reflections in philosophy of psychology, broadly construed
I am applying to some of the better programs and working on my statement of purpose. I have one that I used in a previous year. I only got into a couple of MA programs and a literature program, but there may be other reasons for that. What I'm wondering is this: A friend advised me that it's a good idea in your statement to describe a possible dissertation project, so I did that. I came up with a project on Hegel and Alain Badiou, a contemporary Continental philosopher who isn't exactly popular in many philosophy departments. I also said I'm interested in a number of contemporary Continental philosophers since Heidegger. This reflects my interests, but it may, I suspect, keep me out of the programs that I want to apply to. I'd be happy to work on Hegel or Heidegger, I just can't think of a dissertation topic on either of them. What would you advise me to do? Perhaps I should leave out the dissertation proposal and take out my statement about contemporary Continental philosophers.
No need to put in a dissertation proposal for US applications -- maybe even better not to. (See my 2007 series of posts on applying to PhD programs.) You're right that Hegel/Badiou will be unattractive to the majority of Leiter-ranked PhD programs. But some programs welcome students interested in the "Continental" tradition (e.g., UCR). You'll want to research the programs carefully to see if there are faculty who share your interests with whom you could conceivably work on figures like Badiou.
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