Silver Lining

Since I retired from my job four years ago I have dedicated myself to philosophy. I have never worked so long and hard. This is a consequence of the freedom afforded by retirement: no more teaching, professional obligations, faculty meetings. That’s the thing about retirement: you can get some work done! Partly it’s a matter of time and energy, but more important it’s because of the lack of distraction. You can focus for weeks on what you are working on without having to worry about professional obligations. I have therefore been able to go deeper and range wider than ever before. I would not have been able to do the work I have if I were still holding down a job. I feel this acutely. I feel that before retirement my work stayed at the surface, but now I feel that I have dug deeper; at any rate, I’m happier with my work. Certainly, the quantity is far greater than I could achieve while working as a professor. Retirement has changed me as a philosopher.

4 replies
  1. Nadji
    Nadji says:

    By the way (sorry to be so prosaic), what are your new books to come? I’m not totally against the idea that you are telling us more about it.

    • Colin McGinn
      Colin McGinn says:

      My new book “Philosophical Provocations: 55 Essays” comes out in July of this year from MIT Press. It has essays on mind, language, metaphysics, epistemology, biology, ethics, and religion. But I also have another 120 essays that I plan to publish in another book or books on a similar range of topics.

  2. Joe Mckay
    Joe Mckay says:

    Can’t wait for your new books! I am really looking forward to sampling your take on a number of different areas.


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