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Mitchell Aboulafia

Eric, I am really surprised to find that you thought Eric Schwitzgebel's post compelling. I found it a weak defense of the PGR. Have you checked out the comments section? Many criticisms. I supplied a rather detailed one. He completely avoided answering my criticisms in his response to me, and they were pretty serious in terms of claims that have been made for the PGR.

Regarding your support for the PGR in terms of decision making in modern institutions, I'm going to address this shortly on UP@NIGHT, but let me say here, I think you are seriously underestimating how much damage a flawed rankings system can do. If departments in the past were able to use the PGR in some helpful way, and I say IF, that game is coming to an end. The
discussion in philosophy about the PGR is now being viewed by people in other disciplines. They will
know that we have seriously flawed rankings, and believe me, they aren't going to allow philosophy
departments to get more resources based on them. If you think I'm mistaken about this, just start googling the PGR with other disciplines. The process has begun. (Political science people are
actually making fun of us in one series of comments.) And it will not end when the rankings come out, because those of us who know how flawed they are will continue to make the case. The best thing
that could happen now is for the PGR evaluators to back off, so we don't put out a seriously defective "product" that will embarrass us. (Btw, just to be clear, my criticisms of the PGR have not only been ethical. I have posts up about other problems.)

Eric Schliesser

It's certainly possible that because PGR is flawed (and Schwitzgebel and I are both fairly clear about what we take these to be) it may be viewed with suspicion by outsiders in an institutional context. But ALL the metrics I am familiar with are flawed and have perverse effects, so it's not obvious that PGR (which certainly can be improved w/o losing its existing essential characteristics) is really all that much worse than ANY other metrics. Of course, if the Meme you endorse gathers steam in institutional contexts, then that would spell the end of PGR fairly quickly.

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.


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