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I have a question about referring. What are people’s thoughts about putting your verdict into your report for the author? E.g. putting “I am recommending revise & resubmit …” or “I am recommending rejection because …” somewhere near the beginning. Do you think it is best practice to always do this, or perhaps to refrain from it? The editor of course already knows the referee’s verdict, but I’m asking about a referee communicating that verdict directly to the author. As an author I sometimes have to read the tea leaves about whether a referee thought a paper should be revised or just rejected. I’d be interested to hear what authors and referees think, but also editors as well. Maybe there's a reason that info shouldn't always be included?

Editorial boards?

I have a general question about joining editorial boards/working as a journal editor while one is in a postdoc or a non-TT position. In short, is it worth it? Does having something like that on your CV look pretty good, enough to offset the responsibilities that come with it? Or is it generally better to wait until one is securely employed (and maybe tenured) before taking on that level of service to the profession?
And here's another more narrow question: if you - a non-TT philosopher - do interdisciplinary work, and you get invited to join an editorial board for a (reputable) journal in another field, should you do it?

LFG Philosophy

Are there online communities of professional philosophers participating in reading groups or workshopping their papers? Most of my colleagues from graduate school have left the profession, and so philosophy has become a rather lonely undertaking for me.

Happy Where I Am

I have a question about "staleness" and the job market.

I just defended my dissertation. Last year I got a position as the Logic/Philosophy (and Latin) teacher at a middle/high school. My PhD was a major factor in my being hired, outweighing my lack of an Ed degree or significant K-12 experience. So I'm employed as a philosopher in a FT academic position, but not in a traditional way.

I love my job and at this point I feel like I could stay here forever. But I don't want to assume that's what's going to happen, and I could see myself wanting more time for research someday, so I continue to watch the market.

So suppose for the next several years I teach middle/high school philosophy, publish 1-2 articles a year (given I'm teaching 6-8 classes at a time and have a family), adjunct here and there, and then apply for TT positions. Would I be seen by committees as an early/mid-career philosopher making a lateral or upward move, or a "stale" PhD grad who never "made it"? Or how do I prepare and present myself so as to appear (as I actually would be) the former rather than the latter?

(FWIW The program here is pretty rigorous. Students take a year of informal logic and two years of formal logic in middle school, so once they reach high school they're better prepared for a philosophy class than the vast majority of college students I've taught.)


I have a question that is likely to be relevant to quite a few current postdocs, but not only to them.

I find myself in a position where I have a reasonably short-term postdoctoral research position which, while it lasts, has a decent amount of money allocated specifically for research event expenses. I had intended to put on a fairly big conference on the topic of my research project which would have cost a fair amount, but since this has been moved online due to the pandemic the funds are going unused (and the participants are no longer getting treated to a nice meal or two and a stay in an interesting place).

I wonder if anyone has any recommendations for fun and/or interesting supplements to online conferences that it would be worth spending some money on, and that participants would be likely to appreciate?

Timmy J

Folks have asked about jobs in various European places before and the discussions are usually interesting. But on a quick search of the site I don’t see much about working in Italy. If anyone knows anything I’d love to hear it. Specific questions to get the ball rolling: how does the hiring process work? Are there job ads or do you just gotta have your ear to the ground? What’s pay like? What’s work like? Are professors respected in Italy? Stuff like that.

Defund the APA

I've just signed up for a completely virtual meeting of the APA, to the tune of $190. I am completely regretting the fact that I agreed to be involved in one of the meetings, and have promised myself to always say 'no' to any future requests to be involved in the APA meeting in any respect.

Why do organizations and people continue to submit and go to this expensive meeting? Hasn't it outlived its usefulness? There are so many organizations and meetings without exorbitant fees going on throughout the year. $190 for a completely virtual meeting is highway robbery.

So this is more a plea then a question. With all this talk of justice in the profession, we've allowed this organization to prey upon philosophers even while itself offering less and less of value. However much people like seeing their grad school buddies, it's not worth the ridiculous fees. And even if someone has a great expense account (I'm not one of those people) is this the best way to spend it? Can't we, as a profession, move away from this hotel-conference model? This model has outgrown its usefulness, and has always been a burden on those without large expense accounts or disposable income. Can we adopt more collaborative, diffuse, and equitable methods of networking and meeting? Any thoughts/ideas?


Is there a penalty for returning an R&R a few days late? It is due imminently. I've already asked for a (brief, roughly 3 week) extension once and don't want to ask again. But I haven't been able to work much on it and at this point I feel like few extra days will make a real difference to the quality of the revised manuscript I submit. Thanks everyone.


I have a really small question about the sample syllabi one includes in a teaching portfoli. How full should these syllabi be? M full syllabi include all sorts of info about grading, course expectations, description, info about plagiarism and writing help resources, etc. Am I right to assume potential employers don't want to wade through all of this, and so I should strip down the versions in my teaching portfolio to the essentials (maybe reading list, course description...what else)? If so, what should I include and not? Thanks so much


I have a rather silly question. Every once in a while, I hear that a paper has become quite popular prior to publication: the manuscript has been circulated and the work has been extensively discussed. I get that a paper becoming so popular requires a nice combination of luck and prestige in addition to a very nice paper. However, from the popular-prior-to-publication phenomenon I infer that there must be a tradition, in some philosophy circles at least, to circulate papers rather widely before publication. It just occurred to me that no one has ever sent me an unpublished work that is not the sender's own. So my question is, what are the norms for circulating papers where you work? Under what circumstances have others sent you a third person's unpublished papers? Under what circumstances would you be willing to have yours circulated, and how would you go about that?


How should one think about soft job market years while on a postdoc? Should you take one every year, or relax if you've got a few years to go? How time consuming are they, and what other factors should be considered?


Is it ever feasible to try and get a job at a university that isn't hiring (sounds silly I know)? For example, suppose I really want to live in location y, but the only university in y is not hiring. Is it a total waste of time to approach the university and try to sell myself anyway? Has anyone ever gotten a job this way? I know this happens all the time in the private/non-academic world. I'm wondering if it ever happens in the academic world.


Hi, I'm a Ph.D. student in science and about to get my Ph.D. degree this year (so I won't just quit). But I am also interested in some lifetime metaphysical and epistemological questions and want to contribute to them. (It sounds arrogant, but let's firstly assume I have the potential.)
However, my goal is basically impossible without strict philosophical training, which I don't have. As far as I consider, there are two possible ways.
1) I spend another 4-5 years on another graduate program in philosophy;
2) Collaborate with philosophers working on relevant topics and contribute with my scientific skills primarily and get trained.

For the first option, since I don't have any academic background in philosophy, I don't know how hard it is to get a position. And if I do so, I nearly give up my potential scientific career, which I would rather not.

For the second option, I have no idea how to find philosophers that want to work with scientists.

Here, I ask for your consideration of the two possibilities. How difficult are they? How can I manage them? Or any other possibility you could suggest?

And after all, how should I evaluate whether I have the potential to make a contribution?

Thanks a lot in advance!

Losing Motivation

I have a question about motivation.

Some of you (those who run the Cocoon) have mentioned that you were on the market for years before getting your TT position. During that time, how did you maintain the motivation to continue publishing, continue working, despite multiple rejections.

For me, I'm struggling with finishing my book, completing some of my submissions because of the relentless pile-on of rejections, and the way that staying on the market via adjuncting might not be sustainable for me.

So, is there any advice for folks in my position?

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