Snarl of the Month

John Althouse Cohen has a question for philosophers:
[I]f you're so brilliant at analyzing the world,[...] then why haven't you done a utilitarian calculus to figure out the extremely low probability that your philosophizing is going to accomplish anything?
Taking the question seriously, I can think of three answers:

1. Like many people, philosophers overestimate the utility of what they're doing.

2. Like most people, philosophers-to-be choose a carreer which they think they'll enjoy.

3. There's an unstated assumption in the question that may be wrong: Just because philosophers are (presumably) high in IQ and a high IQ is helpful for many careers, it does not follow that many people who have the potential to become a successful philosopher have multiple attractive career paths open to them. Can you see Immanuel Kant as a super entrepreneur, nurse or fundraiser? Me neither.

P.S.: I had a vague idea that the English noun "snarl" roughly means "short sarcastic remark", but a quick Internet research suggested that's a bit off. However, I think the word and the meaning are a brilliant match and will use the word in that meaning hencetoforth. Join in, my millions of readers!


John Althouse Cohen said...

Don't you mean "snark"? That seems to be a portmanteau word of "snarl" and something else.

Thanks for the response to my snar(l/k).

LemmusLemmus said...

Yup, "snark" it probably was. I'll stick with "snarl", though.