Materials for Students

Grading, Evaluations

Evaluation sheet for graduate seminars (will be modified and can not be applied to every class)

Evaluation sheet for oral presentations in graduate seminars (can be modified)

Grading criteria for papers (will be modified and can not be applied to every class)

Grading criteria for presentations (will be modified and can not be applied to every class)

Grading criteria for oral exams (will be modified and can not be applied to every class)

Evaluation sheet for upper level in-class essay exams (example)

Self evaluation sheet for participation (can be modified)


Thesis paper form

Response sheet form

Examples of Exams and Assignments

In-class essay exam assignment (example)

Final essay assignment (example)

Final exam assignment (example)

Reaction Paper Assignment(example)

Examples of Protocols and Concept Papers

Protocol in graduate seminar (example1)

Protocol in graduate seminar (example2)

Concept paper (example)

Letters of Recommendation, Policy

Policy for recommendations letter requests (applications for graduate schools, fellowships, etc.)

Reading and Writing Philosophy

Five key strategies for successful academic writing [taken from here]

Helpful tips for writing philosophy papers and giving oral presentations

Helpful tips for reading philosophical texts

Major US-Programs in Continental Philosophy

Stony BrookVanderbiltEmoryDePaulLoyola (Chicago)VillanovaPenn StateDuquesneBoston CollegeNew SchoolFordhamMemphis

German Philosophy Departments

Students who are seriously consider studying Continental philosophy should study for at least two years in either France, the Netherlands or Germany, for example in München (the department has more offerings in Philosophy of Science and Logic than the University of Pittsburgh, as well as has more offerings and more substantial output in Kant/German Idealism than Stanford University; click here to see an example of course offerings for only one semester, SS2010). The Universities in Bonn and Berlin (Berlin has three major universities: FU, TU, HU) have outstanding departments; here are more German philosophy departments: HU BerlinTübingenBerlinFreiburgBielefeldFrankfurtHeidelbergJenaHalleMünster HamburgLeipzigKonstanzKöln. The University of Amsterdam and the University of Leuven in Belgium have excellent philosophy programs (though I can’t say much about other universities in those countries). Towns, such as Munich and Berlin, host more than 200thousand university students, offer outstanding educational and cultural opportunities, and house a public culture totally unknown in the US. In addition to be based on a different quality of life these towns are “places” where future cultural ideas are developed. Berlin, for example, has several philharmonic orchestras, several literature centers, university programming, public lecture programs, and more than 20 internationally acclaimed museums and theaters with broad cultural programs. Often even mid size German towns have their own state and town run theater, as well as decent museums. Given that philosophy is a culturally sensitive discipline, these factors should be taken into account when students decide to go for advanced degrees.

Note on the Leiter report

The Philosophical Gourmet Report is not a reliable guide for students who intend to study (Continental) philosophy in the US, for the report is hostile to certain forms of European philosophy and European culture, especially French philosophy, which the editor of the report, Brian Leiter (quoting Young), openly declares to be “Humbug.” He says: “But there is also a great deal of (mostly French) Humbug in the Continental tradition,” the statement of which is the sad expression of a deep seated “francophobic” ressentiment in certain academic circles. Why would someone associate “being French” (mostly French!) with “Humbug?” According to the main editor of the Leiter report, who has written not a single unique philosophical work, Judith Butler is the best name for “bullshit” (8/30/2003) and a “charlatan” (9/29/2012). Leiter also complains about the “armchair bullshit” of J. Bernstein (New School) (6/15/2010). Moreover, he declares Habermas’ – for him only a “public intellectual” – and Derrida’s (he is a “charlatan,” 3/5/2012; not a serious philosopher, 4/22/2014) interviews on terror after 2001 to be “bullshit”: “It was John Searle who famously remarked that Derrida’s work is the kind of stuff that gives bullshit a bad name. And now we have yet another case in point, thanks to interviews with Habermas and Derrida about the September 11th attacks on the U.S. Although I have my reservations about Habermas as a philosopher, there is no question that he is an important public intellectual and critic, especially in Europe” (8/27/2003). Here is even more: “Habermas is too philosophically insubstantial: (9/14/2003), and Leiter complains that is common to overstate “Habermas’s philosophical importance” (1/12/2011). Moreover, Agamben is subtly turned into an enemy (12/2/1010), and Zizek is “increasingly pathetic” (10/24/2013). Where is this open hate coming from? Everyone who works outside the Anglo-American mainstream world, is not (yet) dead, and is well received by either academics outside the core of Anglo-American philosophy or the academic public is subjected to Leiter’s hateful comments. In Leiter’s mind it is all about rankings, judgments, hierarchies, putting achievements down, hostilities, numbers, etc. – the best example for what Nietzsche called ressentiment. Leiter constantly calls other philosophers unintelligent, stupid or unfit to be a philosopher. In addition, why would the editor of a supposedly neutral “ranking” (and self-declared leftist) constantly fetishize the ranking(s) rooted in capitalism and, in addition, use the word “bullshit” so often, especially given that Leiter has not produced any work that remotely matches the philosophers he criticizes? In addition, the idea of rankings in the academic sphere reproduces a neoliberal system, in which economic imperatives and the class divisions on which these imperatives are based, are heightened. Rankings of philosophy departments and philosophers are highly dubious and, in  our times, are ultimately about allocating wealth and the reproduction of the upper class (with their intellectual preferences), but not about the quality of education (and, one should add, not about educating the disadvantaged). A post-capitalist society won’t need rankings, as it will distribute scientist and scholars differently. Given that many international universities try to adopt the Anglo-American model of higher education in order to compete with them, these rankings are part of cultural imperialism, and philosophers who agree to work as evaluators for the PGR should be ashamed of themselves. Very enlightening in this context is the study by Richard Münch about academic capitalism. He says in a recent interview that academic competition in a neoliberal world is not about progressing knowledge; rather, it is about capital: “In some sense the [capitalist, C.L.] academic competition works like the Champions League. Capital decides for years to come who will play in the upper part of the table.” Also check this out. In sum, Leiter is speaking in the name of the “left,” but, in fact, stands for a reactionary position. Here is an insightful comment on and critique of the PGR by John Protevi. Also: check this site out: