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maxhgns last won the day on November 5 2019

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  1. Don't play the game of trying to predict which areas will be hot when. It's not a game you can win, except by luck. And it's not a game you'll be well-equipped to play until the end of your PhD at the earliest, when you're much more familiar with the discipline, your fields, have been on the market a number of times, have done the conference circuit a bunch, etc. (Besides which, most hot areas are only briefly hot--that is, they heat up for a few years then hiring peter out because the demand has been mostly filled). Cultivate a diversity of interests, and follow those interests. It's standard for people now to specialize in two (sometimes three) distinct areas; so cultivate your two. Where planning is concerned, try not to cultivate two areas which are dead ends jobs-wise (e.g. aesthetics and 19th-century Germany). But beyond that, just go for what interests you. You won't get a job anyway, so you might as well enjoy it as much as you can!
  2. FWIW, there seems to be more awareness of the Kyoto School in religious studies departments.
  3. While you're not wrong, you need to realize that this is absolutely commonplace throughout the discipline, and not enough people care to make a difference. For instance, I'm still waiting to get 500+ rejections for job applications I sent up to five years ago, including rejections for jobs for which I was interviewed. I rather suspect not. But remember, too, that the April 15 deadline is a deadline for American schools to extend first-round offers, nothing more.
  4. Sounds like there's no harm in asking to be considered!
  5. I'm not sure this is right. PhD prestige is a huge factor on the job market, to be sure, and I agree that "analytic" departments are more prestigious, on the whole, than most continental programs. That said, (1) the prestige hierarchy for analytic departments is not a rank ordering, and once you get past a double fistful of departments it really starts to lose its effect (or seems to), (2) prestige's largest contribution seems to be towards hiring in research-oriented departments with a PhD program (which is to say, if your PhD is from too low down the rankings--and "too low" is surprisingly high!--then you're effectively shut out), and (3) continental philosophy has its own prestige hierarchy with a narrower band of schools from a wider tranche of the PGR/non-PGR. So anyway. I just wanted to chime in and note that your job prospects are not necessarily better by staying in analytic philosophy. They're better (in some respects) if you're at Princeton, Pittsburgh, Harvard, or MIT, but I'm not convinced you're better off at, say, CUNY or Notre Dame than at DePaul or Emory. Remember that analytic subfields are glutted with people; so is continental philosophy, but it's an open question where the glut is worse. I'm not convinced, for example, that your overall job prospects as a meta-ethicist aremuch better than as a specialist in phenomenology. The job markets for those subfields seem to be pretty separate--so, e.g., the meta-ethicist probably has a better shot at PGR departments (although the odds are still really, really low), whereas the phenomenologist probably has a better shot at community colleges and teaching-focused departments (although again, the odds are still quite low). In the end, let's be real: you probably won't get a TT job anyway. And the difference between a .01% chance and .05% chance is not actually all that big even if it looks like it at first glance (neither one adds up to a job after 500 applications!). I don't think that's an accurate representation of your actual chances, but I think it gives you a better idea of how things work out. We're really splitting hairs, and it's not worth your time and energy to try to game the job market. It's not the sort of thing that's amenable to gaming, there are too many other factors in play, and they're too volatile. And there just aren't enough jobs, period. Frankly, philosophy is a fading star to begin with, just because of the state of the market. Trust me, I've been on it for years. Just aim for the best program that fits your interests, and if you want a decent chance on the market, aim for working with the most famous advisor you can find. After that, it's a roll of the dice. Don't come out expecting (or even hoping) for an academic job: come out of the program applying for them, and applying for interesting non-academic work, too. Cultivate your non-academic options throughout grad school. You'll almost certainly need them.
  6. My experience has been that B-level grades in graduate school are warning signs. They're not catastrophic, and unless your transcript is full of them, they won't scupper your chances at a PhD. Nor are they, as has been suggested, grossly unfair. They're just an indication that you need to step up your game in some way. (For my part, I'm a firm believer that it's fair game for instructors to use the full range of grades at any level. That said, I would expect graduate students to do better in general, because they've made it through a pretty selective process which is supposed to snap up the strongest students. But that doesn't mean that the students in question don't still have a lot to learn. You don't come to graduate school ready-made into a philosopher.)
  7. Don't think of programs as being in or out of your range. Apply to the best programs for your interests, and let them do the sorting and cutting. Honestly, you should attend the best program you can, given your interests, not just any old program. It really makes a difference on the job market. Stanford and Rutgers, for example, are great, but don't go there primarily to do aesthetics/philosophy of art. (That said, 'the best program for your interests' may not strictly track the PGR rankings. Pay careful attention to the specialty rankings, to the number of people working in your areas of interest and their impact on the field, and to recent placements. Don't rely on the overall rankings as an ordinal ranking. But do also remember that prestige really does have a big effect on the job market.) By the by, the PGR is a ranking of PhD programs, and does not translate to a ranking of undergraduate or Master's programs.
  8. This is entirely normal and commonplace. I'm afraid you'll just have to get used to it. You were an exceptional student. Your students, by and large, will be average students.
  9. Thanks, I'll be checking it out! Could be of use to my students. I hope you've written to Justin to promote it on DN!
  10. Send in your electronic transcript, order a hard copy to be sent by mail, and make a note of what you're doing somewhere in the application (e.g. the cover letter listing all the materials). If it makes it in time, great. If not, well, they might just cut you some slack on the understanding that you had to rely on the mail system to deliver it, rather than doing it yourself. If the rest of your application is online, then I suspect the hard copy requirement comes from the university, not the department, in which case they'll probably be willing to cut you some slack, especially if the hard copy does arrive. FWIW, departments do regularly give people some slack where letters are concerned, since they know that profs are flaky.
  11. Also remember that, other faults aside, the PGR is pretty much always out of date. Some of Madison's metaphysicists are still at the assistant level, and that may not be very well reflected in the subfield rankings (which mostly reflect associate-level and up, once people have established themselves). Finally, most of Madison's metaphysiscists do something else as a primary AOS, whereas Davis has a few more dedicated faculty. And where time stuff is concerned, Davis has philosophers of science who are working in complementary areas, whereas IIRC that's not really true of Madison. So: Davis is probably better for that particular interest. But what are your other interests, and how well-supported would they be? Also note, however: Sidelle is a very well-respected metaphysicist.
  12. Unless the grade is bad, nobody cares about grades. (And an A- isn't bad.) Instead, they'll care about the reasons you give for wanting to transfer, and about the quality of your work.
  13. It was simply based on students I've known from there who have not had full funding--they've had tuition waivers but no stipend, stipends but non-full tuition waivers, etc. Things may have changed in recent years, or they may still be admitting more students than they fund. I don't know. It's just something to be cautious about.
  14. FWIW, the epistemology market isn't very good either. Nor is the language market. None of the "core" LEM areas have a ton of jobs going for them these days. And I don't think that's going to change any time soon, since so many people with LEM specializations also have more in-demand specializations that apply the LEM field to something else. The small good-news-caveat is that core LEM specialists seem to do pretty well when it comes to the open specialization jobs at fancy R1s--provided their PhD is sufficiently fancy, anyway. I don't know that AI is booming, but there are some niche market things going on for people who do mind/cog-sci in an empirically-oriented manner, and some of that spills over into AI-related areas. I don't know that I'd count on that market expanding much, but if you could use that sort of experience to position yourself for the reach across the aisle to digital humanities stuff (which is big now, but may dry up), or to the tech industry, I suppose that could be helpful. You'll want to cultivate an exit strategy, so it's nice when it dovetails with your actual research. That said, there's no point trying too hard to predict the market, or doing stuff you don't care about in an effort to position yourself for the market. Even if you love your AOS, you'll hate your dissertation before you're done with it; and the people who hate their AOS to begin with tend to flounder at the finishing stages. It's a hard and thankless process, and you shouldn't make it harder on yourself. The point was just that you should be aware of hiring trends, so that you're prepared for them when the time comes. And, in particular, you should know that prestige seems to matter a lot in core LEM hiring these days.
  15. You should spend time working on your writing sample and cover letter. The writing sample is most important, but the cover letter is often neglected and can make a big difference--what you want to do there is address your fit in the program, and why you're such a better bet than the other students. That means looking at opportunities in cognate disciplines, figuring out what kind of support there is for your other interests, looking at whether you can participate in related programs (such as certificate programs), etc. Just to add to the excellent advice that's already been given: you need to know that there are virtually no jobs in metaphysics. Seriously, basically none, and there's no indication that the situation is going to improve over the next ten years. Pretty much the only people who do straight-up metaphysics who are being hired are people who attended tippity-top metaphysics programs, or with strong interests and credentials in mind (although the boom years for mind are behind us, too), metaethics (honestly, I think more and more metaphysicists are going into metaethics, where the prospects are better), and philosophy of science. Nobody can predict what the job market will look like ten years from now, but it's worth knowing what it's like now, and doing what you can to maximize your chances.
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