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How to deal with the flood of philosophical ideas that come to one’s mind? I am a productive scholar (at my career stage). But the reason why I am productive is that I often get philosophical ideas that really disturb me until I get them published or at least written on paper. Whenever I got a new idea, I get genuinely excited about the idea, and I have trouble sleeping at night since the ideas keep me awake until I have written drafts on them. I am also afraid that someone else will publish my ideas before me – which is not good since very often I have new ideas. I do not want to work during office hours (only), the best thing about being a philosopher is that I can work whenever I got the inspiration. But what should I do when I have too many ideas in my head (or new ideas come too often) so that I struggle to do anything else besides writing and thinking?


I am an ECR (~5 years post-PhD) and I am starting to get my first invitations to be an external examiner for PhD and MA theses. Is this something one should list on one's CV? (It seems prima facie like an indicator of scholarly esteem.) If so, how? (what section should it go in, what information should one provide, etc.)


I'm a grad student that started teaching. I am spending literally an entire day and sometimes more preparing for lectures. Reading, rereading, writing notes, making slides. How much time do others put into prepping class? Do you have any useful tips on more efficient ways to prep?

recently prof

I got a tenured, fairly senior position, as one of the youngest in my country (where I never worked before), just a few years after my PhD.
Since I was not in a tenure-track position before, and since it is a department where I do not know anyone (also in a different field), I am a bit confused and at loss.

I could use suggestions about research/publication strategies, grant applications, service, how much time to spend on teaching (I am going from one graduate course every two years in the past to two bachelor courses per year now), etc.

On one hand, I feel I can relax and work on what I find interesting even if there is no immediate output; on the other hand, I feel a certain amount of pressure to prove myself, as I am fairly young, by getting large grants, organizing big conferences, outreaching, etc.

For those who have been in a similar position: what do you wish you had known?

I realize I am in a very privileged position, yet, I think it still qualifies as an early career issue.


Can anyone provide or point me to journal rankings for philosophy of religion?


When going up for tenure and applying for other jobs, are there advantages to mentioning in a job application cover letter that you're going up for tenure at your current institution but nevertheless deeply serious about the other job to which you're applying?

Grad Student

I'd be interested in hearing what people read to get inspired, both in the sense of finding ideas to write about, and in the sense of just generally feeling excited about doing philosophy (ideally, these would be things that inspire you in both senses). There've been some nice posts here and elsewhere stressing the value of working on things that truly capture your imagination, not worrying too much about chasing hot topics etc. But when those debates are much of what's in the journals, where do you go to find inspiration instead?

Is Review Blind?

Maybe this calls for speculation, but I wonder if other readers have their own sense of whether journal reviews are truly blind. In particular, I am curious if others have the sense that, after they have been rejected at a journal a particular number of times, over a particular span of years, their new submissions receive less consideration than others.

I certainly hope this isn't the case! And, being a quasi-Bayesian, I'd understand if it were. I just find myself thinking, with respect to certain journals, that my rejection pile is so substantive that (maybe?) they are inclined to reject an article of mine based on past evidence.


I'm an ECR and I've recently been invited to serve as a reviewer for grant programs, some in Europe, some in the US like NSF and NEH, and I'm wondering where people put such invitations, and the work that reviewing takes, on their CVs?

Grad Student

I'm a grad student working on my dissertation. There is just so much published in my research area and related areas. I always feel overwhelmed and not know exactly which to read first, and feel guilty that I'm not reading faster than I am, and not reading more topics that are written by under-represented scholars. And when I'm reading, I feel guilty about not writing more. How did you, or would you now, decide on what to readl? How much did you read per week? How did you balance reading with writing?

Trying to be good and practical

It is a probably basic question about academic norms. When you write a paper, concerning any train of thought (claims, arguments, etc.), should you simply think about it on your own and write it out as your own plus a reference to similar work if you do find such work, *or* search the literature and try to find if someone else makes similar claims, arguments, etc., and then simply explain this person's idea in your paper, not claiming it to be your own even if you come up with it yourself? I intend this to be a very general question---the choice in question can occur any number of times when writing a paper. Thanks in advance.


I have two papers that deal with the same issue but from slightly different perspectives. Paper 1 has been accepted for publication. Paper 2 is a work in progress. Paper 2 utilizes and relies upon a criticism of a view that I develop more fully in paper 1. However, how do I incorporate this criticism in paper 2 without plagiarizing myself? I figure I should first cite myself, of course. But then can I basically copy and paste? Or should I rephrase the criticism, or expand it? How to go about this? Thanks!


I am wondering about the norms of supervising students, with regard to the content. For one, it's clear that one needs to suggest readings and clues, read the drafts, provide comments, suggestions and criticism. But how much more? For example, should you suggest substantial positive claims to be included in the thesis? What are the norms of co-authorship in such cases? What else should you take into account for responsible and fruitful supervising?


Suppose you're choosing between two papers to use as a writing sample. One is the best paper you've written to date. It was published a few years ago. The other is a new manuscript. You have evidence that it's a good paper. Which should you choose? Does it matter?


I submitted an article to a journal 1.5 months ago, and it has not been sent out to reviewers yet. Is this standard?

I'm an early-career person, so I really need publications at the moment and am becoming nervous.


I came to post about the same thing as S. I submitted a *revision* to a journal two months ago, and it hasn't been sent back out for review. It's just gone from "Editor Assigned" to "Editor Invited" and then back again. Is there any reason at all that it should take that long to send a revision back to its original reviewers? And at what point is it appropriate to say something to the editors about it?

Tom Oxford

I am investigating a philosoher's intellectual history. A particular university archive (whom I am working with) restricts access to this deceased philosopher's records for 80 years after their attendance, but this person's records are only 70 years old now. This information would be very useful for me, but I would have to wait another 10 years, therefore postponing my progress significantly. These situations vary by institution, but does anyone have any advice on dealing with archives who keep their 70 year old records very highly protected? Would it be unreasonable to try to petition them to grant an exception? All people involved have been dead over 30 years now, so there don't seem to be any ethical issues. However, I also don't want to be a bother or to cause trouble. Thanks, Marcus!


How do you deal with very critical rejections at journals, the sort that claims that there is almost nothing good in your paper?

I have submitted a draft to 3 places so far, the first two are top ones, and I got mixed reviews recommending acceptance and rejection (which also contains encouraging comments). Then I submitted to a third one, not so top, as the possibly last try. To my surprise, the two referee reports are very negative and criticize everything I said that they selected as "superficial" "mistaken" "not minimally novel" etc. While I try to take in everything the referees say, it is painful to do that. Do you have such experience and how do you deal with it? Also, do you know why less top journals can give much more harsh reports? That seems counterintuitive. (In the early rejections, even for the negative part the referees only say something like the arguments are not as decisive as the author seem to think, not utterly dismissive.) Thanks a lot.

UK Postdoc

I would like to assign some audiovisual material to students in addition to 'normal' readings, but I am having trouble finding appropriate material. Is there a database of some sort where I can find videos, podcasts etc? Or what are other people's strategies?


I was wondering if anyone could shine some light on cover letters for European postdocs, as it's hard to find consistent information about what they're looking for. My main confusion is over whether and to what extent I should pitch my own project to work on. Since most European, project-based postdocs have you joining a project already in the works, do you need to pitch a project or new research of your own to work on while you're there, or should you just include why you are a good fit for the institution's project?


I have recently received my first invitation to review a book proposal, and was wondering what are the main things to consider as a referee. Should I go about in a similar way I would review a journal article, or should I be stricter with regard to originality, potential impact, or other aspects?


For those of you who teach: how do you learn your students' names? Or do you even bother to learn them at all? Do you have them make name tags, or introduce themselves?


I wonder if people can share some helpful tips to teach non-argumentative texts.

I am trained as an analytic philosopher, usually starting my intro class with some basic concepts in logic and arguments. My classes also usually focus on analyzing and evaluating arguments. When I try to include some non-western philosophies, some materials I encounter are not in the argumentative style. They tend to tell some stories or describe some worldviews rather than arguing for philosophical positions.

I tried some active learning activities, mostly on how to develop interpretations of those texts. But I find that my students were less interested in those discussions. Can people share some tips to approach those non-argumentative texts (especially for an intro course that focuses a bit more on skills than contents if that makes sense)?


I have some questions about writing and situating oneself in the literature. Most commonly, I see people situate themselves by arguing against others, and I get that people disagree. But I’m wondering if there’s more positive ways to situate oneself in the literature without needing to be on the offence, and instead builds off of others more. What are your thoughts on this matter? And if you have any papers you think do this well, it would be nice to see them too.

Stepping Stone

Perhaps a simple question, but if one is looking to eventually land a tenure track job, is it better to apply from 1) a teaching/lecturer job at a more prestigious university/school or 2) a tenure track job from a much less prestigious school. More specifically, is there any stigma against being in teaching-focused jobs when one is looking eventually to be on the tenure track? Is it seen as making more sense as being on a research track throughout?


Stepping Stone (Revision)

Clarification from above post:

what I had meant to ask was about trying to land a *research job from a *teaching-focused position. So, the question would be, if one is looking to land a research job, is it better to apply from 1) a teaching/lecturer job at a more prestigious university or a 2) research job from a much less prestigious school.

Both questions are interesting, but I was more curious about the perception of teaching jobs from research-focused schools. Thanks!

adding grant?

I have a quick question and am hoping for some practical suggestion.
Suppose I have a grant starting, say, today. Suppose I have a paper at its final stage before publication. Should I add the grant to the paper (assuming the paper topic is aligned with the grant topic)? I have no idea what the answer is... Please chime in!
To add, I also have no idea whether the grant info needs to appear in a minimal number of papers.

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