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Recent Analytic PhD

If you're working on theoretical philosophy, I think the only honest position is that it will have no, or negligible, impact. To pretend otherwise seems crass and profoundly anti-philosophical. If you can't get funded for such work for its own sake, you should probably just try to fund it yourself (perhaps taking a non-academic job), or not do it.


Impact vastly prefers the more practical disciplines. Philosophers who work in core areas have to kind of fake it to a degree. It's not that philosophical views don't affect people; it's that these effects are hard to measure or see in action, and are not always the logical consequences of the views in question. It's obvious what the impact of cancer research might be; it's a lot less obvious what research into the nature of properties or time or... might be. However, it would be a mistake to think that because the impact isn't obvious that the research isn't worth doing or has no impact. Our philosophical perspectives provide the foundations of our society, our thought, and our culture. Without these foundations, society and culture erode over time. Yes, societies even have views on time (and other abstract things): how we think about it, what it means to us, how we interact with it. Philosophers help build and improve our societal foundations by thinking about these issues. Better foundations mean clearer and stronger thinking, less confusion, and better science too.

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