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Helen De Cruz
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This story, by Rachel Williams, is simply entitled "A PhD in philosophy was not worth it". The title reflects the contents well. The story's familiar, but that does not make it less sad: Rachel Williams writes about the disillusionment, lost opportunities, low wages, and a profession that looks increasingly hostile... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
This is a guest post by John Protevi, Louisiana State University This post has two sections. In the first, I take a wide view at employment practices in philosophy departments in American higher education. In the second, taking that analysis in hand, I offer some advice to people considering entering... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
This is a guest post by Donovan Schaefer, University of Pennsylvania I’ve always thought writing was strange, and writing a book is the strangest of all. A book project is like building a little planet of words from scratch. It’s disorienting and exhilarating at once. Common sense says that writing... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
This is a guest post by Fiona Ellis, University of Roehampton, London There’s no one way of planning and writing a book (whether philosophy or otherwise), and much of it has to do with temperament. Some people like to map everything out in advance (Iris Murdoch), others make it up... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
This is a guest post by Neil Levy, Senior research fellow at the University of Oxford I’ve published a lot of articles – more than 200. So it seems like I should have some tips worth sharing on how to write them. I’m not sure I do. I thought of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Guest post by Anna Welpinghus, Technical University Dortmund Over the last years, I have occasionally been struggling with writer’s block. It looks like this: I have an unfinished manuscript that I cannot bring myself to complete. When I work on it, I look at one of the many unfinished sections,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Averageness is a statistical concept, but often it becomes a normative one. Once you establish a bell curve, you can start looking for the exceptional and unusual, as for example Galton's quest for "nature's preeminently nobles" in eugenics, and this becomes the new norm. In academia, averageness is bad. We... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Guest post by Carl Sachs, Marymount University My graduate school mentor once said that one’s academic career is shaped like an hour-glass: one’s interest grows increasingly narrow as one progresses through graduate school, then broadens slowly afterwards. (Writing a dissertation is the neck, which is why it is so emotionally... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
This is a guest contribution by Richard Pettigrew, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Bristol for our series How Philosophers Write: Stephen Hawking speculated that every formula he included in A Brief History of Time would cut its readership in half. In the end, he included only one, E... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
I've been teaching a course on experimental philosophy to third-year undergraduates at Oxford Brookes University. The course is a mix of teaching the basics about statistical thinking and using statistical methods, and an introduction to experimental philosophy as an approach to answer philosophical queestions. Of all the courses I am... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
This is the first instalment of our new series How Philosophers Write, a series aimed at demystifying the writing process of how we write publishable works. It is not meant to be universal advice, but rather meant as a series of very personal accounts. Through these accounts, we hope that... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
A guest post by Ian James Kidd, University of Nottingham Some years ago, a then-colleague would occasionally spot me sitting working in a coffee shop and join me to chat. Sometimes, he would ask about whichever paper I was writing, and often offer to take a look. After reading the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
This is a guest post by Kevin Timpe, Jellema Chair of Christian Philosophy at Calvin College My writing a post on how to say ‘no’ is roughly like my writing a post on how to drink less coffee. In some ways, I'm the last person that should do it given... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
This is a guest post by Matt Drabek, which originally appeared here. Source: Dnalor 01 ( Some of you probably know I have some experience with leaving academia. It’s a gradual process. I started having doubts about an academic career around 2010 or 2011. When I went on the job... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
I expect that not many readers of this blog will have heard of Professor Etienne Vermeersch, a philosophy professor who died recently, aged 84. But he was what one would call world-famous in Flanders, the part of Belgium where I grew up and studied as an undergraduate. I took his... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Guest post by Eric Schwizgebel, University of California, Riverside, reprinted from Eric's personal blog the splintered mind. Followers of this blog will recall my post from October 30, where I solicited ideas about a "Kindness Assignment" for my lower-division philosophy class "Evil". The assignment was to perform ninety minutes of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Lots of graduate students and other people on the job market are advised to not be themselves in a job interview. Yourself? God, no. Please. The idea you could be yourself is a symptom of grad student naiveté, so the idea goes, quickly shed once you become more job market... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Guest post by Sara Protasi (Puget Sound) My use of meditation in teaching philosophy has gradually grown out of my own, alas still too sporadic and inconsistent, personal practice. I became acquainted with mindfulness meditation through both yoga and psychological therapy, and through a workshop that I attended as a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Guest post by Nathan Nobis, Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA USA I teach an "Introduction to Philosophical Ethics" course in an interactive, discussion-based and skills-focused manner. The core skills involve trying to figure out whether a reason given in support of some conclusion on a moral issue is a good one... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2019 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
By Ian James Kidd, University of Nottingham In spring 2016, I taught an elective (optional) second-year undergraduate philosophy course at the University of Nottingham, ‘Topics in Asian Philosophy’. Generally, the class has about sixty students, since there’s always great enthusiasm for so-called ‘non-Western’ traditions. Although I’d lectured and led seminars... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2018 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
[UPDATE: comments now open!] By Melissa Shew, Marquette University There are only three requirements for the Curiosity Project. The Curiosity Project MUST: Engage and respond to a philosophical question, sincerely asked and pursued Use individual group members’ gifts and talents Be wildly creative At the beginning of a semester, when... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2018 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
By Jake Wright, Senior Lecturer at the University of Minnesota Rochester In my introduction to philosophy class at the University of Minnesota Rochester, I begin each class with a fairly lengthy session of meditative reflection, based on the medieval monastic practice lectio divina. I’ve spelled the practice out for my... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2018 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Guest post by Eric Steinhart, Professor of Philosophy at William Paterson University I work at a teaching university. It’s a mid-sized state university. Many, many jobs are at schools like mine. And if you want to join our faculty, if you’re applying for a job, I want to know about... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2018 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
By Brendan Larvor, Reader in Philosophy at the University of Hertfordshire I was teaching philosophy of science to second year undergraduates at the University of Hertfordshire. At first, I taught philosophy of science the usual way, with a lecture followed by a seminar. The approach was to illustrate philosophical points... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2018 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Guest post by C. Thi Nguyen is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Utah Valley University. His first book, Games: Agency as Art, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. I try to write exam questions that are funny, startling, and open-ended. My goal is to give students a lovely note to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2018 at The Philosophers' Cocoon