Monday, February 9, 2009

Talent and perseverance win out...sometimes

Somewhat related to the last post, my understanding is that Eric Olson spent a long time in the wilderness, including a period of unemployment, before finally publishing his way into a tenure track job at Sheffield. (Is it an accident that he ended up working at a British university, where the ability to publish is even more prized than in the U.S.?) What amazes me is that Olson was able to get a book deal with Oxford while he was still unemployed. The fact that the preeminent publisher of philosophical books would give an unemployed philosopher's book a careful and open-minded look gives me reason to hope that this profession isn't all about pedigree and prestige, and that good work, no matter who produces it, will eventually be recognized and rewarded. Am I being pollyannaish? Anyway, I'd be interested in hearing more about Olson's story, if anybody knows anything. Eric?


daup said...

Olson's first book is also dedicated "To the unemployed philosophers."

Anonymous said...

Eric worked in Cambridge for some years before moving to Sheffield.