Hopefully I’ll soon post the follow up to the earlier preliminary analysis of JFP ads. Sadly actually doing search activities has taken priority over analysing searches. But until then I had a thought for how to do the classifications.

As can be seen from the comments thread in the earlier post, there is some discussion about how to label the area of philosophy that people more or less like me more or less work in. For a while Brian Leiter used “core”, but that understandably upset people working in other areas. I tried “descriptive”, but that didn’t meet with much approval either.

The best suggestions seemed to be that I have a purely disjunctive label. But “Language, Epistemology, Metaphysics and Mind” seemed to be too long. What we needed was a shortening. Maybe an acronym. But LEMM seemed boring. If we just add a suffix we could have a name. I know…


From now on all who work on Language, Epistemology, Metaphysics or Mind will be known around here as Lemmings. This little relabelling program will be a success iff within the next 3 years there’s a job ad in JFP saying “We want to hire a Lemming”. (I’m expecting a failure, though an amusing failure.)

If I had photoshop skills I’d post here pictures of lemmings with the faces of famous actual Lemmings (e.g. Jason Stanley, John Hawthorne, Ted Sider, Daniel Stoljar) superimposed over the little cartoon lemming. But I don’t have those wicked Photoshop skills, or indeed any Photoshop skills at all.

2 Replies to “Lemmings”

  1. Main Entry: lem·ming
    from Webster’s Dictionary:

    “Pronunciation: ‘le-mi[ng]
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Norwegian

    : any of various small short-tailed furry-footed rodents (as genera Lemmus and Dicrostonyx) of circumpolar distribution that are notable for the recurrent mass migrations of a European form (L. lemmus) which often continue into the sea where vast numbers are drowned”

    You know I’m not happy about the job market for philosophers and all (which explains my current nonacademic job), but I’d never describe all of you tenured (or tenure-track) philosophers as furry-footed rodents who run into the sea and are drowned.

    I just can’t bring myself to do that. 😉

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