legitimate by having 1,410 occurrences on Google, despite the fact that there no Merriam Webster definition). I suggest department heads accept their fates and submit copies of Plato's Apology as their self-justifications: we're ready to drink the hemlock, philosophy is just a form of dying anyway! Or tell the powers that be that philosophy is merely a given. Or that foundationalism is bunk.
Crooked Timber takes the self-justificatory bait--which just seems to me to be very sad and very desperate:
Like most Philosophy departments we have an informal logic/critical reasoning course, which teaches students how to identify various kinds of fallacious reasoning, and targets instruction to contexts which the students are likely to find themselves in in the course of their lives. We teach aesthetics, environmental ethics, and philosophy of religion, all of which courses attract students with other majors who want to think at a higher level of abstraction than their regular courses allow about what they are doing in their major.
Sheherazade told beautiful stories, and Socrates said "fuck you." Today it's: "I really do think you'll be less inclined to stick it to me once I teach you about ad hominems."
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