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Marcus Arvan
Tampa, FL
Recent Activity
In my post the other day on Eric McCormack's, "Some Lesser Known Lessons from Academia", I mentioned how in my experience his lesson #3 ("You don’t need to feel like you’re succeeding") is really apt. One of the biggest challenges of academia is that you "fail" far more often than... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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My attention was drawn today (via Daily Nous) to this piece by Daniel McCormack on "some lesser known lessons of academia." In brief, McCormack's lessons are that academia is likely to be a good fit for you only if: You like working on long-term projects. You are good at managing... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In the comments section of our most recent "How can we help you?" post, a Fourth-Year grad student asks: Discussion of the following might be helpful. So far I have taught intro to philosophy for two semesters. I am a fourth-year Ph.D. Candidate at a so-called top 20 program. I... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In the comments section of our newest "How can we help you?" post, a couple of readers asked questions about the 'Two Ticks" policy in the UK, which evidently requires institutions "to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum essential criteria for a job vacancy and consider them on... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In the comments section of our newest "How can we help you?" post, Amanda asks: Here is another simple question that I should probably know the answer to but can't quite figure out by googling. Do most TT professor positions come with a pension? Is this at all common? Since... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In the comments section of our newest "How can we help you?" post, Lauren asks: I have a question as someone going on the job market with a spouse who is (reasonably) flexible about location, as long as it is in a city. We are both American, but are considering... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Over at his blog 'Digressions&Impressions' today, Eric Schliesser writes of his experience reading cover letters on a hiring committee: What I have learned from reading 400 cover letters is how at the start of their careers (most of the applicants fit this category), few people are capable of characterizing their... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
This is just a quick reminder of the May 15th submission deadline for the 5th Annual Philosophers' Cocoon Philosophy Conference at University of Tampa on October 14th-15th, 2017 (for an idea of what past years of the conference have been like see here)! As in the past, the Cocoon conference... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In the comments section of our most recent "How can we help you?" post, a reader by the name of 'Tim' asks: Here's an early career problem that hasn't been discussed much on this blog: how do you deal with the long-distance relationships that often come up because of two-body... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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I hope you all are enjoying Helen's series on the passions of philosophers. I, for one, have found it fascinating (and fun!) to hear how diverse everyone's passions are, and how those passions enrich their lives and in some cases intersect with their philosophical work. Because my own passions have... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In the comments section of our most recent "How can we help you?" post, a reader writes: I am joining a philosophy and religious studies department this Fall as a new TT faculty member. I have been told that the norm for tenure in this department is to write a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
A reader recently wrote in: Hi Marcus - I have a question for a possible post on cocoon. I'd prefer it to be anonymous since I think it reflects poorly on me. Here it is: As an early career philosopher at her first permanent job I am wondering if I... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
It's been a while now since we had our last "how can we help you?" post, so I thought now might be a good time for another post. For those of you unfamiliar with the series, this is a chance for you to post openly or anonymously in the comments... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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Filippo's link may have been satire, but the research here is not. These are among the most replicated findings in the field of Industrial-Organizational Psychology (my spouse is a PhD candidate in the #2 ranked program in North America). Decades of research have consistently found that algorithmic methods of hiring outperform “clinical methods” (i.e. interviews) across just about *every* predicant of job-performance measured. Indeed, these findings have been replicated across a wide variety of fields, including academia. For instance, a 2016 MIT study showed that candidates selected for academic jobs via an algorithmic model had a *30%* higher rate of getting tenure than those selected by “human judgment.” https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/12/20/mit-professors-push-data-based-model-they-say-more-predictive-academics-future This, again, is not an isolated finding. It has been replicated again and again across decades. Here is a passage from an abstract of one of the largest and most famous meta-analyses in the field: “Empirical comparisons of the accuracy of the two methods (136 studies over a wide range of predictands) show that the mechanical method is almost *invariably equal to or superior* to the clinical method: Common antiactuarial arguments are rebutted, possible causes of widespread resistance to the comparative research are offered, and policy implications of the statistical method’s superiority are discussed.” http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/law/2/2/293/ Also, the stuff about Google and Facebook is not a joke. Google, Facebook, NASA, the NSA, etc., spend a ton of money on IO-Psychologists because they methods in that field demonstrably improve hiring outcomes, leading to better employee-job fit, better employee performance and satisfaction, and better employer satisfaction with their hires.
We haven't had Working Paper Group discussion in quite a while, so I am delighted to announce that Heidi Savage (SUNY Geneseo) has submitted a draft of her paper, "What Matters in Survival: Life Trajectories and the Possibility of Virtual Immersion", for open discussion and feedback. Here is the paper's... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In the comments section of my post on job-market bitterness, an anonymous UK grad student voiced some skepticism about the common claim--which I have heard from too many people to keep track of--that one should only risk pursuing a philosophy PhD if "you sincerely could not imagine doing anything else... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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In the comments section of our recent post "(How) do you get feedback?", Amanda writes: I was thinking that maybe you could do a thread on how to get feedback from your advisers or committee members during grad school. From what others have said this seems a common problem in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In the comments section of Andrew Moon's recent post on getting a TT job after 8 years on the market, 'Stuck PhD' wrote: Andrew (and Marcus, and anyone else, who's come out the other side of this journey): Congratulations! Did you have to deal with any internal bitterness after your... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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In the comments section of Andrew Moon's post on getting a TT job after 8 years on the market, there was some interesting discussion of how people get (or don't get!) feedback on their work, situated in a broader context of how sharing unpublished work may undermine anonymyized review (something... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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In the comments section of our most recent "How can we help you?" post, a reader asks: Do job committees give ratemyprofessor.com reviews any weight when assessing applicants? Or, do they just care about formal student evaluations? I ask because my student evaluations are quite good but I just noticed... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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My friend Thomas Metcalf (Spring Hill College) has a nice three-part series on the basics of quantum mechanics and some of their potential philosophical implications up at 1000-Word Philosophy. I very much encourage readers to check it out, as its a very nice introduction to some of the main physical... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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In a groundbreaking article appearing in the Journal of Philosophical Progress, an area philosopher claims to have revolutionized philosophical methods, defending a new "conclusions-first philosophy" otherwise known as "conclusions fundamentalism." The philosopher explained, "All I have really done is take two influential methodological advances to their inevitable logical conclusion." When... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
By Andrew Moon (Research Fellow, Notre Dame) - starting TT post at Virginia Commonwealth University in Fall 2017 [This blog post is adapted from an e-mail update I wrote to some people who were supporting me while I was on the job market this year. Some people suggested that it... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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