The results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise were released today. Quality profiles for all units of assessment can be found on the RAE website at: http://submissions.rae.ac.uk/results/
I’m not quite sure yet how to interpret the results. If one looks just at the percentage of 4*, which is categorized as research ‘that is world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour,’ then it would appear that UCL and St. Andrews would come out on top. But it seems that theoretically, a department could just submit one person and get 100% of 4* and come out on top. So it seems that the number of people submitted should also matter. But if that is the case, Oxford, which has the largest philosophy faculty in the UK, and which also submitted the largest percentage of its staff, would seem to come out on top using this metric (ie, the figure for FTE Category A staff submitted times the percentage of research activity at quality level 4*). What’s the right metric to use?

The Philosophy Department at the University of Chicago will host a two-day conference (April 24-25) to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the publication of G. E. M. Anscombe’s Intention.

SPEAKERS:
1. Jennifer Hornsby, Philosophy, Birkbeck College, University of London
2. Gavin Lawrence, Philosophy, UCLA
3. John McDowell, Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh
4. Anselm Müller, Philosophy, University of Trier
5. Sebastian Rödl, Philosophy, University of Basel
6. Kieran Setiya, Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh
7. Michael Thompson, Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh
8. Candace Vogler, Philosophy, University of Chicago

Things have been philosophically very quite over here, so I thought that some of you might like to ponder the question whether you should be sorry that you exist. Some background explanation: Jean Kazez has been posting on the paradoxes in my recent book “10 Moral Paradoxes” in the blog Talking Philosophy. So far she has covered chapters 1 through 6. Chapter 6 is “On Not Being Sorry About the Morally Bad”. The basic idea here is this:

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