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Canadian PhD Programs in the 2009 Philosophical Gourmet Report

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Submitted by Richard Zach on Tue, 02/24/2009 - 1:32am

With the kind permission of Brian Leiter, here's a breakout of the Canadian philosophy departments by specialty according to the 2009 Philosophical Gourmet Report. Major changes over the last (2008-10) edition: The Guelph-Laurier-McMaster program is no longer ranked, and neither is Waterloo. The "local means", i.e., mean scores from Canadian evaluators, are no longer reported. That's a bit unfortunate, but it probably makes no difference as far as the rank-ordering goes. The numbers following the specialties are: the peer group the program falls in and the rounded mean score. See the overall rankings and the specialty rankings from the PGR for explanations. Compare specialty rankings for Canadian programs from the 2006-08 and from the 2004-06 report.

(Email or post comment if you find a mistake, please.)

Program Ranked Specialties
University of Toronto
1 (3.6)
Philosophy of Language 5 (21-36 / 3.0)
Philosophy of Mind 3 (9-23 / 3.5)
Metaphysics 5 (18-47 / 3.0)
Philosophical Logic 5 (22-50 / 3.0)
Ethics 3 (6-11 / 4.0)
Metaethics 4 (16-35 / 3.0)
Political Philosophy 3 (10-22/ 3.5)
Philosophy of Law 3 (6-13 / 3.5)
Applied Ethics 2 (3-7 / 4.0)
General Philosophy of Science 3 (12-22 / 3.5)
Philosophy of Biology 2 (3-8 / 4.0)
Philosophy of Cognitive Science 4 (13-32 / 3.0)
Decision, Rational Choice, and Game Theory 4 (10-27 / 3.0)
Philosophy of Mathematics 5 (27-41 / 3.0)
Mathematical Logic 4 (16-31 / 3.5)
Ancient Philosophy 2 (2-4 / 4.5)
Medieval Philosophy 1 (1-4 / 4.5)
Early Modern: 17th Century 3 (10-21 / 3.5)
Early Modern: 18th Century 3 (4-10 / 3.5)
Kant 4 (18-33 / 3.0)
19th Century Continental 3 (11-18 / 3.5)
20th Century Continental 3 (11-31 / 3.0)
American Pragmatism 2 (2-4 / 4.0)
Feminist Philosophy 5 (21-38 / 3.0)
Chinese Philosophy 4 (8-10 / 3.0)
University of Western Ontario
2 (2.7)
Philosophical Logic 5 (22-50 / 3.0)
General Philosophy of Science 2 (2-11 / 4.0)
Philosophy of Physics 2 (2-5 / 4.5)
Philosophy of Social Science 4 (14-32 / 3.0)
Decision, Rational Choice, and Game Theory 4 (10-27 / 3.0)
Philosophy of Mathematics 3 (3-15/ 4.0)
Mathematical Logic 4 (16-31 / 3.5)
Early Modern: 17th Century 3 (10-21 / 3.5)
Early Modern: 18th Century 3 (4-10 / 3.5)
Kant 4 (18-33 / 3.0)
History of Analytic 3 (11-20 / 3.5)
Feminist Philosophy 5 (21-38 / 3.0)
McGill University
3 (2.5)
Ethics 5 (29-53/ 3.0)
Philosophy of Art 4 (18-28 / 3.0)
Philosophy of Mathematics 4 (16-26 / 3.5)
Ancient Philosophy 5 (13-22 / 3.0)
Medieval Philosophy 4 (10-19 / 3.0)
Early Modern: 17th Century 4 (22-44 / 3.0)
Kant 4 (18-33 / 3.0)
History of Analytic 4 (21-34 / 3.0)
Feminist Philosophy 5 (21-38 / 3.0)
University of British
Columbia

4 (2.4)
Philosophy of Mind 4 (24-51 / 3.0)
Philosophy of Art 2 (4-16 / 4.0)
General Philosophy of Science 4 (23-44 / 3.0)
Philosophy of Biology 4 (17-27 / 3.0)
Philosophy of Cognitive Science 4 (13-32 / 3.0)
Philosophy of Mathematics 5 (27-41 / 3.0)
Early Modern: 18th Century 4 (11-33 / 3.0)
History of Analytic 4 (21-34 / 3.0)
University of Alberta
5 (2.1)
Philosophy of Mind 4 (24-51 / 3.0)
Philosophy of Biology 4 (17-27 / 3.0)
Mathematical Logic 4 (16-31 / 3.5)
History of Analytic 4 (21-34 / 3.0)
American Pragmatism 4 (7-14 / 3.0)
Feminist Philosophy 5 (21-38 / 3.0)
Queen's University
6 (2.0)
Ethics 5 (29-53 / 3.0)
Political Philosophy 3 (10-22/ 3.5)
Applied Ethics 3 (8-23 / 3.5)
Feminist Philosophy 5 (21-38 / 3.0)
University of Calgary
7 (1.9)
Philosophical Logic 5 (22-50 / 3.0)
Philosophy of Action (incl. Free Will) 3 (7-10 / 3.5)
Philosophy of Biology 4 (17-27 / 3.0)
Mathematical Logic 4 (16-31 / 3.5)
American Pragmatism 4 (7-14 / 3.0)
York University
8 (1.8)
American Pragmatism 4 (7-14 / 3.0)
Simon Fraser University
9 (1.7)
Mathematical Logic 5 (32-40 / 3.0)
Early Modern: 17th Century 4 (22-44 / 3.0)
McMaster University
Not ranked
Philosophy of Law 3 (6-13 / 3.5)
History of Analytic 4 (21-34 / 3.0)

Comments

Submitted by Mohan Matthen on Tue, 02/24/2009 - 7:45pm

On the whole, a good showing, but I am interested to know whether people think that the Canadian departments would have scored higher had they been in the US. Consider the University of Alberta: would Rob Wilson plus Ingo Brigandt have got them a 3 in Philosophy of Biology if they had been located in California? Or UBC: doesn't Murat Aydede plus Eric Margolis add up to more than 4 in Phil of Cognitive Science?

Submitted by nicole wyatt on Tue, 02/24/2009 - 9:22pm

I find it interesting that a university -- Queens for example -- can fail to rank in the top 50 at all but rank as high as group 3 in two areas -- Political Philosophy and Applied Ethics in the case of Queens.I'd be curious to know if this happens to any US departments.

Submitted by nicole wyatt on Tue, 02/24/2009 - 9:25pm

Answered my own question - Arizona State University, for example, doesn't make the top 50 but ranks 3 in in at least 3 different areas. I find it odd.

Submitted by Jeff H on Tue, 02/24/2009 - 10:03pm

It's not too surprising that one or two good speciality rankings don't necessarily equal good overall performance. There are <>lots<> of schools with 3s in a lot more than two areas; it would, I'm pretty sure, be mathematically impossible for every school with at least two 3s to make the top 50.Also, if those two areas are applied ethics and political philosophy, there are still a lot of people working closer to core M&E who don't consider those areas to be "real" philosophy, and may give them correspondingly less weight compared to areas like mind, language, metaphysics, epistemology, phil of science, and even metaethics.

Submitted by Mohan Matthen on Wed, 02/25/2009 - 1:21am

No comment intended about Queen's, but surely one might think that while a Department might contain some excellent people in some areas, it would not be a good place to go to get a good PhD, because it doesn't offer sufficient breadth of training and knowledge. Now, I'd be interested if there was a school with two group 3 ratings in the m&e area, but failed to be ranked. Consider though the opposite oddity: two top ten departments with almost no strength in history (and one of these has very little strength in ethics/politics to boot), and one with very little in philosophy of science.

Submitted by Richard Zach on Wed, 02/25/2009 - 1:23am

Top 10 in Canada or worldwide?

Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 02/25/2009 - 1:53am

South Florida has two 3's and four 4's and is not in the top 50.

Submitted by Mohan Matthen on Wed, 02/25/2009 - 2:33am

Top ten in the English-speaking world: check it out!

Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 02/25/2009 - 6:34am

All horrible schools. Thank the stars for European Schools

Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 02/25/2009 - 8:36pm

It seems to me that the Gourmet Report overvalues US programmes. It maybe that even when there are Canadian philosophers that are doing the ranking they tend to have PhDs from the US, and with reputation based rankings there will always be a continued rank-people-you-know-from-Grad-school-higher-effect. Or perhaps we in Canada have just internalized our colonial nature so that we will always see an American or British education as better. I have met graduate students from many highly ranked US schools and most of them seem much less prepared than Canadian PhD students, perhaps because they were not required to endure a separate MA.There are many oddities in the Leiter ranking of Canadian schools. For example, it is odd that Waterloo is not ranked any more. Looking at the schedules for the last few CPA congresses, it looks like Waterloo faculty and grad students gave more papers than any of the ranked programmes with perhaps the exception of Western.I am not objecting to Leiter's Ranking, it is what it is, but what other methods of ranking departments might there be? Publication in peer reviewed journals? Either <>per capita<> or absolute. How about a ranking of Canadian programmes by people with Canadian PhDs? All of these might be much more worthwhile and statistically relevant than a ranking of Canadian programmes by people who have never been to Winnipeg.--A Curious Canadian PhD Abroad

Submitted by Rob Wilson on Thu, 02/26/2009 - 3:27am

To answer a version of Mohan's original question, not so much about specialty rankings but about overall rankings, in general I think you need to add something like 0.2-0.3 to nearly all non-US programs to come up with a closer approximation of overall departmental rankings, if you care about such things. At least that works for many cases, it seems. I think there clearly is a US bias, for various reasons--I know I suffer from it as a PGR rater, and it's hard to know just how to correct for it at that level. (That there's no mention at all of non-US programs when it comes to MAs is one small symptom of this.) Once one gets out of the top 20-25 programs, the effect really kicks in.

Submitted by Mohan Matthen on Thu, 02/26/2009 - 4:27am

Interesting that Rob Wilson thinks that one should add 0.2 to non-US rankings (other than Oxford, of course). That would radically change the picture. Another proposal would be to discount departments if they are unranked in major fields such as ethics or m&e or history.To the curious Canadian abroad: the kinds of publication based ranking that you allude to have been done, eg, by the Research people at the U of Calgary. (Very interesting results.) But they are more credible if you take citation counts, journal quality (see Australian Research Council rankings) etc. into account.

Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 02/26/2009 - 9:55pm

Nicole said "I find it interesting that a university...can fail to rank in the top 50 at all but rank as high as group 3 in two areas -- Political Philosophy and Applied Ethics in the case of Queens.I'd be curious to know if this happens to any US departments."Saint Louis University was in the first group of two areas (Medieval Philosophy and Philosophy of Religion), it was in the fourth group of two areas (Philosophy of Action and Philosophy of Social Science), and it was in the fifth group for Epistemology. Despite all of this, SLU is a US department that failed to rank in the top 50.

Submitted by Richard Zach on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 3:35am

From 2000-04 publication and citation data. Top 10 departments by number of papers:UNIV TORONTOYORK UNIVUNIV BRITISH COLUMBIAMCGILL UNIVUNIV CALGARYUNIV ALBERTAUNIV WESTERN ONTARIOUNIV WATERLOOUNIV OTTAWABy number of papers/faculty member:UNIV BRITISH COLUMBIAMCGILL UNIVUNIV ALBERTAUNIV CALGARYUNIV WATERLOOUNIV TORONTOYORK UNIVUNIV WESTERN ONTARIOMCMASTER UNIVBy publication impact (citations/paper):DALHOUSIE UNIVUNIV BRITISH COLUMBIAYORK UNIVUNIV LETHBRIDGEUNIV ALBERTAMCGILL UNIVUNIV WATERLOOUNIV CALGARYUNIV TORONTO

Submitted by Michael on Sun, 03/01/2009 - 12:07am

Based on a quick count at http://www.philosophicalgourmet.com/reportdesc.asp, it looks like about 20 of the close to 270 evaluators are at Canadian Universities. As the population of Canada is about 11% that of the US, and there are non-US schools represented as well, this does not seem unrepresentative (assuming about 200 of the evaluators are in the US).Much more plausible is that certain fields, approaches, and schools are overrepresented in the evaluator pool. For example:15 evaluators teach at Rutgers, and 8 have Rutgers PhDs -- thus more evaluators are Rutgers-affiliated than the total number from Canada. Maybe Rutgers faculty are just more generous with their time. (In fairness, I should mention that I did not participate as an evaluator although I was asked, because I ran out of time to properly do the task.)Again, by rough count, 130 evaluators list M&E as an area, 94 list History, 83 list "Value," 44 list Science, 11 list Logic. A total of 172 -- out of 270 -- evaluators list at least one of M&E, Science, or Logic as an area. (My numbers may be slightly off -- I counted by hand.) These are the only categories used, so it is difficult to tell without much more careful research than I have time for how many evaluators would list themselves as working in "Continental" philosophy, but I would venture to guess it is somewhere well below the number working in Philosophy of Science.Since evaluators will tend to rank more highly departments whose faculty they can recognize by name, it is unsurprising that strength in certain areas (those which dominate the evaluator pool) is more strongly correlated with overall ranking than strength in other areas.--Michael Kremer