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About Phallosopher

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    Los Angeles, CA
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  1. What do you mean here by "regular" loans? Are you talking about loans other than student loans?
  2. What an excellent response. When I'm in a dismissive mood or especially when that's elicited by a particularly negative disposition from the questioner... I sometimes say something like that. Or something sarcastically basic and uninformative like, "philosophize, of course." Great answers in general though from everyone. @rising_star this is true, there are a lot of examples of the immediate real world relevancy of philosophical ideas, but that still fails to please the business types who don't like intangibles. I'm mostly talking about wholly unreasonable people who have a predetermined negative disposition. Of course, if someone asks me about my purpose in an open, actually inquisitive way, I'd give an answer like you mentioned. People removed from academia especially tend to like examples. Even questions that aren't pointed though, tend to come from the disposition "how does your field of study serve my hopes and dreams for my near future." Answer: Chances are it doesn't directly, but it does serve mine. As much as it's not false to look at the dissenters and realize they just don't get it and may never, and it's not our responsibility to explain it to them... I do think as academicians we need to spend some time showing the relevance of our field and its interconnectedness with other aims, otherwise it could get swallowed up in some other longstanding pervasive human need and thus done poorly (e.g. think about the swarms of IT people talking about how the internet is going to render formal classroom education obsolete). I'm not saying we should be defensive, there's no need for that. It's more offense, connecting our work to contemporary aims even if includes a lot of musings about the past or of potential wider application in the future. That's why I brought up timing as well.
  3. This past season I got most of my recommendations from mathematicians actually. Philosophers study the underlying principles of things, so let's hope they think about what the underlying principles of being good at studying philosophy are. My recommenders (I was permitted to read one of the letters and actively encouraged to read and comment on another) were able to write about my logical reasoning skills, divergent thinking capabilities, and how much I am "at home in the realm of the abstract". So in my experience, recommendations are not restricted to "did well in my philosophy course" or the like. Can you get a recommendation from each of them? Most programs ask for 3 letters. I would think that would be best, as the non-philosophy professors can do what I described as valuable above, and the philosophy professors can give the more straightforward evidence that you will likely continue to excel in philosophy coursework and make their investment in your candidacy worthwhile. Hopefully that helps even if it's a bit of "if I were on an admissions committee, then..."
  4. I thought it would be interesting to post this here and see how others respond to the 9-5 materialistic public's reaction to the idea of philosophy as a profession. Perhaps I've just spent an unfortunate amount of time around the wrong people, but I often hear pointed questions/statements like... 1. "What's the point of philosophy? It's not practical." 2. "What are you going to do with that?" 3. "How is philosophy applicable in the real world?" I may have upped the eloquence on some of those questions/statements, and I'm sure I left out a few variations, but the gist of it is that people often try to suggest that philosophy is pointless, doesn't produce anything, is just an intellectual circle jerk or an infinite feedback loop of learn/teach. What I usually explain to them in response to their said or sometimes unsaid premise, is... The idea of what is "useful" is often biased by the need for instant gratification or tangibility. There is also often an elitism at different stages of the process of human endeavor. Theorists (philosophers are an example) frequently look down on those who apply the knowledge or those who carry out the process designated in application of the knowledge, e.g. mathematicians > physicists > engineers > factory workers who operate machines. But then, businessmen look down at professors: "what are they producing? where's the market for that? how many people care about it?" So in summary, I tell them it's an issue of timing and tangibility, not an independent evaluation of what is useful or not. Apologies for the long post; I wanted to give some clear examples. But yeah, back to the specific point... I'm sure many of you have heard the idea that philosophy has no real world application, but I doubt any of you believe it. How do you respond to the pointed questions/statements?
  5. Whoa, our interests are quite similar (find mine above). I said aesthetics rather than philosophy of language mainly because I am interested in what constitutes beauty independent of medium. So give "language" an extremely broad definition, and you and I are on the same page.
  6. Epistemology, logic, aesthetics. Just starting to figure out which programs might work for someone with my particular background... so far I've found Georgia State and UC San Diego.
  7. Greetings everyone, I'll be applying to MA and MA/PhD programs in philosophy for fall 2018. I have a MA in a different discipline already, but given how frequently my research borders on philosophy, I have decided to redirect my gaze rather than keeping one foot in each country and looking around without enough certainty. My primary interests lie in the intersection of epistemology, aesthetics, and logic. I'm going to be looking at programs that are open to students with an interdisciplinary mindset or non-traditional background. So far the schools recommended to me by the philosopher I kept in touch with from undergrad are: Georgia State and UCSD. Any others would be welcome. On this site I'd be particularly interested in connecting with students who transitioned into philosophy from another background and conquered the institutional logistics thereof. I'm also hoping to talk to students from a traditional background (earned BA in philosophy) who would be able to give me some tips on what philosophy departments would worry I am missing, and how to get it or demonstrate that I have it.