Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I declare victory over year two

Yesterday I finished up enough stuff to call my second year of philosophy grad school done. I gave the final presentation for my directed reading with Anil Gupta. It was on the connection between Dunn's gaggle theory and Belnap's display logic, as presented in some articles by Rajeev Gore and Greg Restall. It is neat stuff and I hope to put together a post on it. (If wishes were fishes...) Belnap came to my presentation, which included an ever so brief introduction to display logic. That was cool, although a bit nerve-wracking even though both members of my audience were incredibly nice.

In any case, finishing that presentation brought me up to quota for classes I need to have done by the fall and my teaching obligations have been completely discharged. Woohoo! I still have some things to do over the summer: finish some outstanding model theory proofs and write a paper for my Carnap and Quine class. Neither of these are likely to be accomplished in the near future as I leave on Friday for a three week vacation in Japan. I don't expect to be posting much while I'm overseas. Once I get back it looks like there will be some reading groups happening in Pittsburgh. The reading list is TBA. I feel like I should have some thoughts on teaching, but I don't have anything put together. As I approach time when I have to start thinking about putting together a prospectus (or, spinning in the void, as I affectionately call it), I find myself drawn more to philosophy of logic. This is good since there are a lot of people around with which to talk about that. This is (possibly) bad since at the moment I know very little about the area. It just seems like a possible way of putting together some of my interests. I'm looking forward to reading a lot this summer since I didn't do overly much of that during the year. That and having a year off from teaching. (A complete non-sequitur: I just discovered that my spellchecker doesn't recognize "woohoo" as a word. How odd.)


Greg Restall said...

Congratulations! I'll be interested to see what you come up with on this material. Hopefully our paths will cross sooner rather than later.

Enjoy the break in Japan.

Greg said...

I second the congratulations. Unless things are quiet different at Pitt than they were ~6 years ago, having only one paper outstanding is almost unheard of.

I'm now going to say something incredibly presumptuous. I think (from what I've picked up on your blog) that philosophy of logic is an excellent match for your talents and interests. I would suggest, though, that you look through an issue of Jobs for Philosophers and check for how many jobs in philosophy of logic there are. Or even just logic.

On the other hand, I've gotten the (completely unscientific) impression that people who can claim specializations in M&E (and/or mind) but who work on e.g. the epistemology of logic have done pretty well on the job market lately.

I apologize for bring up such crass issues while you are spinning happily in the void. Plus, I'm definitely vulnerable to the tu quoque response, since I wrote my dissertation on the history of analytic philosophy in the mid-20th C. In any case, good luck -- and I'm excited to see where you're headed.

Shawn said...

Thanks! Japan was fantastic.

My understanding is, roughly, that while in the last six years things have changed slightly de jure to make finishing coursework easier, things have not changed much de facto.

I despair a little at having to think about the job market before even embarking on my joyous time spinning in the void. We'll see how things go.

I'm going to be spending a good part of the summer reading some things in different areas to see what seems the most interesting: some philosophy of logic, some logic, some philosophy of science, maybe some philosophy of language. In roughly that order.