In 2015 I received the National Humanities Medal at a ceremony at the White House. President Obama himself put the medal around my neck, and the rumor was that he made the final choice. In the speech he gave before awarding all the medals, in addition to citing my work on Gödel and Spinoza and Plato, he spoke of me as the philosopher who sometimes chooses to write n..
In a field where more than half of our students won’t get academic jobs, we are actively creating a culture where most of our students will view themselves as failures.
“If a prospective student can’t, through no fault of their own, properly evaluate the disvalue of not getting a job, this changes the way we need to assign responsibility for the choice.” (more…)
A new internship program developed by the Department of Philosophy at Michigan State University (MSU) provides funding for PhD students to support their work with non-academic organizations.
“We have a good university right here in town. Why did you have to move so far away for graduate school?”
“What do you mean you have schoolwork over the summer? Classes are out!”
“You’re a student—how could you be busy?” (more…)
I am not sure what I expected when I applied to PhD programs. But when April rolled around, I began to ask myself what kind of future I was signing up for, and how different it would be from numerous other paths. After all, horror stories abound about the process of getting a PhD, and the terrible job market afterward. At best, I could hope to be turning 40, with a ..
Most of the students in our undergraduate philosophy course, even most of philosophy majors, and quite a number of those with graduate degrees in philosophy—do not become professors of philosophy. What do they do with their degrees? Who can we point out to our current students as examples of those who make use of what they’ve learned studying philosophy outside of..
Free Range Philosophers is a new website about and for “people with advanced training in philosophy who are either working outside of traditional academic jobs or engaged in philosophical outreach or other philosophical activities outside of the academic classroom.” (more…)
A few weeks ago Salon published “Professors on Food Stamps: The Shocking True Story of Academia in 2014.” The article shares the plight of adjunct instructors, a lot of whom teach many courses at multiple institutions for minimal compensation.
“The most shocking thing is that many of us don’t even earn the federal minimum wage,” said Miranda Merklein, an adjunct ..
Here’s our situation: for many professions—actor, artist, astronaut, athlete, musician, novelist, philosopher, just to name a few—there are more people who aspire to enter them than succeed in doing so.
How bad is this? There are some problems with it, of course: mainly the disappointment of and opportunity costs borne by those who are unable to join what is ..
How should graduate programs address the fact that some of their graduates will not find jobs in academia? There was a brief discussion of this here back in the early days of DN, but I am prompted by a reader to revisit the question. He writes:
My department has a terminal MA program. By admitting students into this program, one of the responsibilities that we ta..
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, a philosopher who has written nonfiction for non-philosophers, as well as novels, is interviewed in The Chronicle of Higher Education about writing. Some of her insights about those kinds of writing seem just as relevant to—and helpful for—the kind of writing philosophers typically do.
Chronicle: Is there a way in which writing fi..
The American Philosophical Association (APA) has published a new guide for philosophers seeking non-academic employment, entitled Beyond Academia: Professional Opportunities for Philosophers. According to a press release about the publication, (more…)
Phil Skills is a new site featuring interviews with people who’ve had graduate training in philosophy and pursued careers outside of academia. The site was created by Eleni Manis, a former philosophy professor who received her PhD at Michigan and who is currently a research analyst and acting director of communications at the Office of the Nassau County Comptrolle..