We scholars are an odd sort. If we are philosophers, as well as academics, what are we doing in the Academy? Is ‘academic philosopher’ a contradiction in terms? How accurate is this characterization?
The present is a depreciated form of currency for most academics; we live in anticipation of a future when our accomplishments and sacrifices will be recognized—finally.
Some are born posthumously, as Nietzsche says? Perhaps. And some of us lead abortive lives, spending most of our time laboring away, generating nothing but … alienation.
Whether this characterization is accurate may be less important that whether it is useful (where usefulness is thought about in terms of being part of or contributing to a good life). Does thinking this thought help us, or hurt us? And what does the answer to the last question say about us?