Philosophical Gourmet Report

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The Philosophical Gourmet Report (also known as the Leiter Report) edited by Philosophy and Law professor Brian Leiter — in response to the Gourman Report — is a ranking of philosophy departments in the English-speaking world, based on a survey of philosophers who are nominated as evaluators by the Report's Advisory Board. Its purpose is to provide guidance to prospective Ph.D students, particularly those students who intend to pursue a professional career in academic philosophy.

As of December 2004, there are a total of 110 philosophy Ph.D programs in the U.S. alone. In its latest version (2006–2008) the Report ranks the top 50 programs in the United States, the top 15 in the United Kingdom, the top five in Canada and the top five in Australasia. The rankings are based primarily on perceived quality of the philosophical work of the faculty members.

The Report was first compiled and distributed in 1989 and first appeared on the web in 1996; it has been distributed by Blackwell since 1997.


The report's rankings are based on an anonymous survey of faculty members of philosophy departments throughout the English-speaking world. Respondents are asked to assign scores from one to five to lists of the faculty of each department (the name of the department is suppressed in the survey questionnaire.) The results are compiled and sorted into an ordinal ranking which used to be subdivided into "peer groups," but no longer is.

Evolution since the first web report[edit]

  • Addition of a consultative board who influence policy, ranking refinements, instructions to and nomination of evaluators.
  • Elimination of peer grouping universities based on median scores, as this could potentially mislead consumer choice as to the difference in relative merits of institutions.
  • Addition of specialised rankings (but not yet scores) of various areas of philosophy.
  • Elimination of handicapping based on department size.
  • Addition of median scores, and local (for non-U.S.A. universities) mean and median scores.
  • Addition of some data on placement records and career prospects.
  • Addition of some advice on some individual areas of philosophy.
  • Addition of number of faculty members evaluated at each department.
  • Addition of names and specialties of evaluators.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  • [1] "A User's Guide to Philosophy without Rankings" is a webpage that collects criticisms of the content, method, and consequences of the PGR. It also contains calls for discussion and proposals of alternatives. The page includes sections entitled "Overview of the Controversy," "Methodological and Procedural Problems with the PGR," "Exclusionary Dimensions of the PGR," "The Philosophical Gourmet Report by the Numbers," "Personal Experiences with the PGR," "Suggested Alternatives to the PGR," and "Comparisons Between the PGR and Leiter’s Law Rankings."
  • The Philosophical Gourmet Report