Brian Leiter Updates Philosophy Department Rankings for Fall 2016

2016-10-18T10:06:44+00:00 October 18th, 2016|Philosophy of Physics, Philosophy of Science, Rotman News|

Every few years, the Philosophical Gourmet Report assesses philosophy departments around the world, as well as the various areas of philosophical specialization. In fall 2016, Brian Leiter (who along with Berit Brogaard, edits the report) did a less formal update to these rankings based on faculty changes since the publication of the most recent report in 2015.


The biggest news is that Western moved into the first group for Philosophy of Physics, while it’s rankings in General Philosophy of Science and as an overall department are on par with previous rankings. See below for details on the results:

Overall Department Ranking

On a scale out of five, with five being highly distinguished, Western scored 2.7 (mean) and 3 (median) in 2015. This placed the Department of Philosophy 53rd in the English-speaking world, and 3rd in Canada after University of Toronto and University of BC. This is an improvement from a score of 2 (in both mean and median) in 2011, 2009, and 2006. In Brian Leiter’s Fall 2016 update, he scored universities differently, putting them into ranked groups, and indicating where departments could arguably be put in categories one group above. Western ranked in group 7, with an indication that it could arguably be in group 6. This places Western tied with 25 other departments with 36 departments ranked higher, or tied with 10 other departments with only 27 departments ranked higher.

General Philosophy of Science Ranking

In 2015, the Department of Philosophy at Western was tied with seven other departments in the second group, meaning that only one university in the first group ranked higher. The fall 2016 ranking update still placed Western in the second group. Two other universities moved into the second group, and the first group stayed stable.

Philosophy of Physics Ranking

The biggest change in the 2016 update was that Western’s Department of Philosophy moved into the first group in Philosophy of Physics, previously occupied only by Oxford. Two other universities also moved into the first group, which now ranks Western in a four way tie as the most distinguished philosophy department for Philosophy of Physics in the English-speaking world.

Full rankings from the 2015 edition of the Philosophical Gourmet Report can be found here.

Notes on the updates for Fall 2016 can be found below:

Overall Rankings
General Philosophy of Science
Philosophy of Physics