Saturday, November 10, 2012
Herman Cappelen: I had Jonathan Barnes as tutor for most of my courses. Barnes was an important influence – though I remember asking him whether it was worth going on with philosophy professionally and he said, ‘Only if there’s absolutely nothing else you can see yourself doing and you think you can do it better than anyone else’. I worked hard to ignore that advice or put severe restrictions on the domain of ‘anyone.’ That said, I think he was right. However much one loves doing philosophy, entering into the profession is for most lovers of philosophy probably a bad choice (which is just an instance of a more general point: making a profession out of something one loves because one loves it, is probably a bad choice).