Sunday, June 3, 2007

There Are Many Things That I Would Like to Say to You

PGOAT and I were going back and forth this morning about how to write an abstract of your dissertation. Some tool from her program was whining about having to write an abstract that's accessible to non-experts. He didn't think he should have to do that. Bear in mind we're not talking about writing for lay people here. We're just talking about writing an abstract that makes sense to other philosophers, just ones who aren't specialists in your AOS. This is a low fucking bar for accessibility.

I have to say, abstract writing is one area where working on completely obscure philosophy actually gives you an advatage in prepping for the job market. (Come to think of it, it might be the only area where working on obscure philosophy is an advantage on the job market.) I have never once, in all my illustrious career as a graduate student, had the luxury of being able to assume that who I was talking to understood even the basics of what my dissertation is about. I mean, my committee members have mostly got on board as I've talked to them over the years, but even that was initially a hurdle. If there's one thing I can do, it's make my work accessible to non-experts. I can even do it in a two sentence abstract suitable for page 1 of my CV.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

a grad student whining? Never heard of such a thing.