Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I must admit it. I've already been acting this way and now, with some introspection, I understand why. What does it mean to accept it?

I've been acting, for at least a while now, like I want my philosophy handed to me on a silver platter. How should one raise children? What kind of education is appropriate? I sit on the edge of my seat waiting for the next The Objective Standard (of which I really only read the science and education articles). I enjoy listening to my hubby and our friend who comes to discuss philosophy on Thursday nights, but don't contribute anything worthwhile. I'm useless in applying philosophy and don't grasp subtleties or some of the underlying issues and contexts. I love when others do the work and, if I've found their reasoning convincing or I've come to expect good thinking processes from them in the past, I'm more than happy to accept their conclusions in applying the philosophy. If it disagrees with some opinion I've already formed, I'm letting the existing opinion stay in place without doing the necessary work to see why there's a difference.

It is not an optimal way to live. Why is it that I'm willing to accept others' conclusions now? Why is it I'm hoping to see more and more in applied philosophy in the areas I'm interested in? How can I continue to think something that others have reasoned would be incorrect? In thinking about it, I've discovered why I'm being so divorced from the derivations myself. I haven't read original Rand writings in a while. I never did finish Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. As it stands right now, I won't for a while.

The reason I have lost my focus on philosophy recently is: I'm too tired, lazy, busy, and I've yet to recover brainpower after child-birth (a little thing known as "mommy-brain"). I feel really tired trying to think hard right now. I don't seem to have enough time to sort things out, mentally. My concentration is shot. Priority-wise, it seems that the minutiae of everyday living has taken over.

Can I live with this? Should I live with this? Do I need to live with this? My current answer is yes. I need to clean, do laundry, teach the kids, feed the baby, feed the family, get my kids a social life, and have a hobby that I can touch and feel something real as a product. I cannot be an intellectual (someone whose main career is producing philosophical thought and writing) because I haven't gone to school for philosophy. Ayn Rand certainly recognized that not every person is a great thinker, or is even capable of it. I am, currently, going with the flow. I can live with this for now. After I feel that I've got the business of every day living to a point where I've got a decent amount of free time and a whole lot less stress, I'll re-evaluate.


Rational Jenn said...

I think I understand how you're feeling (as my brain is quickly clouded by Impending Baby). What I try to do is focus on the Virtues and realize that hobbies and childrearing are indeed ways to live Productively, if you are doing those things consciously and with focus. While I'm not an academic philosopher, I am an applied philosopher who tries to improve her life daily--and reminding myself about the virtues helps me do that.

Hard to feel 100% focused when you're sleep-deprived, though!

Kim said...

I think I've integrated enough to feel some stuff (mostly this stuff) is automatic. Although I'm not completely comfortable making some judgements or decisions right now--at least I know. And they say knowing is half the battle. Thanks for the info. It's nice to know someone in a similar situation.