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Eric Dayton, Philosophy Faculty


How would a Grad Student in Philosophy go about professionalizing themselves?

First of all, the academic life has become so much more ruthless than it used to be because of the ... whole emphasis on granting, research, and so on, which isn't particularly good for Philosophy, although it's a necessary--probably necessary--consequence of the professionalization of academia. Students today probably need to have submitted articles by the time they get their PhD, so that they know what the game is, and students who don't have any publications when they're first looking for jobs will find it difficult to find jobs and so on. It is important to do, for job- related reasons, and I think there are lots of conferences and it's very good to start out by submitting papers to conferences. If you want to be a professional philosopher there is a long road there that starts out with undergraduate conferences, and graduate conferences, and conferences for graduate students and recent PhDs, and there are journals that specialize in those as well. Then there are academic journals for the profession. You can occasionally get into those as a graduate student but it's difficult. (Does it sometimes depend upon the number of people that are writing on your particular subject or topic and how in demand that topic is?) I guess, to some extent. In some fields the profession itself pays close attention to the impact factor of different journals. That has largely to do with granting agencies and getting funding. Philosophers don't pay much attention to that kind of thing. There are lots of really excellent journals that are so specialized: a journal in 19th century American Philosophy, or a journal that's entirely devoted to Kant, or Hegel, or Ancient Philosophy, and these are...You know, there aren't really very many people who do those things. There are very good people who do those things, but these are not giant journals that have a large number of submissions.