Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Research & teaching job markets: an important difference?

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I've written a number of times on how there are multiple academic job-markets, not just one. As a quick rough first pass, there is a research job-market and a teaching job-market--and hiring committees in each market look for different things. A few of my experiences have led me to believe that there may be another important difference--one that may be of great interest to grad students and job-marketeers: potential differences in being able to 'work your way' into a TT job. Allow me to explain. Although I could be wrong, my sense is that if one does not get a research job relatively quickly (i.e. either right out of grad school or after a postdoc), one's chances of getting a TT job are likely go downhill quickly and stay that way (unless your publishing record is so undeniably good that hiring committees take notice). Why do I say this? I have to confess that my sense here is based mostly on anecdotes. But here are the anecdotes. I know of a few. . .

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News source: The Philosophers' Cocoon

Thick Evaluation

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2018.09.11 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Simon Kirchin, Thick Evaluation, Oxford University Press, 2017, 198pp., $61.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198803430. Reviewed by Matti Eklund, Uppsala University Simon Kirchin's book is an extended discussion of so-called thick evaluative concepts (thick concepts, for short) -- concepts like, to use Kirchin's examples, WICKED, SELFISH, KIND, BRAVE, and DECEITFUL. Thick concepts contrast with thin concepts -- where examples mentioned are GOOD, RIGHT, and OUGHT. (Throughout I will use caps when talking about concepts.) More specifically, the book picks up and develops themes from the on-going discussions of thick concepts, which has been lively since at least the 1980s, with important early contributors being Bernard Williams, John McDowell, David Wiggins, Simon Blackburn, Allan Gibbard and Jonathan Dancy (with precursors being Philippa Foot and Iris Murdoch). Much of the discussion has concerned whether thick concepts. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

Query on developing research projects post-PhD

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A reader wrote in by email: I'm not long out of graduate school, and now I've got to get some publications under my belt. I'm okay with diligence, but now that I'm not working on the dissertation and don't have a committee steering me with a moderately heavy hand, I'm having a heck of a time finding rich research projects and identifying good potential essays to work on. I've got a handful of smaller ideas (here's a minor objection, here's a quibble something buried deep in that literature), but nothing that seems remotely like the sort of idea that'd become a great article. Do other people have that problem? Do people have good strategies for getting on track? I looked at Karen Kelsky's Unstuck program, but that seems more like it is for people who have a project but just can't quite bring it to the submission stage. Does anyone have experience with this program or some other coaching program that they wouldn't mind sharing? This is. . .

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News source: The Philosophers' Cocoon

Supreme Court Nominee Hearings: Politics & Principles

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Trump nominated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and the results have been predictable: Republican majority has backed their guy while the Democratic oppose him. The Democrats clear disagree with many of Kavanaugh’s values and are concerned that there might be evidence of serious problems hidden away in the documents they want to see. One of their key goals is to delay the hearings as long as possible, ideally until after the upcoming elections. Their hope is, obviously enough, that there will be a new Democratic majority in the Senate and they can start doing unto Trump as the Republicans did unto Obama. A second key goal is to put on political theatre in front of the cameras in the hopes of scoring political points for themselves and the party. While Kavanaugh is presented as being even more conservative than some of the Republican senators, they have a general ideological agreement. Unlike the Democrats, the Republicans want the process to be rapid—they worry they might not have a. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

Phenomenological Reflections on Violence: A Skeptical Approacht

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2018.09.09 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews James Dodd, Phenomenological Reflections on Violence: A Skeptical Approach, Routledge, 2017, 201pp., $140.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780415791892. Reviewed by Ann V. Murphy, University of New Mexico James Dodd's book continues an inquiry established in his previous monograph Violence and Phenomenology (2009), an inquiry into the meaning of violence. His earlier book engaged the contrast between the instrumental understanding of violence -- in which violence is assigned meaning in relation to the end it serves -- and the understanding of violence as uniquely constitutive of meaning and sense themselves. Like his previous book, this one is concerned with navigating the spectrum that lies between these constitutive and instrumental understandings and in exploring the nature of their interrelation. The subtitle of the book -- "A Skeptical Approach" -- is an important clue to Dodd's methodological orientation. On his. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

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