I don't usually rant. I fancy myself a calm deliberate guy. Not only do I play a dispassionate voice of reason on the radio, I really do try to be a dispassionate voice of reason in my every day life. I don't always succeed mind you. But at least my heart's in the right place.
But I've got to get something off my chest. And what better place to do that than on a blog. I wish I could do it anonymously, like so many do. But I don't think that would work here. So what's my beef?
It has to do with Philosophy Talk and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In general, i don't have a big problem with the NEH. Actually, I kind of like at least the idea of the NEH. They've funded many worthwhile endeavors -- some of which have materially affected my own research.
But I do have a bone to pick with them -- a bone I'd like to share with everybody who wishes Philosophy Talk well. We've applied to them five different times for various grants. And five different times we've been turned down. This time around, we were turned down -- rejected, refused, denied (take your pick) -- for an America's Media Makers production grant. The grant would have given us funds to produce a special 12 part series on the Philosophical Foundations of American Democracy.
It would have been a fun series. We would have done each episode in front of a live audience at various venues around the country in Town Hall Format. Sort of a Philosophy Talk takes Democracy on the road, kind of thing.
The 12 episodes in the series would have covered a range of Philosophical topics designed to provide the American public with a deeper understanding of the problem and prospects of Democracy in the 21st Century. Shows would have been clustered around four broad themes.
One theme was called American Political Philosophies. Under this theme we proposed to do episodes on: (a) Rawls, Justice, and Equal Opportunity: (b) Communitarianism; (c) Libertarianism and (d) Neo-Conservativism & The Chicago School.
Another theme concerned Pluralism and its Challenges and included episodes on the struggle to rewrite the narrative of American history and contemporary challenges raised by Multiculturalism.
A third theme would have concerned the idea of an educated and informed democratic citizenry and how to achieve it. We intended to discuss the struggle over creation and evolution, and the role of the state in determining the content of an education more generally. The fourth theme was called something like "Our Brother's Keepers? Individual rights and Public Responsibility." We would have talked about a variety of things including whether money is speech, whether corporations are really persons, what sorts of rights and responsibilities corporations have to promote the social good. We would also have done an episode on religious freedom, religious conflict and religious tolerance and the role of the state vs civil society in mediating these.
Stuff like that. Stuff that's at the core of trying to make democracy work in the 21st century. You could think this wouldn't make great radio. You could also think that even if it would make great radio, there isn't any audience for it. You could even think that somehow the Philosophy Talk team was inadequate to the task.
But it's hard to imagine being told that these topics were "strange" and "confused" But get this. That's just what one of the evaluators for the NEH did say. I kid you not. Here's a direct quote:
The intellectual content of this proposal is strange. The philosophical foundations of American democracy are to be found in the philosophers that influenced the founding fathers as they created the Constitution. The foundations are not to be found in John Rawls and the Chicago Schoo. You could probably solve this problem by giving the project a new title, something like "philosophical ideas that influence American culture."
It is not clear what writing American history and multiculturalism have to do with philosophy--at least fundamental philosophy.American education doesn't seem to be a philosophical question, although the founding fathers excepted an educated and informed citizenry. This seems to be a special question, rather than a foundational question.Individual rights and public responsibility is an interesting question to which philosophers may have much to contribute, but it's not clear how this is the foundation of democracy.It seems to me that the topics to be considered are rather traditional philosophical topics and it may be much more important to understand (even in philosophical terms) the processes that actually move and shake the country. It might be more important to deal with "the predator state" than with democracy, the public good, or education.
But what I find unfathomable is that anybody so ignorant could possibly be allowed to evaluate proposals of any kind for the NEH. Evaluator number 4 writes as if philosophical thinking about the justification of the democratic political state began and ended in the 16th and 17th centuries, that nothing said or done since then adds to our understanding of the foundations of democracy, as if the founding fathers delivered to us our current democratic polity, and its complete philosophical justification, whole cloth.
THE PRESIDENT: John Rawls is perhaps the greatest political philosopher of the 20th century. In 1971, when Hillary and I were in law school, we were among the millions moved by a remarkable books he wrote, "A Theory of Justice," that placed our rights to liberty and justice upon a strong and brilliant new foundation of reason.
Almost singlehandedly, John Rawls revived the disciplines of political and ethical philosophy with his argument that a society in which the most fortunate helped the least fortunate is not only a moral society, but a logical one. Just as impressively, he has helped a whole generation of learned Americans revive their faith in democracy itself.
Ladies and gentlemen, Margaret Rawls will accept the medal on behalf of her husband.
The discussion convinced me that the content was confused and not terribly important to understanding democracy.
Still confused on the content -- what is the role on the philosophy in the program? Are we learning philosophical approaches? Or basic philosophical ideas? How philosophy can help us in the present?
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 -- 5:00 PMNice rant, but you forgot to mention evaluator 4's
Nice rant, but you forgot to mention evaluator 4's ignorance about which questions count as philosophical questions. Questions about the foundations of liberal democracy aren't philosophical questions? Please.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 -- 5:00 PMP#4 wrote: "American education doesn't seem to be
P#4 wrote: "American education doesn't seem to be a philosophical question, although the founding fathers excepted an educated and informed citizenry."
This itself is completely idiotic. Clearly, there is nothing like a philosophical question about what counts as being "educated and informed."
So sorry for your bad luck with the NEH. I guess government agencies don't want to fund projects that force us to reflect on whether the government agencies are doing their jobs, especially concerning whether the citizenry is "educated and informed"...
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 -- 5:00 PMThis is astounding. I wish it were an early April
This is astounding. I wish it were an early April Fool's joke.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 -- 5:00 PMI wonder what Evaluator #4's discipline is. My ini
I wonder what Evaluator #4's discipline is. My initial guess was History, because of the way they got hung up on the "foundations" thing, but now I'm not so sure. To be honest the evaluation reads it was written as the proposal was being read, so that each thought that pops into the head of the evaluator is written down as an assessment without further revision or checking to see if it's consistent with earlier comments. E.g., on the one hand "It is not clear what writing American history and multiculturalism have to do with philosophy--at least fundamental philosophy" and "This seems to be a special question, rather than a foundational question", but on the other hand "It seems to me that the topics to be considered are rather traditional philosophical topics".
The bit of musing at the end about the predator state is very odd. So is the weird assertion that "American education doesn't seem to be a philosophical question", when perhaps the most famous philosopher in America for much of the 20th century (meaning: a philosopher that someone without a Ph.D in philosophy was likely to have heard of) was John Dewey.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 -- 5:00 PMNEH is required under the FOIA (Freedom of Informa
NEH is required under the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) to provide all those comments to you. That does not necessarily mean they gave serious weight to all of them in reaching a final decision. The best way to get a good sense of what really went awry is to talk on the phone with the program officer who handled your proposal. They can't tell you everything they know, but they will try to steer you to the most important things you can do to address perceived shortcomings.
I can remember many situations where I was required to send along panelist/reviewer comments that I thought were ridiculous and that had not been taken seriously by NEH staff. Panelist #4 might or might not have been influential.
Please also remember that the members of the National Council for the Humanities, which makes the final recommendation for funding to the NEH Chair, are appointed by the President to 6-year terms. That means all current members were appointed by George W. Bush. It would not be surprising if those appointees were selected with informal advice from Lynne Cheney and/or Bill Bennett (both former NEH Chairs in Republican administrations).
In my near-decade-long experience at NEH (overlapping different administrations), I saw a wide variety of scenarios that led to funding decisions. Some political appointees from the previous administration might have been influential in the process. Some National Council members are very activist in blocking proposals. Etc., etc.
Call your program officer and see what you can learn.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 -- 5:00 PMThanks for the advice, former NEH Program Officer.
Thanks for the advice, former NEH Program Officer. Yeah, I've asked to be able to talk with program officer who handled our proposal. We've done that every time and each time, we've tried to take account of his/her feedback in revising the proposal for resubmission. So I'm not terribly hopeful. I do think there is perhaps a little underlying ideological hostility to what we do by some of the panelists. Others are more receptive, though, so I don't want to paint them all with the same brush. Only Panelist 4's comments drove me completely up the wall. I think Kieran Healy is right that P4 put hardly any thought into them. But I also thought maybe it was an historian who equates "foundations" with "historical foundations" which would explain the obsession with dead guys.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 -- 5:00 PMmy recent rejection from the neh seemed to be base
my recent rejection from the neh seemed to be based on my inability, or unwillingness, to explain why i was working on davidson instead of dennett.
i have the sneaking suspicion that had i been working on dennett, i would have been rejected due to my inability, or unwillingness, to explain why i wasn't working on davidson.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 -- 5:00 PMWow, that's a truly remarkable betrayal of ignoran
Wow, that's a truly remarkable betrayal of ignorance. Personally, I expect a lot more than that even from a casual conversation in the bar, even over too many beers. I hope Panelist #4 reads these comments and feels appropriately shamed.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 -- 5:00 PMJust more evidence that only philosophers should b
Just more evidence that only philosophers should be monarchs ... er, um, I mean NEH panelists.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 -- 5:00 PMA few more observations: if you got a rejection in
A few more observations: if you got a rejection in the last few months, the panel must have met last year, meaning the final selection of panelists who reviewed your proposal was approved by Bush political appointees. Although the career staff have very high standards of integrity, political leanings can have some influence overall, depending on the administration in charge.
Please also note that the NEH budget is roughly the same now, in actual dollars, as it was in the mid-80s -- about $150 million. Programs are able to fund only a small fraction of worthy projects. In Fellowships, funding only 10% of applicants is not unusual. Anybody who has been on an NEH panel knows how heartbreaking it is to realize they have nowhere near enough money to fund all the worthy projects.
Don't blame NEH. Write to your members of Congress to tell them how important funding is in the humanities. Learn all you can glean from the program officers. Ask to see funded proposals. (They're listed in their news releases and annual reports and must be released under the FOIA. Your campus research office might also have examples on file.) Ask for the list of panelists who reviewed your proposal, if it wasn't provided. And be persistent with resubmissions.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 -- 5:00 PMIt's such a shame that researchers have to spend s
It's such a shame that researchers have to spend so much pursuing grants, instead of doing their research. (Philosophers, of course, don't spend nearly as much time as researchers in most other disciplines.) There must be a better system.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009 -- 5:00 PMReviewer 4's comments are outrageous, partly for t
Reviewer 4's comments are outrageous, partly for their disjointedness, but mostly for the ignorance of current philosophy that they display. This seems to be a symptom of a larger problem: the NEH does not serve philosophy as well as it serves other areas of the humanities. There are very few grant programs under the NEH that we can take advantage of, and even when our work would seem to fall under a program description, funding is very hard to come by because so many of the reviewers are hostile to, or at least ignorant of, what we actually do in analytic philosophy. This is a symptom of an even larger problem: philosophy has become quite estranged from the rest of the humanities. We don't do enough as a discipline to sell ourselves to others, and to explain what we do. The APA is a very weak organization that does minimal PR work for the discipline. Many individual philosophers have an anti-interdisciplinary attitude. The result is that we are one of the least federally supported disciplines in the academy. We generally can't use NSF, NIH, and FDA funds as the sciences do. And we can't take much advantage of NEH funds, scant as they are. This creates a problem within our universities; departments are increasingly relying on external funding sources, and philosophy always seems like it's not pulling its weight.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009 -- 5:00 PMFellowships is just about the only program that us
Fellowships is just about the only program that uses discipline-specific panelists and reviewers. Typically, for research grants, public grants (media, museums, conferences), etc., they assemble panels with a range of disciplines represented in the mix of proposals received for that deadline in that program. All disciplines face these interdisciplinary panels, not just philosophy. It's very important to explain the significance of the project, as you're not just talking to other philosophers.
Other federal agencies do have some opportunities for philosophers. If you are working in anything related to applied ethics/bioethics/animal welfare, look to NIH for their individual research support. If you address empirical elements or work in interdisciplinary areas that involve empirical elements (e.g., cog sci), look to NSF for support. Political philosophers that involve empirical research can also look to NSF, as can philosophers of science.
Now that we have a sea change in political administrations, people working in environmental ethics should watch the contract/grant opportunities at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, especially with regard to ethical issues of global warming.
Granted, my examples here are mainly areas of philosophy that verge into empirical and/or applied areas, but many philosophers could take advantage of them.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009 -- 5:00 PMKen-- This is outrageous. You might have a look a
This is outrageous. You might have a look at this book, which I just ran across in a local bookstore. http://www.amazon.com/How-Professors-Think-Academic-Judgment/dp/06740326...
The author's account (starting around pp. 64-65, as I recall) of how panel members in other disciplines view philosophy proposals is quite distressing, but it rings true from my limited experience serving on such committees (never NEH, though). It makes less surprising the phenomena many have observed, such as that Guggenheims rarely go to philosophers other than those who are so well known that the committee feels it can't turn them down. There is a definite problem here for us as a profession I think, although I am not at all sure what we can do about it.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009 -- 5:00 PMIt is indeed shocking that your proposal was turne
It is indeed shocking that your proposal was turned out at least in part for idiotic reasons provided by an ignoramus. For my part, I think that your grant proposal is fantastic, and I would vote to fund it in a nanosecond. Part of the problem must lie with the selection process for NEH grant reviewers, and with the general ignorance of what philosophy is and what philosophers do, even within the academy.
I have met professors who don't know the first thing about philosophy who have told me, with a straight face, that they are philosophers. It used to be the case that a well-educated academic in, say, history or literature, would be familiar with the rough lines of current philosophical research. There used to be regular gatherings at faculty clubs and other venues where academics from different disciplines could talk to each other about their research. Perhaps this happens at Stanford and the Ivies. But I guarantee you that at other universities it happens far less than it used to.
I also think that there is less respect for philosophy in our culture as a whole. In Europe, of course, there is a long history of respect for philosophers, many of whom are public figures. Widely watched television programs include discussions with philosophers. (I remember John Searle's and Bryan Magee's entertaining interviews when I lived in England.) Philosophers write regular columns in newspapers! (Think of Jonathan Wolff in the Guardian or Ermanno Bencivenga in La Stampa.) Philosophers are asked to take part in policy making. (Think Onora O'Neill in England, Charles Taylor in Canada.) It's sad, but our culture venerates those who DO, rather than those who THINK. (Sometimes, of course, thinking is a prerequisite for doing, which explains in part why there is so much respect for scientists at work on new drugs or new technologies.) Of course, in the late eighteenth century, there was a much stronger connection between thinking (about democracy and the conditions of its legitimacy) and doing (fighting the British). But somehow the cultural veneration of the founding generation has not been transmuted into respect for those who continue to think about the same issues that the founders discussed. And part of the reason for this, I think, is that philosophers are not perceived as doers. When they participate in decision-making, it often happens behind the scenes (e.g., on university research-on-human-subjects committees), and so philosophers are just less visible. (And notice how, when it comes to making really important decisions about biomedical research, the powers-that-be tend to go to "experts in biomedical ethics", rather than to respected academics in highly ranked philosophy departments who specialize in normative ethics.)
Speaking of the radio, I was listening to a local radio show on KPBS yesterday. It was a very interesting show in which Robert McChesney was being interviewed about his recent call for content-neutral subsidy of the press (through, e.g., tax rebates for folks who subscribe to newspapers, no postal charges for newspapers, and so on). McChesney started to talk about how the founding generation thought that a vibrant press was essential to a legitimate democracy. So he was making what is essentially an argument from political theory or political philosophy. And yet, in the middle of his interview, he made light of philosophy and philosophers, saying something like, "This is urgent. We must act now to save the press. We can't wait for some Harvard philosopher to think through all the issues and come up with a plan in 2037." And that's when I thought to myself: "Yup. This is a professor of journalism falling for the old stereotype of philosophers as bald-headed gurus issuing pronouncements about the meaning of life every hundred years." And if McChesney can make fun of Harvard philosophers like that, just imagine what other people think of Harvard philosophers, or Stanford philosophers, or, sheesh, UCSD philosophers.....
Friday, March 27, 2009 -- 5:00 PMI'm very disappointed by the NEH's rejection of yo
I'm very disappointed by the NEH's rejection of your proposal - a look at the philosophical foundations of American society is long-overdue and may address a lot of the questions driving the culture wars and the current parties' ideological alignments.
While I'm primarily a student of history, I have experience in media and an abiding interest in philosophy. I'd love to help out, if at all possible!
Sunday, March 29, 2009 -- 5:00 PMIn the Reagan years I proposed a comparative study
In the Reagan years I proposed a comparative study of the American opposition to the Vietnam War and the French opposition to the Algerian War and NEH turned me down on the grounds that there was no basis for the comparison. a few years later someone published an excellent book on exactly that topic. NEH reviewers sometimes leave a lot to be desired.
Sunday, March 29, 2009 -- 5:00 PMOur department tried unsuccessfully for several ye
Our department tried unsuccessfully for several years to get an NEH grant. We were finally told by someone at NEH, off the record, to remember that the appointees were Bushies. (The "predator state" comment in your report is the ideological cue there.) Our informant told us to mask any content that seemed remotely left-leaning (Rawls's name being your red flag) and replace it with safe, traditional primary texts. We followed the advice and, like magic, got the grant the next year.
I don't like anonymous posts, but I'll leave my name off to protect the innocent and the guilty.
Sunday, March 29, 2009 -- 5:00 PMPanelist #4's criticism is the equivalent of the E
Panelist #4's criticism is the equivalent of the Emporers comments to Mozart in the movie Amadeus. "Too many notes, Wolfgang!"
Oh wait, what am I thinking...Philosophy has nothing to do with music either.
Monday, March 30, 2009 -- 5:00 PMDear Ken and Commenters, Hey, what's with the gra
Dear Ken and Commenters,
Hey, what's with the gratuitous swipe at historians?! Some of us love philosophy---past, present, and future-oriented. Indeed, one of my primary subfields is U.S. intellectual history. Those of us in tune with that field understand that political philosophy is ongoing. And "foundations" doesn't mean, to us, musty (but worthy) great books for the 17th and 18th centuries. Historians of America's intellectual life understand the contributions of Dewey, Rawls, etc. and promote their connections to practical matters in our work.
While the Ph.D. has certainly been devalued over the past 100 years, I take most seriously my obligations as a philosopher who studies history. Indeed, those who don't are over-educated anti-intellectuals. They're credentialists who know nothing of the joys of our distinct intellectual life.
So while your NEH reviewer may have been a conservative Bush appointee, it's just as likely that she/he was an anti-intellectual specialist who happens to hold a PhD. They don't know difference between philosophy and ideological "theory."
Monday, March 30, 2009 -- 5:00 PMSo many of these comments seem defensive versions
So many of these comments seem defensive versions of "how could they not see how important our project is". None engage or take seriously the very helpful, repeated posts from the former NEH officer. As part of an interdisciplinary grant writing program, we often hear such complaints from philosophy students, many of whom are reluctant (or unwilling) to make serious efforts to communicate with an interdisciplinary review committee, to clearly situate their project and its broader importance. Circulating your draft proposal to a wide range of colleagues can flag some of these problems before you submit it and improve your likelihood of success.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 -- 5:00 PMDear AtlSfe: Your comment subsumes the very prob
Your comment subsumes the very problem that is being complained of, namely, the need for philosophers and philosophy to justify its significance and relevance to, and contributions to, North American culture generally, and academia more specifically.
That you require philosophy students to "clearly situate their project and its broader importance" and your statement that "so many of these comments seem defensive versions of "how could they not see how important our project is" captures perfectly the attitude in North American culture that philosophy as a discipline deserves no more prominence than any other subject matter in a humanities or liberal arts program. The failure on your part to appreciate that philosophy is unlike any other subject area in the humanities - that its subject matter is questioning reality rather than merely describing it, for example - is precisely the sort of opinion symptomatic of the larger problem. Philosophy's two-fold task of discovering our relationship to reality and the elements of a "happy" life ought, to my mind, not require justification as to its significance or relevance to existence, much less North American culture.
As someone with a graduate degree in philosophy currently in law school, I have become habituated to this sort of attitude. Law professors and practitioners dismiss philosophy as theoretical babble on the one hand while relying on it at every turn without even realizing it. The best legal arguments owe a debt to philosophy.
All of this also indicts the North American educational system. Clearly there is something fundamentally wrong with a system where students who appreciate the relevance of philosophy are made to justify to individuals like yourself empowered as you are to decide the success of their project the "broader importance" of their endeavour.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 -- 5:00 PMWow- maybe I'm the only one who thinks that #4 had
Wow- maybe I'm the only one who thinks that #4 had some decent points to make. I think that his point of departure, which seems to be what the title of your proposal would connote, is entirely legitimate.
When the typical person reads, "Philosophical Foundations of American Democracy"- it is reasonable to believe that they will have the same set of expectations that he suggests, namely that it will deal with the philosophical principles which were important in the founding of American democracy. Your point, which seems to be that the title can mean that you will deal with the philosophical principles which are fundamental to democracy in America, is also correct, but I think that the average person will not read it that way. It is a bit confusing.
You used the term '21st century' more than once. Might, something like "Philosophical Principles in a 21st Century Democracy" be a more fitting title? How about "Philosophical Principles of Modern Democracy"? You could avoid the founding/fundamental ambiguity that comes from using "foundations" that way. Another possibility would be to call it, "Fundamental Principles of Our American Democracy".
I really don't think you're being fair. I'd love to hear a show talking about Rawls and Nozick and all that, but that isn't what I'd expect based on your title. I'd expect to hear about the effect of enlightenment political thought on the founding fathers.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 -- 5:00 PMI think that he made sense on history too. I obvi
I think that he made sense on history too. I obviously haven't read your proposal, but I'm assuming that the idea was to look at ideas in political philosophy which are of particular relevance with regard to modern American democracy.
The narrative of American history- or it might be more correct to speak of endorsing historiographies- is an important topic, but I think that it is a real stretch to classify it as a fundamental issue of political philosophy. You could say that it is a culturally significant issue which has political implications, but then you'd be getting kind of far afield from what I thought the theme was supposed to be.
Also, if you want to focus on pluralism, maybe 'multiculturalism' isn't the best label to use. Whether it ought to be or not, the term is pretty closely associated with ethnicity. Forming consensus in a democracy is more of an issue of moral pluralism than of cultural (or ethnic) diversity. There is a relationship between the two, but the former is inherently philosophical, and the latter is more sociological.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 -- 5:00 PMI strongly agree with you regarding the following
I strongly agree with you regarding the following comments...
"American education doesn't seem to be a philosophical question, although the founding fathers excepted an educated and informed citizenry. This seems to be a special question, rather than a foundational question.
Individual rights and public responsibility is an interesting question to which philosophers may have much to contribute, but it's not clear how this is the foundation of democracy."
I don't know how to account for any of that.
Obviously how well informed the citizenry is (which is inseparable from the issue of education) well affect how well different types of democracy can function! It at least partly determines the power that representatives and ordinary individuals have over one another. I can't imagine how anyone could deny that this was a factor in the creation of the Electoral College.
Individual rights and public responsibility isn't part of the foundation of democracy? It doesn't matter if one uses the 'founding' or the 'fundamental' sense of the word in this case. Either way, #4's statement is nonsense.
Sunday, April 5, 2009 -- 5:00 PMDear Chloe, We don't single out philosophy studen
We don't single out philosophy students, we ask all students who are trying to learn to write a fundable proposal to articulate clearly the focus and significance of their work. Philosophy students are not exempt, if they want to receive fellowships and grants to support their research.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009 -- 5:00 PMMaybe #4 got crappy grades in philosophy while in
Maybe #4 got crappy grades in philosophy while in college. In fact, that seems likely.
Sunday, April 19, 2009 -- 5:00 PMThis conflagration is an opportunity. It's an o
This conflagration is an opportunity.
It's an opportunity for Philosophy to sharpen its focus. If it's a matter of substance, then Philosophy had better stop mentally masturbating and get relevant, but I don't think that's really the problem. "Philosophy Talk" puts the discipline's best foot forward, I think, and highlighting in the title that you are as current as possible, as Ockraz suggests, is very constructive criticism, although to me it attacks Philosophy's image rather than its substance.
If it's a matter of PR, then Philosophy needs a hipness makeover, get off its duff--be loud and be proud! The very word Philosophy makes the average person yawn. Sorry, I'm only saying what's true. I love "Philosophy Talk" because it's not like that. This show is fun, fresh, with good pacing, and nice segments to break it up for the contemporary short attention span.
Philosophy needs to become Activism--it's evolutionary for us to adapt and become multi-taskers just like everybody else these days. If Philosophy is not being represented rightly, then it's up to us to counter that, transform it!
People NEED to care about Philosophy. People NEED the program that was denied. We need to get active about getting it to them! Ideological bias is an affront to everything we stand for. We can fight it with an information-finding and letter-writing campaign. That's what former NEH dude said, and he knows. It's a kafkaesque adventure! Let's go!