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Helen De Cruz
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This year, I developed a course in experimental philosophy for third-year students at Oxford Brookes. Classes have now ended, and I am getting the first large end-of-term essays in, and it is looking promising so far. In this post, I want to explain how I taught experimental philosophy and how... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
I am inviting philosophers of all academic ranks who teach undergraduate courses in ethics, political philosophy, epistemology, philosophy of mind and philosophy of language to complete a survey to study diversity in philosophy syllabi. There has recently been a lot of discussion on diversity in philosophy syllabi, which is broadly... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Months, what now seems aeons ago, a FB friend asked what we would rather have: a world of Clinton/Brexit, or a world of Trump/Remain. I could not imagine at the time that I would live in that brutal reversal of Leibniz, the world where both Trump and Brexit materialized. The... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
By Helen De Cruz For several months, I've been bothered by the narrative about how Trump support and the vote in the UK to leave the EU was fuelled by the concerns of a disillusioned white working class, who feel left behind in an increasingly globalized world. In these narratives,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
By Helen De Cruz Much has been written about Richard Swinburne's recent SCP keynote talk, among others excellent posts by Eric Steinhart, Eric Schliesser, J Edward Hackett and Clayton Littlejohn. I am not going to reiterate the points made in these posts, but I would like to dwell on a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
I received the following request from a Cocoon Reader, and thought it would be a good idea to throw it in the group! "I am on a search committee this year. I (and at least most) on the search committee are really committed to increasing our attractiveness and odds for... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Last semester, I taught introduction ethics for the first time. I introduced plenty of interaction in the classroom with focused small discussion groups. Overall, I was satisfied with how it went but there was one big disappointment: I had hoped to make this course more diverse, but I did not... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
A while back, I have done a series of interviews with philosophers who work outside of academia. I am currently building a website about careers for philosophers, specifically tailored to philosophy students. My institution will host and build the site, and we hope it will help our students, but we... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
I'm organizing a short story competition for philosophical fiction, funded by a grant from the American Philosophical Association's Berry Fund for Public philosophy. The aim of this competition is to encourage philosophers to use fiction to express their philosophical ideas. Some philosophical ideas as better expressed in a story than... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
An anonymous Cocoon reader asks the following: I’m a postdoc so I do not have a permanent or tenure-track job yet, and I am wondering about publication strategies. I’ve noticed that there are some "hot topics" in philosophy that seem to get a lot of airplay in general high-prestige philosophy... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In the article Getting out of a hole, the pseudonymous blogger Acclimatrix writes about the challenges of being in a low point in their pre-tenure life. One particular bit caught my attention The hardest part about being in a hole is that you feel like you, really need a “win”... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Hi Marcus - thank you very much for raising these concerns. It's important to get more junior people in here, to talk about the challenges of the job market. As for the second horn of the trilemma: While I agree about the dangers of blogging about the challenges in my current stage of career, I still think there is value in this, and that some of the challenges are faced with junior people. Most job market candidates hope to get a permanent job some day, so these things impact them too. But ultimately, we need more early-career people to keep the finger on the pulse.
Many thanks to Helen for inviting me to contribute to this series. I am assistant professor at Mount Holyoke College in Western Massachusetts, which is a small, liberal arts college for women. Career path. I have been at MHC since 2012. Before that, I was a post doc at Amherst... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Procrastination usually does not encumber my work, but when I had to grad 93 intro to ethics exams and an equal number of final-term essays, it was becoming a problem. I want to do justice to the students, and not read too many essays/exams a day but all I seemed... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
This Real Jobs in Philosophy post comes with an opportunity to become my colleague by getting a real tenure-track job like mine! More information is at the end of this post. Career Path In my first year at Harvard, my chemistry grades fell from an A first semester to a... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In recent years, it has become painfully clear that most non-surgical interventions against being overweight/obese are ineffective. Extensive clinical trials show that the vast majority of people who undertake to lose weight initially lose substantial amounts, but they gain it back again (and some more) within three to five years.... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2016 at Philosophical Percolations
I'd like to draw Philosophers' Cocoon readers' attention to this compelling personal story by Elisa Caldarola, an Italian philosopher who has relocated several times in pursuit of her dream to become a professional analytic philosopher working in aesthetics: She tackles several issues that are familiar to European (non-UK) philosophy... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
I've worked for several years in the UK now, and from conversations I've had with UK academics (particularly philosophers), I found the following as a typical career trajectory for recent PhDs. I'm not saying this is the only path to a permanent job, but I've heard many UK lecturers describe... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
By Liz Goodnick I’d like to thank Helen De Cruz for inviting me to participate in this series. I will continue to (roughly) follow the pattern of previous posts in the series. Career Path I earned my PhD from the University of Michigan in 2010, after starting the program in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Career Path I am Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Humanities and Philosophy Departments at Saddleback College. Two years ago, I was granted tenure. I never thought I’d get here. In 1988, when I started studying Philosophy at Purchase College, my interests were interdisciplinary. After completing my B.A. in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
If you are reading this blogpost, chances are you have relocated recently for your academic position. Many of us have relocated several times in pursuit of a permanent (tenure-track or equivalent) academic job. This frequent relocation has large financial costs - with employers providing limited (in the best case scenario)... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Along with other people who work in experimental philosophy, I think the time is ripe for experimental philosophy to have its own journal. X-phi should of course still be published in mainstream journals, which is its main venue today, but a specialist journal would greatly benefit the visibility of experimental... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
I get a lot of referee requests. I accept what I believe is a fair number (maybe about 10-12 a year). Lately I have revised my refereeing practice to be less micromanaging and briefer, also to be more efficient with my time. I do not think reports of 3000 words for an 8000 word paper are ultimately helpful for the author, and they are a huge time sink for me. So I currently write referee reports that are about a page, and never more than 2 pages (about 500-1000 words) long, also if I recommend revisions. They are shorter if I recommend rejection, especially if the paper is of very poor quality. I begin by saying what I think is good about the paper, and then briefly review the worries I have about it. I try to balance being honest and being useful: if a paper is poorly written, the author has to know this or else they would be sending around a paper forever that is rejected on those grounds. If it misses discussion of key portions of the literature, I give a few examples but I do not think it is my task to help the author to all the sources they miss. If there are flaws in the argument, I point them out. I try to restrict myself to no more than 3 big comments and a couple of smaller comments.
Helen De Cruz graciously offered me the opportunity to contribute to this series as a contingent faculty member. I want to commend her and the other Cocooners for including VAPs in this, since fixed-term appointments are the “real job” reality for a HUGE portion of folks working in our field.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
The Cocoon is foremost a forum for early-career philosophers, but I have decided to put together some advice for mid-career academics. This is partly because I am in this situation (I am now senior lecturer, which is the equivalent of an associate professor), after a long period of temporary positions.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon