Explaining your work to non-philosophers?

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In our newest “how can we help you?” thread, Recent Grad asks:

How do you explain your work to non-philosophers in small talks or non-academic interviews? I recently went from philosophy grad school to a non-academic job market, where potential employers and colleagues love to ask me to explain the research I did. My work was quite theoretical (some issues in epistemology and meta-ethics), and I don’t know a good way to explain my work to them in a short conversation. Most people either have a hard time understanding the topics or don’t see why they are meaningful. But I HAVE TO make an interesting conversation that makes them happy and satisfied!

I feel tempted to pretend that my research was in an area that they might find more interesting, perhaps political philosophy or ethics, but I’m also reluctant to do so – after all, I spent several years of my life studying the theoretical issues (sometimes even meta-theoretical issues).

I would appreciate any advice!

This is a great question. We had some helpful advice for philosophers seeking non-academic jobs in our Alt-Ac Transition Tips and Alt-Ac Workshop. But I wonder whether any readers might be able to help with the OP’s question specifically?

Originally appeared on The Philosophers’ Cocoon Read More

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