Duns Eith

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Duns Eith last won the day on December 25 2016

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  1. Retake GRE?

    I know someone who did worse on quantitative, pretty good on verbal (not as good as yours), and got into a funded PhD program Unranked PGR, but good reputation and good placement. Analytic school.
  2. Who should I ask for my third letter?

    @apophantic ?
  3. Who should I ask for my third letter?

    Hard advice: Go to B, and ask directly "Hey, so I am planning to apply to PhD programs in Philosophy. Would you be willing to write a letter of recommendation?" And then follow-up the answer with another question, "I need to be honest, this is in my interest to ask, would you write me a good letter? The competition is fierce." If there is some hesitation from B, then I think you should go with A as your third writer. (maybe have B only write letters where 4 or more are accepted?)
  4. Retake GRE?

    I agree with @be. An interpretation of what something one of my profs (who lurks here every now and then) told me is that the GRE can, functionally speaking, hurt (270-304), not-help-nor-hurt (305-324), or help-marginally (325-340).
  5. Retake GRE?

    You have a combined score of 330. That's super competitive. Sure, no 170v-170q, but your efforts and money are better spent on the writing sample and more applications. If you got a combined score of 310 or 315, I might recommend retaking. But again WS is waaaaaaay more important.
  6. Publishing - Strategies, resources, etc.

    Can anyone else speak to this? I mean, maybe, but that sounds like a weird criterion.
  7. Publishing - Strategies, resources, etc.

    Thanks for all the advice. I think there's more to be had. I think we should keep this thread going as people run into different problems.
  8. Conference Paper Commenting

    @maxhgns is right. Here's some recommendations to tailor according to the strengths or weaknesses of the paper: 1) If the paper is very complicated and not straightforward in structure, provide some overview of the topic and logic of argument. 2) If the paper is clear and not innovative, suggest some applications that are provocative or controversial but follow from the thesis. 3) If the author is critiquing a particular author, read those texts cited carefully and offer alternative interpretations where possible (be a sympathetic reader to provide pushback on that author's behalf, even if you disagree). That said, I would suggest that as a commentator, you have been tasked with giving the most insightful push-back you can. You are likely the only one who has read it at the conference. That means that the most vital blow or the most serious concern is ideally something that you give. The audience might not be able to critique in the depth the author needs to improve. While Maxhgns is right that you're a facilitator, you have a privilege that the audience does not. You have had the opportunity to read and reflect on the content. So give him/her the greatest obstacle to overcome -- that is, you're looking to help the author make the best paper possible out of the presentation. Don't let them off the hook for correctable errors.
  9. A New Sophomore Seeks Advice!

    A few things: 1. You may be really good at philosophy, but sorry to be the bearer of bad news (I hope that this gets upvotes, not downvotes) -- the field is flooded with excellent philosophers, and you really should seriously consider a different career plan. Think about it long, and meditate on how difficult it is to get a job -- any job, not just tenure, but even adjunct. You might be early enough in the field that this is the first time someone warns you. I am not saying this to scare you, but there are literally not enough jobs for most people who enter a PhD. Hundreds of applications per position, for every position. That means, the great likelihood is that a significant portion of those who complete the PhD will not even get the job. They will have done that work only to go into something else, not because they want to but economically they are forced to. This isn't an issue just for "low ranked" programs, but even the top tier. People who get a PhD at University of Michigan (one of the best in the world) had recently applied to 50-60 jobs a year, never yet to get a tenure-track job. The problem has been compounding, because as the number of jobs is not increasing much, the number of PhD conferrals increases quickly. 2. It is not too early to consider which programs you could get into. Ask your academic advisors (philosophy professors), especially someone who recently attained tenure, what kinds of programs you should consider and what your chances are. I would recommend you check Philosophical Gourmet Report's specialized rankings for programs in your area (focus more on which schools are listed, more than just their ranking). Remember to keep track of the philosophers whom you've been studying too -- whose work resonates with you? Where are they teaching? (Some teach at programs that are not on PGR) Even if you don't start filling out the applications, you will want a good list of schools you are considering. You will want to apply to no less than 6 schools, but I recommend applying to at least 12. Many people here will encourage shooting for as much as you can afford (some as high as 20-25 schools); application fees in the US range from $50-125 (40-105 euro), not including GRE transcripts ($25 per school), and official transcripts from your university. Some places have application fee waivers. A good estimate is $100 per school, so $1500 for 15 schools (80 euro each, or 1250 euro for 15 schools). 3. If you get encouragement from your professors and have investigated where you want to study, I encourage you to devote the summer prior to your senior (final) year in college to the application process. You'll want to start thinking about writing samples (your program may have a senior seminar which is oriented around this), taking the GRE or other standardized testing required by the schools (not all require GRE), and asking your professors about writing letters of recommendation. This will be extensive process. Treat it like a summer job, where you are putting in 15-25 hr a week for a few months. So, feel free to postpone some of the actual work until the summer, but feel free to gather info now!
  10. MA program rankings?

    Set some reasonable goals for where you want to study for a PhD, then look at the funded MA programs' placement records. If, say, you want to go to UC Santa Barbara because of [professor x and y] then prioritize the programs that have actually placed there. Hard work, I know. Also, I would give this website some weight as well, even though Leiter doesn't like the competition: I would pay attention to what the data means, and give the interpretations weight commensurate with the reliability of the method that the author makes explicit.
  11. GPA and GRE

    Let's also not take the GRE more seriously than the programs themselves. It doesn't hurt to take a note on a spreadsheet for every program whether they give the GRE weight, and if so in what way (and how much). Ask grad admissions directors.
  12. Advice for Applying: MA or PhD?

    I have the same questions as they do, but otherwise would agree with them. You are wise to think your odds are long in the first place. I got into a PhD program after an MA in theology and an MA in philosophy; I was glad to have the MA in philosophy, personally. I guess it all depends on where you're applying. As long as the PhD programs aren't top 20 PGR, then I would recommend the ratio of PhD:MA be something like 2:1. If you can afford more schools, do it.
  13. How do you all defend your scholarly path to the public?

    Thanks @maxhgns, for a sensible reply for the OP's initial three statements. We need not be defensive when they simply don't understand the profession, let alone for those who simply frame things only in personal or public utility and practical benefit. (Small talk + ignorance) = opportunity for you to share some information about your life and what you value. This is what they are actually going for when they ask these questions. [edit] You may be the only philosopher they ever meet outside of a silly TV show or movie trope. By getting defensive to an inquiry only solidifies that you yourself likely have nothing to offer the public and little to offer relationally. Condescension or dismissiveness only shows that you can't handle such a basic question that most of their peers can.
  14. 2018 Philosophy Applicants, Assemble!

    If you want an insider perspective on WMU, I'm happy to field any questions via PM. Just graduated this April, starting a PhD program this Fall.
  15. Venting Thread

    Idiomatic expression of "unacceptable!" Perhaps Turkish? I dunno.