OnlyATautology

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About OnlyATautology

  • Rank
    Decaf
  • Birthday 01/01/1867

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Upper Egypt, Nile River (Actually West/East Coast)
  • Interests
    AOI: Metaphysics, Epistemology,

    Other derivative interests: Mind, Language, Greek Philosophy
  • Application Season
    Not Applicable
  • Program
    Philosophy

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159 profile views
  1. MA, PHD School Targets and Expectations (Needing Advice)

    Thanks for the great information, everything I've heard on these boards about the Terminal MA's seems to be positive and likely exactly what I'm looking for. I'm particularly happy that there seems to be a fairly healthy communal relationship in these ostensible programs. I have questions additionally regarding specific programs (of which I've found passing, but incomplete information on these boards) It seems evident that the Top M.A's are (as follows) Tufts - (although funding makes this application questionable) Brandeis - similar w/tufts unfortunately GSU UW-M NIU VT Houston I am surely going to apply to the above schools, my direct questions concern the veritably of applying to and even attending a slightly less well-regarding terminal M.A Specifically I am referring to WMU (although I've seen good things here) and UMSL, (as well as others that I've heard of here and on leiters blog; SFSU, Colorado State, Cal-State LA, etc etc). Some of the placements are impressive, and some seemingly less so. My other questions concerns those who have attended funded Canadian M.A programs, notably (Are these worthwhile applications, etc in the line with the consistently well-spoken of American M.A's above?) UToronto UWO SFU UBC Thanks for the help, I'm becoming more optimistic in general after looking through the M.A's like GSU which really seem quite worthwhile.
  2. Hi Gradcafe, I'm curious about several central things regarding the general process of applications and the sort of expectations that I should have going in ~ I'm currently a senior at a large, mid-tier state school (Non-pgr ranked) which has a I believe, an intensely mediocre Philosophy program. We have an M.A degree. and no PHD, although the M.A. program here seems to be somewhat of a mirage if we can actually call it a graduate degree. I'm curious specifically about where exactly I should expect targeting my applications: A few details about my (potential) application: Tentatively my interest are: Metaphysics, Formal Epistemology, (and maybe language) ~ I have a 3.85 Overall GPA, 3.9 Within the Major Relevant Phil courses taken and respective grades: (Intro: A) (Ancient:B) (Modern A) (Philosophy of Mind A) (Decision Theory A) (Phenomenology A) (Ethics A) (Metaphysics I A) (Symbolic Logic A* - Note below) (Logic II - A) (Philosophy of Science A) (Semantics & Pragmatics- Cross Ling course A) (Currently Enrolled Self-study w/advisor: Analytic Philosophy Frege -> Quine) (Spring Semester Self-Study Course w/advisor: Wittgenstein) *I took Symbolic Logic and accidentally Failed via an unusual situation (of which I unfortunately had to take an F for). I took the course over and completed the course with a 98% ~I took the GRE this summer and scored a 170V/169Q/5.5AW ~I have a non-major but fairly lengthy math background on my transcript; (Calc 1-3, Linear, Discrete, Analysis I, Abstract Algebra, Stats I and Probability Theory, Intro Data Science) ~Currently I am preparing my writing sample(s). It will be likely on Quines work, although I have a year until my applications are to be sent in. I've parolled these boards a bit and gotten a decent impression of the landscape that I am considering entering. With all the reading that I've done I am still a bit hazy about many things, including those that seem to have come to the forefront of my attention lately. 1. The school you attended for Undergrad has an outsize effect on your application. I've been recently mulling a bit of regret in not attending the ivy league schools I was accepted to out of high school. I have no reason to rationally believe that my current application will stick out with forgettable reccomendations from a forgettable school plastering the front of my application. It seems evident to me as I read more and more that these reccomendations are a key component of distinguished applications. 2. How much will the one F on my transcript hurt me? It seems a minor blip on the radar but I am nonetheless subtly concerned. After evaluating the field it seems obvious that I have essentially little-no chance at any decent PHD programs at the outset (at best a very minimal <5% one). I've figured that shooting for the MA programs is what I need to look at. So a few general questions in that regard: What type of applications are representative of the MA programs of which I've heard of (Tufts, Brandeis, Houston, UM-W, NIU, GSU, VT, others that I'm not aware of?) That is what is the prototypical accepted sketch of a student in the aforementioned programs? And therefore, Is my application such that I have a reasonable chance of being accepted with funding? * Also for those who have experience with MA programs: What is the level of tutelage from faculty members? Will I see individual attention on my interests or is the atmosphere a sort of more typical academic situation where there is occasional conversation and acquantaince level interaction. I ask as my undergraduate experience has been quite awful in this regarding. Faculty members are too busy or focused on their own projects for any students to develop a meaningful work relationship with them. I admit being both frustrated and somewhat dumbfounded by the fact that it seems often to me that faculty members don't really exist to help students at all, and I am holding out home that at the graduate level this would be in a different order. Actually at times I've wondered why I was even paying to be enrolled at a school which gave me little benefit outside of nice library facilities and a gym with a pool. eh. Moving forward, Also regarding M.A Programs: I am likely going to work full-time in software for a year during my intermediary year (or perhaps 2) before my application. I am partially willing to pay out of pocket for a bit of my M.A. if it were really to mean that the academic dream of getting into a top PHD program were to be in the cards. Are there any non-funded M.A programs which have solid faculties and may be worth paying for (granted, not at private school tuition level likely) that would give me the sort of placement possibilities I'm looking for? As a coda to all this: It seems to me increasingly obvious that there exists a pool of applicants with GPA 3.5+, GRE's 330+ wherein many ostensibly smart and capable academics meet the whirlpool of despair and rejection to the probabilities that are representative of humanities phd programs these days. I'm interested in seeing the statistitics on pgr-ranked undergraduate candidates and their success relative to the many people on these boards and out there just like me. Thanks in advance ~
  3. 2018 Philosophy Applicants, Assemble!

    It's a good question, I suppose at first glance it might be depend on exactly what you mean by "terrible" verbal score. Philosophy majors are well known for stellar verbal scores on the GRE, and many departments (very informally at that) assume at least a 160+ on the verbal sections. In the sense that assumptions like this are so standard that significantly lower GRE scores from the average individual might functino as a signal that would be less than desirable for the applicant. With this unsorted background I would reccomend studying properly for the verbal section (take a solid month) just to ensure a sufficient score. There are various schools of thought and seemingly varying degrees of confidence on the following questions "to what extent the GRE functions as a determiner", whether individual departments have biases for or against the test (I think there may be a high-degree of subjectivity on this matter. Some faculty members seem to care quite a bit about it and some seem to ignore it entirely). With this understood ensuring at least a 160 or more ideally 165+ on the verbal section is really an insurance policy, particularly when you have no formal background in philosophy. Do be aware however that there is a great degree of ambiguity on the importance of the GRE at large. The more important part if your application is the writing sample by a country mile, but the GRE isn't something to be ignored
  4. 2018 Philosophy Applicants, Assemble!

    Yes the above commenter is likely correct; if you have a high gpa from a PGR Top-5 school (a target school, more or less for PHD programs) in Math/Physics it puts you into quite a nice little niche as an applicant. If Philosophy of Science (Physics) is your interest then I think not-having an undergrad background in philosophy will only be a minor dent in your application to any M.A. program. The schools you mentioned are great places to start, and if your submitted paper/GRE's are as good as they likely will be, I think your chance of not being accepted into one is probably fairly low; actually many programs look for applicants like you. I might check out a place like Pitt HPS or Carnegie Mellon at the PHD level-many applicants in their doctorate programs have little formal training in philosophy but are accepted with STEM backgrounds as a consequence of academic merit. I really don't think it would be too unlikely to see an acceptance (at the phd level) to the aforementioned if your Writing sample and SOP is up to snuff. You'll even see that a decent number of philosophy faculty members who specialize in the areas concerning scientific sub fields or logic often do not even have PHD's in Philosophy, but have an M.A in Philosophy, etc. It's not uncommon to fill yourself in informally on technical philosophy while obtaining a more specialized degree in say Physics. As is obvious, I highly recommend giving PHD programs a shot-many faculty members look for applicants who come from top-ranked schools and seem to have innate merit. In the meantime I would become familiar with the literature on your subfield to bolster your background and maybe improve the quality of such writing sample. Good luck
  5. Applying to New school(Philosophy)

    I'll add to this with some experience from advisors at my school at the moment; First off the poster above is absolutely correct. Even if you have significant personal funding of your own to pay for your education, you would likely find the experience (at the New School) more than a bit lackluster. As much for the size and impersonality of the program as anything else. In the context of your hopefuly Ph.D. in the field this is I think for most the worst possible world of social existence. The best Ph.D. experiences will be met by personal relationships and 1-1 relationships with professors and the other graduate students. I can't see this happening there, unfortunately. The only upside of the New School of course being New York City generally (unless you are of the pastoral orientation). I've spoken with individuals within my school who are very knowledgeable on Kierkegard and Continental philosophy generally, and the general message has been that many of the religious schools as mentioned by Max are going to likely be the best experience. Upenn, Chicago & Northwestern are sort of exceptions that are typically within the normal east-coast ivy or close to ivy continuum. (As I am sure you are aware the ivy league schools + many of the other well known schools are either Primarily Analytic or nearly entirely Analytic. This includes UMich, MIT, Stanford, UC-Berkeley, UCLA, Rutgers, UToronto, Pitt, US, Oxford, Cambridge., etc). The one notable exception is Columbia. I personally grew up in Chestnut Hill (in Newton) for many years in my childhood, and I can tell you that the area is wonderful. As far as I am concerned, Boston is one of the best cities in the world. Boston College is a great school and seems to me to be ideal for your interests. The other schools mentioned above are also worth deep consideration and further research in the liu of contacting professors and graduate students in the departments themselves. I would do your best to be friendly and somewhat outward with the people within the field you are interested in studying. It will certainly help with applications in the future if they have perhaps heard your name or even are familiar with you before they review the application for acceptance. Good Luck with your applications
  6. A New Sophomore Seeks Advice!

    I certainly disagree with the above poster in suggeting that sophomore year is too early to consider graduate program applications; A cursory look at the doctorate students populating top 15 programs or the like suggests quite a bit about what relative interests they have, and what one may need to prepare for in their competition as an application. Many, if not most doctorate students have majors or minors in tangentially related fields; Linguistics, Mathematics, Literature, Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Classics, etc. It will be likely important, if not fundamentally important to prepare yourself as completely as possible if you have a genuine desire and actual chance to attend a respectable and established doctorate program in the field. Moreover, coming from a non-english speaking country wherein the faculty may be lesser known puts you in the position of needing to prove yourself. A large part of the reason top schools are represented to such a high degree in the top programs has to do with the perceived in-equities of education in the field itself. Coming from a more mid-tier program myself, I can say that the perception is justified in the main. You may want to consider comparing your philosophy coursework with the syllabi of the highly ranked programs, and considering supplementing work where you can. I have done so and am about to graduate (before beginning preparation for phd applications) and am certainly a far better applicant for having done so. I will also say that the attitude on these boards that there is a moderate or even large degree of luck in doctorate applications strikes me as rather naive. Philosophy doctorate programs are arguably among the most competitive of all fields and as such attract applicants with exceptional backgrounds. If you are not one yourself, or exist as a genuine commodity there is no reason to expect that the phd programs are going to want you in their cohort. If you really are interested in attending a solid graduate program in Philosophy you should do everything and anything you can do to move yourself in that direction.