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Archive for the ‘Grad School’ Category

A reader of Brian Leiter’s blog wrote to get advice

on how best to go about learning the basics of analytical philsophy. I was a philosophy minor in college, from which I graduated two years ago, but never got a chance to take many classes in logic and dabbled mainly in older continental thinkers and simple applied ethics. I’m not a huge math person and I have to admit that some of the more technical aspects of the early analytical thinkers turn me off, but I’d like to get a sufficient background in the subject so that I might read later thinkers such as Quine, Putnam, and Davidson, who do seem to have some very interesting things to say. I really would value your advice!

For those who might be in a similar situation, or for those who are merely curious, the readers’ suggestions are available here.

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I found the following discussion of GRE Verbal scores for Philosophy MA/PhD applicants to be really interesting. (I’m glad that I’m past this phase of my career!) The general topic of discussion is that which is found in the URL and post title: “Are some schools using undisclosed GRE cut-offs in admissions decisions?” The undergraduate who submitted the post argues that if schools are using such thresholds to eliminate sets of applicants, then they should be forthright about it and save applicants money and time. Insightful discussions ensue.

Check it out at Leiter Reports here.

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Yale will be hosting a bootcamp and workshop on Experimental Philosophy of Free Will for graduate students and faculty:

The Experimental Philosophy of Free Will Workshop and Boot Camp is an opportunity for philosophers to gain the skills they need to conduct cutting-edge research in the experimental philosophy of free will. (more…)

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The Grad School Cafe

From In Socrates Wake:

One of my graduated advisees is presently in the middle of waiting for responses to all of his applications for entry into Ph.D. programs for philosophy. He recently brought my attention to a “Grad School Admissions Wiki” that helps students to learn when others have been admitted to certain schools (or rejected, or wait-listed). Basically, it works like the “Job Market Wiki” (for philosophy) that I think is out there too (I think I saw it on Leiter’s page at some point, but I can’t remember). The Grad School Wiki basically tries to get hopeful applicants information faster than they typically tend to get it from the schools themselves. It also seems to function as a support system, and also has forums dealing with many questions regarding the whole process. Go below the fold for more information on it.

The address for the forum is here:

(more…)

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According to one interpretation of recent testing data, “[p]hilosophers are the smartest humanists, physicists the smartest scientists, economists the smartest social scientists.” (HT: Leiter Reports) This may help explain why, as noted earlier, philosophy majors have higher mid-career salaries than students who major in advertising, biology, business management, criminal justice, education, human resources, medical technology, and nursing.

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The Rotman Institute of Philosophy (in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario) is offering two $10,000 entrance scholarships to incoming PhD students. I think that this is a great opportunity that all of the readers of the blog ought to look into and consider seriously. As a memeber of the Rotman Institute, I would be happy to answer any questions you all might have regarding the scholarship, the Rotman Institute, and the University of Western Ontario.

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The article I’ve posted below circulated among the grad students at my department last semester and I thought that you all might want to read it prior to deciding to apply to grad school. Prior attending grad school, a former professor gave me some not-so-nice information about the reality of life as a grad student and of an aspiring academic. I found this information very useful in evaluating my own reasons for applying to graduate programs in philosophy. While I cannot do for any of you what she did for me, I would like to share with all of you an article from the journal of higher education with (broadly speaking) the same aim. However,  I will warn the readers of this post that the content of this article is bleak, significantly bleaker than what I was told before I applied.  The take home message should NOT be don’t go to grad school, rather it should encourage readers to seriously consider why they want to attend grad school. Is it because you would like to be a professor, make some money, publish and change the world? Or is simply because grinding poverty might be worth it to have a chance to study and discuss philosophy at a significantly higher level? Both of these questions are clearly exaggerations, but I think that they give you the gist of the two options.

Here is one. I’ll post some others as comments, if anyone wants to read them. Before ending this brief post I just want to say again that this is not meant to dissuade anyone from going to grad school, but to instead provide students with some serious concerns that one ought to consider so that once a decision is made, it will be as informed as possible (if your professors have not done this already.)  Personally, I don’t agree with about have of what this author says but it is still worth reading.

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