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I know it may not be possible for some folks, but I wish that those with tenure might name these top twenty programs that clearly should be avoided at all costs.

Mark Silcox

I actually don't have any major complaints about the program as a whole, in spite of their odd perspective on students' career prospects. Such attitudes were far more common back in the late '90s amongst elder scholars who were otherwise largely sensible. And my committee problems were the exception to the rule, there.

Sherlock Holmes

All you have to do is visit his website and see where he got his PhD.

Sine nomine

I think it would be fruitful to have a conversation about dissertation topics and how not only AOS but fit or centrality within an AOS has a strong material effect on one's job prospects.

Elisa Freschi

Thank you, Helen, very nice idea! And thanks to Mark Silcox for taking the time to tell us about his story not taking himself too seriously.


What amazes me is that he got a VAP before finishing his PhD. Is that possible today? I haven't heard of anyone I know doing this.

Mark Silcox

It certainly seems quite a bit more rare now. Mine was the result of a sort of informal "pipelne" between my grad institution and the southern school, which had a very high turnover of instructional staff.


I worry that to get into philosophy requires connections. Is being a good philosopher enough?

recent grad


Being a super great philosopher is probably sufficient for employment. But being a good philosopher is no longer sufficient. You need something else, e.g. luck, connections, etc.


Define 'super great'.

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