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maxhgns last won the day on May 4

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  1. maxhgns

    Ethics? Philosophy?

    bhabhafk is spot-on. Biomedical ethics is almost entirely focused on ethics in the medical arena, and is thus primarily concerned with human beings and only tangentially with animals. Animal rights and animal ethics stuff is still mostly part of the applied ethics subfield, although it's made some recent(ish) inroads in political theory thanks to Will Kymlicka and others. You won't find good, reputable programs that deal with applied ethics only. But you can find dozens with stellar reputations in that subfield. In addition to the PGR, think about the people whose articles you've read on the subject, and look at where they work. Look at who's cited in the SEP entry, and where they work. The program you want to attend is going to be one of the ones at which they work.
  2. maxhgns

    Statement of Purpose Question

    There's no ideal number. I would focus on two or three, but no more. It's especially good if they're complementary, though (e.g. metaethics and metaphysics, or phil. of science and epistemology, etc.).
  3. maxhgns

    Universitat de Barcelona - Phd in Philosophy

    (Apologies for the typos. I was phone-typing late at night, and have sausage fingers.)
  4. maxhgns

    Universitat de Barcelona - Phd in Philosophy

    I can't speak to the auality of the programme at Barcelona, but I can tell you two relevant things: 1. The rankings you cite (QS, THE, etc.) are garbage when it comes to evaluating strength in a particular discipline. Even their rankings of Anglophone departments can't be trusted, let alone their rankings of non-Anglophone departments. 2. You will struggle on the market even if you go to a university with a stellar international reputation. Especially on the international market. Barcelona will absolutely count for more in Spain than elsewhere. On the other hand, a Spanish PhD probably wouldn't get discounted as much as a low-ranked Anglophone PhD. Especially if your supervisors are stars and you're well-published. And we all struggle terribly on the market. Sone people struggle marginally less, it's true, but I wouldn't hang my hat on the difference.
  5. maxhgns

    List of Analytical Schools

    The default setting in Anglophone countries is broadly "analytic", though many such schools have a significant continental bent nonetheless. As Glasperlenspieler says, pick a subfield of "analytic" philosophy and then check the specialty rankings for that subfield.
  6. No. Yes and yes. You're low on his priority list. Reading and preparing substantive comments can take some time, and it gets scheduled after the things that seem more pressing (your advisor's grading, conference deadlines, resubmission deadlines, refereeing deadlines, etc.). So it'll take your advisor longer than a few days. Give it a few weeks, unless you're coming up against deadlines yourself. It's not OK for advisors to take a very long time to give you feedback on your dissertation work, but it's also not at all uncommon. Until my last year, when my dissertation was in its final stages, it often took six months or more for me to get feedback. (That's too long, for the record. But you shouldn't be expecting a turnaround of days or even a week or two.) Yeah, you don't need to seek his permission every time you want to change something in your dissertation. Just do it, and if it works, great. If it doesnt, then you can always go back to a previous draft and start over. Part of this process is learning to do and manage these things for yourself, without someone looking over your shoulder at every juncture.
  7. maxhgns

    I failed my thesis.

    Good luck!
  8. Your philosophy GPA matters a lot more than your overall GPA. Just have a letter writer address your Ws and diagnosis, and mention it in your cover letter, too. Mental illness isn't a shot in the foot, it's something that happens to a lot of us. I hardly see the point of taking three years of additional courses to bring up your GPA; we're always telling students not to take on debt for a degree in philosophy, and it seems to me that you'd be taking on a fair bit of tuition debt to do that. Just finish your degree and apply to a good mix of MAs and PhD programs. If you don't get in the first time, then work some more on your writing sample and letter of interest, refine your list of programs, and try again. And if that still doesn't work, well, you can always try again, but realistically you'll have dodged an employment bullet. Having said all these things, I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you that depression is quite common among PhD students, and a big part of why so many don't finish the degree. It's also incredibly common among people on the job market, because you're an excellent, stand-out candidate with tons of pubs and prizes, and you've worked hard to send out 100+ applications, and yet you still get zero interviews and don't know what you'll do for money come the fall. And I'm sorry to say that you're not exceptional in these respects. You will almost certainly struggle as much as everyone else does. And you'll probably struggle more than people do today, because the market's not going to be better in tennish years, when you're on it. So be prepared for the recurrence of depressive episodes. I'm not saying this to discourage you from trying the academic route, but just so that you've got some warning of the trials ahead.
  9. maxhgns

    How do PhD students usually spend their summers?

    The first few years, they don't usually end up doing much, although they talk a good game. The last few years, they're working frantically but not very productively on the dissertation. The last summer, they're working frantically and productively to meet the final deadline. Things are a little different--and a little more productive--if you in disciplines with labwork and fieldwork. Summers are for fieldwork, and watching the algae bloom in the lab.
  10. With no other information (and on the understanding that disciplinary norms differ, and may make this less useful to you), it actually sounds to me like this is more of a signposting complaint. In other words, they're claiming that you haven't yet done enough to make those connections explicit. Fixing these sorts of problems is relatively easy, and just requires you to explicitly articulate the links, rather than leaving it to the reader to see them and draw the connections. So, for example, the end of your introduction should say what you're going to argue: "In §2, I argue.... In response to the objection that x, I argue in §3 that... Finally, in §3 I argue that the evidence shows us that... etc." And then, at the beginning of a new section, give a one-sentence reminder of what you argued in the last section, and explain how this coming section relates to the last one. And so on and so forth. Just take opportunities to refer back to what you've argued before, to your theoretical frameworks, etc. If your evidence supports a particular framework, or poses problems for it, tell your reader, and guide them through it. There are lots of decent guides to signposting online. Harvard's Writing Centre has one here, and Birmingham has another (better) one here.
  11. maxhgns

    Self-Employment or Academia?

    Generally speaking, the academic route means relatively low pay and little to no choice over where you live. Depending on the field, it might mean a long series of temporary posts all around the country/world, with little to no benefits, and no real prospect of a TT job at the end of it. Self-employment is risky, since you're the one in charge of building your business. If you're in the US, it also means that you get no benefits (including healthcare, which you'll have to provide for yourself). Generally speaking, my understanding is that people who go the self-employment route usually need a few years to build up their client base so that the work can pay the bills. Many start their businesses part-time and on the side, while they rely on something else for proper income. On the plus side, though, self-employment means total control over where you live.
  12. maxhgns

    Can I get a second MA in philosophy?

    It does happen, although it's unusual. More often, it happens because someone with an MA is accepted to a PhD program where MAs are awarded as part of the progression to the PhD (this is normal in the US, but not elsewhere). It's also relatively common (though I'm not sure it's a good thing!) for citizens of one particular southern European country to do a second PhD (!) in philosophy at an Anglophone institution, in an effort to break into the international job market. So this kind of thing does happen. I don't know whether an American/British/Australasian/Canadian MA would help you get into PhD programs in the US. I'm sure it wouldn't hurt, and it probably would help, but I don't know whether it would help more than spending all (or even a fraction of) that time on your writing sample and letter of interest would. Certainly, it wouldn't be worth paying for an American MA. There are so many applicants for PhD programs that I wouldn't draw too many conclusions from your results the first time around. You made a waitlist, which is fantastic. That's a success you can build on, and an encouraging sign. If I were in your shoes, I'd forgo the second MA and just try again next year, with a stronger, better-informed application and a more carefully selected list of schools.
  13. Sure, it's acceptable. It's not ideal, but nobody is going to lose any sleep over you. As for your future admissions chances, nobody will ever know except people working in that department. They may remember for a few years, but eventually they'll forget, too. They certainly won't communicate with any other departments about it. On transferring: yes, it can be a little harder, because the standards for a transfer are higher. You have to make the case for your transfer, after all, and that requires you to be pretty sure about why you're not a good fit where you are--and "it's ranked too low" just won't cut it. It's also hard because you have to ask for letters from faculty in the department you're leaving. That said, transfers happen all the time. I know dozens of people who've transferred, many of them when they were quite far into their original PhD program.
  14. maxhgns

    Funded MA philosophy programs

    In the US, consider NIU, GSU, UWMilwaukee, Houston, SFSU, Virginia State, Western Michigan, and CSULB. If memory serves, those all offer full funding (though perhaps not to all accepted applicants). In Canada, most of the universities with PhD programs also have good MA programs, and several without a PhD offer a great MA. Full funding is easier to come by if you're Canadian, but international applicants can also get it. You could start by considering Simon Fraser, Victoria, Concordia, Toronto, Western, Queen's, Calgary, and UBC, although there are plenty of other great MA programs around. It might be easier to give you a list of suggestions if you said a little more about your interests in philosophy.
  15. maxhgns

    Questions regarding TAship

    If you're not a student at JHU, then you're highly unlikely to get the TAship. For most fields, TAs aren't expected to be experts, no. They're expected to have basic familiarity with the field, but not necessarily with the particular subfield. It's normal, OK, and expected that you'll be learning along the way. That said, some TAships do require more and more explicit competency with particular things than others. This is especially true for formal subjects, so I imagine there are areas of biomedeng where it's true, too. In those cases, TAships just won't be assigned to someone who doesn't already have the required background.

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