Several readers have called my attention to this very curious proposal (well, really a thought-experiment) about blind job dossiers, so that hiring schools would not know where the candidate went to school. This does strike me, I confess, as ideals of "equal opportunity" run amok: of course, race, ethnicity, family pedigree, gender etc. should be irrelevant to hiring decisions, but how could where one was educated not be highly relevant? And this goes beyond the simple logistical issue, namely, that no department has the resources to read and evaluate 200+ papers submitted by job applicants--thoughthe logistical issue is real enough. As a number of commenters point out, pedigree is relevant to quality of training received and it is also relevant to how to interpret letters of recommendation. It is true that pedigree would be a more objectionable consideration if the reputation of one's pedigree were unhinged from any consideration of philosophical quality; but one of the central points of the PGR is to keep them tightly linked. Here's one example of the salutary effect this has had in the face of a mindless focus on pedigree: I've heard several times over the years of smaller colleges where the Dean tells the department to only hire candidates with "Ivy League" PhDs (or the Ivy League plus MIT, Chicago, Berkeley, Stanford--you get the idea). In each of these cases, departments were able to use the PGR to point out that, in academic philosophy, a Rutgers or Arizona "pedigree" is as good or better than the Dean's preferred proxy, or to make the case that a department hiring in medieval philosophy really ought to be seeking out the Notre Dame PhDs, a department hiring in philosophy of science ought to be looking carefully at the Pittsburgh and UC Irvine PhDs, and so on. Where pedigree has substantial evidential value about the quality and character of philosophical training, and where pedigree also informs the interpretation of letters of recommendation, it would be foolish to eliminate pedigree as an important point of information in the evaluation of job candidates.