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05/04/2022

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2's a crowd

Thanks for this thread, Marcus! I am writing for a friend. Really, though! I have a friend who is a wonderful philosopher at a private R2. When they received tenure (recently), they were recognized by several of their external letter writers as doing “cutting-edge” work in their subdiscipline. They are starting to get requests from high-profile, mainstream venues to talk about their work and even collaborate (think: interviews at fancy interdisciplinary journals, books distributed by Harper Collins, requests to work with what I think are called “internet personalities” (lol), and an offer of funding to start a research center in their subdiscipline). Insofar as my friend wants their work to be widely read and impactful, this is all great! Except, my friend is strongly introverted. As such, navigating the high-profile and high-stakes social dynamics in these contexts is both overwhelming and intimidating. Which has me wondering if there is someone who can help with this part of the job.
Do some academics have agents? Or maybe professional assistants? Someone who can help navigate public-facing work and engagement?

Michel

Would it be useful to have an open thread about publiation issues stickied to the top right? That wouldn't preclude singling out some questions for particular attention, of course.

Med

I am curious to see some tips for accepting one's mediocrity as a philosopher but still feeling fulfilled.

I am lucky to have a job at a small public school. I got my degree from a lower ranked program. My papers have been continuously rejected by journals with a couple of exceptions. Some of them just do not have any chance to be published anywhere at this point. Very few people know my name in my field. I teach many "service" courses in gen-ed. My topic courses were under-enrolled and thus canceled a few times. I work in a traditional M&E area, and few students were interested in topics that I am interested in.

I am not an ambitious philosopher, and I feel okay with my current situation, not to mention that I feel lucky to have a job. However, as an early career person, I can feel that there will probably some kind of "existential crisis" for me in the future.

S

I am thinking of running a reading group with a few early graduate students, some of which working with myself. But I don't have much experience with this. I can imagine different options for the structure, content, etc. I would be grateful if you could share you advice and experience.

Matt

Is there a good venue for submitting biographical articles of deceased academics? I wrote on article and put it on my blog, but I am considering making some revisions and submitting to a website like iai.tv (or whatever it's called) if they would receive it. The academic in question was a WWII veteran, a former student of Heidegger, and I have interviewed many people and tracked down old newspaper articles on him, in addition to corresponding with his 100-year-old widow by mail. Are there any venues for this type of article? I don't want a paywall to keep people from reading it either.

Newish CC Prof

Since I've seen several discussions here of resources for teaching non-western philosophy.

One hurdle I've found as I tried to figure out how to do that more is availability of texts. I'm committed to not making my students buy textbooks, and have no discretion on what textbook I'd make them buy if I did.

Serviceable public domain translations of all the "canonical" western figures are easy to find online. Every recommendation I've seen for translations of Chinese, Indian, African, etc. figures has been a book I'd have to ILL and then get sketchy with the departmental scanner.

Are there freely available English translations to be had online outside "the Western canon?"

X

I am not interested in philosophy/intellectual work anymore, it seems.
I’ve been devoted to (formal) philosophy for about a decade, and was really passionate at the beginning, with ok success (some ideas people liked, books with ok presses, a few decent papers in good generalist venues, some invitations, visiting appointments, great track record of getting good grants for my career stage).

I feel that’s about to change.
Some bad experiences with administration, plus two pandemic years, plus a few relocations, make me unmotivated. I do the bare minimum to keep up with my commitments. My new papers keep on being rejected (from very good journals, but still), and I can’t be bothered to work on them. I don’t feel there are extrinsic challenges left (in the profession) that are enough to be attainable and motivate me to do this for another 40 years or so.

All I can think about is *hobby* (which is outdoorsy, time-consuming, very expensive, and intellectually challenging). I already took last summer completely off work, but wasn’t recharged enough coming the new academic year.
Suggestions?

acknowledgements and job talks

I'm writing up a paper that formed the basis for a job talk that I gave at a few departments this year. I got some very useful comments during those presentations that really helped the paper, and in other circumstances I would would acknowledge those audiences just like I would acknowledge audiences at a conference or a colloquium. However, job talks aren't like normal talks, and I know that some people think it's improper to treat them as such (e.g. by listing them on your cv). Does the same principle apply to paper acknowledgements?

Asking for a friend

Is it permissible to use your grant money to hire friends who are not experts in the funded area (though still can contribute) to support them financially? Thanks in advance!

Show Me Yer W's

(Sorry Marcus, I originally posted this in the wrong forum, copy/pasting here)

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 previous drafts, the gap between what it was (bad) and what it is now (better) is huge. And while a utilitarian 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?

show me the money?

Is there a clearinghouse for grants philosophers can apply for? I have a sabbatical coming up, would like to find grant funding, but am not sure if there's some sort of master database of philosophy grants. I'm US-based; I know about NEH grants, and Templeton, but there must be other bigger ones out there I'm not aware of. (And yes in theory my institution has a person who helps with grants... in practice, not so much). Thanks!

Faithful Abstract or Genuine Endorsement?

How much can you change a conference paper?

I recently had a long abstract (1200 words) accepted to a cool workshop in my area of ethics, and the submission of the actual manuscript deadline for commenting/dissemination is nigh. In thinking through the project (I'm a mid-stage grad student), however, I realized I want to reformulate the central insight. In doing so, I think I make the overall story I try to tell more plausible but maybe lose some of the excitement of the result. The paper as currently conceived would differ somewhat from the abstract I submitted but not incredibly so. Still, I don't want to violate any professional norms or inadvertently and problematically bait-and-switch here.

My paper hasn't yet been sent to a commentator. Any suggestions on how best to proceed here? Should I write up a paper most faithful to my accepted abstract even if I no longer endorse that way of thinking about the issue? Or should I write the different paper I actually think works?

Acknowledgement

This may be a silly question with an obvious answer, idk. Suppose you get (lengthy) comments on your draft that haven't changed your draft in any way. The comments are of the nature "what is the implication on this and that" that seeks to extend the discussion. Should you thank them for their comments? What is the norm here?

Suppose also that some of the commentators are big names in the area. I think this should not matter for the answer, but maybe it does for practical purposes?

Thanks in advance!

Tomas Albergo

Are there any significant scholarships for disabled graduate students? I kind of fell apart over the last year because of my neuropathic pain (in my dominant arm and hand, sustained from a surgical error 12+ years ago) and am concerned I’m eventually going to need to take medical leave. But I can’t really afford to do that (re insurance) given my medical situation. I’m likely going to have a serious operation in the next few weeks to fix or remove a broken implanted spinal cord stimulator. Ideally I want to stay in school so that I can catch up on things and have the good insurance I’m currently lucky to have through Pitt. If my situation doesn’t improve, I doubt I’ll be able to catch up adequately once my teaching responsibilities begin again.

reference

When my draft undergoes a refereeing process, I follow the norm in referring to my own past papers as if they were written by another person. My question is this: when I de-anonymize my draft, is it appropriate if I (1) delete some self-references where I repeat some of my past points, to the effect that I refer to myself a bit less that I would if it were a different author; (2) use the first-person pronoun whenever referring to myself if applicable? Other suggestions for de-anonymizing are also welcome!

reference

I meant suggestions for self-reference---sorry for the typo!

Lucky to be in a job

Author affiliation of paper when changing jobs:

I have a paper submitted when I worked for institution A, revised and accepted when I was in between jobs, and I will receive the proofs just before I start working for institution B. Should I change the affiliation and email? And does it matter?

Still early in the game

About the identity of papers in submission:

1. If you get a R&R, is it okay to give a substantial revision to the paper independently from the report? For example, cut half of the content that you no longer accept. Intuitively I feel like it's like a different paper and thus inappropriate.

2. Relatedly, insofar as the revised paper is intuitively too different from the original one to be an R&R, does this mean that it is also different enough to be submitted to a journal that has rejected the previous one?

Thanks!

Fan

I am working on a paper on a topic in a very narrow area. Except a few people who have interests in this area, I feel that most potential readers hold some negative attitudes toward this area (for example, many do not appreciate questions in this area; some dislike the philosophical methodology that is used in this area).

My question is: should I present this paper at conferences that those who are sympathetic to my view will probably attend? I feel that I will get some helpful feedback. But I worry that those people will be automatically disqualified as my future reviewers since they will know who the author is when they see the paper.

A related question: I always assume that if I know who the author of a manuscript is, I should not review it whether I personally know the author or not. Is this the case? I honestly feel that some papers were so widely presented that most people who were interested in those topics had known who the authors are. Were those papers really reviewed by people who have not heard about them at all?

Late Night Writer

I have recently found that my most productive writing time is between the hours of 9pm and 3am and no matter how hard I try to write during the day.. it is much more difficult. Is writing late at night sustainable?

publishing

I'm sure you get questions like this all the time so feel free to direct me to an answer if one already exists. But does anyone have a good metric for when a paper is ready to submit for publication as an early to mid stages grad student - when someone tells you you might get a publication out of it? It's accepted at any conference? It's accepted at an APA? You just feel good enough about it!? I assume none of these things are necessary, but do people take any to be sufficient?

competency

I am an early-career philosopher who has obtained temporary full-time positions at a liberal arts college and an R1 state school. I have an interview at an online, competency-based learning school. The ability to work online, obtain a non-temporary position, and solve a two-body problem is attractive, but I admit it is not the kind of position I had in mind for my career. Does anyone have any insight as to whether departments devalue having work experience at such an institution, should I later decide to try to make the move "back" to "traditional" schools?

Nofima

I would like to know more about the first steps in a philosophy career outside the USA, especially in Europe but within analytic philosophy. Almost all online info that I’ve found was about the US. My biggest questions are:
1. Is the field so competitive, that after the PhD one will usually find temporary positions which are geographically distant?
2. Is it typical for someone to move a lot in the first years of their career (between different countries or even hemispheres)?
3. Is job security low, and is there a real risk of becoming unemployed and not being able to find another position?
4. What other difficulties are there, if any?
5. In order for one to advance, must there be a free position (for example, a free lecturer position)? Or can someone advance just by performing well and by publishing?
6. Again, concerning the job markets outside the US: is it easier to find an academic position if one specializes in applied ethics?
7. How difficult would it be to find a non-academic job in fields such as business ethics, ethics of technology or bioethics? Is the level of competition very high or is training in the relevant field required?

heki

Is it usual/acceptable to switch to another research area for a grad student after finishing their thesis? Is it a good idea to mention it in one's research statement?

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