Andrew Magrath (biggrumpy) wrote,
Andrew Magrath

Grad School and Game Theory

Well my loyal readers (and only friends) I need your help. This is a tough one. Both MIT and Berkeley require a 15-25 page writing sample of philosophical prose. Both websites specifically mention the philosophy program accepts people into the programs from a wide variety of programs and backgrounds, but requiring 15-25 pages of philosophy prose seems like it is stacked against non-philosophy people (like me). I assume that the admissions people the individuals background into consideration, but I could be wrong.

In my essays of why I want to go to the schools, I specifically talk about how I am not the traditional candidate. In that way I am able to frame it and show my strengths as a scientist wishing to fill out my understanding of science by going into the philosophy of science, rather than a philosopher wishing to now specialize in science.

I had one philosophy course in Oberlin and the final was 7 pages long. It has been 3 years since I wrote for the course and it was primarily lecture based. Needless to say, I am a bit hazy on some of the specifics, and I also find it really hard to expand on ideas that have been solidified. I was able to pretty easily expand it to 10 pages, but as I have been working on it, it feels like I am just watering it down and not making it better.

So what should I do?

I could stretch the paper out making it 15 pages, but having it end up kind of crappy.

I could submit it as is, along with my shorter philosophy paper from the course. And I could submit a lab report too. My strength is that I am a scientist, and a lab report would show that. I am not a philosopher, so my philosophical prose are understandably my weakness.

I just don't know what to do. More or less ignore the instructions and turn in multiple strong samples (summing to 15+ pages) or turn something in that isn't really indicative of my abilities.

Your thoughts, my loyal readers and only friends?

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