And there are actually jobs in philosophy?

As a matter of fact, there are, and I’ve been fortunate enough to get one at the University of Oregon, which I’ll start in Fall 2013 after completing a post-doc at the Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School and Center for Human Values.

For the last two years, I’ve been pursuing exactly this.  It was worth it, though I do feel that I may have contracted a mild case of PTSD along the way.  To anyone who is thinking about a career in philosophy, all I can say is that you should think seriously about other options.  I was on the verge of quitting at least four times, and had paved the way for an alternative career as a tutor to the children of oligarchs in NYC.  I certainly don’t mean to suggest that it’s impossible to get a tenure-track job in philosophy, but it is awfully stressful and by no means a sure thing.  By my back-of-the-envelope calculations, only about a third of Ph.D.s end up with such a position, so even being very, very good doesn’t assure you a job.

It’s been hard, in its own way, just to switch off the job-seeker mode and actually get back to doing philosophy.  I often find myself automatically typing in the url for philjobs.org or phylo.info/jobs.  Hopefully that’ll fade soon.  In the meantime, I’m working on a bunch of philosophical projects in fits and starts.

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