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T. Parent

Matt, this is awesome, thanks! And thanks too to Berit (assuming she reads the blog). We now have *six* different research strategies:

(1) workmanship philosophy (in grad school we called this "workerbee philosophy")
(2) paradigm busting
(3) debate framing (for reference works only?)
(4) revival
(5) redeployment
(6) unification

I might add something like "de-unification," where views that often go together are argued to be incompatible. I think of Stich arguing that content externalism precludes folk-psychological explanation.

Like Marcus, I am most attracted to (2), but I suspect it is indeed harder for junior faculty to publish this type of thing. I thus feel a pressure to do more of (1), which is not as rewarding. (This work tends to seem less important and/or less intellectually stimulating.)

Often, it's even less rewarding to do (4) or (5); it feels too much like mere "filling in logical space." (There are exceptions however.) Yet here too, it seems easier to publish...

Are these impressions accurate?

Marcus Arvan

Matt: I agree with Ted. Thanks for this -- it is awesome! And thanks to Berit for agreeing to take part.

Matt DeStefano

Ted: I'm mostly in line with your impressions, although I can't speak to how accurate they might be. I actually enjoy writing (5) quite a bit, as sometimes I think it can yield pretty interesting papers. I think that (3) could perhaps be extended beyond reference works, as arguably Gettier-type revolutions could still be classified under "debate-framing". Of course, most papers don't fit neatly into any one category and could easily fit into a couple.

Marcus: No problem! I'm grateful that Brit took the time to write such detailed responses - it was very informative.

Moti Mizrahi

Great post, Matt. Very useful. And thanks to Brit, too.

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