Kant vs. Strauss vs. postmodernism

If you had to choose, would you rather read 300 pages on Kantian nonsense, on Straussian esotericism, or on postmodernist garbage? Our colleague Jason Brennan, a philosophy professor at Georgetown University, wrote up this sarcastic taxonomy of the most common types of PhD dissertations in the fields of political philosophy and political theory, a comprehensive classification based on his personal experience of having served on many search committees for post-docs and junior candidates. (Hat tip: Brian Leiter.) The even-numbered abstracts were our personal favorites:

4. Incomprehensible Kantian Nonsense. “I’m going to argue that some policy P is justified on Kantian grounds. This argument will take 75 steps, and will read as if it’s been translated, or, rather, partially translated, from 19th century German. It will also be completely implausible, and so, to non-Kantians, will simply read like a reductio of Kant rather than a defense of P.”

6. Incomprehensible Postmodernist Garbage: “This dissertation examines the ontic-ontological ontology of late capitalist crises through the agonistic hyperrealist lens of soda dispensers and Fall Out Boy lyrics.”

8. Straussian Esotericism: “Here are three hundred pages written about the first two pages of Locke’s third letter to his second foot doctor. My dissertation does not defend any recognizable thesis, nor is it a piece of exegesis. Non-Straussians will have no clue what I’m doing. However, other Straussians will recognize it as deep.”

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
This entry was posted in Academia, Bayesian Reasoning, Philosophy. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Kant vs. Strauss vs. postmodernism

  1. Charlie says:

    Funny. My thesis is called the Ontological Foundations of the Law. Im going to dish it out. Maybe I’ll just call it the the Metaphysics of Justice. You made me laugh.

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