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Marcus Arvan
Tampa, FL
Recent Activity
Because I will be traveling abroad for a conference, comments and posts this week may be a bit slow to appear. Still, I hope to get a few new posts up and will approve comments at the earliest opportunity. In the meantime, I thought it might be good to run... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at The Philosophers' Cocoon
UPDATED Now that it's summer, I finally have some time to read some new things! So I thought it might be fun (and productive) for us to share reading suggestions. Have you read any papers or books that you think are especially worth reading? Here's a bunch of papers I've... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at The Philosophers' Cocoon
This is just a quick note that my new paper, 'Mental Time-Travel, Semantic Flexibility, and A.I. Ethics' is now out. Here is the abstract: This article argues that existing approaches to programming ethical AI fail to resolve a serious moral-semantic trilemma, generating interpretations of ethical requirements that are either too... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at The Philosophers' Cocoon
A reader wrote in yesterday: I’m trying to mentor a former student who has an upcoming campus visit at a SLAC. This student has been asked to give a job talk, the parameters of which seem a little unusual. The search committee has said that it wants to hear about... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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I'm at a bit of a crossroads as a teacher, and want to see what you all think. Here's the story in a nutshell. I've historically had really good student evaluations, well above my university averages and usually accompanied by very positive written comments. I also had a number of... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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As a candidate, so many things about the academic job-market seemed hopelessly opaque to me. What were search committees looking for? How did they read and evaluate dossiers? How did they decide who to interview, invite to campus, or hire? I've tried to shed some light on these things so... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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Nathan Nobis (Morehouse College) asked that I post a call for essays for 1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology, a project he is helping coordinate. Here's Nathan's call: I'm hoping that some of the people involved in the Cocoon would be interested in developing something excellent for this page since it... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2018 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Last week, I shared mentor feedback from this past year's iteration of the Cocoon's job-market mentoring program. In today's post, I am going to share feedback from this year's mentees. Helen and I hope that sharing this feedback will encourage more people to sign up for this year's program, which... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2018 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
UPDATED 5/11 - 5:40pm In this series' post on cover letters, there was some discussion of whether to include a 'Works in Progress' section on one's CV in, which is apparently something people are routinely advised to do. In rough outline, my experience--which another search committee member echoed--is that Work... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2018 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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I have talked about teaching statements and teaching portfolios several times in two previous series. I still stand by the things I wrote there, particularly about how important it is for teaching statements to use concrete examples of teaching practices rather than broad generalizations and emotive language. However, my recent... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2018 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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The past two years, Helen De Cruz (Oxford Brookes) and I have run the Cocoon's Job Market Mentoring Project, a program designed to provide job-market mentoring to all those in need (regardless of background) who cannot utilize the Mentoring Program for Women in Philosophy. This year our program provided mentors... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2018 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Long-time readers of the Cocoon may recall that I tend to share music I like every summer. Now that my semester's over, it's that time again. Hope you all had a great school year and enjoy your break! :) Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2018 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Thus far in this series I focused on number of general issues that in my experience on the hiring side of things can make a real difference in candidate competitiveness: fit, originality, staleness, career stage, choice of research project(s), teaching experience, and online presence. Then, in my last post, I... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2018 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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This is just a quick reminder that the submission deadline for the 6th Annual Philosophers' Cocoon Philosophy Conference, is just a month away. The conference will be held at University of Tampa on Saturday October 13th-Sunday October 14th, 2018. If you're curious about what the conference has been like in... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2018 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
UPDATED 4/30 - 7:15pm Thus far in this series I've relayed some of my experience on how search-committees (at least at teaching schools like mine) evaluate candidates from afar: in terms of fit, originality, time on the market, career-stage, project choices, teaching experience, and online presence. As the comments section... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2018 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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I had two separate conversations about online behavior recently with people who have served on search committees. The first person asked me whether it is ethical for people on search committees to google job-candidates to see if their online behavior (e.g. on facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.) raises any "red flags."... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2018 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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This is just a quick note that the new Westworld and Philosophy book by Wiley-Blackwell is now available. Here's the abstract for my contribution, "Humans and Hosts in Westworld: What's the Difference?": This chapter argues there are many hints in the dialogue, plot, and physics of the first season of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2018 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
I'm happy to announce that Rögnvaldur ('Valdi') Ingthorsson (Lund University) has joined the blog as our newest contributor. Valdi is a Researcher in Philosophy at Lund University, and is currently temporary senior lecturer at Linköping University. He specializes in philosophy of time and causation, and has published in other areas... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2018 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
I had a conversation recently with a friend who served on their first search committee. One of the things they said they found most surprising about the experience--and which they never would have really thought much about as a job-candidate--is the role that 'horse-trading' can play. This person said that... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2018 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In my post, "Two Enlightening Job-Market Conversations", I paraphrased the following remark from a friend of mine who has been on a hiring committee at a small teaching-focused institution: Many candidates only or primarily have experience as TA's or maybe one or two solo-taught courses, which is totally insufficient for... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2018 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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An anonymous reader writes in: I'm wondering if you're willing to do posts on teaching specific philosophical topics. I ask because I have real difficulty teaching utilitarianism. This isn't merely because I think it's false. I can motivate and defend views I think are false, and do it well. Rather,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2018 at The Philosophers' Cocoon