I''m happy to report that Advisory Board member Berit Brogaard (Miami) has agreed to join me as co-editor of the 2014 PGR (assuming we go forward), and to take on some of the responsibilities involved. One other invitation is outstanding as well. I thank the members of the Advisory Board and many other philosophers, faculty and students, for their helpful input and suggestions about the PGR over the last several days; we are still discussing other issues (members of the Advisory Board have, unsurprisingly, different opinions about how to proceed effectively), and I'll have more later next week. Some Board members think, not unreasonably, that the current campaign against me, due to the selective and context-free release of previously private e-mails, will interfere with successful completion of the current PGR; others feel differently (e.g., "We all know that [Brian] is someone who has strong opinions on a whole range of philosophical and professional issues that he voices forcefully and that he doesn't take criticism without responding. Whether he is justificed in this case (these cases?) or whether he has overstepped boundaries of appropriate behaviour I just don't know. What I do know is that his behavior in relation to the PGR has been impeccable. He has consulted the Advisory Board on any matter in the slightest controversial, given us the opportunity to air our views and to vote in light of that. So I don't see any reason to ask him to step aside based on the PGR itself"). I've no doubt the discussion will continue; everyone on the Advisory Board is there because I respect their work and their opinions, and I'm hopeful we will reach agreement on a sensible way to proceed.
Meanwhile, reality has intervened: I start teaching on Monday (John Stuart Mill's On Liberty as it happens) and, no doubt, like many readers, have deadlines for letters for job seekers (in both law and philosophy) that are due starting October 1. So I will have to set the PGR and the Internet aside for a bit to get this work done.
Sitting in his law-school office, the 34-year-old philosopher/lawyer seems to take a certain delight in delivering withering critiques of philosophers twice his age. He began publishing the rankings at age 26, as a graduate student in philosophy at Michigan, and has been "dissing" philosophers around the country ever since.
"I have to say what I think," he says. "Too much tact would make the survey pretty useless, wouldn't it?"
The current CHE article, alas, leaves out a lot of things we talked about (the motives of the current boycotters and critics, for example, are quite a bit more complex than what the reporter mentioned in passing), but that's inevitable. The earlier post has most of what I care to say about these matters in any case.