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overoverover

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overoverover last won the day on March 16 2015

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About overoverover

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    Mocha

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  • Location
    CT
  • Application Season
    2015 Fall
  • Program
    Philosophy

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  1. Even if you could get accepted to a PhD program in the UK straight from undergrad, there's little reason you'd want to pursue that option. PhD programs in the UK have no coursework component for the most part. That means you'll have to start researching straight away. You'll have no chance to gain any breadth or to pursue topics in detail before deciding on specialization. The lack of breadth can hurt you on the job market (what will your AOCs be?) and the lack of coursework will make it hard to pick the right dissertation topic.
  2. I'm another UConn student, with an emphasis on language and logic. It's really a great place to be to work on this sort of stuff! Nathan should be able to answer any of your questions. I do want to add that UConn Linguistics is also really good, and I've had no problem taking courses there as well (both this semester and next), so if you're interested in the linguistics-y bits of philosophy of language or the philosophy of linguistics, it's definitely something you can do here.
  3. Maybe. It depends on whether or not you end up doing anything in that field, right? Like say you do philosophy of mind. Having an MA in Political Theory is useless there. And I don't know if an MA is even necessary for cross-appointments. Would the experience help through the PhD process? Almost definitely.
  4. Here it goes: programs have prestige for a reason. I don't mean to say that prestige of a department = quality of work at the department. I think that instead, prestige is a product of some mix of quality of work and how popular/well-liked the profs are. But even then, you can see that prestige is going to matter when you're on the market. Consider the two following ways it plays a role. 1) You get letters from people who produce really good work. The people reading those letters know that those people produce good work. It's a fact of human psychology that we value the opinions of people we consider to be experts more than the opinions of non-experts. The letters you get will mean more than if they are from people whose work is not as well known. So, you want letters from people who produce good work, which (roughly) correlates to getting letters from people at well-known, well-established departments. 2) You get letters from people who are popular/well-liked in the field. The people reading those letters know those people and, presumably, like them. It's a fact of human psychology that we value the opinions of our friends more than the opinions of our, um, not-friends. The letters you get will mean more than if they are from people who are not as popular or not well-liked. So, you want letters from people who are popular/well-liked in the field, which (roughly) correlates to getting letters from people at well-known, well-established departments (with an important caveat: some departments have highly respected jerks in their midst, and so you might not want letters form jerks). Work is important, but prestige matters, probably to a greater degree than many will admit. You want letters with people with 'contacts' (so to speak) at various departments, which can help you get a leg up. That means your app gets a little extra consideration.
  5. What do you mean by 'upper level'? This could vary widely. Some PhD programs just want you to pass a logic class, usually involving classical first-order with quantified (some don't even get to identity!). Others want you to be able to prove some stuff in the metalanguage, not just use a proof system in the object language. Still others require that you become familiar with more than just classical FOL, whether that means knowing a bit about non-classical systems or about modal extensions. Are you asking about schools which require no logic class at all? I have a suspicion that all analytic departments require it, though some have the option of testing out.
  6. I believe the idea is that ad coms don't care about the writing score because your sample is more indicative of your writing.
  7. Are you implying that Boulder is prettier than where you are now?????
  8. I am, but unfortunately my schedule in grad school makes it pretty much impossible to take on extra work, so I won't be able to commit to looking at anything. Sorry!
  9. I can say a bit, though I'm no expert. Your personal statement is a good time to show that you're a good fit for the department. Your sample should prove that you can do high-quality philosophy, but your statement should prove you will be able to work with the faculty at Whatever University. Because of that, I would say you want to be fairly specific in your description of your interests (e.g. don't just say "philosophy of language", because the subfield is pretty broad). If you aren't specific enough, then the department might think your interests aren't fleshed out and that you don't really know what you want to do. At the same time, don't be too specific (e.g. don't say "I am primarily interested in Donald Davidson's philosophy of language"). This is because, if you're too specific, a department might think you're too set on some particular topic and not open to change. One way to get around this is to say something like: "My main area of interest is philosophy of mind. More specifically, I am interested in the philosophy of perception, including non-visual kinds of perception. My writing sample is an example of this interest: I argue that considering non-visual kinds of perception provides further support for a non-conceptualist view." (Disclaimer: I know next to nothing about philosophy of mind or perception.) I think that saying something like this would work well—it shows you know the subfield better than just saying "I like philosophy of mind", and it shows that you've thought about some specific topics (like non-visual perception) while situating it in the subfield more broadly (by drawing connections to the debate about non-conceptual content). But notice that it didn't get too specific, and that it stops short of endorsing a particular view—as a rule, don't explicitly endorse positions in your statement (save that for your sample).
  10. Man, TGC seems really dead this year. That's a shame, I found it very helpful last year. But, for anyone still around on here, here it goes: good luck with applications!
  11. I used to attend BU, and they funded my fly out. UConn didn't offer, but I was just a short drive away. I know people personally who have been flown out to UCSD and Indiana.
  12. I'd like to suggest MA programs. PhDs are insanely competitive. People who are well qualified from good institutions often only get an acceptance or two, if any at all. Coming from a less well-known university, with less than a 3.5 average, you ought to be able to pitch yourself to MA programs with relative ease: you're the kind of student those programs purport to serve.
  13. Congrats! Though I'm glad I'll be seeing you at UConn in the fall!
  14. I have a friend who worked closely with Sarkar and has said positive things. That's about all I know, but my friend seemed satisfied with the experience.
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