A colleague elsewhere sent me the following dystopian reflections, suggesting I open them for discussion:
Report of the APA Committee on the Status of the Profession in 2043
In the US, there will be 15-20 Ph. D programs, each producing 5 Ph Ds per year. Most of those will be departments currently in the Leiter top 20. In the UK there will be fewer Ph. D, programs; every five years the government will assess the programmes and promote/demote some from premiere status. In the US the invisible hand will rule.
There will be 30-50 three year graduate programs producing MAPhT (MA in Philosophy Teaching) students. The programs will integrate two years of course work of the familiar kind with a year of training in teaching with practice.
Most remaining colleges will have a philosophy department of three long term faculty with Ph. D.s, one each in history of philosophy, value theory and core analytic (critical thinking and philosophy of science and technology). Philosophy majors will be scarce and will complete their degrees in three years. They will spend the last year taking capstone courses in residence after two years of online work. The department will provide courses for thousands of students online managed/taught by a staff of part-time MAPhTs. The long term faculty will teach the capstone courses, select online material for courses and oversee the hiring and teaching of the part-time faculty.
(People will have realized that the magic number “4” is an irrelevant average and degree programs will vary from 3 years in areas such as philosophy to 5 years for engineering. Engineering students will need to spend the last two years on campus because they will require experience in actual physical simulation laboratories.)
Logic will only be taught in advanced courses; Excel-Logic will provide translations of natural language premises and conclusions into logical notation and evaluate arguments (with more accuracy than students currently possess six months after taking a logic course). It will include the capacity to evaluate arguments requiring tense and modal logic, and will indicate when an argument is valid in S4.2 but not S4. When ambiguous sentences are entered, it will query the user as to which logical structure is intended. Critical thinking courses will emphasize identifying premises of arguments, a subtler skill.
History of philosophy students will not be confined to texts but will watch holographs of Socratic dialogues. Ethics students will be engulfed in holographic virtual reality trolley disaster simulations.
All publication will be self-publication online. Journals will have become extinct except for the top two which will expire as soon as they publish their backlog which grows every year. Status of publications will be determined by Zagat-Phil using a complex algorithm based on the number of ratings, the rating numbers and the pattern of downloads, citations of the paper, and status of the citer.
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