Sunday, 4 September 2016

Lucky 7 #1: Dos and Don'ts for Graduate Students

Inspired by the recent controversial work by Daniel Dennett about how philosophy is a bad version of chess, and also by recent posts at the always beautiful Daily Nous philosophy website, I have decided to compile a checklist for use by graduate students in philosophy. Anyone is free to suggest additions and modifications. All mistakes are my own.

(1) Keep a checklist of ideas for your papers every morning.

(2) Do not procrastinate: you need to do work today as well as tomorrow.

(3) Sometimes your professors will give you a hard time. This is normal, but you are also allowed to talk about it. May I suggest a funny cartoon to lighten up the load.

(4) I have had a lot of difficulties publishing my work, but then so has everybody. You are not special, but perhaps your ideas are. Learn to know the difference.

(5) Your family may or may not understand, but philosophy is a wonderful effort.

(6) Follow the topics you are most able to contribute to. Do not just follow fashions in a mindless way. Philosophy is a microcosm of fashion. Men and women deserve respect; so does philosophy, no matter what the fashion.

(7) Learn to talk to your peers. They will lift you up, even if you are worried that you are smart as them. Conversely, if you think you're a lot better, you're probably wrong. No one is very good anymore.

Thanks for listening and let me know if I have missed any! This has been a real pleasure to compile, so thank you to Justin Weinberg from Daily Nous and Daniel Dennett for all the inspiration behind it.

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