Edited by Michael Szenberg and Lall Ramrattan
Chapter 24: Philosophy and My Work Life
24. Philosophy and my work life* Julian L. Simon I As a 17-year-old starting college, I was anxious to study what the great philosophers taught about how to conduct our lives well. My second (and last) course was a selective gallop through Western thought. I enjoyed it and did much of the extensive reading. But though some of the philosophy of science made sense, much of the rest seemed meaningless to me. Most especially, the pompously unreadable school of Hegelian German philosophy seemed a fraud on the public; pure obscurantist nonsense, I concluded. When much later I read John Locke’s and David Hume’s similar judgments about the bulk of academic philosophers, they fortified my doubts. The exam for the philosophy course was the last of five, so I let it slide. Then the night before the exam I could not find my class notes, which were unusually important in that course. Naturally, I panicked. A philosophy major upstairs lent me his notebook for a few hours, but it didn’t help much. I then had the inspiration to ask him to teach me some impressive-sounding German words that I could insert into my exam essays. He did so. And the next day, for the first and last time in my life, I faked the answers on an exam. The result? During my first three semesters I had not received even an A minus. This time I got a straight A, and my phil major friend upstairs – who had been doing very...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.