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To the poster,
I am little perplexed. It does not sound like you are facing dilemma. You seem to know your choices: get a job at a research institution OR leave professional philosophy. These choices fit your values (including your lack of interest in teaching). All that is fine. I see no reason to fret. I guess it can be somewhat stressful that others - your peers - do not understand your situation.

Probably Leaving

Maybe I could have been more clear. That's basically where I'm at. Some of my reasons for writing this are to talk about some of these things more openly, and maybe help people on both sides understand and/or feel a bit better.

Part of the problem, and I'm not nearly the first to mention it, is the way the system is set up.


Leaving ...
What do you mean by "the way the system is set up"?
I think your thinking about your situation is quite sensible. The pity is when people do not have a clear sense of their values, and then they flounder around in a PhD programme too long, often never finishing.

Probably Leaving

Thanks, I agree.

RE: "the system" - the expectation that we move around and/or adjunct while on the market; that people coming out of top ten institutions are primarily researchers and the rest of us teachers. I know I'm generalizing, and realize that some of this is inevitable, but that doesn't mean it's not unfortunate.


Hi Probably,
Indeed, I do not think it is reasonable to expect a research job - a job at a top 50 program even - unless you went to a top 25 program. And most of these jobs are going to go to those who went to top 15 programs. That is the reality.
I have been at a teaching college for years now. I enjoy the work, but I truly enjoy teaching. Yes I hate grading, and yes I do not like disciplining students, etc. But I find it exciting sharing our discipline with college age students. That is a very nice population to work with. But these are my values.


I got my PhD in June 2014 with three papers published, 2 top 20. I now have 10 papers published, 6 top 20. I'm not saying I'm amazing. I'm not. What I'm saying is that THIS was not enough to get a job, not even a 1 year job. That's how bad it's gotten out there, especially for my demographic group apparently. I'm just relying on all the recent data coming out.

I know young philosophers with mind blowing publication records, MIND BLOWING!!!, and prestige too, who can't get jobs.

This is anecdotal evidence. There is better data available which matches quite well with my experiences. Anyway in sum, I'd say leaving the profession is probably the right move.


I agree with perplexed. You seem to have a good game plan: try to get a research job in a desirable location, and be ready to leave academia if that doesn't happen. (and accept the odds of leaving are thereby high). Yes, it sucks that so many in philosophy do not understand your preferences and treat leaving the academy as some type of failing. I wish the professional norms were different, but alas, they are not. Just like anything else in life, do what is best not what will make you popular. I think things will work out for you.

As for many people not seeing persons from non-top schools as researchers, yes, that also sucks. Again, I do not see that unfortunate reality changing. Don't let it mess with you.

Probably Leaving

Thanks for the support, readers!

Pendaran, that's some of the worst anecdotal evidence I've heard in a while. Crazy. Good luck.

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