It’s almost July and I wanted to give a status update on my summer research progress. My main task of the summer has been to work on my Qualifying Paper for Wash U. The paper is more or less a complete draft at this stage, although there are about 5 more references I need to add to the bibliography. Since I have finished the draft, what I am doing now is a combination of more extensive reading of the literature as well as re-reading the paper and tweaking as much as possible, as well as adding or adjusting footnotes or minor points as I read deeper into the literature. I’ve probably read through the paper now dozens of times. And by the time I get done with revising it at the end of next semester in response to the Works in Progress PNP workshop, I will probably have read it dozens more times. I’m excited by the paper since it seems to be my best work yet. I feel pretty confident that it could eventually end up in a good journal once I get comments from my faculty committee and revise it further. It already feels fairly polished compared to my earlier publications. My only concern right now is that I might be trying to do too much in one paper. I think I could cut it down to a more narrow range of concerns, but I’d be concerned of losing sight of the broader implications of my argument. I’m not the type of philosopher who likes to write short counter-argument rebuttals of someone else’s argument. Instead, I have a broader focus and my argument is an argument against a general approach, not any specific philosopher. As such, I think the “big picture” approach is right for the paper. Hopefully my committee members won’t feel otherwise and have me do major revisions. That would suck! For my first QP though, I think the paper is pretty damn good and it’s definitely a direction I’d like to pursue further in my dissertation.
In other news, I am still waiting to hear from the Central States Philosophical Association whether or not my paper was accepted. They said I would find out by the end of the month, and the suspense is killing me!