Image 01 Image 03

Brian Leiter to step down from his claim to fame

Brian Leiter to step down from his claim to fame

After uprising by philosophy academics, Leiter to give up his position of Editor of The Philosophical Gourmet rankings of Philosophy programs.

We previously wrote about the uprising in the philosophy academic world against Brian Leiter, the pugnacious pejorative-prone University of Chicago law professor:  Brian Leiter, supporter of Steven Salaita, embroiled in his own civility controversy.

Leiter’s claim to fame was a publication of philosophy department rankings, The Philosophical Gourmet.

Leiter has a long history of conflict with other philosophers regarding that ranking publication, but the conflict was elevated to new heights recently after publication of emails Leiter sent. Leiter said it was a cyber-smear campaign by people who took things out of context.

Some of Leiter’s detractors set up an interactive timeline of the recent controversy, and have cataloged the accusations and responses.

Brian Leiter Interactive Timeline PGR Controversy

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports, Controversial Philosopher Will Step Down as Editor of Influential Rankings:

Brian Leiter, the philosopher who has come under intense criticism in recent weeks for his caustic rhetoric, will step down as editor of The Philosophical Gourmet Report, an influential ranking of philosophy departments.

Mr. Leiter, director of the University of Chicago’s Center for Law, Philosophy, and Human Values, announced the change in a blog post on Friday, after the publication’s advisory board voted overwhelmingly in favor of the move. Mr. Leiter will remain the publication’s editor until its 2014-15 edition is complete, at which point he will join the advisory board. Berit Brogaard, a philosophy professor at the University of Miami and the publication’s co-editor, will take over as editor.

Mr. Leiter’s combative tactics on his blog and social media—he called one philosopher “a disgrace” and said she works in “a shit department”—fueled a protest that prompted the change. Hundreds of philosophers signed a statement saying they would not complete the surveys that inform the publication’s rankings as long as Mr. Leiter was its editor.

In his blog post announcing the move, Leiter presents the situation as one in which he was in favor for the good of the ranking journal:

Of the 50 members of the Advisory Board, 45 voted in favor of this plan, none voted against, and 2 Board members abstained (believing, as I understand it, that I should not have agreed to step down, or not in these circumstances). I supported it as well and made that clear prior to the vote….

Uh huh.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.



Dude should resign from the Faculty Mess and learn to push back from the table.

A nice, long walk twice a day would be good for both his physic and his poor, demented brain.

TrooperJohnSmith | October 13, 2014 at 12:47 pm

When a fish in a small pond decides to be the Big Fish in that pond, he needs to make sure that he doesn’t in turn, make the pond uninhabitable for himself.

Henry Hawkins | October 13, 2014 at 1:15 pm

There is no fatter hog at the government tit than a philosopher.

Quit on his own or was given the choice of quit or be booted 45zip?

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | October 13, 2014 at 3:26 pm

Free from the burdens of publishing that report, he will now have more time to kill. Probably he will split his newly found time between the equally productive pursuits of sniffing the hair of random strangers and being even more of an online jerk.

tightspotkilo | October 14, 2014 at 9:18 am

Kinda like Humpty Dumpty.