March 29, 2009

This Post is Old!

The post you are reading is years old and may not represent my current views. I started blogging around the time I first began to study philosophy, age 17. In my view, the point of philosophy is to expose our beliefs to rational scrutiny so we can revise them and get better beliefs that are more likely to be true. That's what I've been up to all these years, and this blog has been part of that process. For my latest thoughts, please see the front page.

Moving to USC

Today I accepted an offer of admission (with funding) from the University of Southern California School of Philosophy. As those who have been following this blog for a while know, USC was one of my top choices last year. I was encouraged to reapply by one of the professors there after very nearly making the cut last year. In addition to being very strong in my areas of interest and having an excellent placement record, USC will massively decrease my commute, offered me better funding, and will mean no longer depending on the unpredictable California state budget. All of these are good things.

I have very much enjoyed my time at UCI and am looking forward to one more quarter there (which starts tomorrow). I will start at USC in the fall.

Posted by Kenny at March 29, 2009 8:20 PM
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Posted by: pferree at March 30, 2009 7:34 AM

Congratulations Kenny, we'll miss you here at UCI. Who do you plan to study with at USC?

Posted by: Aaron Griffith at April 1, 2009 9:14 AM

Thanks, Aaron. The people working on early modern at USC are Jim Van Cleve, Gideon Yaffe, and Ed McCann, so I am most likely to be working with them.

Posted by: Kenny at April 1, 2009 9:21 AM

Congrats! The seminar room there is awesome.

Posted by: Eden at April 1, 2009 1:47 PM

Yeah, it's pretty great. I was actually more excited about the library! (The departmental library has 60,000 volumes, and its own rare books collection.)

Posted by: Kenny at April 1, 2009 1:52 PM

As I've begun my Junior year in high school I have to face the crucial decisions with regards to the future of my life. While I've become increasingly interested and impassioned by my studies in philosophy, all of my research into PhD programs have been very discouraging. Most say that the road to getting a PhD in this area is extremely difficult and competitive, costly and time-consuming, and even after getting one there is no guarantee that you will be able to find a job in academia. I've read that the job market is extraordinarily competitive, and that the position of full-time professor on track for tenure is increasingly disappearing. But I know that I love the subject and that someone has to get these positions.

My question is basically, as someone currently involved in this process, would you recommend going for a PhD in philosophy?

Posted by: Noah at October 19, 2011 5:49 PM


It depends on what your goals and aims are. There is of course no need to decide before you start college.

The way I see it, doing philosophy all day sure beats having to get a real job, and if you get into a good PhD program, they'll pay you, so you won't be going into debt or anything. So if I can't get an academic job when I'm done, well, doing five years of philosophy and then having to get a real job is better, as far as I'm concerned, then just getting a real job in the first place. But if you don't think that, then grad school might not be a good idea, because there might very well not be an academic job for you when you get done, and then you'll be five years older and just getting an entry-level position in some other field.

My advice: if you love philosophy, then go to college and major in philosophy. Even if you decide not to go on to grad school, an undergraduate major in philosophy is fairly employable out in the work force. Or, if you decide you like money, you can always go to law school.


Posted by: Kenny at October 19, 2011 6:08 PM

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