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Marcus_Aurelius last won the day on August 11 2019

Marcus_Aurelius had the most liked content!


About Marcus_Aurelius

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    Espresso Shot

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  • Interests
    Ancient Philosophy, Normative Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Modern Philosophy
  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    Ancient Philosophy Ph.D.

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  1. I generally assumed that bibliography wasn't included in length (unless otherwise specified) but notes were included. Others may have different experience, though.
  2. Hi! There were so many positives that I was wondering how the negatives could compare 😛 In all seriousness, you seem fine. Re: writing sample, philosophy of addiction is a rather hot topic right now from what I've seen, so that topic seems like it could be a strength, especially if you're able to engage with recent literature (it seems to often be raised re: weakness of will, as well as generally in ethics and legal and political philosophy). Although it's possible some committees would be turned off, I rather doubt the vast majority will be, as long as the work is of philosophical quality. I'd recommend including no autobiographical details in the writing sample; in your statement of purpose you can touch on your personal experience. Certainly you seem well positioned for MAs. PhDs might be more difficult because of the general competitiveness and perhaps the letter writers. Finally, the obligatory warning that admissions are extremely competitive, you should really deeply consider whether you want to be doing this (especially this year when admissions are going to be extra-brutal), and admissions results are not necessarily a reflection on you. That being said, your strategy of applying to a variety of programs sounds wise, and, if you don't get into a PhD program you like but do get into an MA with good funding, you'll hopefully face a better admissions year if you do go for PhD admissions again down the road. EDIT: Not sure why you say German might be a weakness? Seems like it can only be a strength. Philosophy admissions don't generally require language skills, except in specific subfields like Ancient, so any language skills are usually a plus (albeit a very minor one).
  3. Agreed with Losebeforeapply's advice, and I'll add that the approach they outline works even if there aren't paper(s) that defend the specific conjunction of claims. As long as each of the claims separately is attractive and has defenders, then it's reasonable that there'll be some people who want to hold both claims (assuming there's no conflict between them, of course). I'd also generally recommend that the papers in defending the claim(s) should be in footnotes, so you can reserve the main body text for motivating a little why the views are plausible.
  4. I edited my sample to fit the length requirement for each program (the "full" version was about 17.5 pages, so couple programs involved cutting 2.5ish pages and a couple involved adding 2.5ish pages, of material that I had previously cut for space). I have no inside info here, and it presumably varies so much based on who's reading the sample, but maxhgns' advice seems sound.
  5. Yes, I expect other programs to follow suit. Just as importantly for applicants, many (if not most) programs that do admit new folks will admit fewer than usual. It will be a rough year for applicants. I agree with maxhgns' point.
  6. To be fair, people in PhD programs sometimes stop at an MA.
  7. When I applied, my main advisor was an older professor who wasn't good with technology. He asked the department administrator to upload letters for him. Is something like that an option for you, where your advisor could send their letter to a staff member in the dept. who could upload to more sites?
  8. I applied to 13. Given that I was applying for Ancient programs specifically, it was the right number (a program weaker than those in Ancient wouldn't be particularly helpful for a specialist in that subfield). If your interests are such that most/more strong programs would be a good fit, go for it, as platonetsocrate and PolPhil mention. As they note as well, involve your advisors in the decision.
  9. In admissions, it seems to make little sense to focus on hot fields, unless one's interests won't be palatable to major programs (but then in that case the program probably isn't a good fit). When choosing a dissertation topic, seems to make sense to pick a hotter topic over a cooler topic ceteris paribus, but only if the hotter topic is also something only really likes.
  10. Yes, good point, and I also should've specified that I was thinking about asking current students, not necessarily faculty.
  11. I'll briefly echo what others have said. At least in my program, several international students intend to spend summers and sometimes winter break abroad with family and that's been welcome, and after classwork even more common (esp. those with partners elsewhere). But as noted above some supervisors are less understanding. Definitely a question to ask at campus visits after being admitted!
  12. Hi Vasileios, it sounds like you've had an interesting life! I think a lot of the qualifications you mentioned are going to be secondary to writing sample and letters of recommendation, so it's tough to judge your chances without knowing about those. I t's worth nothing that, fairly or not, some (especially top) schools might be unwilling to fund someone middle-aged. But there are probably plenty of programs that are good fits.
  13. It looks abundantly clear that next year (and probably future years) will be significantly more difficult for applicants. The question is how much more difficult. Most schools will probably admit fewer and some might admit no one. And many schools (including mine) this year, as Thylacine have noted, aren't admitting anyone off the waitlist this year.
  14. Much of the guidance in this thread is about writing samples:
  15. I can't speak to GSU, but I can speak very highly of Juan and Allison Piñeros Glasscock!
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