(Trigger Warning: While the ultimate purpose of this post isn’t to grouse ineffectually about the horrors of the academic job market, many of this blog’s core readership will notice familiar tropes from that overpopulated genre. I’ll also eventually advance a very broad hypothesis about moral axiology based on induction from a single case, viz. that of my own bad self. Forewarned is forearmed.)
When I first got seriously interested in philosophy during my late teens and early twenties, my attitude toward the discipline was pretty Spinozistic. I thought that the goal of learning about this stuff was to purify the intellect, become one with the cosmos, and whatnot, and that any more specific advice that philosophers might give about how to live one’s life was unlikely to be much more reliable that the rantings of hoboes in the subway. But at a certain point, it became clear that I was going to have to at least try to cultivate a few opinions about normative ethics, if only so I’d have something to say during the earnest, caffeinated discussions for which my generation is now so famous.