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My advice: avoid MWF classes whenever possible!

Recent grad

In my own case, it's very important not to do professional philosophy 12 months of the year. For two to three months a year I do not touch philosophy. I know not everyone is in a position to do this, but I think any time away helps.


Recent grad: I can't imagine that. If I go 2 to 3 WEEKS a year without doing philosophy that is much higher than average.

Recent grad

It will depend on people's circumstances. I'm well over the pace of research required for tenure at my institution. I'm still partly riding the wave of my dissertation, so I'm not having to come up with entirely new research. I don't have kids. I get stuff done during the semester. Also, I need time off to improve my work (I am prone to tunnel vision).I'm curious: what do you find incredible about it?

Marcus Arvan

Recent grad: I don't find what you do incredible.

At some point I may need to try something like that--as I expect part of my sense of burnout when I wrote this post came from not taking enough time off this summer (good news as a side-note: the long weekend did me wonders!).

But I will say that if I took 2-3 months off each year, I probably wouldn't get any real research done (as the summer months are basically when I get all of my serious research done).

Recent grad


I didn't mean to suggest that you were incredulous. I was responding to Amanda but forgot to address her (sorry, Amanda).

Have you read David McNaughton's piece "Why is so much of philosophy so tedious?"?. If not, I highly recommend it. One of its lessons that I return to again and again is the idea that much of philosophy has life as its subject matter and that philosophers will tend to have nothing to say about life is they're always doing philosophy. One benefit of taking this to heart, at least in my experience, is that I have more to say, both in research and in the classroom, when I just don't do philosophy for a while.


Recent grad if it works for you that's great. I guess I just find it incredible from the perspective that I would feel guilty for doing that. (yes I fully admit that might not be rational) And since I moved institutions, the tenure requirements are much harder. I probably look fine on paper, but I am someone who gets anxious about this sort of thing. I also think it speaks to what a different sort of career being an academic amounts to, because in the US most people are lucky to get 3 weeks off a year.

Marcus Arvan

Recent grad: Thanks for drawing my attention to McNaughton's piece. Although I haven't read it yet, the line of thought you mention from it is one I have been long sympathetic with!

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