“Uncertainty, I once thought, is what philosophers do. Now I have doubts.” (more…)
This past weekend saw some bad behavior in the comments, to the extent that a few readers were contacting me to either point it out or complain about it or ask whether the comments policy had changed. (more…)
The following is a guest post* by Kathryn J. Norlock, who holds the Kenneth Mark Drain Chair in Ethics at Trent University, advising undergraduates applying to graduate school, professional schools, and jobs about how to ask their professors for letters of recommendation. It contains advice worth circulating widely. (The post originally appeared at her website.)
All cultures are not equal. Or at least they are not equal in preparing people to be productive in an advanced economy. The culture of the Plains Indians was designed for nomadic hunters, but is not suited to a First World, 21st-century environment. Nor are the single-parent, antisocial habits, prevalent among some working-class whites; the anti-“acting white” r..
The American Philosophical Association (APA) has published a 77-page document, the “Good Practices Guide.” While some parts of the guide overlap with the recently issued APA Code of Conduct, it is “not intended to play the same role in regulating the conduct of academic life.” Rather, the guide is
a set of recommendations based upon the accumulated experi..
“It is usually a bad idea to respond, rebuttingly, to a review of one’s book.”
— the first line of G.A. Cohen’s response to Brian Barry’s review of his Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality in the TLS. (scroll to the bottom of this post to see Cohen’s full response)
You’ve spent years of hard work writing a book. It’s finally published. Some people buy it. If ..
The Mentoring Project For Pre-tenure Women Faculty in Philosophy will be holding its 4th biennial workshop this June. The workshop is an opportunity to “foster mentoring relationships between senior women in the field and women just beginning their careers” by providing pre-tenure women philosophers a forum in which to present and develop papers in the company of a ..
Last week, the American Philosophical Association (APA) issued a Code of Conduct. The document was produced by a volunteer task force headed by Nancy Holland (Hamline University), in response to a petition. (more…)
The following is a guest post* by David Boonin. He is currently professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he has also been department chair and associate dean. He noticed that there did not appear to be much in the way of guidance when it came to writing external review letters for people under consideration for tenure, and sought to reme..
Those who exhibit highly admirable academic characteristics such as caution, refusal to exaggerate, humility, deference to the achievement of others, and support of their colleagues will have a much harder time rising to the top.
Two questions about what should go on CVs have come in recently. The first is about conference invitations:
I’ve been invited to/accepted to several conferences. However, budget constraints preclude me from attending almost all of them. Here is my question: is it permissible to list these invitations on my CV—I’m an early PhD student—with a proviso that I cou..
The following is a guest post* by Josh Parsons, associate professor of philosophy at Oxford University. It’s “a slightly jokey collection of what I called ‘dirty tricks for seminars’ (including some to use liberally, and others to beware of) that I am apt to dispense to graduate students and colleagues after a couple of drinks.” He kindly agreed to share it with Da..
Yes, this is “letters of recommendation” week at Daily Nous. On Monday, there was an inquiry from a student about how to write letters in support of faculty. Yesterday, we began a discussion of what not to include in letters of recommendation. Today, we turn to the egregious practice of recommenders asking recommendees to write their own letters of recommendation, w..
Some people are visually impaired in a way that interferes with their ability to read handouts or see presentation slides (e.g., PowerPoint). Adam Cureton, assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Tennessee, is one such person, and he notes that “that lectures and talks are very difficult to follow when I cannot read the handout or see the PowerPoint s..
The latest edition of What Is It Like To Be A Philosopher? is out, with Clifford Sosis (Coastal Carolina) interviewing Sally Haslanger (MIT). (more…)
In a comment on a previous post, Natalie writes:
I would really like to see a post/some discussion about how different people manage the socialising-with-students thing. Thinking of my own lecturers, mentors, etc, they mostly fell into one of two extreme groups—either no socialising at all, or ill-thought out (and sometimes inappropriate) socialising—and so I..
Henry Shevlin, a PhD student at CUNY, has posted about the philosophy of jerks:
What makes someone a jerk? Is it merely being rude, or selfish, or is there something more subtle that underlies the behavior of the jerk? And just as important, how do you know if you’re a jerk yourself?
Data & Society, a research institute focusing on “social, cultural, and ethical issues arising from data-centric technological development” has issued a guide for those conducting “risky research” about how to protect themselves from online harassment. (more…)
John McAdams, the associate professor of political science at Marquette University who, in the fall of 2014, launched a political attack on philosophy graduate student Cheryl Abbate based on falsehoods, misleading claims, and a surreptitious recording of her, and who was later suspended from his position for it, is suing Marquette. The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Se..
A reader requested a poll to help him determine how to promote and share his work online and make contact with other academics with similar interests. Let’s do it! Which of the following would you recommend? I know one popular answer might be “all of them,” but that’s not an option. You can select two, though.
A graduate student in philosophy writes in with the following query:
I’m a philosophy PhD student and avid reader of Daily Nous. I particularly enjoy reading the posts that provide advice for graduate students, and I was wondering if you had considered having a post on how to write letters of support for your supervisors and/or faculty members? It’s something tha..
There are a bunch of things that people in the course of their normal work lives have to do in a timely fashion in order to stay in good standing in their jobs, but about which there is, let’s say, greater variation in academia. This observation was prompted by a query from Tom Donaldson, received in the Daily Nous inbox a, er, couple of weeks ago: (more…)
The American Philosophical Association (APA) has announced that it will be launching a new group responsible for “reporting to the board of officers on issues of interest, concern, and relevance to philosophy graduate students.” The APA Graduate Student Council, as it has been named, will be composed of twelve graduate students, with eight appointed by a selection c..
The American Philosophical Association (APA) has published a Code of Conduct. You can find it here.
I’m off to a meeting but may have time for a more detailed post about it later today.
Influential activist and writer Shaun King—currently “senior justice writer” at the New York Daily News—has announced plans for a potentially massive boycott of “cities, states, businesses, and institutions which are either willfully indifferent to police brutality and racial injustice or are deliberately destructive partners with it.”
The boycott is set to b..
The recent spate of posts on letters of recommendation (students writing for profs, things best left out of the letters, and being asked to write your own letter) prompted a reader to send in another query about them—one we arguably ought to have started the week with:
Many of us teach philosophy at an institution without a graduate program. So while we write ..
A philosopher who prefers to remain anonymous writes in with a good question:
How often can one present a paper in progress before one is simply presenting “old work”?
When I get invited to give a talk or present at a workshop, I often will use the same 1 or 2 papers 3-4 times within the space of a year or so. These are usually papers I’m working on and I wa..
Last spring we discussed some issues regarding self-promotion in philosophy. The focus then was largely on egotistical and boorish online behavior. The current discussion of Academia.edu here has brought renewed interest to the topic, particularly on the question of how to do it well, and a request for a guide to online self-promotion in philosophy.