"The Profession of Philosophy"
Originally broadcast: April 15, 2010
Plagued with technical difficulties, the first two thirds of this episode features host Jack Russell Weinstein offering
his thoughts on the topic, responding to internet questions, and meditating on his own experiences as a philosophy
professor. Brian Leiter appears for a brief discussion towards the end; we hope to have him on again and apologize to
him and to listeners who were looking forward to the extended discussion.
Please share your thoughts on this episode with other listeners:
What is the difference between a philosopher and a philosophy professor? What does the world think a philosopher is and how does
this square with the philosopher’s own self image? The next episode of Why?looks closely at the philosopher’s job,
exploring both the perennial question of its relevance and the tremendously competitive hiring process that almost every
professional philosopher must endure. Join guest Brian Leiter for an insider’s look at the profession of philosophy,
and a discussion about the future of the discipline: where is philosophy now, how has it changed, and how will it evolve
over the next decades?
Brian Leiter founded the University of Chicago Law School's Center for Law, Philosophy, and Human Values when he joined their
faculty in July 2008. His teaching and research interests are in philosophy of law, moral and political philosophy,
and Continental philosophy. Most pertinently, he is the gatekeeper to philosophy's official unofficial rankings,
maintaining "The Philosophical Gourmet" an annually updated list of the most prestigious graduate programs.
He also maintains three blogs, one on Nietzsche, one on law school, and "The Leiter Reports," a compendium of professional
news, issues in the profeson, and news clippings related to philosophy as a discipline and as a career. His scholarly books
include Objectivity in Law and Morals, Nietzsche on Morality, The Future for Philosophy,
Naturalizing Jurisprudence: Essays on American Legal Realism and Naturalism in Legal Philosophy, and
The Oxford Handbook of Continental Philosophy. Leiter holds an AB from Princeton University, and a
JD and PhD in philosophy from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Why?'s host Jack Russell Weinstein says, "Obviously, the profession of philosophy is always on my mind, but what
happens when we explore it philosophically? What do we learn by turning the philosophical lens on ourselves?
I’m excited to have Brian here to ask some of the most basic questions of all: how do philosophers make
their money and are they of use to anyone at all.”
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