Philosophy Graduate Student Disease

Had another dream last night:

I was checking my email, and I received a message from a professor who is coaching us for the ethics bowl. He had forwarded a message of some of the judges comments from a previous ethics bowl. One of the comments was the title of this post.

My subconscious reaction was interesting, but its only interesting if I remember how I typically respond to situations like this. I usually do not care about being insulted. I’ve been called the n-word before. People have made fun of my family, my political ideologies, my God, etc. None of these things upset me.

However, when I “heard” this comment that a former judge had made, I set about to disprove the judge. I was moved by the comment. I cared about what that judge thought.

Over the break, I realized that I had philosophy graduate student disease. The authors of Epistemology and the Psychology of Human Judgment were discussing the disease. They said that it is characterized by, “an excessive concern over perceived or actual smartness. What sucks is that I didn’t even recognize the disease inside of me until I read that passage.

Since then, I’ve been trying to treat this silly condition. Focusing on the love of God and God’s will have been two medications that I’ve taken in the past. I remember the first time that I realized that God, the maker of the universe, gave two craps about me. It happened right before I was about to give a speech. I was nervous up until that point, but after I made that realization, no more anxiety.

I’m hoping something like that will happen with this stupid smartness anxiety. This dream reveals, however, that I’ve got a long way to go towards making that a reality. Thanks, God, for making my flaw apparent, for now through Your love, I can inoculate myself against that which commonly infects intellectuals.

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