Thursday, February 21, 2008

Here We Go, We're Off Again

Okay, well, the the new JFP's out today. My physiological reaction to the first JFP of the season was unfocussed vision and shortness of breath. This one's just making me feel sick.

Fuck. Here we go again.

Update: New plan. Let's all become environmental ethicists.

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you search "metaphysics" or "philosophy of language," you will really be sickened. If only I had an AOS in ethics or an AOC in applied ethics, business ethics, or bioethics! Cocksucker!

two headed boy pt. 2 said...

This JFP is truly horrible. It's almost funny how bad it is.

Anyway, I had no luck in the Fall, there are hardly any jobs in the Spring JFP, at least for me, and it appears that I have no funding for next fall at my grad program (this is my 5th and final year). So, there is a high probability that I will be out of philosophy next year (and I haven't even defended my dissertation yet). The question is: is it even worth trying again this fall, with a gap on the CV?

Anonymous said...

Good thing about that gap: you'll be applying when the gap is first starting in the Fall, so maybe it won't be so obvious. You're also still a student, so how is that a gap, anyway. I'd be curious to hear what SC members think of gaps like this.

will philosophize for food said...

We can't all become environmental ethicists, otherwise we'd end up with the same problem. We've got to divide it up the AOS's evenly between environmental, business and bioethics. AOC: hating life.

ouch said...

There is sweet fuck all that I can apply for.

Anonymous said...

Chalk it up to a "market correction": The job market is finally reflecting the lack of broad appeal or relevance of philosophy of language and other more-technical areas. (Don't get me started on Continental philosophy...which is an oxymoron.) In other words, the market is recognizing that ethics has real value in the world.

two headed boy pt. 2 said...

"Update: New plan. Let's all become environmental ethicists."

I'm not sure I'd be any good at environmental ethics. I once tried to convince an environmentalist friend that we should cut down all of the trees and pave the entire earth, so it just became a giant parking lot. I suppose that is a stance one could take in environmental ethics.

Where are all of these environmental ethicists coming from anyway? My grad program doesn't even have a class in it.

Anonymous said...

I'm noticing several cancelled searches on the job wiki. I'm curious if the number so far is standard of if something unusual is afoot. It seems to me that there's more than usual, but I may be unusually attentive this year since I'm on the market this time whereas the last two years I've just been tracking how things have gone.

Anonymous said...

Economy is bad. In California alone, the Guvernator has slashed almost $5 BILLION in education funding for the next couple years. So that may explain some cancelled searches as well as the focus on the more "sellable" areas of philosophy, i.e., applied ethics.

Twitty Banter said...

I'm a little worried that Hamilton College's deadline is February 15th and I seem to have temporarily misplaced my time machine.

Anonymous said...

If we all became environmental ethicists, then we'd have to go to more environmental ethics conferences to share our research, and that would increase carbon emissions. Whereas if no one was an environmental ethicist then there'd be no such conferences. Therefore, environmental ethicists are bad for the environment and there shouldn't be any jobs for them. QED, right?

Sadpunk said...

It's true that metaphysics and philosophy of language, or the way some have done it, can seem terribly irrelevant, especially to those outside of philosophy (such as Herr Guvernator). However, it seems to me that doing metaethics requires a good bit of metaphysics, and dare I say philosophy of language, and that metaethics is relevant to normative ethics and applied ethics. Aren't many of the lines drawn between metaphysics, epistemology, ethics rather artificial? That's part of the pain in the ass of doing philosophy well. It requires keeping track of so many relations of implication going every fucking which way.

Anonymous said...

Given the complaints regarding (environmental, applied, etc.) ethics, I've a question I'd like to get kicked around here:

What's the _worst_ field of philosophy to pursue, job-wise, these days? When I came out of undergrad, I was told by one professor to steer clear of two areas in earnest: (1) Aesthetics, and (2) Philosophy of Religion.

Granted, he was talking predominantly about AOS's here, but I'm curious...What's the general take on this from philosophy nation?

Anonymous said...

What's the _worst_ field of philosophy to pursue, job-wise, these days? When I came out of undergrad, I was told by one professor to steer clear of two areas in earnest: (1) Aesthetics, and (2) Philosophy of Religion.

Oh, but that one's easy! Ancient.

Classics departments won't hire you because you supposedly can't teach Greek and/or Latin, and Philosophy department have largely given up on maintaining slots for those who specialize in it. They figure anybody can teach "history of Philosophy", so why bother wasting a tenure-line on it.

AOS: Ancient?

You're truly fucked.

Anonymous said...

I have an AOC in Business Ethics and it isn't helping at all. I agree that this JFP is sickening beyond belief.

I'm guessing, there is no "good" or "bad" AOS to have - if you have one in an area where there are many jobs, there tends to be more competition, and if you have one were there are few jobs, well, there are fewer jobs.

two headed boy pt. 2 said...

"If we all became environmental ethicists, then we'd have to go to more environmental ethics conferences to share our research, and that would increase carbon emissions. Whereas if no one was an environmental ethicist then there'd be no such conferences. Therefore, environmental ethicists are bad for the environment and there shouldn't be any jobs for them. QED, right?"

Good point. Also, although I'm too lazy to check, I'm assuming there are specialty journals devoted to environmental philosophy. Journals that are probably printed on paper, which means dead trees. (On a side note, instead of writing "QED" at the end of proofs, I think we should all start writing "pwned." I want this change to be my legacy to philosophy.)

Anonymous said...

As someone who has to teach a section of environmental ethics in a more general ethics course, I can say with absolute certainty that environmental ethics is not a legitimate field of academic inquiry. The authors express prejudices and then select the ethical theory that makes for the best fit. The result is an unholy blend of post-hoc justification and self-righteousness.

Anonymous said...

". . .Philosophy department have largely given up on maintaining slots for those who specialize in [Ancient Philosophy]."

This is perhaps the single most ridiculous statement I've read on this blog. Just count how many Fall JFP ancient jobs there were this year and last. Keep your mouth shut if you have no clue what you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

To two headed boy: If you can arrange this with your institution, just put off graduating for another year. If you have letters in the fall that are strong and that say that your defense is scheduled for date X and that there is no question that you'll pass, you're in pretty good shape. (Add a peer-reviewed publication to that, and you're in great shape.) If you can't get funding, then you'll have to get some kind of other job to put food on the table, but if you haven't officially left graduate school, then there is no gap on your CV. And your dissertation probably will get better in the intervening time, if you spend a little time polishing it.

Anonymous said...

Why does doing research in and teaching in Environmental Ethics automatically commit one to a particular view about consumption of natural resources? Use the trees, just plant new ones.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 12:40:

I seriously doubt it. I'm no Ancient guy, but I am an historian. Not only do I see quite a few ancient jobs out there, it's also widely known that a specialization in virtually any area of history looks pretty good to most folks.

(And, why the hell would you want to teach Classics anyway?)

I'm gonna' have to call bullshit on this one. It'd be a hard sell to convince anyone that history - especially ancient & early modern -are worse than, say, aesthetics.

Anonymous said...

Let's check out the raw numbers in this nightmarish JFP. 68 jobs in the USA. Including four partime jobs at NC state (-4), two law schol council jobs (-6), five multi-discipline jobs at amherst (-10) [assuming one goes to a philosopher], and three fellowships at center for inquiry, which may be as short as one week (-13). So, we're down to 55 jobs.
Of those 55, at least a third of them were already posted on the web additions (another -18). So, there are now ~37 new jobs to go for... almost all short term jobs. Good luck to all of us that don't yet have anything promising.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with the Hon. Anon 12:04. AOS-Ancient is not the WORST. AOS-Medieval is the WORST. Count the number of Medieval jobs this year. Then count the number of Ancient jobs. There are a lot more Ancient jobs than Medieval jobs this year, as has been the case in the past 5 years. Plus, there are many departments that haven't given up on Ancient, but assume Medieval philosophy is pseudo-philosophy, etc.

Anonymous said...

AOS: Ancient doesn't look too bad to me, actually. I don't have one (see below), but I do recall seeing a bunch of jobs for them in the fall JFP (though this may be a confirmation bias because of how far away that field is from mine).

I agree with the above poster that you'll have a problem fitting in/between Philosophy and Classics departments. My old school had such a fellow - last I heard he transferred to Classics but I'm not sure where he is now.

Another bad area (and here I speak from experience) is History of Analytic Philosophy. I get the feeling that many departments still see analytic philosophy as a viable methodology (bless their little, misdirected hearts...), and not something that needs to be analyzed after the fact by a historian. So stay away from History of Analytic.

I'd also like to dispute the "real value" of philosophical ethics in the world, but that would only draw me into the types of arguments I prefer to ignore. Unless I'm missing something huge, ethics seems to be more of "lets sit around and talk about what goodness and justice are" and less of "lets help people lead better lives and fix ethical injustices in the world." The latter would indeed have real value, while the former looks like something that can be abused by departments who want to increase enrollment by offering Business Ethics and Environmental Ethics and what have you.

akratic irishman said...

two headed boy pt. 2 said... "(On a side note, instead of writing "QED" at the end of proofs, I think we should all start writing "pwned." I want this change to be my legacy to philosophy.)"

Brilliant! Keeping philosophy 'relevant' for the kids. I will help you with this.

two headed boy said...

Thanks for the advice anon 1:30. That does sound like an option. And thanks for your help too akratic irishman. We have to make philosophy hip and relevant to the kids. Another good way of doing this is wearing sunglasses when you teach. They love that.

A nominee for bad AOS: philosophy of math. I counted one job in this in the Fall JFP. I've been told that logic is a bad AOS (though obviously it's a great AOC). This will probably be controversial, but I think philosophy of mind is an overrated (though by no means bad) AOS. Too many people work in mind given the number of jobs in it. Just my opinion.

Continental Pissant said...

Anonymous 10:09 said,

"(Don't get me started on Continental philosophy...which is an oxymoron.) In other words, the market is recognizing that ethics has real value in the world."

Really. Well, don't get me started on analytic ignorance and presumption regarding Contintental philosophy. It's telling to see the Leiter hive-mind pontificating its proud ignorance.

If I may be permitted to take a swipe, the relative lack of attention to or respect for the history of philosophy by analytically-trained philosophers counts as a serious strike against it. I recall an ABD Ethics candidate from a certain Leiter Top-50 Ph.D. progam who came to interview at my predominately Continental graduate program. After airily dismissing the need to know the history of philosophy, the candidate accused one of the grad students of being a sexist for bringing up Plato's Third Man fallacy. Ooops. Not exactly the way to impress a department where one is trying to get hired, now is it?

That Contintental philosophers take the history of philosophy seriously might well be one reason for their relative success, given their minority position within the American academy, in securing tenured positions, Leiter and his prejudices notwithstanding.

will philosophize for food said...

"Another bad area (and here I speak from experience) is History of Analytic Philosophy. I get the feeling that many departments still see analytic philosophy as a viable methodology (bless their little, misdirected hearts...), and not something that needs to be analyzed after the fact by a historian. So stay away from History of Analytic."

Agreed. I'm living proof!

Sadly, I too misplaced my time machine--wish I knew that before I started writing my diss!

continental girl said...

xo, continental pissant! I always feel personally affronted whenever I overhear a conversation between analytic types dissing Continental anything and boasting about their unparalleled rigour because come on, we can be rigorous and thoughtful too; we're not all into airy-fairy silliness about crossing out words and making puns or whatever.

I am not made of stern stuff so I mostly keep my head down while eavesdropping, but I also mutter rude words about them when they're out of earshot.

Anonymous said...

You're all wrong. History, Continental, and Analytic are all worthless fields of study. Oh, and Eastern philosophy, too. We should leave academia and found a city on an island somewhere, where we can all be kings and queens, like Plato wanted. Then we can avoid carbon emissions and fix injustices in the world (or at least within our own little polis).

Anonymous said...

It seems a bit tricky to evaluate the crappiness of an AOS's job-faring strength by the number of jobs in that AOS. To take the initial examples, there were many, many more jobs in Ancient this year than Medieval (not to mention the "History" jobs which, by and large, further specify that they mean, by "History", ancient and modern (and sometimes contemporary, whatever that is supposed to mean...).

On the other hand, there seem to be many more job-seekers in Ancient than in Medieval as well, in part because few grad departments even have medievalists; in fact, I would guess that there are more grad departments with multiple ancientists than there are departments with even one medievalist.

That's all to say that I don't think we have any easy way to evaluate which is the toughest AOS. It can't be determined just by the number of jobs in JFP; and I doubt that there's any straightforward way to determine how many job-seekers there are per field. (Counting applications for jobs won't help because I would imagine that many people apply across multiple AOSes.)

I guess one should attend to the fact that most of the above-mentioned AOSes probably are not the best for job prospects at the moment (other than Ancient); but that info is really only useful for someone who hasn't yet started the dissertation (or an even earlier stage). And things could change by the time the dissertation is done.

Dissertation writing sucks a lot. (Not all of it, and not all of the time, but you all know what I'm talking about.) So if you're going to subject yourself to this, do what you love. If the AOS is marginal, so what? If you focus on something you don't enjoy, then why bother with all this?

Oh, and one more thing (oops, Hilary will probably accuse me of plagiarizing Steve Jobs): think really hard about all of this. It worked for Descartes. ;-p

Philosopher For Hire said...

I can't really believe that those working in the history of analytic philosophy (i.e. Frege, Russell and Wittgenstein) are as screwed as aestheticians or philosophers of religion, say. History of analytic is taken way more seriously than the latter two areas. I mean, it shows you've got an interest in pretty much the central analytic topics, e.g., metaphysics, language, epistemology and mind. Presumably if you're good at what you do you should be able to teach those areas as well. From a hiring point of view history of analytic grads looks pretty fucking desireable to me. My institute (top 25) has 2 or 3 members of faculty who work in history of analyic and they're well respected philosophers in their own right.

Anonymous said...

Okay (this is Anon. 12:29, by the way):

So far we've gotten some solid recommendations...I'd completely forgotten about History of Analytic. Matter of fact, I started out planning a prospectus on History of Analytic, only to be told by a slew of Russell scholars that I'd never get a friggin' job...So I swapped up.

So, there's History of Analytic and Aesthetics, at least. Someone also mentioned Medieval. While I'm not certain, I guess I'm dubious about this one as well as the Ancient one...Lots of Catholic schools, Christian colleges generally, like Medieval folk...And again, it's gonna' be hard to sell me on virtually any straight history position being too bad (minus early Analytic, I would think).

Phil Math. Agreed. That definitely gets up there on the list...Any others, folks?

Anonymous said...

Anon. 12:29 -

You left off Continental philosophy! If you intend to exclude that, then please defend yourself. And explain why the hippie brand of "spirituality" should be left out of philosophy proper, if Continental should be included.

Anonymous said...

Philosophy of History? Does anyone even do it any more?

Philosophy of Social Science would be tricky, but I would think that a lot hangs on your specific project.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty obvious that the people dissing continental don't know jack shit about it. You proudly ignorant deserve to go to law school.

will philosophize for food said...

Philosopher for Hire wrote: "History of analytic is taken way more seriously than the latter two areas [Aesthetics, Phil. Religion]. I mean, it shows you've got an interest in pretty much the central analytic topics, e.g., metaphysics, language, epistemology and mind."

You're right. I wasn't really attempting to have a contest about who's the most screwed. Frankly, we're all screwed this year. But let me endeavor to point out a few things that you seem to overlook.

First, rarely anyone ever advertises for History of Analytic. Over at Methods of Projection, there is a discussion about hiring Wittgenstein scholars. It is pointed out that "Wittgenstein" is not mentioned as either an AOS or AOC in any ad this year--despite his being perhaps the most central figure in the history of analytic philosophy. Last year can I recall only one ad mentioning Wittgenstein. I believe that the same is true for Russell, Frege, Carnap or Neurath. Most places that hire are either are looking for an historian, or for someone in core analytic.

But this feeds into a strange paradox. First, the figures on which I work are not considered to be 'historical enough' for history jobs. When an institution wants to hire in history, they want an Aristotle or Descartes scholar, not a Frege or Wittgenstein scholar. But although I can teach many of the areas that you mention (some of those, in fact, are my AOC's), most SC's ignore historians for core analytic positions. They want someone who is writing on indexicals or modal semantics, not (as it is seen, although I do not endorse this prejudice) a fluffy historian. So I'm out of the running a priori from both jobs in history, as well as core analytic jobs (although I've been applying to both--unsuccessfully). I've only really had any success from Open positions.

"From a hiring point of view history of analytic grads looks pretty fucking desireable to me."

That's what I thought, too.

"My institute (top 25) has 2 or 3 members of faculty who work in history of analyic and they're well respected philosophers in their own right."

Agreed. Ricketts at Pitt, Friedman at Indiana, Stern at Iowa (and many other notable examples) are all excellent scholars in the field, whom I admire. And indeed there is a need for good historians of analytic in the top-25. But as it turns out, my program is not Leiteriffic enough to get me hired in the top 25, which seem to be the only programs that might be interested in my mad skillz (as the kids might say). So I'm thrice screwed. Not good enough (in terms of pedigree) for the programs that might take me, and not qualified for anything at SLACs for which I might apply.

If you have any sway with the faculty at your institution, tell them to hire more historians of analytic from the bottom 25--then I might have a fighting chance. ;)

Anonymous said...

"You left off Continental philosophy! If you intend to exclude that, then please defend yourself. And explain why the hippie brand of "spirituality" should be left out of philosophy proper, if Continental should be included."

What do you mean I "left off" Continental Philosophy? I never mentioned it. For the primary reason that of the CPs I know, they fair pretty well on the job market. Perhaps there are certain areas that do not - say, someone who does Althusser may look less attractive that someone who does Foucault - but I don't know jack shit about it...Which is why I asked the question in the first place! So if you think there are areas of CP in which it's difficult to get jobs, then how about piping up to that effect in the first place?

Jesus Christ, is it me, or is every goddamned CP a victim? (Note to self: "_never_ exclude CPs. They are real philosophers, and they have feelings too."

Anonymous said...

This is 12:29 again:

Addressing how "hard" it is to tell which is the most difficult AOS: I'm not talking about this year alone. I'm talking about trends over the last 5-10 years. For instance, I've met one (ONE!) aesthetician in my years in philosophy. Nor do I see many job ads for them. In fact, I see a lot that say "AOS: Value Theory, but not aesthetics." Which is why I brought it up.

History of Analytic? Again, I just have my own experience to go by here. But I can say that a very good friend of mine (philosopher in a pretty good Ph.D program) who does History of Analytic had 2 specific jobs to apply for out of a (top 20) Leiterrific program. (This, of course, does not count Open jobs.) So, that's why I say it'd probably be tough.

Phil Math? Crikey! Yeh, it's gotta' be my number one right now...Though I guess, feasibly, you could get hired to teach nothing but 5 sections of Logic per semester...Or at a top flight program. But I can't see many SLAC's being all that excited at the prospect of hiring someone whose primary philosophical training surrounds (say) the applicability of irrational numbers to spacetime.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:29/8:47,

Just because you have friends who do Continental philosophy and who "fair" (sic) well doesn't mean that you should (or can) defend CP as a proper area of academic philosophy. If you include CP as a proper area, then how do you exclude New Age spirituality (and I'm assuming we want to)?

Anonymous said...

I feel I need to defend aesthetics, since, well... it is my AOS.

First off, I think that it isn't a horrible choice to have it as an AOS. It is, however, a bad choice to have it as YOUR ONLY AOS. Aesthetics is very friendly with other fields, like epistemology, metaphysics, or ethics. So, provided you can also claim an AOS in one of these, then aesthetics as an AOS is actually very attractive, since, presumably, you can go to departments that aren't strong in aesthetics (there are plenty of these), say you can teach aesthetics and metaphysics, and maybe get a leg up on the other metaphysics applicant.

I assume this goes for other "horrible" areas as well.

Also, there is a nice piece by Sherri Irvin about the trials of an aesthetician on the job market on the Aesthetics Online website.

Anonymous said...

Well, this thread has shown that Continental "philosophers" are not only misguided but also overly sensitive.

Phenomenology? Being and existence? Nothingness? C'mon now. These are the reasons why philosophy has such a bad name these days. Admittedly, my field -- philosophy of language -- also doesn't help much either in this area...I should have been a cowboy instead...

Continental Pissant said...

Dear anonymous 9:22 AM.

Beg the question much? And to think that I thought you big strong analytics were all about the logic.

Anonymous said...

Will Philosophize for Food has the right strategy in approaching this problem. Talk of AOS and AOC disguise the fact that there are really four categories that are relevant: what you're working on now, what you'll work on in the future, what you can teach, and what you can get hired for. The secret to being marketable is a) living with yourself, which means pick a dissertation you can actually write without eating a bullet, b) being able to pitch yourself for the jobs that are out there, and c) be able to produce enough in 5-6 years to get tenure at the kinds of schools you can successfully pitch yourself to.

There are a lot of fields where many of the people teaching courses clearly don't know jack about the subject that they're teaching. Everyone thinks they can teach philosophy of mind, and there are a lot of people who teach Asian philosophy on the basis of having seen the movie where Keanu Reeves plays the Buddha. Oh, and I'd argue that nobody should be teaching a stand-alone course in business ethics these days if they can't explain what a CDO is or how to explain the relationship between housing prices and rents.

But to return to WPfF's examples: in practice a lot of the best history of analytic people also have published in core areas, and vice versa. They're really two sides of the same coin, much like many people do both ancient and ethics. But many search committees probably don't recognize that. So it would probably be a good idea, if you're writing a dissertation on Neurath or somebody to structure it as a collection of 3-4 separate essays, three on Neurath and one on a contemporary topic that relates somehow to your historical interests, or if your dept doesn't allow that try to publish a separate paper in M&E during grad school. That way you can say, well, I'm really an M&E guy, but I had this great insight about Neurath while I was working on two-dimensional semantics, and I just had to write it up while it was hot.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit lost with the remarks on Continental and New Age Philosophy...

But is someone who wants to include CP being asked to justify their exclusion of NAP? What's the special link, other than some people think (without giving reasons) that both should be excluded?

I may as well ask those who want to include Philosophy of Mind to justify their exclusion of New Age Philosophies...

Anonymous said...

The announcements are starting to roll in on Leiter's site, and it's hard not to hate these people ...

Anonymous said...

Analytic philosophy is good philosophy, but done by boring people. Continental philosophy is done by interesting people, but bad philosophy. Everyone knows that you get the best of both worlds if you do History of Philosophy!

Anonymous said...

Just a pedantic correction: ethics isn't popular because of its real-world applications (we'll get right on that trolley problem after we finish chopping up Chuck) but because it is an ideal service course that keeps philosophy department enrollments up, i.e., interesting to non-majors. These are not the same thing.

In my experience, history of philosophy (ancient, medieval, modern, whatever) tends to do well on the job market. And while aesthetics and philosophy of religion are considered poor pure AOSs, they're not bad AOCs from the service course perspective.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:22 writes, "If you include CP as a proper area, then how do you exclude New Age spirituality (and I'm assuming we want to)?"

Why in the world would you ever think that Continental Philosophy needs to differentiate itself from New Age spirituality (NAS). Does Merleau-Ponty's reflections on the body, perception, and proprioception need to be distinguished from NAS. What about Heidegger's critique of Cartesian subjectivism, Sartre's analysis of pre-reflective consciousness, Husserl's theory of intentionality, Adorno, Horkheimer and Lukacs critique of capitalism and the capitalist form of life, Hegel's holism, his critique of Kantian formalism, his account of norms and culture, and his critique of non-conceptual theories of perception.

Why would we need to distinguish any of this from NAS, but not Quine's holism, Sellar's critqiue of the given, what Dennett or Chisholm say about intentionality, Putnam's externalism, or what philosophers of mind say about perception or proprioception.

I can only assume Anon 9:22 is absolutely clueless about the tradition of Continental Philosophy, and is speaking in learned generalizations that reveal only the most insipid prejudices. Too bad for you.

Anonymous said...

12:29 again:

Touche' on the "fair."

And no, I don't feel the need to lump CP in with New Age traditions...There are folks who do work on Heidegger, et. al, who are perfectly fine philosophers, in my view. But I personally know squat-all about it.

Among the Continental crowd, is there a feeling that the study of one particular person within the tradition counts against you? Say, maybe too many Husserl scholars already out there? Or, maybe, nobody cares about the German Idealists? Etc. (Again, I don't know much about it, but I'd be curious to hear others impressions.)

As for the person who "defended" aesthetics...No one, to my mind, is saying that's it's bad per se; only in the sense that it's not got a lot of jobs going for it. Still, you make a decent case for it. And what the hell do I know? (I just guessed, but perhaps I'm wrong about it.)

I still say Phil. Math & History of Analytic are probably poorly spoken-for, jobwise.

Anonymous said...

I'll offer another dead end AOS. Mine is in American Philosophy. There have been a total of six listings in the last three years, including only one this year. Too fuzzy for the analytics and not sexy enough for the continentals.

But at least I have my AOS in social & political to give me false hope.

Anonymous said...

One reason that many Job Descriptions do not mention such things as Philosophy of Math, Medieval, Aesthetics, History of Analytic, etc., is that to specifically name these would be to narrow the applicant pool too significantly, or create an unwieldy, list-based job description full of disjunctives. SCs (especially at SLACs) are interested in obtaining a reasonable pool, neither too big nor too small, so it is best to stick with general categories such as History of Modern or Social & Political, and see where the various AOCs fall out that the department is interested in.

In short, it is best to have an AOS that fits within the standard major categories, and expect that your specific sub-field will in fact generate some interest some of the time. Competencies in Eastern are great, for instance, but SCs may be concerned that there simply aren't enough AOS's in Eastern Philosophy on the market in any given year to actually advertise for one, when what the SC really wants is the best philosopher they can find (and agree on).

Anonymous said...

Ha ha, Continental flossophy suckz.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 10:34 PM writes:

"The announcements are starting to roll in on Leiter's site, and it's hard not to hate these people ..."

Nietzsche had a nice term for this: ressentiment.

Anonymous said...

The Hamilton jobs were up in JFP 176 online, I believe in mid-January. You had a month to apply. I'm not sure why they wanted them in a JFP that came out after their deadline, but no one with internet access has an excuse for missing the deadline just because they also appeared in JFP 177.

I can think of one AOS that has all of these beat for lack of jobs -- philosophy of education. At least, this is true if it's a philosophy job you want. Lots of education programs will hire people with a Ph.D. in philosophy of education.

Anonymous said...

Another comment on the delightfully defensive continental philosophers who have come to play the victim:

do you think it's possible that there's a variety of philosopher that thinks that BOTH the continental AND the analytic traditions in philosophy are nonsense? Because there is...

So that when someone criticizes the uselessness of speculation about Nothingness, you don't have to automatically assume that that person is engaged in equally pointless speculation about gunky objects or rigid designators or other such nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Several of the more prestigious programs made multiple offers this year: Princeton made two offers, NYU made three offers (in addition to three post-doc offers), Pittsburgh made five offers and Michigan made two offers. Because no one received an offer from more than two of these programs, it is likely that by mid-March many of the less prestigious programs will either extend an offer to someone else or will start searching for a visiting professor. Either way, that's good news for many of you, which is why I'm passing it along.

Mr. Zero said...

Did somebody tell you that you would find a job with AOS American philosophy, or History of Analytic, or Philosophy of Education? Because if somebody told you that, you should punch them in the face.

For the young'uns: when you choose an AOS, there are several things you must consider. 1. Can I actually write a dissertation on a topic in this area; 2. Is there anyone in my department who works in the area and who would be a wise choice to work with (several things are relevant here: do you get along; is his "management" style compatible with yours--some people need deadlines, some people don't; etc. I assume that transferring to another school is not an option. You can do it, but it's a pain in the ass); 3. Will I ever find a job if I list this as my AOS.

This is important. If your specialty is too narrow, or out of vogue, or something that mainstream analytic philosophers don't give a shit about, you won't find a job. (Not making a value judgment, folks. Stating a fact.) So you should consider marketability when you specialize. When you get done and find a job, do whatever you want. Nobody's going to stop you from philosophizing about education. But until then, you've got to sell yourself.

Anonymous said...

I wish that my advisors gave me Mr. Zero's third piece of advice when I decided to write a dissertation on Logical Syntax...

Anonymous said...

The revolution is coming, and it will not be advertised in the JFP.