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About Coconuts&Chloroform

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  1. Are there any programs that have not cancelled?
  2. It covers your rent and a grocery-store trip or two, but that's about it. It helps. It's still far from a funded MA, though.
  3. Substantive reply right here. Looking on the bright side, I'm at least glad that I've provided a relatively meaningless target for other people to vent their frustrations at. Pile on my post if it makes you feel better. I certainly can't blame you for doing so.
  4. What I'm saying is just that rejection and dream-denial come in degrees. Of course there a people worse off than I am, and I feel for them. Very much (though I'll admit that in the moment I wrote my original post I wasn't thinking about that). That doesn't mean that people who get rejected from some places but accepted to others haven't have certain of their dreams denied, or their dreams denied to a lesser degree, depending on how one wants to formulate it. I think this should be a pretty uncontroversial point. Maybe I can rely on a sports analogy: someone who gets cut from Spring Training has a right to be upset, even though they came very close to playing for a Big-League team, and even though they can probably try again next year. They don't have a right to be as upset as someone who simply doesn't get drafted, or who injures themselves in a career-ending way, but it's still appropriate for them to be upset, even if for a lesser while and to a lesser degree. At this point I'm going to stop responding to objections to what I've said in this thread. Yeah, the post was a dick move, and much of what I said was pretty irrational. It was just heat-of-the-moment venting. Sorry to whomever was upset by it. I've done my best to clarify the parts of it that I think are defensible, but from this point forward I'll just let you guys pile on, if that's what you want to do.
  5. Yeah I agree, probably not the venue for what I said.
  6. Yes, but bear in mind two things: 1) All 20 grand must be paid in the period between the September of your first semester and the January of your second. So, while it is only 5 grand a semester, you do need to have 20 grand in liquidity over a period of about 5 months. 2) This is just the cost of tuition - not the cost of attending Tufts! Medford/Somerville is a pretty expensive area, and you can expect to pay $600-$800 a month on rent just to share a 1 bedroom apartment with roommates. Many students take jobs to supplement their income (TAships pay about $1,000/mo while school is in session).
  7. Imagine making an account just to say this. I'm glad I won't be at your department, either. 1) That's an immensely uncharitable reading of my post (although it was admittedly a screed written in dejection). What I said is that my writing sample probably failed at certain programs because I flouted certain norms. I thought that people would be open to reading something that was written in a less collegiate style, and that maybe some would find it refreshing. I did not claim that I thought people would be impressed by my iconoclastic radicalism or whatever. 2) Throughout your reply you suggest that I am complaining about being accepted. No doubt that would be absurd. But I am not doing that. I am complaining about being rejected. At worst, I am complaining about a state of affairs in which I have been both accepted and rejected. This does not imply that I am complaining about being accepted. This inference is fallacious; I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to come up with a counterexample to this inference-schema. 3) Obviously my post was self-centered and is going to just rub that much more salt in the wounds of people who have been shut out. I didn't mean to do that, of course. I can't edit the post now, so it'll remain as a reflection of how I felt immediately after getting rejected from some of my favorite programs. I'm kind of a hot-blooded personality and I tend to react with strong passions immediately after hearing good or bad news. The internet isn't a great place for people like that when the relevant passions are negative ones. It allows you to express those passions to large numbers of people before the passage of time can intervene and return you to a more rational state. In conclusion I'll just say: rejection sucks for everyone, whether or not you've been rejected to a greater or lesser degree. For the people who have been rejected to a greater degree than I have, I sympathize greatly. Obviously that was never in doubt. But it's entirely appropriate to be pissed about getting rejected even just to a lesser degree. Whether or not my post was a bit much, let's not gatekeep people who have just their dreams denied, whether those be some or all of their dreams.
  8. Tuition remission varies between students, but most students have to pay just under $20,000 ($16,000 in my case), all of which is due during the first year. During the second year no tuition is paid, and each semester thereafter (if you elect to stay longer) costs $800.
  9. Yeah, I'll be happy at UT or WUSTL, but in some sense I just definitively lost a competition in a field about which I care a whole lot. If there were national rankings of philosophy students as there are for golfers or tennis players, it seems that I wouldn't be all that high on the list. That's reason to be upset whether or not I'm happy where I end up. I think UT Austin and WUSTL are fantastic programs, and that they're both under-ranked. Still, if you figure that each Top 10 program will have an incoming cohort of about 5, it's clear that I didn't make the Top 50 rankings this year. Anyone with a competitive bone in their body would be upset by that; so, with respect, I don't think it's that silly to complain about this.
  10. Well, I've officially been rejected from NYU and Columbia. This was a pretty bad applications season. I have three acceptances from my three lowest-ranked schools, but not so much as a waitlist from any of my top 10 schools. I know it silly to complain about this, but given my GRE scores, grades, letters of rec, and pedigree, frankly I expected to do better than this. I'm pretty sure that my writing sample is what sunk me at those programs. During my MA I have become increasingly bored with formulaic collegiate papers, where the introduction consists of some stupid preview of the sections of the paper (in Section 1, I do this, in Section 2, I do that - is there anything more boring and useless to read?), the body of the paper consists of a taxonomy of 25 different interpretations of the thesis to be criticized, every single sentence is either a definition of a claim or some numbered sentence that's a candidate analysandum for some other sentence (does anyone ever really remember why (3) followed from (17) if (42) is true?), etc. I've been trying to write papers that I like to read. That's not to say that I'm abandoning rigor and writing continental papers now or anything, but I want my papers to succeed as works of prose. I don't want them to be a chore to read. However, it seems pretty clear to me (and this is confirmed by feedback that I've received from one program that rejected me) that the style of my paper made it less appealing than other samples this year. So for future applicants: don't write the writing sample that you want to read. Write the writing sample that the adcom will want to read. Don't submit your best work; submit what you think they think will be your best work. Of course this should be the obvious approach, and I'm kicking myself for not taking it. But I had some naive thought that people would be interested in my personality even where it conflicts with what is currently trendy in philosophy. I can't even begin to tell you how upset by all this I am. I had more success in my applications when I applied out of undergrad. I did an MA, and took three years to do so, and during those three years I became jaded with certain aspects of the field in such a way that I'm now less able to give adcoms what they want than I was as an undergrad, because I no longer want what I know they want. When I was fresh out of college I still had the zeal of the newly converted to philosophy, and nothing was cooler to me than writing 'rigorous' papers that aped journal articles I was reading. Now I'm older and philosophy is just my job, and I'm far less convinced that the best way to do philosophy is the way that it's currently done in journals. I should have taken the acceptances that I got back then and allowed myself to become jaded while comfortably funded at a top 10 program, rather than waiting to do even better and letting myself become less zealous about the current state of this discipline. I'll probably end up at UT Austin or WUSTL, both of which are very good programs. In the end I'm sure I'll be happy where I end up, and able to pursue a fine career in philosophy. This is not the end of the world; getting into the #15 ranked program (or whatever UT Austin is) is pretty darn good. But it's upsetting, because I know I could have done better.
  11. I've cancelled all my visits. Even if some programs do not cancel, it simply isn't worth the risk to attend. I'll be doing a lot of emailing in the next few weeks to try and get as much information as I can, in lieu of a visit, before making a decision.
  12. Also haven't heard from any of these programs. I don't have much hope for NYU or CUNY anymore, but it looks like many rejections from Columbia are out. So if, like me, you haven't heard from Columbia, then it could be a (moderately) good sign.
  13. At this point I'm pretty sure that I'll be cancelling all of my visits. It may be a bit tricky, since WUSTL already bought me tickets, but it's the prudent thing to do.
  14. In my view, if a handful of programs are cancelling their visits, then probably many more will, and probably all should. I think I will be cancelling my visits in the coming days.
  15. Not venting, just passing time here: Any historians of modern philosophy have any thoughts on Spinoza's view of the semantics of proper names? In a letter to Simon de Vries, March 1663 (see Spinoza, Ethics, ed. Feldman, Hackett 1992 p. 267), Spinoza offers the following cryptic remarks: Now I'm not entirely sure what to make of this. Prima facie, it seems as though Spinoza is advancing some kind of descriptive theory of names, since he takes care to articulate different descriptions associated with each of the two names. On the other hand, he says that the meaning of 'Jacob' is that same person as the meaning of 'Israel'. Clearly on this view the terms share the same meaning, and their meaning just is their referent - that same person. So what are we to make of Spinoza's theory of proper names, here? Is it a descriptivist theory, or was Spinoza a Millian avant la lettre?
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