If I knew then what I know now, I certainly would’ve “decided” to become a philosopher. But back when I was working my way here, I didn’t really know what a philosopher was, or why one would want to be one. I didn’t have the materials for making the relevant decision—and by the time I did, I was already a philosopher.
“I was lucky. There were multiple joints in this path where things could well have gone sideways. Indeed, sideways was my more natural trajectory and temperament. But my luck, I hasten to say, was not just dumb luck. Instead, much of my luck was given to me by others.” (more…)
The rhetoric that describes philosophy as a kind of special calling has always struck me as smuggling in much overdetermined sociology. The most irritating version of this to me is the claim that one ought not pursue philosophy unless “one cannot imagine any other satisfying or worthwhile life for oneself.” (more…)
Suppose you wanted to choose a career based on how much good it will allow you to do. Assessing careers with that in mind is one of the aims of 80,000 Hours, a non-profit organization co-founded by philosopher Will MacAskill. The group looks at four aspects of a job: (1) Role Impact — the extent to which the career enables you to help others; (2) Career Capital — ..
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.
An undergraduate student in philosophy writes in with a question that I suspect many philosophers confronted at some point in their studies. Perhaps we can provide some assistance:
I am a philosophy student in my last year of undergrad studies in need of some advice. I am about to apply to graduate studies in philosophy but not sure what I should choose to focus ..