I remember telling myself that I did not need to be in graduate school in order to read, explore and discuss ideas with friends, as a way of consoling myself for failing to finish. Since then, for the most part, I have failed to do that as well. I won’t try to create a narrative as to why; that is best left to a therapist. However, it’s been gnawing at me lately more than usual. Certainly all it takes is a desire to want it, to choose it over the myriad ways I spend my time. A snow storm today finds me re-reading Feyerabend’s Against Method, and all that is missing is the divine voice saying: tolle, lege (Take! Read! as Augustine imagined God saying at his conversion.) It is as brilliant as I remember, but unlike on previous readings I am focusing less on creating a mental map of everything he is saying and more on just listening to what he is saying.
And is it not clear that successful participation in a process of this kind [i.e. the actual advancement of knowledge] is possible only for a ruthless opportunist who is not tied to any particular philosophy and who adopts whatever procedure seems to fit the occasion?
I must be such an opportunist and not worry about opportunities lost.