The Productivity Syndrome (or why I stopped writing philosophy)

I taught at a community college, so I was never on this productivity treadmill, though replacement treadmills were provided. Anyway, I’d like to think philosophy could be driven by something other than meeting quota. But, so it is.


You are at a conference, wandering around the book exhibit.  A former colleague walks up and greets you.  A few minutes into the conversation she asks the inevitable question.  “So, what are you working on?”  You say, “nothing.”  Or to make it perfectly clear, you say, “I am working on nothing.”  You are met with a suppressed shock (without the awe) that barely obscures your companion’s dark thoughts: you are living “dead wood,” worse, someone who has the gall to admit it.  You can’t bear to be seen like this, and quickly add, “but I am actively engaged in research in new areas of interest, which I fully expect will result in a series of articles or books.”  Not really dead wood, you see.  Just taking a working, productive, hiatus.  Never let it be said, or even thought, that one is not productive.

I have three articles sitting on my…

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About ethicsbeyondcompliance

I hold a PhD in medical humanities with an major emphasis in ethics. I began teaching college-level ethics in 2000.
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