In an article over at Quartz, it has been highlighted how Apple has a full-time professional philosopher on staff, who interestingly, does not have the permission to be interviewed. Former professor at Standard University, Joshua Cohen, has been employed as a philosopher at Apple since 2011 and is currently working full-time at Apple University.
Apple University is a highly secretive, in-house training program, which is described by employees as learning how Apple products were comparable to Picasso’s artwork in their “elegant simplicity.” Beyond that, little is known about the institution. What do its professors do all day, what do they teach to staff, and how is this knowledge integrated into company products, remains a mystery.
The source notes that other than occasional outside lectures, Cohen does not have the permission to indulge in any discussion about philosophy:
“Initially, Cohen expressed willingness to speak with Quartz about his work at Apple, to explain his daily routine and the research he conducts. But, he said, he would first have to get permission from Apple’s press department. He asked for approval twice, once in October 2018 and once in April 2019, but was denied both times. Quartz also asked Apple’s press office for permission to speak with Cohen, but was denied.”
Cohen, whose research and writing focuses on political philosophy and the nature of democracy, is also co-editor of and contributing writer to the political magazine Boston Review.