November 11, 2006

Applied Ethics, Ranked

The rankings for philosophy Ph.D. programs in applied ethics from the Philosophical Gourmet are up.

Brian Leiter created the only real rankings of philosophy departments moons ago, when I had no grey hair. At first they were Brian's educated guesses - but still they were the only resource online attempting to rank the quality of graduate training. He took and continues to take constant hits for trying. When we tried to do something similar, though not a "ranking" per se in bioethics, at AJOB, there was a near revolt among the editorial board. We dropped it. He didn't.

Today his rankings are produced by the key philosophers in areas of specialization all across the discipline and influence pretty much anyone who is choosing to become a philosopher. The new rankings have been up one day and have already been visited 6,000 times. He ranks applied ethics through a survey of those considered to be key players in applied ethics who are philosophers, specifically Donald Ainslie, Samantha Brennan, Thomas Carson, Julia Driver, Gerald Dworkin, Gerald Gaus, Jeff McMahan, Christopher Morris, Alastair Norcross, Thomas Pogge, Gerald Postema, David Schmidtz, and Wayne Sumner.

Their rankings this year in Applied Ethics - which will not be revisited until 2008 except on his updates service, are now up right here - a full list split into quartiles. These aren't bioethics rankings. It shows. They aren't rankings in fact that anyone who wanted to work in a medical school would be well served by utilizing as the primary resource. But they are important in a number of ways, and if you are thinking about where you want to go and what you want to do in terms of moving into this field, check it out.

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