Un fragment prelevat din masa (suficient de interesantă a) celor 5 răspunsuri venite recent de la Stephen Stich. Dincolo de retorică, amendând proporţiile, v-aş întreba câţi profesori au făcut eforturi de genul ăsta pentru voi?
3. What do you consider your most important contributions to the field?
For much of my academic career, I have been singularly fortunate in having the opportunity to work with exceptionally gifted and enthusiastic young philosophers. Most of them were graduate students at the universities where I taught; others were visiting students or visiting scholars at my university or at nearby schools. In each case, I learned at least as much from them as they learned from me. But in one respect my relationships with these young philosophers could not be reciprocal. While I had a good job at a good university, they were just launching their careers and were in need of advice and support of various kinds. Mentoring these younger philosophers was a great privilege, and a responsibility I took very seriously. Since almost all of the people I worked with shared my Quinean conviction that philosophy done well is continuous with science, helping them launch their careers was often quite a challenge. Much of the mainstream philosophical world was skeptical about our empirically engaged approach to philosophy, and more than a few people were (and are) openly hostile to it. So I spent countless hours helping my students sharpen their arguments and shape their projects to make clear why their work was relevant to traditional philosophical concerns. I also invested a greatdeal of time trying to prepare students for the job market by being sure they had engaging, highly polished job talks and well practiced strategies for dealing with the inevitable barbed questions about their empirically oriented approach. Whenever possible, I tried to send them out into the job market with several publications already in the pipeline. The process always required hard work and long hours from both me and the students. (In one memorable case, I did about a dozen mock interviews with a student about to go on the market!) But I am delighted to say that we were always successful. I have never had a student who didn’t get a good job, and all of them who have reached the appropriate stage in their careers now have tenure. By far my most important contribution to the field has been the help I provided in launching the careers of these remarkable young scholars.