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Professor of Experimental Philosophy

Posted on November 11, 2010 by Tom
OUM | Oxford University Museum of Natural History | Philip Pullman | Pitt Rivers | 2 Comments
Office of the Professor of Experimental Philosophy Another trip to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History today to collect some products for photographing. With hordes of primary school children running around, it's easy to forget that along with Pitt Rivers Museum, OUM is a teaching and research department of the University. But look past the exhibits, and you will find the odd clue to the institution's primary purpose. To the side of the main museum floor are several heavy doors, each carrying the title of the resident academic. My favourite by far is Professor of Experimental Philosophy - I can only begin to imagine what topics this scholar researches and the unlikely experiments they must conduct. It sounds to me like the stuff of Philip Pullman novels; that Lyra herself must be a close friend to the professor... or perhaps, arch-enemy.

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Hi, I found this page as,
by David Hollinshead
Hi, I found this page as, on returning home from the aforementioned museum I googled "Professor of Experimental Philosophy" as I was certain that it was a character from either Douglas Adams' "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" or Terry Pratchetts’s Unseen University I still remain sceptical that this is a genuine position, as the museum has a track record of subverting the boundary between Science and fantasy I have previously experienced a cabinet of “prehistoric angle fossils” that were displayed in the natural history section of the museum. And the Pitt Rivers museum also includes my personal favourite an “Amulet of invisibility” that was retrieved from a naked burglar who was unsure if it would work on his clothes! I would like to add that this building is one of my favourites to visit, and I find both museums equally inspiring as I do informative Thanks David
Thanks for your comment
by Tom
Thanks for your comment David, there certainly is a whiff of Douglas Adams in the title. I haven't seen the Amulet of Invisibility before so will have to look out for it on my next visit - always something new to discover! Tom
 
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