I'm currently planning my Philosophy PhD applications. 

If I'm interested in a traditional area of Philosophy (Epistemology, Ethics, Phil of Language), I can easily check recommendations from Philosophy Gourmet Reports, rely on testimonies from my tutors, or look at job placement data for existing PhD programs.

If I'm interested in working on alignment, the decision is far harder. It's a smaller field with less publicly available information. There are no "ranking" systems like PGR. My tutors are mostly epistemologists working on classic philosophy problems. It is far harder to estimate impact/alignment efforts as compared to estimating tenure chance by comparing job placement data.

& PhD program choices will have great impacts on ones career in the short term. I can list out the mechanisms for this but I don't think this will be disputed.

So the question: Are there a comprehensive guide on this? If not, would people be interested in making one? Just to be clear, I'm not sure if a "ranking" system like GMR would be useful, but program recommendations would be really valuable.




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Might be better to look for a Prof doing interesting/relevant research, rather than specifically a PhD program

Yep! I think that would be really useful. I was wondering if people compiled a list relevant to this, which I think might be valuable for like-minded students like myself.

The quick answer is that wanting to do alignment-related work does not depend on a Philosophy PhD, or any graduate degree tbh. I'd say, start thinking about what are your interests more specifically and then there might be different paths to impact with or without the degree. 

I don't have any particular knowledge in the area, but you might want to look at the guest speakers for the CAIS philosophy fellowship- I know they are all at the minimum "alignment sympathetic".

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My guess is that there is likely no comprehensive guide for choosing a philosophy PhD for alignment. Is there a reason why you want to do a philosophy PhD in the first place?

The reasons why I want to do a Philosophy PhD are not directly EA related. I enjoy thinking about complex problems, and handled graduate level epistemology well as an undergrad. 

I'm still in the figuring out process for whether or not I should work on alignment  or just other areas of philosophy.