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Re: letting go

Posted by alexandra_k on August 8, 2009, at 23:16:50

In reply to Re: letting go alexandra_k, posted by Garnet71 on August 8, 2009, at 20:22:23

> Alexandra - are you pursing the degree for the 'right reasons' - or are your avoidance issues permeating your desire for that educational outcome??

I guess one take is that those who pursue deeply intimate relationships / families are overly dependent on others... And I guess another take is that those who do not pursue deeply intimate relationships / families are overly avoidant of others... I guess like most things there are better or worse reasons and figuring out what is most comfortable / natural / good for one takes some time...

I have become particularly contientious of the fact that the majority of academics (that I know in my field anyway) aren't particularly interested in helping people. They have a passion, and their passion might well have side-effects that are beneficial for society, don't get me wrong, but helping society or individuals within society is not what drives them.

I would like to put something back, to be sure. Linehan was right in the sense that helping others is what helps make my life meaningful. Part of it is about figuring out the nature of that contribution. How can I best contribute? Different people are suited to contributing in different ways. 'Little' things like smiling at a stranger or random acts of kindness that can make a significant different. All kinds of things...

My motivation to do medicine is something that I have looked into. And something that I've raised with my therapist. And something that I've raised with my supervisors here. Everyone is supportive of the notion. My therapist thinks I'd be suited to do that and that I'd be fairly good at it. He thinks that I'd need some special consideration with respect to my working hours - but he said that he has a number of students who need that and that really isn't a problem. My supervisors said that the training would do me good with respect to my intended area of specialization (philosophy of medicine) and it would open up funding opportunities that aren't available to me without that background. Seems like a win-win really.

Teaching is okay. It is just... With respect to my contribution to the world... If I need to 'work' a couple days a week in order to support my research (as is most likely that I will need to do) then I'd rather see patients a couple days a week and perhaps help some of them rather than teaching undergraduates a couple days a week in order to support my research. I'd rather help people with physical / mental complaints that they have (people who are suffering) rather than discuss logical positivism or two dimensional semantics with undergraduates (who are still acquiring the terminology and who don't, for the most part, know what they are talking about).

There is a 'new wave' of philosophy. One that consists in 'taking science seriously'. 'Seriously' to the point of 'if you are interested in philosophy of psychology then you need to work in a psychology lab for a bit and learn about what issues they are having and help them sort out the conceptual dispute / verbal dispute / underdeterminacy of theory by data kinds of issues'. 'Seriously' to the point of organizing inter-disciplinary reading groups etc etc etc. Developing a shared terminology is a huge part of it. Reading at least some of the same stuff. In order to do philosophy of medicine in the 'new wave' tradition that I'm certainly part of... The best possible thing for me to do is to actually learn medicine so that I have a shared terminology with which to 'translate' for both fields.

 

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