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Aspiring Applicant

Dear Marcus and others,

I wish you all a happy new year. I would like to ask if the readers who serve on the admission committees at their schools (or are otherwise acquainted with the situation) know or have any guess how applications to PhD programs they have received or expect to receive this year, especially compared to the last year (when the applicant pool was so big) and earlier years (2020, 2019..).

Thank you in advance for responses!

writing writing writing

As a (very) early career person, it would really help me to know how later career people spend (or spent, when they were on the tenure-track) their average week. How much time to you dedicate to writing? How do you make sure you are setting aside the right amount of time for editing / pipeline type work (responding to reviews, getting papers submitted) vs creating type work (developing new projects, drafting new paper sections)? I'm finding it difficult to navigate this and am curious if others have systems that work for him. I expect this varies widely, but it would still be helpful to hear about others' experiences.


Can you open a thread asking for tips/advice regarding best practices for zoo teaching demos for a job interview?

remote on campus

I second anon's request for a thread on zoom teaching demos!



Grad student here. I have a question about disinviting someone from my dissertation committee. Is it 1) possible, 2) acceptable, 3) a bad idea (for strategic/interpersonal/departmental reasons, etc.), or 4) a good idea (given the below)?

The problem I am having is that said committee member does not engage with me AT ALL. This person won't answer emails, including requests for meetings, or give ANY feedback, etc. and is on my committee b/c given their area and my area, it made sense. But I it seems they will not be in a position to recommend me when all is said and done, which is pretty terrifying. And despite my best (and many!) efforts, I feel I have no relationship with them not even a bad one, really, since so unresponsive. So I would like to disinvite them (I don't have a replacement yet), but I assume this is extremely controversial. Thus, seeking advice.

history of philosophy person

Here's a question, quite low-stakes, about something about which I've been curious:

How do we feel about having multiple publications in the same journal?

For instance, there are four major journals specific to my subfield. Of them, one is an absolute pleasure to work with; one has had egregious, well-documented problems with response time (i.e., taking many years); one has lesser issues with response time (i.e., taking many months); one has an acceptance rate of about 2% and hardly seems worth the effort.

Given this situation, sometimes I'm tempted to stop sending to the other three and only send to the 'good' one. Of course, I'm not actually going to do this, but I'm curious whether anyone has thoughts or stories about this subject. In particular, I wonder how multiple publications in the same (good, maybe A- level) journal would look to search committee members.

history of philosophy person again

To amend my last sentence above: I wonder how multiple publications in the same (good, maybe A- level) journal would look to search committee **or tenure committee** members.


I was wondering if it would be possible to also do a thread on tips regarding Zoom job talks? No worries if not though!

conference organizer

Hello! I am helping organize a graduate student conference and we've received a submission from an undergraduate. I can't think of a reason to exclude them from the review process (other than the fact that we are branded as a venue for grad student work), but I'd love to hear if other people have thoughts about the benefits of a grad-student-only conference environment. Is it needlessly elitist of us not to consider their work?


I have a question for journal editors and reviewers. Those journals that have length limits for articles usually make it clear that longer articles have a higher standard for publication. I wonder if this is true even for those journals that do not have length limits for articles. Do editors and reviewers for those journals really treat articles with different lengths equally? Or are longer articles still harder to get published? (I do not know but maybe editors still care about lengths and the number of articles they can include in a single issue? Or reviewers just hate long articles so they might implicitly raise the standard?) Thank you.


I know you guys have done posts on book reviews in the past. However, I've looked through a number of journals and all of them do not accept unsolicited proposals for book reviews. Do you have any advice for how a PhD student is to go about publishing an unsolicited book review in a decent journal?



I have a couple of questions about UK research council funding. Firstly, I hear it is highly competitive, but can't seem to gauge how competitive, at least in comparison to US R1 Grad school admissions. Do people know the sort of success rate for applicants? Also, it seems that you compete against people from other subjects, so how well do philosophers do on average?

Secondly, how valuable is it when applying for jobs? For instance, would it be better to go to Oxbridge or a highly ranked UK institution without funding or a lower PGR ranked or unranked UK institution with UKRI/AHRC funding? And is the perception of it different in the UK/Europe to the US?


Time flies

Do people know when Nous and PPR close submissions, or around when? Trying (and almost certainly failing!) to plan in advance.


Just wanted to echo the question by Time flies - would love to get an answer.


I am ABD. I have recently been diagnosed with PTSD. This wasn’t exactly a shocking diagnosis for me to receive, but something about the isolation during COVID and recently getting my own apartment allowed this issue to bubble to the surface. I feel stuck. I am tempted to go on leave to try and focus on recovery, but I’m worried I won’t come back to my PhD program if I do, and I really really want to finish my dissertation. It’s hard to focus. I am all over the place, emotionally speaking. And I am coming to terms with the fact that I have been using school to smother my trauma— I’ve almost taken that strategy as far as you can take it! Tips? Suggestions? Help? Anyone else managed PTSD while they are working on a dissertation?


What’s the right move when you accept an offer—should you immediately withdraw other applications? Including ones for which you haven’t made the short list? Maybe I’m just paranoid but given Covid uncertainty I’d be hesitant to do so until I sign a contract—is that understandable?


A bit of caution seems totally reasonable; I can't imagine it's incumbent on you to withdraw before you've signed a contract.


I’m sometimes wondering whether my approach to reading papers is not critical and active enough, and I think that many weaknesses in other people’s positions slip my attention. I would be interested to hear about your approaches to reading critically. I’m most interested in how actively you engage with the literature, and whether you follow a more or less strict thought process (and if so, what is it?).
Here is what I usually end up doing when I read philosophy: I read a couple of papers that discuss a certain problem or position. But in doing so, I’m usually not following a certain thought process. For example, I usually wouldn’t reconstruct an argument, check its validity, and reflect carefully on each premise, without first having the intuition that it is fallacious, and I usually don’t actively try to come up with counterexamples to general claims that seem unsuspicious to me. Rather, I read until something strikes me as implausible or fallacious. That is, I wait for an intuition that a claim is false or an argument invalid. I’m sure that I would find more things to criticize if I were to read more actively. But on the other hand, this is extremely time-consuming, and the time I have for research is very limited. So, how do you read critically? Do you have tips on how to read more critically without wasting time?


If one accepts a job offer from a community college, how difficult would it be to make a lateral move out of this position? In other words, imagine I'm on the tenure track at a CC. Would that likely put me out of the running for jobs at four-year universities (even if they're primarily teaching schools)?

Where do I start?

Can anyone recommend tools (ex: a spreadsheet template or app) they have found helpful for keeping track of multiple writing projects? Like most academics, I currently have lots of different, "big" projects, and I find myself spinning wheels going from one to the other trying to figure out what needs to be done next when. I know it helps to break big projects into daily and weekly goals, and I'm wondering if there is a tool that lets you break down several projects and plot them on a calendar, so that I can look and say "ok, tomorrow I need to revise section 2 of the R & R and draft the introduction to ch.3 of my dissertation."


I don't know if it's ok to ask about specific journals here. Please remove this if not.

I was wondering if anyone else has had troubles with Thought recently? My paper has been under review there for 11 months now. The managing editor says it's because they're busy finding a new publisher.


Should we try to publish papers not in our intended AOS and AOC?
Context, as a grad student, we take various classes to fulfil distribution requirements. For one class, the professor recommended that I try to publish the term paper. However, the class and topic lies outside of my intended AOS and AOC. Should I still try to publish it? What are the benefits job market wise, given that it lies outside of my AOS and AOC? Could doing so disbenefit me (e.g. If the only thing I end up publishing by the time I hit the job market is a paper outside of my AOS and AOC)?


Has anyone heard logic based therapy and is it legit?

I saw a friend who had become certified or something on social media and I am somewhat skeptical.


Hey! I'd really appreciate a post that summarizes opportunities / postdocs / fellowships that early career people who already have a TT job can apply for. I often hear from people who spend a year somewhere, but it's often unclear to me how to find out about these opportunities. Examples are fellowships with the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, Visiting Fellowships at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Philosophy of Science, or Harrington Faculty Research Fellowships at UT Austin.


A paper of mine was recently conditionally accepted for publication in a journal. The report states that a conditional acceptance constitutes an acceptance of the paper and that only minor changes (e.g., typographic, bibliographic, cosmetic) are necessary. Where (and how) should this be listed on a CV? Is it OK to list it as a forthcoming publication, if one adds that the acceptance is conditional? Or would it be more appropriate to list the paper as ‘work in progress’?

anon grad

How long should I stay at the APA? I'm an early-stages grad student, presenting a paper early-ish in the conference -- can I come for days 1 and 2 and then just leave? Or is it strange to not stay for the whole multi-day conference? (I don't want to pay for so many days at a hotel!)


anon grad
It is perfectly fine to leave after a few days. It is unreasonable for people to expect any more of you.
Congratulations on getting on the program!

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