Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » November 2005 » Ask a philosophy grad school dropout

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11/08/2005: Ask a philosophy grad school dropout

Some academic fields seem more suited to blogging than others. Economics, linguistics, and biology seem to work well as blog topics. My field of study, philosophy, doesn't seem to work so well.

Often a short blog post is not even long enough to explain why a particular philosophical question is an interesting one, much less present the possible answers and consider their merits.

AskPhilosophers at least partly solves the problem by taking questions from the general public. There's no need to explain why a question is interesting, since it was at least interesting enough for someone to ask.

So, in an effort to increase my output here at DBV, I'm inaugurating a new feature here, "Ask a philosophy grad school dropout," in which I will answer questions asked at AskPhilosophers. Here's the first one:

Question 56: I am a philosophy undergrad. What should I do to guarantee I get the most I can out of grad school?

Some of the most philosophically productive thinking you will do in grad school will be done while drinking beer with your fellow students, so it is vitally important that you have access to a good bar while you're in grad school. This bar should not be noisy, because you won't be able to discuss Leibniz vs. Spinoza on substance if you can't talk over the music. The bar should have a good happy hour special, because you will be poor. And there should be good snacky food available. Finally, if at all possible, the bar should be within stumbling distance of your residence.

When I was at University of Rochester, I was fortunate enough to live within stumbling distance of two good bars: The Distillery and The Elmwood Inn.

I had more philosophically interesting conversations over Genny Lite and chicken wings at those two establishments than I had in any seminar.

Brock on 11.08.05 @ 07:56 PM CST

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