Shameless Plug: Free Range Philosophers

In this post I take a break from my series on the Circumstances of Justice to abuse Irfan’s trust and hospitality in order to promote a web project of my own: Free Range Philosophers. From the site description:

Free Range Philosophers presents interviews of people with advanced training in philosophy who are either working outside of traditional academic jobs or engaged in philosophical outreach or other philosophical activities outside of the academic classroom. … In addition to serving as a resource for graduate students and PhDs who are exploring other career options, the hope is that these interviews will help philosophers inside and outside the academy expand our conception of what philosophy is and what it can be.

My first two interviews are with a philosopher who left a tenure-track position in order to better pursue his conception of what philosophy should be and with a philosopher-designer who found a nonfaculty position that allows her to combine both of her passions. Enjoy!

7 thoughts on “Shameless Plug: Free Range Philosophers

  1. Super cool. Looks like philosophers have many more extra-curricular skills than classicists. Well, than classicists who don’t go to law school, anyway.

    More seriously, I think the project is a good one not only because it showcases interesting and valuable work that people are doing apart from the traditional academic cursus honorum, but because it should help to give some hope to the legions of graduate students nearing the completion of their degrees and wondering whether there is any viable Plan B that actually involves philosophy. I’m sure you know more about it than I do, but I wonder whether the APA would be interested in promoting the site?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, David. Your comment reminds me that I’ve been meaning to renew my APA membership! I’d be happy for them – or anyone – to promote the site, but I’m not interested in any sort of official affiliation.

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      • I’m not a member of the APA so I don’t know much about their internal politics, but I know that the SCS (formerly the ‘other’ APA) would be enthusiastic about drawing attention to a project like yours focused on classicists without demanding any kind of formal affiliation. Perhaps the APA would be similarly disposed, though I suspect you could draw as much attention via blogs and sites like Daily Nous. I share your reluctance toward self-promotion, but remember, it’s not really you that you’re promoting, it’s the folks you’re interviewing and the others who might be inspired by their example.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, definitely not an abuse of my trust and hospitality, but just the kind of thing I like to see posted here. Thanks for creating it and posting it.

    I don’t know if this is part of your conception of the project, but I would add a third category to the two you mention:

    Free Range Philosophers presents interviews of people with advanced training in philosophy who are either working outside of traditional academic jobs or engaged in philosophical outreach or other philosophical activities outside of the academic classroom. …

    There are also those working in academic jobs but in non-traditional institutions or locations, at least relative to the philosophical scene in “metropolitan” countries and locations like the US, Canada, UK, Australia, etc. I’m thinking of academic jobs in out-of-the-way places like Africa, Asia, and Latin and South America. They’re advertised in Jobs for Philosophers, but often ignored as too exotic to be worth considering.

    We were just talking here a few weeks ago about Carlos Fraenkel’s book Teaching Plato in Palestine (there’s also a Romeo and Juliet in Palestine), which offers a glimpse into the possibilities.

    Speaking of exotic locations, I’m going to be traveling a lot this week, so I’ll be a little slow in contributing to the “Circumstances of Justice” discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great suggestion, Irfan. I can’t see any reason not to expand the site’s mission in just the way you suggest. Also – heads up – I plan on asking you for an interview in the future, based on your work in Palestine and on Pine Ridge. I just have to work my way through all the times you’ve already talked about it here so I can sound like an informed interviewer!

      I knew you wouldn’t mind – I’m just so naturally resistant to that kind of self-promotion that I needed to insert a bit of tongue-in-cheek self-deprecation to take the edge off.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wow, I’m blown away to be a candidate interviewee–but I’d love to. The real work I’ve done has been here in Palestine. In Pine Ridge, I just tagged along for a week with my friend Britt Long, who’s an attorney and activist on the reservation (and also happens to be running for public office there–Bennett County State’s Attorney). She did the work, and I just watched and learned what I could. Same plan for this August.

        A former Felician colleague of mine, Joe Biehl, runs an organization that might be of interest to you–the Gotham Philosophical Society. Substantively, much of it is just straight up academic philosophy, but Joe is himself out of academia, and likes to bring philosophy to unconventional places and do it in unconventional ways.

        Liked by 1 person

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