James argues that what is characteristic of assholes is that they systematically "act out of a deep-rooted sense of entitlement, a habitual and persistent belief that they deserve special treatment." He develops a typology of different kinds of assholes, and also theorizes about the rise of "asshole capitalism," which is where:
Leiter has a post up on the issue of the ‘stale PhD', which
remains an ongoing debate despite the unusually bad job market of the last
years. The rationale seems to be that real ‘stars’ will land TT jobs straight
out of graduate school, so if someone has been out of graduate school for some
time and still does not have a TT job, search committees will infer that there
is something ‘wrong’ with the candidate -- otherwise he or she would have
already gotten a TT job. The vicious circularity of the process is patent: the
reason why you don’t get a TT job is that you didn’t get a TT job in the first
place. It is unfair, but yet one of these heuristics that people use to
save time and effort in judging and decision-making processes.
My understanding is that the focus on TT job is
predominantly a North-American phenomenon, as opposed to how the job market is
organized in Europe (especially continental Europe). As some readers outside
Europe may already know, academic research in Europe is heavily subsidized by
research grants provided by funding agencies such as the European Research
Council as well as national agencies (in the Netherlands, the almighty NWO, the
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research) – a structure that Eric Schliesser
has voiced quite a few objections to, but one which I see as having many
advantages as well. (And I must admit that these people have been pretty
generous with me so far, so I can’t complain…)
One thing that I think editors can do is to be willing to invite junior women (and even promising graduate students) to write articles for volumes that are otherwise mostly big-name senior people. This does double (triple?) duty: it helps put less pressure on established people... while helping to ensure gender balance in these volumes, and it helps women who are at an earlier career stage with things like tenure and getting jobs (and simply becoming "known" in the philosophical community). I've seen more and more volumes with a few articles in them by junior people/grad students; the least we could do is ensure that THOSE articles are written by women.
This seems right and good to me, at least as far as the volumes themselves go and as far as the profession goes. But my question is whether submitting papers to volumes is actually good for the graduate students (or early academics) themselves. I am not so sure that it is.
Five old puzzles to brush up on your logic skills before the GREs:
(1) Yesterday I ran into my colleagues Eric Wiland and John Brunero, who were trying to sneak out to watch the baseball game. I asked Eric: "Is any of you a truth-teller?" Eric said something that sufficed for me to know the answer to my question. Are Eric and John liars or truth-tellers?
Recently I was asked to suggest graduate students for a focused conference on a particular issue in philosophy. I decided to poke around the web pages of some departments known for work on that topic. This turned out to be largely useless. Many students had web pages - not all did, which brings up prior advice - but almost none had any specifics. Now I know that one doesn't always know specifically what one's specialization will be while in grad school. But still, if you know enough to say that you are working on, say, metaphysics, you know this because you have written papers at least for courses. So you can mention topics. My advice is that you do so - mention every topic that you know enough about that you would like to be invited to a small focused conference on that topic. Where you will meet folks working in the area, get noticed, share work, all that good stuff. Talk with your faculty about what would be good things to include, but do so. I doubt that my search was all that unusual a phenomenon, but you have little to lose by including some areas.
It's that time again: Undergrads finishing up will soon be sending
out applications to Ph.D. programs and grads finishing up are about to
head out on the job market. Though choices might be limited owing to
financial restraints, there likely will be some who will have the
opportunity to choose among several departments.As I advice students about this on a daily basis, and reputation plays a crucial factor in the desirability of a department, I thought it would be worth mulling over what makes a department reputable.