Thursday, January 19, 2012

Not gracefully aging

I've discovered that I'm in the midst of a premature "Philosopause", which according to Anne Soukhanov is defined as:
a point at which a researcher, weary of or frustrated by rigorous laboratory-based science, begins to look for nonscientific, philosophical explanations instead
William Reiners and Jeffery Lockwood, in their book "Philosophical foundations for the Practices of Ecology", take some exception with this definition as it appears to indicate that philosophy and science are mutually exclusive activities. They prefer that philosophical reflection is induced "... through the realization that the promises of science that were implicitly made to us as students are not explicitly realized in our labors as ecologists."
Apparently Stephen J. Gould experienced an early philosopause as well, so I'm in good company at least. Although in that same link John Hawks suggests that "blogopause" is also a possible fate.


  1. I recall a debate in your seminar where a grad student was arguing that science is not a branch of philosophy, and then you asked "What does Ph.D. abbreviate?"

  2. I am not a researcher but definitely find myself questioning the "why" behind what I am doing for a living and "what does what I do mean or does it make a difference?".

    Big question pictures seem to fill my mind.

    I wonder if when we are younger if we are so focused on tasks and getting some place or accomplishing something that we don't take the time to reflect philosophically on the "promises" of whatever we are doing.