For those thinking of becoming an academic

Should you study Plato, Epicurus, Descartes, Spinoza, Kant, Hegel or even Husserl? Aesthetics, politics, morality, epistemology, metaphysics? Should you devote your time to teaching, to producing a body of work, to research, to Culture? It makes no difference. The only thing that matters is your intention: are you elevating thought and contributing to the common good, or rather joining the ranks in a field of study whose only purpose is its own perpetuation, and only function the self-reproduction of a sterile elite – for this turns university into a sect.

Barbery, M. (2006), The Elegance of the Hedgehog (trans. A. Anderson), Gallic Books, p. 248

About J

J has an economics background and is a part-time consultant
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9 Responses to For those thinking of becoming an academic

  1. Rabz

    For those thinking of becoming an academic

    And at that point I stopped reading…

  2. It is not a likely prospect for me I would prefer to complain about many of the academics we do have who do “live in a sterile world”. Often they create things which no business would ever create (at least not one that will stay in business) like the carbon tax because in theory it would do whatever without thinking about the real world.

  3. Fred Furkenburger

    “for this turns university into a sect”

    Funny that!!

  4. brc

    >For those thinking of becoming an academic

    …take up a real job before you are lost forever.

  5. Splatacrobat

    P.G. Wodehouse’s knowledgeable butler Jeeves read a lot of Spinoza.

    “Sorry to keep you waiting, Jeeves,” I said.
    “Oh no sir, thank you. I was quite happy with my Spinoza.”
    “Eh?”
    “The copy of Spinoza’s Ethics which you kindly gave me some time ago.”
    “Oh, ah, yes, I remember. Good stuff?”
    “Extremely, sir.”

    “I suppose it turns out in the end that the Butler did it?”

    -From Jeeves in the Offing

  6. bc

    I begged somePp years ago but they wouldn’t have me. Dodged a bullet there i think?

  7. Lysander Spooner

    I’d be interested to hear what Steve Kates or Sinclair thinks of this quote? :-)

  8. Lysander Spooner

    Samuel J – why was my last comment not approved?

    I also note that (as an aspiring academic in the process of becoming an academic) that Muriel Barbery was a Professor of Philosophy – so isn’t this a little rich coming from her?

    [Comments get approved at random. Sinc]

  9. Sinclair Davidson

    I’d be interested to hear what Steve Kates or Sinclair thinks of this quote?

    Yep – about right.

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