10/14/10

Capturing a Worry

One worry I have about my identity as a scholar: I am too captured and engaged with problematics and not enough with the problems themselves.

What's the difference? To be engaged with problematics is to be a puzzle-seeker-who-writes-papers. To be engaged with problems is to be alive and alert to opportunities to follow genuine questions wherever they may lead, whether they lead to papers or not.

Professional academia leads to conclusion-first reasoning: first the paper, then the conclusion, then the premises, then the problems. We might call this "pseudo-inquiry."

2 comments:

Dave said...

I think the order is problem, conclusion, premises, paper. I don't understand what you mean when you say the paper comes first.

hilde said...

The problem I was getting at in the post was that sometimes academia leads us to worry about having a paper or article to produce--in other words, people need to have "product" to advance their career. Then, the paper (or product) drives inquiry. Cart before horse scenario. That's not how it should be, of course, but and that's why I'm characterizing it as a professional hazard.