I was pleased to read in reply to one question (about ethics) an answer from someone who had taught both community college and in higher education.

I'm asking because the site makes no sense to me, to me it's just obvious that knowing how to live without wage slavery is a complete irrelevance in philosophy class, who is ever going to put that in a lecture plan, or consider a philosopher an authority on the answer? Whereas it makes complete sense (to me) to ask if authenticity involves being deceived into dishonesty.

Like I pointed out in another thread, it may well be that stackexchange isn't really for questions that people ask their class. But then where does that leave us? Either way I feel so tired of being told I'm wrong for asking (IMHO) totally legit questions.

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    I may not agree with this premise, but it's a completely legitimate question to ask, in my mind. In my opinion, meta questions like this should be answered, not downvoted. Aug 21, 2017 at 19:18

2 Answers 2


There are a few problems with such a list.

Not everyone with professional qualifications in philosophy teaches, there are many employment opportunities for which post-graduate level philosophy qualifications would be attractive both in the public and private sector. Unless we ask for a complete list of qualifications and employment from each contributor we'd only end up with a very limited list of people being afforded whatever special consideration you are envisaging would result from membership of such a manifest.

There are some users who either are unwilling or cannot have their public profile here linked with their employment, not all employers (especially in areas which require professional qualifications in philosophy) are happy to have the philosophical opinions of their experts a matter of public record.

Finally, though others may disagree, I think there is some merit in the anonymity of the system here. It is usually fairly obvious from the content of an answer whether the author has any philosophical qualification, or professional experience, but I can vouch, from personal experience, for the fact that neither post doctoral qualification, nor employment teaching necessarily provides a person with the ability to succinctly and rationally answer a question, which, after all is what this site is here for.

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    To the point in your first full paragraph, almost every graduate degree program requires some TA experience so even if someone who has a MA or PhD in philosophy goes on to work in the private sector, there is a high chance they at the very least TA'd some recitations. But I agree with your second and third points, I don't think it should be required at all to list people, for whatever reason.
    – Not_Here
    Aug 18, 2017 at 8:25
  • @Not_Here Interesting perspective. That's not been my experience, but perhaps for some us our achievements in that regard are so underwhelming as to have been rendered unmemorable!
    – user22791
    Aug 18, 2017 at 8:59
  • @Not_Here i' m not saying make it a requirement, there's a list of PhD's and i don't really see what the difference is? just trying to help, sorry
    – user28117
    Aug 18, 2017 at 23:55
  • @user3293056 That list was started some time back when the community was much smaller and it is not exhaustive. I agree that there is not much difference between it and what you're proposing, but I don't really think that list is particularly useful or necessary either for the reasons I've given above.
    – user22791
    Aug 19, 2017 at 6:26
  • The list is editable so it's as exhaustive as anyone wants it to be...
    – virmaior
    Aug 21, 2017 at 9:42
  • @virmaior I understand. As per my fourth paragraph, specific details are not always feasible or desirable and I'm not sure what value just writing "phd" would actually add. I'm sure others find the list useful, it's just not for me.
    – user22791
    Aug 21, 2017 at 10:44
  • I don't disagree with you re: the list and its limited value. I'm not actually familiar with any jobs outside of academia that require a PhD in philosophy (though there are ones where a PhD in philosophy is a sufficient qualification).
    – virmaior
    Aug 21, 2017 at 12:00
  • @virmaior You're right I was being a little hyperbolic, I've edited my answer accordingly. Requiring a Philosophy PhD hasn't been part of many non-academic job requirements in my experience either. There are just specific fields in which it is pretty much expected (which is what I was thinking of), but they're actually very much a tiny minority.
    – user22791
    Aug 21, 2017 at 12:24

The core of Stack Exchange is its own crowd-sourced credentialing system (rankings), just as the core of Wikipedia is its own crowd-sourced vetting process. You can legitimately question whether it works for a discipline like this, but if you want to replace it with an academic credentialing system, you should either go back to school, or stick to peer-refereed academic journals and/or books from university presses.