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i often see philosophers thank people for helpful comments on earlier drafts of a published paper. And they are usually thanking the 'big names' in the field. My question is, how do I get these people, the 'big names' in my field, to read drafts of my papers? I assume most of this happens at conferences. But how do I figure out which conferences these people attend so that I can also attend and hopefully get them to comment? Are there certain conferences in a given sub-discipline that most people working in that sub-discipline are likely to attend? How do I find out which conferences those are?


I struck out on the job market this year, no surprise. I haven't even been able to secure adjuncting gigs for the fall. And I have not had any luck finding employment outside of the faculty track, either. If I go back on the market, how bad will it look that I have no affiliation and no employment for the upcoming academic year? Will that lower my chances even further?


I'm 5 years post-PhD and have been publishing at a modest rate since then (about 1 article per year), and I'm starting to find it a bit onerous to keep track of my own research program. Now when I'm editing new drafts I find myself always uncovering thorny issues with subtle details of how the new paper fits in with my previous ones. I would love to hear if others have found effective ways to manage and streamline this part of the late-early-career writing process. I feel like I'm always having "Oh shit, I can't say that because..." moments fairly late in the game and then scrambling for a solution. I work in a so-called "core" analytic subfield, in case that's relevant.

Current PhD Student

I have my first conference presentation coming up with a dedicated commentator. Any tips for navigating the session will be very much appreciated! What is the general aim of a commentary? What do I say after the commentator finishes? What are some strategies for navigating the Q&A? (Do people like presenting papers? I've been regretting submitting this one for months!)


One thing I didn't really see on the wonderful compendium compiled above is something about giving teaching demos. Has there been a discussion of this on this site?

First-time author

I recently had my first journal article accepted for publication. When can I put it on Philpapers and my personal website? Do I have to wait for official approval of the de-anonymized version from the journal? Or can I do so immediately?

Aus Grad

I'm thinking about applying for a Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (if you don't know about it see here: https://www.advance-he.ac.uk/fellowship/fellowship) and for that I need to engage with the pedagogical literature. I've found plenty of literature on teaching at university in general. But I wonder if anyone here has recommendations for pedagogical literature that is specifically relevant to philosophy (or better yet, specifically addressed to philosophy lecturers).

UK Grad

For those who want to try and publish their dissertation as a monograph: what is the best time to start getting in touch with publishers? Once the thesis is starting to take shape, or when it is more or less finished/submitted, or only after the dissertation has passed the defence?

On the one hand, it seems that earlier = better, if only because the same time can otherwise be spent trying to publish individual chapters. On the other hand, the defence itself might provide valuable feedback, and publishers might not want to take a gamble on a dissertation that has not even passed yet!

Relatedly, suppose ons plans to revise their dissertation to become more like a monograph, rather than a dissertation (i.e. include a gentler introduction, but leave out long literature reviews): should one do this *before* submitting the manuscript to a publisher, or is it fine to submit the dissertation 'as is' but with a (detailed) note in what ways one intends to change things? (I am thinking here of the initial 'proposal' stage, not the later 'review' stage, for which it seems sensible to submit an as-final-as-possible version).

Thanks for everyone's answers!

grateful for this blog

First, for some context, I recently accepted a job teaching philosophy (along with a few other subjects in the humanities) in a private high school.

Lately I've been considering submitting a few papers I've been working on to journals and conferences. In the process, however, I've been confronted with the question of what to list as my affiliation. Since finishing grad school, I've mostly been using "no affiliation" or "independent philosopher" for this kind of thing. Continuing to use that wouldn't exactly seem accurate now, since I'm now employed at a school. The only apparent alternative, I suppose, is using my new high school as an affiliation--but something about that makes me uneasy, too. Perhaps it's simply the fact that I've never seen anyone do this; to the extent that I can remember philosophers' listed affiliations, they've always been a college or university. Part of me wonders whether the very meaning that most people give to "affiliation" in this context restricts the word to institutions of higher education, such that listing a high school as one's affiliation would be considered a bit like listing, say, Costco (assuming one worked there), or a given elementary school, etc.

If I'm to be honest with myself, I suppose I also sense that there might be a certain stigma to listing a high school as one's affiliation--that others might sense that one isn't a "real" philosopher, that one's work isn't to be taken as seriously, etc. Perhaps that's what's ultimately making me feel uneasy (though arguably I shouldn't be bothered by others' thoughts in this way).

What I wanted to ask, then, was whether anyone has any thoughts on what I should list as my affiliation going forward.

grateful for this blog

Apologies for the multiple comments, but something just occurred to me that I felt I should clarify. In including the note about "a given elementary school," I didn't mean any disrespect to those (philosophers or otherwise) who work in elementary schools. The thought was simply that (I suspect) listing an elementary school as one's academic affiliation in a journal or conference submission would likely be met with a certain perplexity, and I suspect that the same would hold true for listing a high school (though perhaps not to the same extent).


I have a question about acquiring a teaching reference letter. I am a junior TT faculty member, looking to switch to another institution. My last teaching letter was acquired when I was teaching in grad school. However, I am more than several years out now, and I am not comfortable asking any member of my department for a teaching letter for another job (for obvious reasons). How problematic is it to use an outdated teaching letter? Finally, all of my current letters do address teaching in some capacity or another, would it be OK (given my circumstances) to not submit a teaching reference for a job that technically requires one? Could one address this in a cover letter?


Hi Marcus
I have a question about the process of applying for becoming a visiting student in another university especially when you are in the dissertation phase. I am currently in a PhD program of one of the US universities and I am wondering how can I be a visiting student in another university (in the US) for awhile.


I have questions about writing papers. Specifically:

how do I finish them?

does everyone else find them as difficult to finish as I do?

It has been five years since my Phd and have managed to publish some stuff that I am happy with. I have never found starting writing particularly onerous, and generally enjoying getting the first 80% down. But, I always find the last 20% –actually getting the thing into a submittable state takes me an enormous amount of time.

Right now, I have a more than 80% of a paper finished –but it has been at this stage for the last month despite me working on it pretty much every day.

I find that a paragraph that I need to fix/alter slightly/rewrite will lead to me needing to fix/alter/slightly/rewrite another part of the paper. And so on...

So, I guess a couple of things could be happening:

1. Many people go through something like this and it is just a normal part of finishing papers.

2. I am doing something wrong. perhaps I need to get ideas more clear in my head before I start writing?

many thanks


I'm another unusual applicant to PhD programs, and I'm hoping for some advice on how to proceed. I have a PhD in History from Cambridge, with several prestigious scholarships. I also have one BA in Sociology (UCSC), another in History (UCR), a masters in medieval history (Cambridge), and another masters in urban and regional planning (Virginia). I also worked for a while in digital humanities and in cancer research (medical abstracting). I gave up on academia because History just didn't make me passionate enough, and I felt I would get backed into a temporal corner. I'm a broader thinker and needed something that makes my sense of wonder come alive. I now know that philosophy is what does that. I might seem like a perennial student, but the truth is, I've always sought out philosophical issues in each degree, and am currently writing a book that touches on philosophical topics in many ways. Writing this book is actually what got me looking into academic philosophy in the first place.

I want to dive into a PhD in philosophy now, and pursue research (and teaching, if I'm lucky) in the field. But how do I proceed with getting enough official philosophy background and letters of recommendation to be admitted? I have never taken a class in philosophy (but a lot of social theory, and a lot of independent reading). I have maxed out all student loan possibilities, so can't do a third BA or MA. What are my chances of being admitted straight to philosophy programs with my existing profile? Since I gave up on academia after my last PhD, I also haven't been in touch with anyone who might be a letter writer. I'm not sure what they'd think of me asking for one at this point. Any advice? Much appreciated.

First Day Jitters

I recently was fortunate enough to land an amazing job that I've very excited about. Especially given the current market situation, I feel very lucky. But I also feel more nervous than I ever felt on the job market. It's not really concerns about teaching or publishing (well, at least not beyond the general anxiety I imagine everyone experiences about those things). I'm more worried that I'll say something wrong and all my new colleagues will start to dislike me. Honestly, it feels a lot closer to how I felt on the first day of kindergarten than it does anything else. I'm hoping the feeling will get better with time, but I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to make the transition to my new department smooth and how to be less nervous talking to people?


I am wondering what philosophy books people read in their spare time "for fun" (or, at least not for research). Most of what I read in philosophy are related to my research or teaching. In my spare time, most of what I read are outside of philosophy, such as fictions or news articles. I imagine there are philosophy books that are inspiring while not too technical. I can read them in my spare time, may or may not dive deep into them, but will learn something new and interesting. Do people have recommendations? I hope the question makes sense.

W. P.

Is there any conventional wisdom about where on a CV to list summer schools one participated in and/or presented at?

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