In October, I gave a talk at the University of Notre Dame on being gay and Catholic. You can watch the video below:
Am I an intellectual prostitute? As a professional student in contemporary America, what else could I be? Former Cornell Law School dean, Roger Crampton, once said that law school tends to present the “hired gun” as one of the main “models of professional conduct to law students.” I suspect this is the implicit model of most professional and technical schools. As a hired gun, the professional functions as an “intellectual prostitute”, who hires out his intellectual talents to the highest bidder.
Even at Notre Dame, our graduates largely outsource their talents and capabilities to employers who dictate to them the expectations and requirements of professional life. The highest-paying jobs are usually those in which recent graduates have the least control, in terms of the ends and means of their work. Yet these are the jobs most respected and sought-after. Many of our graduates are taught to desire prestigious positions in large multi-national corporations or the organizations that serve such companies. And the more money that is offered, the more our graduates are willing to give employers control over their lives and work. Continue reading “Selling oneself to the highest bidder”
The following column was published in The Observer on Thursday, October 2, 2014.
“I don’t like to hire students who studied accounting. They tend to approach problems narrowly, as though they are clear-cut numerical issues with clear-cut, single-answer solutions. This just isn’t true.”
I was a bit surprised to hear this from a partner at a nationally recognized law firm that focused on business law. As a former philosophy major in a joint-degree program in law and Catholic Studies, I tended to see my lack of business knowledge as a liability in my job search. What this lawyer suggested, however, was that a technical or job-oriented degree could be an intellectual hindrance for those pursuing professional work. Continue reading “On Business Degrees and Free Market Mysticism”
In November 2010, I presented a paper for the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture’s annual Fall Conference. After several requests, I have reproduced this paper below, with some minimal edits and revisions. Regarding discussions of my experiences in the Program, it must be noted that I only took three of the required classes. My personal experience in the Program was quite minimal. Continue reading “The Great Books at Notre Dame”