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Marcus Arvan
Tampa, FL
Recent Activity
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In the first four entries in this series, I shared some of the obstacles I've seen people commonly run into when it comes to being productive and meeting deadlines--many of which I struggled with in the past myself--along with some strategies I've found helpful for overcoming those obstacles. In today's... Continue reading
Posted 7 hours ago at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In the comments section of our most recent "how can we help you?" thread, SSW writes: As an undergraduate student, I wonder what is the best way to choose a dissertation topic? Since my department does not provide many courses on the topic I am interested in, I have to... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In our most recent "how can we help you?" thread, a reader writes in: I've just been offered a VAP at Institution X, where a decision is expected of me within about two weeks. However, I recently interviewed for a VAP at Institution Y, where I was told that they'd... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at The Philosophers' Cocoon
A reader writes in: Would it be possible to open a topic on your blog about advices for those of us who start to do reviews for the first time? I am in general on the other side of the publishing process: I submit articles that are often rejected (and... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In our most recent "how can we help you?" thread, EL.DEE.ESS writes: I have a question about the journal review process. I have run into the following problem in submitting to top tier journals, namely, that the journal gives a rejection without providing comments. It seems clear that it is... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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In our most recent "how can we help you?" thread, Kent writes: I'm a current MA student about to visit PhD programs, and I've realized that I have no idea what to say in meetings with potential faculty advisors. I've thought about trying to read some of their work beforehand,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In our most recent "how can we help you?" thread, Anon writes, I would love some advice (and maybe even some sample language!) about how to negotiate effectively. Some background info: I'm a junior woman, and the institution that made me the (as yet unofficial) offer is unionized, which might... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In past years, I reported the distribution of academic jobs in philosophy by AOS. This year, the Aero Data Lab has done one better, providing a detailed report of jobs by AOS from 2013-2018. The graph they provide is very striking, and here are some of the main takeaways: The... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In our most recent “how can we help you?” thread, Buscando writes: Suppose there are two job candidates with roughly equal qualifications in terms of publications, teaching experience, Ph.D. granting institution prestige or rank and letters. But, they differ in terms of their career-level or status. Candidate X is a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In a piece at Aeon linked to at Daily Nous, philosopher of science Jacob Stegenga (University of Cambridge) contends that "we simply have no good evidence that antidepressants help sufferers to improve." I don't think the evidence available supports Stegenga's argument, and I made a comment to that effect in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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In our most recent "how can we help you?" thread, NotaFlightRisk writes: I have a question about tailoring cover letters. I'd like to convey in my cover letter that I'm not a flight risk but I'm unsure of the best way (or anyway besides outright saying this) to do that.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Should early career philosophers devote time and energy to writing journal articles on figures, topics, or debates that are moribund, marginal, or otherwise unlikely to gain interest among other philosophers? Obviously, this turns on complicated metaphilosophical and professional issues too large for a blog post, so let me offer an... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Two readers wrote in this week about using "old" teaching letters on the market. One reader writes: I've noticed that a lot of schools lately require a rec letter that addresses teaching. What do people do about these? I've been in the same job long enough that the people who've... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In our newest "how can we help you?" thread, anonymoose writes: I have a practical question about interviews. It seems like there are two kinds of interviews--(a) those where the committee asks follow up questions, and (b) those where they don't. I assume (b) happens because of HR regulations, but... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In our newest "how can we help you?" thread, Worried philosopher writes, I am applying for a research position (in ethics) outside Academia. I want to remain active as a researcher (go to conferences, give talks, publish, review papers, etc.). I feel like I'll remain much more active with a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
I am delighted to report that Ian James Kidd (University of Nottingham) is joining the Cocoon as a regular contributor. Ian works on a variety of interesting topics in epistemology, philosophy of illness, Asian philosophy, philosophy of education, philosophy of science, and exemplarism. He also teaches a wide variety of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
A few colleagues in the area and I are beginning a new group for Tampa Bay area philosophers (mirror site here). Our hope is to create more of a philosophical community across universities in the area--by creating a group to socialize, talk shop, and share work in progress. Our plan... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Update: comments open now! In our newest "how can we help you?" post, anon writes: Is there a meaningful difference between going on the job market as a lecturer and a visiting assistant professor or are both viewed equally? Obviously, the institution where you're employed and other details have to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In our newest "how can we help you?" thread, Caroline writes: A few years ago, before I secured a permanent position, I applied for a tenure-track position at the institution where I was on a year-to-year fixed-term contract. Department members seemed favorably disposed to my teaching, service, and research. When... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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If you're having trouble getting things done, one of the most natural things to do is to work longer and harder. I've seen many people do this: people who work day and night on things (papers, lectures, grading, etc.), seven days a week, and still say, "There's just not enough... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In our newest "how can we help you?" thread, Anon writes: How short is too short for a book? To make it more concrete, I have a book idea, and am thinking it'd end up being around 50,000 words. I know that's quite short for a philosophy book, but short... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In our newest "how can we help you?" thread, Anon writes: (Part of the reason I haven't been super alarmed by this issue is that the paper in question is a short side project sort of thing rather than my main research project, which has been doing better than this... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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When it comes to getting things done--that is, to finishing things like dissertations, getting papers out for review, etc.--I've noticed that two particular strategies often seem to get people in trouble. The first is what I will call the 'more immediate things first' strategy. Very roughly, the person who adopts... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
In our new "how can we help you?" thread, Mercado writes: I wonder what folks think about the following publishing issue. I just received a second R&R from journal x regarding a particular paper. This second set of referee comments is mixed. One referee’s comments are on the mark and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
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