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02/11/2022

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Michel

I've been wondering what's up with The Monist for a few years now. It used to have a list on one of its sites of all the themes it was planning to run for a while in advance. I haven't been able to find that list on either the OUP site or themonist.com for years, however. It was never super easy to find (it was hidden under a weird header), but it looks like it's just gone now.

What happened? Is the information available anywhere at all, or do they perhaps only advertise one issue at a time via PhilEvents now?

I'll just also note that, unfortunately, at least two members of the editorial board died some time ago (March 2019 and June 2021). They're still listed on both sites, however, which I'm afraid doesn't inspire much confidence...

Anon

Hi! I would love a post asking / discussing how often it actually happens that search committees go back to people from their long list after not inviting them for fly outs. Often, search committee members let you know that they can't fly you out at the moment, but they might get back to your file later depending on how the search develops. Does this ever happen?

columbo

If you get an R&R from a journal, but you don't have time in the near future to do the revisions, are you at liberty to send the paper elsewhere as is? If it gets accepted there, then great; but if it doesn't, then you can do the revisions and send it back to the first journal. Put alternatively, does the time between receiving the R&R and submitting the revised version all count as "under review" time?

Arthur

(I asked this on the previous thread and got a v helpful answer from Conrad, but if there's space on the blog I'd be so curious in the input from others. No worries if not though and thanks for everything anyway!)

When you accept an informal job offer, is the done thing to immediately withdraw yourself from other active searches? Or should you wait until signing a contract? Maybe I’m just paranoid but especially given Covid uncertainty I’m hesitant to do so until I sign a contract, but I don't know if that's kosher. (And, if and when you should withdraw, should you only withdraw from searches for which you've made a further round? Or should you contact hiring committees from which you just haven't heard anything yet?

Postdoc Prep

I've read a lot of (helpful!) advice about making the most out of grad school and a variety of job opportunities. I'm wondering if there's been a thread on how to make the most out of a post-doc? Post-docs seem to me super liminal and precarious, especially since one likely has to immediately go back on the market after starting (unless one has the luxury/credentials to be very confident of her success the next go round).

What do successful postdocs look like? What should those starting a postdoc in the fall try to do while there? (other than find less precarious employment). All tips and insights from all perspectives are welcome, including what (if anything) those on search committees like to see from applicants who are currently postdocs.

gradstudent

What are the ethics of publishing a paper/idea that originated from someone else, given that they consent?

Suppose I came up with a paper for class X. The paper would contribute positively to the debate, and so there are good reasons (independent of the benefits to whoever is the author) for the paper to be out there. However, I don't want to publish the paper because I'm worried it might affect my career (e.g. it defends a political issue like abortion, or it's on a religious topic, or it takes a controversial stance on gender which could result in backlash, etc.). Suppose my friend/classmate/spouse, however, thinks the idea is great and would benefit from publishing it (e.g. they are applying to religious schools who appreciate a conservative stance on political issues).

In short, we think it is good for the community if the paper is published. It dis-benefits me to publish it, but benefits my friend. Given this, is it permissible to give the paper to my friend and for my friend to publish it?

We have two main ethical worries. One worry is that it is objectionable because it is originally my work and my idea. Contra this worry, however, it seems permissible to give my property to others. So, if I consent to giving the idea/paper, then the idea/paper should belong to my friend, who can then use it as his/her own property.

Another worry is that since the main bulk of the work is done by me, it is unfair that my friend benefits. Contra this worry, however, it is not unfair to me since I consent and perhaps I also benefit in other ways (e.g. I get to see the idea out there). In addition, the friend would also have to revise it (especially if major revisions are required after comments from reviewers), and so the friend still contributes.

What are people's thoughts on this?

Unsure

Though I take it to be frowned upon, I get the sense from graduate students that it's very common for some senior faculty members to ask students to write their own letters of recommendation, and then edit them. I'm curious if admission committees ever feel like it is obvious that an applicant has written their own letter. Is it unethical to do so? Or are letters so 'inflated' anyways that this isn't a major concern for applicants or committees?

FC

Anyone tried ORCID? Is it helpful in philosophy?

anon

Let's say you currently have a fairly stable NTT position at a reputable institution. Doesn't pay amazing but you get to teach a wide variety of classes in a traditional in-person format and there is no research expectation; however being in this position requires you to be in a long distance relationship.

Let's also say you've been offered a TT position at a community college but there is very little traditional in person teaching but you might be able to stop being in a long distance relationship and move somewhere together.
Pays better, etc but you have serious concerns about all the non-traditional teaching.

Thoughts?

newly appointed

I'm looking for input & shared experiences on the following R&R situation.

Got an R&R a couple months back which I've revised and am ready to resubmit. It's for a journal with no word limit. Still, the revised version is now 3,000 words longer than the original. But, 2,000 of those words belong to a section developed exclusively to address the complaint of the more negative review which was a BIG complaint. Here's an analogy that explains what I mean by BIG.

Imagine you write a paper on a topic in moral psychology, say blame. Then the negative reviewer says, "You can't talk about blame without talking about how it relates to X issue in moral metaphysics (e.g. realism about moral properties)." That's what I am dealing with here.

As the writer, a natural thought is: "This isn't a paper about moral metaphysics; it's a paper about moral psychology. Would that I could just do the response work in a footnote that notes connections but is direct about this paper's frame. But obviously this person thinks you can't do one without the other, so I better please them, and not by just writing a footnote."

I suppose one response to my situation is that my response doesn't have to be 2,000 words. Sure. And I'm trying to cut it. But given the nature of their issue, it seems they were asking that quite a lot get done. So yeah, looking for advice.

Thanks!

Ready to dive into the job market again?

When should I start applying for jobs again?

I'm about to start a fixed term teaching position. I'm terrified about the prospects of being academically jobless again. This round I did several TT interviews but (obviously) none were successful. Should I start applying now? As soon as my next job starts? Or say a year before my contract ends? The last possibility doesn't seem particularly safe to me, but what are the norms and expectations?

J

How do you contact an editor about a paper you think would be suited to an edited collection they are working on?

I have a bit of a conundrum. I have very recently found out that a new edited collection is being worked on in my research area. It is a big follow up to a previous edition published 20 years ago. It is high impact and meant for audiences wider than just philosophers. It is published by a international specialised agency (think UN) and involves a lot of big name philosophers. (I am happy to add detail if it would be helpful, but don't know whether that would be considered appropriate here.)

I have been working on a paper that is a response to two core views expressed in the initial edition published 20 years ago. My supervisors and I believe my response is novel, important, and particularly well suited to this edition.

However, neither me nor my supervisors know any of the editors and given I am only a lowly PhD student I don't know how to approach the editors respectfully and to get them to take me seriously. Especially considering there has not been a call for papers for this edition.

Relatedly, suppose I send the paper to the editors, should I avoid submitting the paper elsewhere in the meantime?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated - especially from editors themselves.

UK Postdoc

I used to receive daily email summaries from PhilJobs, but not anymore - does anyone else have this problem?

If I try to sign up again I get the message that "We've sent you an email to confirm this request", but no email ever arrives. I have tried multiple email addresses and checked my spam folder, so that doesn't seem to be the problem...

Grad

I am curious about the timing for confirming attendance for a conference. Do we need to reply to the conference organizers and check the attendance as soon as possible? Are there any norms for that?

I ask this because I lost an opportunity of presenting at a conference. I received an email on Friday saying that my paper was accepted by the conference. But I had no time to check the email at that time. And then another email arrived on Saturday (i.e., around 30 hours later), saying that they decided not to include my paper because I did not reply. Is it normal?

I understand that it is stressful to organize a conference. But this is the first time for me to see that the organizers are in such a hurry (the conference is held one month later).

Still drowning

As things return to 'normal' how are departments and universities dealing with in-person requirements for service work?

I remember that during the beginning of all this, people were hailing a new era of flexibility in workplace norms as a kind of silver lining of the pandemic. How are departments navigating this? I've been a bit disappointed to find that my own university is doubling down on in-person requirements, even as life (with kids, especially) remains difficult. In my part of the country, schools and daycares have stringent sick policies, other inflexible rules about pick-up and drop-off, it is difficult to find care, and so on. Yet even though it would be easy to conduct remote work or have a hybrid meeting, it's been disallowed by my department and university except in very narrow circumstances.

So I'm wondering how other universities/departments are navigating in-person vs. remote work. I'm not sure if I'm being unreasonable by asking for more family-friendly policies. I'm also not sure how to approach those at my university about this.

just checking

I've got a publication question. My sense is that cover letters are not really a thing when one first submits an article to a journal, but I want to make sure I'm correct about this. I just listened to a podcast about how to avoid desk rejects in science writing, and one of the big pieces of advice was "submit a good cover letter". My impression from that discussion was that, in the sciences, people actually use cover letters to tell editors why their article is impactful and worth publishing. Am I wrong that this practice is just not a part of philosophy? Does anyone regularly submit cover letters of this sort with initial submissions, and do you have any evidence that it has been helpful?

Grad student

Hi! I'd be interested to hear some thoughts on a publication-related question.

To what extent are self-standing journal articles considered more prestigious than response / commentary / discussion articles?

While the response articles published by some journals are very short, other journals (i.e. Ethics) publish response articles that are as long and rigorous as self-standing articles. If one had an article that could be framed either as a self-standing article or as a longer response article, would the article carry more weight in job and tenure applications if it were published as a self-standing article?

Alex Bryant

Hey Marcus and all,

Quite delayed but have been thinking recently about how much the weight of comparing oneself to others ends up having for people who are either just about to start the PhD (admissions time!), in the PhD (am I good enough to be doing this?), and early career (job market!). I wonder if anyone in philosophy has written about this experience of comparing oneself to others and how hard it can be to overcome, especially when this period in our lives can feel like one where we are deeply tied to our work. If anyone has suggestions for ways to work on this, I'd really appreciate hearing them--it's an ongoing struggle for me, and one that I've had/seen enough discussion about that I figure it's worth posing here.

Crazy anon

Okay, so I know this may sound crazy, but I'm wondering about whether it's possible to get a PhD after getting a PhD (in the same field... philosophy)?

I ask because I hold a PhD from an very low ranked dept., I've done very well publishing, I'm in a good postdoc, but I've had very little success this year on the job market (3 postdoc intereviews, one TT after 35 or so applications). So far, none have come through. So, if I want to say in philosophy, the very likely possibility is that I'll be sitting on the job market for the next 3, 4, 5, 6... years hoping for a job, moving from temp. position to temp. position, dragging my family along with me.

So I had a thought, which might seem crazy, but if that's what I'm looking at, why shouldn't I consider applying to a PhD program in top Leiter school? My first question is, can you even do that, i.e. get another PhD in philosophy if you already hold one?

Hear me out. Let's be honest, I've got no shot at getting a TT job (I'm in a position very similar to Greg Stoutenburg, except I'm only 2 years in) so if I'm looking at 6+ years of being on the market that might end with nothing, why not just spend that time getting a PhD that might actually be able to get me a job? Again - I know this sounds crazy, but the first PhD wasn't too bad for me, done in 5 years and I kind of enjoyed it. I'd take that again over the job market ups and downs and moving every year, or ending up without a job scrapping without health insurance by while trying to continue to publish with no support.

Al

As someone writing my first research monograph, I would love to know about any good online sources of advice-- like, tips on writing a good introduction, things like that. I have found so much good teaching-related material online, but I'm not sure where to look for writing-related guidance (ideally, philosophy-specific). Help!

Curious

Does anyone have any thoughts about the Open Access journal "Philosophies"?

https://www.mdpi.com/journal/philosophies

I saw that they were advertising on the APA website.

Negotiating TTS

It would be great to see a thread where people share some of their experiences negotiating TT offers - either success stories or what they wished they had done differently. I'd be especially interested in hearing about non-salary parts of the negotiations, like teaching releases, startup, and relocation expenses.

Trying to figure out what's going on

I have a paper that's been under review at a journal with typically decent turnaround times for over 6 months. I sent an email via the journal's online system after 5 months asking if there were any updates. I received no reply, but I was now able to see who the managing editor is for the paper. I sent another email via the journal's system at 6 months again asking for an update and also received no reply. My question is whether it is appropriate to reach out to the managing editor via their email address at their college/university.

UK Postdoc

I have a question on short papers. I recently had a paper rejected from Analysis. I still think the paper has merit, so I would like to submit it to another journal. But I am worried that another journal will see that the paper is ~4000 words, i.e. much shorter than the usual full-length journal paper, and desk reject it. So the question is: is it a problem if a paper is significantly *under* a journal's word limit? Or are editors quite happy to consider shorter papers?

58kb and 100s of hours.

I am no longer in academic philosophy and recently transitioned into a new career doing something unrelated. While making that transition I had papers under review. The rejections are starting to come back and I am wondering what to do with them. I’m hesitant to shop them out again as I no longer ‘need’ more publications and feel that I would be getting in the way of those who need CV lines desperately. However, at least one of the papers is very publishable so I don’t want to abandon it entirely. Edited volumes seem out of the question given my new outsider status. Any suggestions other than continued residence on my computer’s hard drive?

Prospective grad student

I would love to hear any thoughts on 4-year versus 5-year PhD programs (for example at U Toronto). If I have a choice between them and equal annual funding for each, is it crazy not to take the five-year option with an extra year to prepare for the job market? Or is it crazy to not take the opportunity to do the PhD in two years, given that I have an MPhil as it is?

Eager Writer

I am writing a biographical article on a former faculty member at my alma mater. He was famous for some of his translations of Husserl. Even though he passed away years before I was born, I have been able to get his undergraduate transcripts, several newspaper clippings and photographs he was in, personal interviews with people who knew him (including a brief correspondence with his 99-year-old widow, whose long hand-written letters were more eloquent than many undergraduate freshman), and I have even requested his WWII records, which are legal for anyone to get (since it is over 67 years ago). He was a student of Heidegger from 1950-1951. I even have two anecdotes about Heidegger that, as far as I am aware, have never been written about or published. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and his brother stormed Normandy in WWII as well (and his brother's obituary says that his brother met General Eisenhower in France during WWII, and his brother also filled in for the drummer of famous jazz bands, including Doris Day's band). I have yearbook photos of schools he taught at in the 1950s. Eventually he died due to complications of multiple sclerosis, for which he sought new cutting-edge treatments all throughout Europe. I am still gathering information on his life, even though I have more than enough to write a lengthy article. This project has given true meaning to my life, and in my darkest times it also makes me realize that my life is worth living. My question is, where can I publish an article like this? I want maximize readership, but **above all I want to avoid a PAYWALL** that some websites have. I also thought about accepting donations between $1 to $5 (in addition to putting up $50 myself) for an essay prize in his name (maybe partnering with the Indiana Philosophical Association), and the money will be awarded to the best undergraduate, autobiographical essay on why philosophy is important to them (although it may be hard to anonymize if it is autobiographical). What are your thoughts?

Publication strategy

I have a question about publication strategy. I have a few papers underway that might be contenders for some essay prizes within my subfield(s), but I'm not sure whether I should submit them for the essay prizes or to top generalist journals. What is the perceived value of such essay prizes?
A little background: The prizes I have in mind are awarded by respectable journals, but they are either specialist journals or generalist journals outside the top 20. They come with some prize money, yet my current position is well-paid but temporary. This means that it's more important for me to improve my CV than to have the chance to win the money.

Scared to leave grad school

I have a question about how to manage the transition from grad school to post-grad school employment. A couple weeks ago, I got an offer for a postdoc that’s a great opportunity for me, and one that I’m really excited about, but the main thing that I’m feeling right now is fear about leaving grad school and starting a “real” job (with a dash of survivor’s guilt thrown in).

Basically, I feel like I’ve come to understand how to work well (or well enough) in grad school—I have colleagues that I’m friends with, I understand the structure of my program and the expectations on me, and I’ve figured out out how to do the sorts of work that I need to do with a sense of stability concerning what happens in my life. But when I think about starting a different kind of position, in a different department and city where I don’t know anyone, and with a different kind of pressure given that I’ll be out from under my advisor’s/committee’s/department’s wing, it feels terrifying. Even though I know that, at least in some sense, my committee and the department that gave me an offer “believe in me,” I’m having a hard time accepting that I’m ready to be something other than a grad student. And this is true even though I very much wanted to get a job, leave grad school for bigger and better things, etc. Part of this has to do with how I think about myself and my work, and part of it has to do with seeing grad school colleagues who (in my judgment) are incredible at philosophy not getting jobs. It makes me worry (not reflectively, but still) that the department that gave me an offer will realize their mistake and rescind the offer.

I’m wondering (1) whether others have had this or similar experiences with the transition from grad school to post-grad school life, and (2) whether others have any advice for how to mentally re-frame or otherwise manage some of the difficulties of this transition. At the moment, I know that I need to be finishing up the dissertation, continuing to put papers through the pipeline, planning the move, etc. but it’s hard to focus on this stuff when I mainly feel scared of the transition in its entirety.

junior faculty

I want to ask for advices about a sabbatical. I am a junior faculty member starting from 2020. Because of covid, I have been living in isolation and not well-connected academically (no social media either). I have an early sabbatical coming up soon and really want to make good use of it research-wise. So I want to ask for both general and specific advices on things I can do, places I can try visiting, information I can check out, etc. Anything. Thank you so much in advance. (I work in technical areas if this is relevant at all.)

Gaming the System?

I'm curious about others thoughts on this, especially in light of the ongoing conversations about a scarcity of reviewers.

I recently learned that a journal (that will remain nameless) has adopted an interesting policy in an attempt to become more prestigious: reject a significantly larger percentage of submissions. This strategy is relevant to reviewer scarcity because many (if not most) of these rejections are desk rejections.

Does this seem like an artificial way for a journal to become more prestigious? I'm not sure, maybe it's just brilliant! After all, people value things that are harder to obtain/achieve, and one way to make a journal article seem more valuable (on a CV, for instance), is to make it scarce Maybe prestige itself is somewhat artificial, and this is just an excellent illustration of that.

Early career researcher

This might be related to the current "How can we help you?" that is being discussed on "sabbaticals".

I'd be really grateful for some advice on deferring tenure-track job offers in order to be able to pursue research fellowships you've also been offered:

Suppose you've been offered a tenure-track position at an institution in Continental Europe, for which you'd be expected to apply to make it permanent after a few years. The teaching load for this is around 50%, not including admin. You'd like to take this because it's job security, and there are few positions in your sub-field.
But suppose you've also been lucky enough to secure a research fellowship for 2-years that is due to start at the same time. This fellowship would give you 100% research time, and you'd like to take it. You've been stuggling on rubbish contracts that give you precious little time for your research for too long, waiting for your publications to come out.

You find yourself in a "buses" situation: few buses come along for years, and then all of a sudden, you've got your publications, and two shiny buses arrive at once, and you want to ride both.

What should you do to try to take up both opportunities?

Should you ask the institution offering the tenure-track job to defer your start date by two years? Or do you take the job, and ask them to give you a sabbatical for 2-years to take the research fellowship? Or something else? What are the reasonable limits of what can be asked for here (is asking for a 2 year defferal too much; would one year be more likely to be acceptable?)? And how does this differ in different parts of the world?

Show Me Yer W's

I work at a decidedly non-fancy-pants institution. I recently had a paper accepted at a rather fancy-pants journal. I have been working on this paper (on and off) for over half a decade. The manuscript represents an incredible amount of work. The "excerpts" file for the paper alone dates back to 2016 and is well over 100 single-spaced pages. The paper has been rejected countless times, and when I look at old drafts of the paper, the gap between what it was (bad) and what it is now (better) is huge. And while a consequentialist would probably shudder at the blood/sweat/tears to pleasure ratio involved in its construction, it is FINALLY going to be published and I am thrilled.

I would love it if we could have a thread about similar "wins" that people have had recently in the profession. It doesn't necessarily need to involve papers and publications. What are some instances where a LOT of hard work finally paid off despite considerable adversity?

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