Sunday, July 08, 2007

Normalization & The Tragedy of the Academy

So I've been married for just over 1 week, 1 day and an hour. Neither the wife or I feel particularly different. After all, we had been dating for practically 5 years and living together for 3 of them.

I did have a primordial and emotional realization, about a half hour ago, that I can't just end our relationship with a couple tasteless, thoughtless words. Don't plan on it or even desire it, but it's just something that popped into my head while letting it ruminate randomly. Then again, knowing that a divorce costs about the same, if not more than a wedding, is just one more argument for staying together. . .which really doesn't compare to the emotional benefits of being married.

Anyway, the major adjustment now is more returning back to the regularly scheduled life I had say. . .a year and a half ago, just in a different city, a different job in the same industry, different people and just a different details. Other than that stuff and actually having my ass together enough to work substantially on the novel, the project and the time management to make it all happen, life really has normalized to some extent, just new and improved.

Today really sets the example of executing the time management skills to get work done. I've done a fair amount of reading and writing today. Back during the Fannie Mae days, I had gotten good at writing a page or so when I got home from work M-Th then dedicating my afternoon and early evenings on Sunday to writing and reading. I got quite a bit done then, and I intend on getting a lot done now that I've got a regular job and don't have weekend wedding jaunts to make.

After doing a fair amount of writing the novel and reading Alasdair MacIntyre's, A Short History of Ethics: A History of Moral Philosophy from the Homeric Age to the Twentieth Age, I've stumbled onto something of a tragedy of some academic disciplines, especially when the practitioner hasn't really become comfortable with innovating original ideas. Not to worry, I'm not talking about Mr. McIntyre.

I'm talking about myself. A Short History of Ethics: A History of Moral Philosophy from the Homeric Age to the Twentieth Age is a smashingly good book. It doesn't provide an indepth comprehensive history of moral philosophy, but it has introduced some good bits of information, answered some of my own questions (if not completely) and Mr. McIntyre does a good job of keeping the narrative of this short history interesting and, dare I say it, somewhat exciting.

The main tragedy, however, is that I don't think I won't be satisfied enough at the end of the book. I can't fault the author. Rather, the topic of ethics and morality in history obviously hasn't reached a good solid, conclusion. I know that Mr. McIntyre has written books about virtue ethics and that he really digs Socrates, Plato and Aristotle but has the humbleness to accept that these three philosophical powerhouses don't have all the answers. If anything, they have the roots to the important answers.

Basically, a book like this one acts as a great introduction to the topic. It's pretty much intended to get someone interested in the topic and get them to read more into it. To some degree, it's a needed over sized marketing brochure for a discipline and a great mind. This book will give me great ideas, but since the topic is incomplete, I will need to do some original thinking in addition to gathering the information Mr. McIntyre has provided. When it comes to this project, I've got a little sick of original thinking and could deal with a little hand fed thoughts and concepts. I've been working on this thing for years and years, and I'm ready to move on.

I guess, like a friend has said, though, that this project really has inspired me to do what these projects are supposed to do: provide a broad range of research and knowledge through my own instrumental action and research. But dang, couldn't I have done something like this when I had more experience?

Alas, despite all my venting, I got myself into this mess, and I'll need to get myself out of it. It's just amazingly frustrating when I have generally had more ambition than I necessarily have the conceptual ability to handle. Well, at least I'm not satisfied with accepting pat answers like "That's just the way it is" or "You just ought to!"


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