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maxhgns last won the day on May 14

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About maxhgns

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  1. maxhgns

    B+ in PhilMind

    Forget about it. It doesn't matter.
  2. A master's degree, like a PhD, should be funded by your department, otherwise it's not really worth it. Many MAs in philosophy are funded, although not all are (especially in Europe and the UK). If you're Canadian, then you can apply to SSHRC for funding to do your degree anywhere; if you're from Québec, you can do the same with the FRQSC (but I think it's limited to universities in Québec); if you're from Ontario, apply to OGS (for a degree at an institution in Ontario). One thing you'll have to decide is whether you're aiming for an MSC in logic, or an MA in philosophy with a focus on logic and mathematics. The range of options for the MSC is a lot narrower, but will obviously afford you much greater competence in the subject. On the other hand, the MA will probably give you broader competence in philosophy itself, and there are lots of departments with very strong logicians and philosophers of mathematics. For the MSC in logic, I know that Amsterdam and CMU both offer it. I think these are probably your strongest options. IIRC the LSE and Paris 7 also offer a master's-level degree in logic. Manchester does, too, but it's through the maths department. For the MA, you're right to think of Western. I'd add Calgary as a possibility. On the PhD front, it's worth noting that Berkeley has a straight-up PhD in logic run by the philosophy department.
  3. maxhgns

    Publishing in predatory journals?

    Identifying appropriate venues for publication (and developing a rough sense of journal rankings) is an important aspect of socialization into the profession. If you don't know yet, then that's probably a sign that you're not quite ready (although that's not to say that you shouldn't be taking steps to get properly socialized!). The first step is to identify the journals that are publishing the articles you read, and those you want to read. The next step is to sort the journals according to what kind of stuff they're publishing: some will focus primarily on a particular subfield, whereas others will be more generalist in orientation. You need to figure out which are the main outlets for work in your subfield, which are secondary outlets, which tertiary, etc. And you need to do the same thing for the generalist journals, and it's useful to get a sense of what the main outlets are for other subfields, too.That means spending a fair bit of time reading things, skimming recent issues for interesting titles or abstracts, checking the CVs of people in the profession whose career trajectory you want to emulate (to see where they're publishing), etc. When you're ready to send something out there, my advice is not to start low. Aim high, and go down the ladder as it's rejected. You don't want to short-change your work, and having some well-ranked pubs will open more doors--even at teaching schools--than a slew of very low-ranked ones will. For the teaching schools, a mix (one or two T1/T2, several T3/4) will probably give you the best shot. To do that, the usual advice is to be an R-selector: always have 5-10 papers out there under review at a mix of journals. That's hard to do while you're working on the dissertation, so most grad students end up K-selecting; but if that's what you're doing, then you're better served by aiming high since if you aim too low and it's accepted, you've now got just one not-very-impressive pub, and still need to come up with a few more to impress the teaching school crowd.
  4. maxhgns

    Publishing in predatory journals?

    I don't have anything to add to TakerUK's excellent response above, so I'll just reiterate their point (2), which I think is the most important from an ethical standpoint: these journals and conferences are a scam, and exist to (1) swindle the unwary, and (2) profit from the unscrupulous. By affiliating yourself with them, you help them to perpetrate harm against (A) members of the profession (and if they're being swindled, they're usually vulnerable in some way), and (B) the profession (by legitimizing the unscrupulous and their piss-poor work, some of which is then picked up by politicians, corporations, etc. to legitimize whatever piss-poor view they're peddling; also by harming the most vulnerable in the profession). Your work belongs in the journals you read or recognize, not just any old outlet. Yes, that's fine. And if you look at the CVs of senior members of your profession--especially at research-oriented schools--you'll see that their publication strategies shift over time. For many of those who don't end up as deadwood, they start publishing more and more in less prestigious outlets once they've got tenure, and especially once they make full. This work is not necessarily of low quality; the idea is just that they no longer have much incentive to shoot primarily for prestigious journals, and instead they have a greater incentive to just get their ideas out there in print, where others can find them. One thing we've recently realized in my field is that teaching-focused institutions don't mind if your pubs are in tier-2 or tier-3 journals, as long as you have several and show that you'll be able to churn out whatever the requisite number for tenure is supposed to be. Having publications thus matters more than the prestige of those publications (for those jobs, and in my field). That said, don't rush off to find the crappiest journals you can. People at teaching schools know which journals are which, and they'll still expect you to be publishing in venues appropriate for your work. Besides which, you want to make yourself as attractive as possible to as wide a range of jobs as you can, which means publishing in decent outlets. Teaching schools aren't all the same, and some care more about quality or prestige of research than others.
  5. maxhgns

    Cv/resume question

    In my field, it would go under a section devoted to public engagement/outreach or media appearances. I don't know about your field, but I expect there's something similar out there. Have a look around at the CVs of people who are further ahead than you are, and get a sense of how they're dealing with it.
  6. The letterhead is entirely unnecessary. It's used for official communications from your position in the department (e.g. writing someone a reference letter), or on behalf of the department as a whole. It can also be used to prepare cover letters for job applications. But not a whole lot more, and as a grad student the only relevant potential use is the last one. Cover letters accompanying journal submissions run the gamut from trivial and irrelevant to a serious requirement. From what you've said, it sounds like yours is mostly just a formality used by the editors to screen the submission/find referees, and then to contact you later (which is to say, to help them identify which paper was yours; contact will almost certainly be by email). Sometimes journals want a more involved cover letter, in which case you should give a few sentences summing up your paper's argument, why it's a good fit for the journal, how it fits in with recent work published in the journal, etc. Alternately, if you have a weird paper, the cover letter is your chance to convince the editors to give it a chance (and to help them find suitable referees by being upfront about its weird content). I have a weird paper coming out soon in a really good journal that was like that: it marries the methods and results of three disciplines to get a handle on a single problem, and opens an entirely unexplored avenue of historical research in the process. It flunked hard, over and over again, for years and years, until I realized that I could pre-empt a lot of the pushback I was getting by explaining, in my cover letter, exactly why the approach I took was necessary, being clear about its interdisciplinary nature, and telling the editors just what I thought upshot was for work in my discipline. I immediately got much better-qualified and more supportive referees, and the editors themselves seem to have had a lot more faith in the paper. As I said, yours sounds like it doesn't need to be anything like so involved! I just thought it might be handy to say a bit more, in case you or anyone else ever needs to write a more involved cover letter.
  7. maxhgns

    Humanities PhD: what are non-academia options?

    It's pretty field-dependent. E.g. there's curating/restoration for art history, museum work or being a seasonal interpreter in a national park for history, ministry for religious studies and theology, ethics consulting for some branches of philosophy (esp. applies ethics), speech-language pathology for linguistics, etc. But the "research and no teaching" portion does rule out a lot. You can always just research in your spare time, if you really want to. As for alt-ac jobs for humanities PhDs more generally... there's content marketing (which is where editorial jobs are, although they usually require experience/an internship), graphic design, non-profit admin, university admin, government analyst, and so on. Content marketing isn't bad, though, and there are quite a few jobs in that area. They're contract jobs, but they don't pay too badly.
  8. Conventionalism and social world/kind stuff is just getting off the ground in aesthetics, and I suspect it'll be widespread in the next ten years. Social kinds are gaining a lot of steam in metaphysics.
  9. maxhgns

    Hi. I'm in first year and sort of lost?

    You've already gotten lots of great advice, so I won't repeat it.Instead, I'll just say a few things about the job market for philosophy PhDs. First, and most importantly, it's incredibly difficult for everyone. Even the Princeton grads struggle. It's easy for people to lose sight of that fact when they've been focused on their own misery and despair for a few months. For every job, you're competing against 650-1200 other super-qualified applicants, although it can go as low as a couple hundred for small areas of specialization. There are roughly 180-200 tenure-track jobs in the English-speaking world each year. Most of them are not in especially amazing places. Second, if your end-goal is to work and live in Canada, you should forget about it. Of the ~200 jobs a year, about five of them are in Canada. But they're advertised for particular AOSes, so you're lucky to see a single Canadian job in your area in a year. And pretty much regardless of where it is, it will draw hundreds of applicants. The only way to play the jobs game is to be ready and willing to move to almost anywhere in the US. Being a Canadian with a fancy American PhD does seem to confer an advantage when applying for jobs in Canada; Canadian PhDs don't, although Toronto produces a lot of our professors (they R-select, basically). Your more or less ideal career trajectory, if you want to work in Canada, is to get a SSHRC postdoc somewhere (not necessarily in Canada!). SSHRC holders do seem to get Canadian jobs at a decent rate. Certainly more than other Canadians. Just bear in mind that it's also super competitive (especially because it's an interdisciplinary competition, and philosophers don't do well in those), and there are fewer awards each year. Third, Canadian universities (Toronto included) underfund their students, especially relative to the average or median times to completion. Most Canadian programs fund properly for four years, and then you have to scramble for years five-plus. And it takes five-plus years. Canadian programs also don't confer enough teaching experience for you to be competitive on the market (you really need 3-4 solo courses under your belt), and it's incredibly difficult to get sessional experience in Canada (because of a combination of unionized sessionals [which is great, but presents big barriers to entry] and a low density of universities within a commutable radius). Of course, you have to be careful with American programs--some have you teach way too much, and that hampers your ability to finish the dissertation and publish things.
  10. maxhgns

    Applying to phd programs with an interdisciplinary MA?

    I don't have personal experience with this, but I can tell you that I know quite a few people who did it, and who report that it was pretty easy. FWIW, though, their MA tends to be in a cognate field (e.g. art history and they want to work in aesthetics, econ/polisci and they want to work in political philosophy, health sciences and bioethics, linguistics and phil. of language, etc.). I can tell you that, in my experience, these people make for very strong scholars and presenters. The background in the allied field makes all the difference, and you can really tell that they have a better grasp of the subject than most of the straight-up philosophers working in it.
  11. maxhgns

    AOI and letter writers

    Get letters from the profs who are most familiar with your work, and who are comfortable saying great things about you and your work. It's great if a rev or two are from people working in your AOI (working in it, mind, not just teaching it). But a strong letter from someone familiar with you and your work is much more important.
  12. Right. So you want to apply to programs that are strong in whatever your area of interest is. Areas of interest match up with what the professionals call areas of specialization. If it's Plato you're interested in, then your prospective AOI is Ancient. So you tell them you're mainly interested in Ancient, and then you can specify Plato in particular (as long as you realize that Ancient means you'll have to know something about the pre-Socratics and Aristotle, too). So the first step is identifying which departments are strong in Ancient. The next step is identifying faculty members with whom you'd like to work. And that means familiarizing yourself with their work, so that you can say something about why you want to work with them. Then, you should spend some time on the department's web page, and on the pages of cognate departments to see if you could take advantage of any resources elsewhere in the university--e.g. a certificate program in Classics, or maybe a co-supervisor from Classics, or whatever. You'll also want to identify some ancillary interests you'd like to develop a bit more (roughly: areas of competence), and perform the same kind of process for them. Play to the department's strengths. Not really. Mind is a high-status subfield, but it's been low on jobs for several years now (the big boom was in the mid-to-late-aughts). Most reputable departments are strong in the history of philosophy along with what I guess you could call "analytic" subfields, though that's really a mischaracterization. There are just more subfields that get grouped under the heading "analytic" than there are that get grouped under "continental", and the "continental" subfields are often seen as luxury subfields--which is just to say that most Anglophone PhD-granting departments don't think of covering those subfields as being core to their research missions. Right. Three is not an impressive number of courses, and what qualifies you to write about X for the rest of your life is a PhD with a research emphasis on X. What you're doing in your applications is petitioning a department to take the time to train you to become a qualified writer on X. So you have to convince them that you're a worthwhile investment. That's good, because identifying gaps is often the hardest part of cultivating a research agenda. Departments are looking for the skills that will allow you to become an author of articles, yes. But they're assuming that follows naturally from earning the PhD. So what they're looking for at this stage is (1) the ability to complete a PhD, and (2) promise. Think of it like scouting for sports teams (scouts in philosophy are about as good at identifying talent as in sports--which is to say, not very). Completing the PhD will take solid writing skills, determination, the ability to motivate yourself and work on your own, the ability to develop new ideas and churn out short papers to present at conferences, (ideally) good public speaking and presentation skills, the ability to pass whatever progression requirements there are (e.g. logic, languages), etc. That's what they're looking for.
  13. I would tell A I'm primarily interested in A, with ancillary interests B and C (provided A can support interests in B and C! If it can only do C, then talk about C, not B). I'd tell B that it's B, with ancillaries in A and C. And so on. And then I'd work to make sure each individual statement emphasized the proper areas. You want to demonstrate that you're a fantastic fit for the department's research culture and community. You do that by talking not just about the kind of work you want to do there and who with, but by talking about precisely the kinds of things you've mentioned here--e.g. your interest in the certificate program. Ideally your sample will match and showcase your research interests, but it's OK if it doesn't quite (as long as it matches one of your stated interests!). Rather than spend time cultivating separate samples, you'll probably be better off polishing just the one. Remember that you're aiming to impress the faculty member(s) who work in that area, because then they'll advocate for your admission.
  14. Forget about it. It doesn't matter. What you perhaps should worry about is that there are no jobs in metaphysics, that the trend looks likely to continue, and that it's basically impossible to compete in that subfield if your PhD isn't from one of the three or four "right" programs.
  15. maxhgns

    Sex Worker turned scholar- expelled?

    I don't see why anyone would be asked to leave the program on those grounds. I would imagine that any department that did that would be opening itself up to a serious lawsuit.

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