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Marcus Arvan
Tampa, FL
Recent Activity
In the comments section of, "Reader query on presenting to a department on mental illness", the reader who submitted the query suggested it might be helpful to gather a list of potential departmental guidelines or policies regarding mental health. I think it's a great idea, and thought we might attempt... Continue reading
Posted 10 hours ago at The Philosophers' Cocoon
This is the first post in the Cocoon's new Grad-School Toolkit series. As I explained in the series preview, the series was inspired by a reader suggestion that it might be helpful to grad students and grad programs to compile and organize all of the Cocoon's grad-school-related posts in one... Continue reading
Posted 10 hours ago at The Philosophers' Cocoon
The anonymous reader who wrote in soliciting advice on how to talk about depression to their grad department wrote in with a nice suggestion: that it might be helpful to compile a list of posts at the Cocoon that grad students and grad programs might use as a resource to... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at The Philosophers' Cocoon
'[A]lthough people have a certain tendency to ‘stand on principle,’ both in philosophy and in real-life – asserting, for instance, that abortion or torture is ‘right’ or ‘wrong,’ simpliciter, without any willingness to negotiate – Rightness as Fairness holds that an unwillingness to negotiate is itself morally wrong among people... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Now that the signup period for this season's Job-Market Mentoring Program has passed, I wanted to give readers a quick update and the many mentors who volunteered for the program a shout-out of appreciation. So far this season, we have matched 29 mentor-mentee pairs, up from 25 last season. We... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Part 3 of this series focused on the problem of stacking commitments – the tendency for non-dissertation commitments to overwhelm one’s schedule in the final stages of graduate school as one tries to become a viable candidate on the job market. Now’s the time to consider the job market itself... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Last week over at Daily Nous, Justin ran a helpful post soliciting advice for new graduate students. I was thinking it might be helpful to run a similar post here for new faculty. As someone who vividly remembers how challenging it was to transition from grad school to my first... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at The Philosophers' Cocoon
A reader writes in: I finished my Phd in 2015 and decided not to go into academia. While I don't at all currently regret that decision, now that I have recently been able to finally be completely free of depression for the first time since maybe I was a little... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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In my last post, I emphasized the ways in which the dissertation stage differs from other aspects of graduate school. One of the major differences is that the dissertation is a much longer project than anything else you will be required to complete. Given its length, it’s no surprise that... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Sorry for the dearth of posts recently. I'm still away on a much-needed vacation in Greece until the end of the week. Here's a tune. Enjoy! Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In the comments section of our newest "how can we help you?" post, Anonymous PostDoc writes: I have a question/query about a journal submission that is taking a long time.... (let me explain) In June 2016 i submitted a paper to a journal that i will not name (it's in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
I'm leaving for a two-week vacation tomorrow, and probably won't be posting much until I return on August 12th. Because the job-market should be rapidly ramping up soon (some permanent jobs are already being posted on philjobs), I thought it might be good to run a "how can we help... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
A reader writes in: I am a Ph.D. student in a PGR-unranked doctoral program with excellent faculty members from PGR-ranked doctoral programs (e.g. Western Ontario, NYU, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins). I also have excellent philosophers in my dissertation committee. I recently passed my doctoral defense. I am actually glad that... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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What's the best philosophy article you've read recently? Why? Go! :) Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
This is just a quick announcement that the PPE Society has a call for proposals and submissions for its second annual meeting. Having presented at the first annual meeting this year, I can say it is a fantastic conference -- one of the best I've ever been to! Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In the comments section of last week's post, "Structuring unstructured time", UK Reader writes: This is the thing I've struggled most with since moving from a non-academic job into a PhD program. In particular, I find what you describe as 'Commitment. Put deliberate effort into meeting this goal...' incredibly difficult... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
I'm scheduled to teach my first metaphysics & mind course in well over a decade (!) next spring. Suffice it to say, my knowledge of metaphysics and mind textbooks is a bit out of date. Anyone willing to help me out? Because it will be an intro/lower-level course with a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In the comments section of Trevor's recent post, "Dissertation Reflection Series, Part 2: A Different Kind of Project", a reader ("cw") wrote: For me, #1 was the biggest problem. I'm not good with unstructured time. I found myself rushing at the end of each semester to have something to show... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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I had a spirited (and surprisingly contentious!) discussion on social media the other week on journal word-limits. The conversation began with a friend of mine--a well-published and respected philosopher in his AOS--noting that he had to cut down a 16K word article to meet a 7K word-limit. As someone who... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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In the comments section of my recent call for additional mentors for the Cocoon's Job-Market Mentoring Program, Amanda wrote: I applied to over 60 jobs last year, both research and teaching, and very few (maybe 5) asked for research statements. I think that is becoming a thing of the past,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In the first post of this series, I highlighted four factors that made the dissertation stage of graduate school challenging for me. In this post, I focus on how the dissertation differs from other graduate work and why these differences tend to make writing the dissertation more difficult than the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
A reader recently wrote in: Regarding your excellent blog philosophers cocoon, have you ever thought of trying to use it as a way to generate some momentum for the creation of a stable, well-publicised philosophy jobs market wiki? The current one is something of a bust, and its URL has... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Helen and I are happy to report that the Cocoon's Job-Market Mentoring Program has matched about 20 mentors/mentee pairs so far this season. However, we currently face a shortage of suitable mentors for the mentees still have to match. As a result, I'd like to put out another call for... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2017 at The Philosophers' Cocoon