Jump to content

Continental Philosophy: Stony Brook, Emory, or Penn State?


Recommended Posts

Hey guys I’m looking into these programs for my philosophy PhD and wanted to hear if you all have any thoughts or experiences with these schools. My intererts lie in 19th and 20th century continental philosophy, psychoanalysis, Marxism, critical theory, philosophy of race, and German idealism. I know it’s ultimately my decision, but your feedback is appreciated, especially if you have attended or have experience with these schools. :) Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you accepted at all these places?

Honestly you can't really go wrong at any of these places. I have a friend who is at Emory now. He does Lacan mostly. They have great funding, and Atlanta seems like a cool city. They also have George Yancy for phil. of race. I don't really like Yancy, but if that is your thing he might be a good fit. I know a guy at PSU. He seems to like the program, but he says that there isn't a whole lot of interest in the history of philosophy among the grad students.   

I was waitlisted at Stony Brook. Their department seems ok, not really a good fit for me though.

Emory or PSU are the two best options. I think PSU has the better placement rate, but living in State College PA sounds awful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it were me, I would go to the place with the lowest assistantship demands, highest pay, and best late-stage program benefits (like extra fellowship years). So, I think that’s most likely Emory.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd say Emory is best if you vibe with pluralism or if you consider psychoanalysis to be one of your top interests (Noëlle McAfee is there, and she directs the Psychoanalytic Studies certificate program, which you can do in tandem with your PhD in philosophy; Rocio Zambrana does work in Marxism, critical theory, and Hegel). That said, by my and my mentors' assessment, they lean *heavily* toward American pragmatism, so if that ain't your cup of tea, you might look elsewhere. But I do second what @Olórin said -- they really give their grad students a lot of incredible benefits (e.g., $31,000 stipend ? ). Emory was my top choice, and I have similar interests to you. 

Stony Brook and PSU are also both good options (Penn esp. for philosophy of race), I applied to both and was rejected, but I didn't see myself as a particularly good fit at these departments. I have heard of some infighting at PSU though. 

Echoing @PolPhil, University of Chicago would also be a great destination and I would also suggest Northwestern (both schools are PGR-ranked, so if you find that important, there ya go). Chicago also seems like a really cool city in which to study philosophy, e.g. the Chicago-Area Consortium in German Philosophy. I can't imagine you could go wrong with University of Toronto either (e.g., they have Rebecca Comay and a good amount of other scholars working in the continental tradition). I think a main draw--at least for me--about these programs in particular is that they really give you an opportunity to do philosophy in both the analytic and continental traditions. 

Obviously if you've been accepted to the three programs listed, my last paragraph doesn't really matter all that much, but ?‍♂️  

Edited by somethingwitty
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

It depends if you are applying or have been accepted to those programs. I would apply to more programs than just three (and at least a few M.A. programs). In my experience thus far, the programs that the hardcore SPEP people recommend seem to exclude or downplay programs that are - in my experience - pretty good programs for students interested in continental thought (Irvine, Northwestern, etc.). For what it's worth, I've taken courses on Foucault, Kant, and Husserl at an M.A. program that is supposedly "analytic" and some of the strongest students in the program have "pluralist" research interests. I don't think the analytic-continental divide is as strong as it once was, and I have talked about this quite a lot with a recent UC Irvine PhD. I think many in the younger generation feel intellectually deprived if they never read the philosophers that are cited in other departments (History, English, etc.), and yet it is also strange not to have read any Churchland, Dennett, Kripke, etc. If there is a philosopher at a school you like, you ought to ask them about it.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use