Welcome back to Ought Experiment, the column by Dear Ida that offers personal advice for your academic life. Today’s letter is from someone considering pursuing a career in academic philosophy. (more…)
Welcome back to Ought Experiment, the column by Dear Ida that offers personal advice for your academic life. Today’s letter is from a graduate student seeking advice on moving from one department to another. (more…)
Ought Experiment, the Daily Nous feature offering “personalized advice for your academic life,” will be returning soon after having been on hiatus since last May. During this break, Original Ought Experiment columnist Louis Generis stepped down to pursue other interests, such as keeping his day job*. After a hardly exhaustive search I am pleased to announce Ought ..
So the other day, Justin sends me an email: “Hey Louie, do you remember how you used to write personalized advice columns for academics over at Daily Nous?”
Welcome back to Ought Experiment! Today’s letter comes from a student who just struck out on all their grad school applications, and wants to know what they can do to improve their chances next time:
I have well over a 4.0 GPA, and had great letters of recommendation from my professors. I also have published one paper in an undergrad journal. On to..
Welcome back to Ought Experiment! Today’s letter is from a philosopher who’s decided to leave the profession after several years of trying to get a tenure-track job, and is wondering how to break the news to academic friends and mentors:
After spending several years in NTT positions and failing yet again to get a TT job, I have decided to leave aca..
Welcome back to Ought Experiment, which returns after a brief waiting-for-more-emails hiatus! (Hint hint guilt trip hint.) This week’s question is from a woman wondering if the close friendships that many grads seem to have with their professors are necessary for professional success.
What kind of relationship should you foster with your professors..
Welcome back to Ought Experiment! This week’s question is a sensitive one, indeed. A professor writes that s/he’s struggling to reach a grad student who apparently interprets any criticism of her work as evidence of gender discrimination:
I’m hoping you can help me with a tricky teaching situation. There’s a student in my department who has, in the..
Welcome to Ought Experiment! For our first advice column, an ABD grad student writes:
Over the last several years, I have repeatedly noticed a trend among professional philosophers in the blogosphere: they speak frequently of a deep, passionate love of philosophy and believe that their love of the discipline justifies the choice to pursue graduate study despite ..
Welcome to the tenth Ought Experiment column, in which I lose my bet with Justin that people would get sick of me well before we reached the tenth column. And speaking of self-assured predictions of pending rejection, this week’s question comes from an assistant professor who always feels incredible approach-avoidance whenever s/he tries to respond to referee commen..
Welcome back to Ought Experiment! A professor has written in with a question about navigating a set of incredibly vague, but incredibly important, boundaries. When students trust you, they sometimes come to you with their problems. But we can’t always help. And sometimes we shouldn’t even try…
On occasion students come to my office and confess vari..
Welcome back to Ought Experiment! Today’s question is from a philosopher reeling from yet another journal rejection, and starting to wonder if publishing is an arbitrary (or even intentionally cruel) ordeal:
My favorite paper was just rejected for the 7th time. Let’s see, I’ve had desk rejections, rejections without referee comments, rejections..
Welcome back to Ought Experiment! This week’s question is from a grad student looking for advice on the habits that make one a better philosopher. After googling “how to be a better philosopher”, I’m prepared to fake my way through a half-decent answer:
I’m curious about what habits philosophers have cultivated that are specifically geared at being..
Welcome back to Ought Experiment! It’s a new semester, and that can only mean one thing: fresh opportunities to go home and torture ourselves about the rebelliously stupid sentences that occasionally belly flop forth from our mouths. Or, err… is that just me? Probably not, because this week’s question involves a classroom joke that may have gone too far.
Welcome back to Ought Experiment! This week’s question comes to us from someone dealing with a bad case of writer’s block. Maybe.
I’m sure you’re going to say this is one of those problems everyone has, but I really struggle with writer’s block. It can hit when I’m just starting a new paper, or it can hit me when I’m already several drafts into a p..
Welcome back to Ought Experiment! This week, a professor wonders when it’s permissible to reject a grad student’s request to serve on their committee, and how to avoid crushing a student if one does end up having to say no:
I hope you don’t think me a monster for this, but I have reason to suspect that a graduate student I’d strongly prefer not to ..
Welcome back to Ought Experiment! We had ourselves quite the weekend, didn’t we? Well hang on to your armchairs, folks, because apparently it’s time for a Very Special Episode. After the heated conversation about professional cliques, a certain blog editor wrote in with a question about the role and consequences of anonymity in online philosophical discussion:
Welcome back to Ought Experiment! Today’s question is from a full professor that has done everything right, built a successful career, and yet finds her/himself miserable in professional philosophy. S/he wants to know whether it’s just a case of burnout or whether it’s time to go:
I have been a professor for almost 20 years. I’ve worked h..
Welcome back to Ought Experiment, which sadly is not a comic strip. I think this week’s question is about getting kids to do the assigned readings, but if I’m being totally honest with you here, I kind of skimmed the letter:
I can’t get my students to do the readings! Maybe a third of them will be with me for the first few weeks, but term after te..
Have you ever had a problem and thought, “I bet a professional philosopher could help”? If so, you are almost certainly a professional philosopher yourself, and if so, you almost certainly do need help. Here it is. Announcing Ought Experiment, a new Daily Nous guest column offering personalized advice for your academic life.
My name is Louie Generis (no it isn’t)..
Welcome back to Ought Experiment! This week I heap reflexive and excessive scorn on a philosopher who’s worried that their work is taking them in controversial directions, and that contemporary philosophy might not be all that welcoming a place for such work. Oh, wait.
One of the papers I’m working on has a significantly controversial (maybe e..
Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got. Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot. Wouldn’t you like to get away? Welcome back to Ought Experiment, where everybody nobody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came. This week’s question is about imposter syndrome, and the anxiety of interacting with colleagues.