perils of fame

I received this year’s edition of The Higher Education

Exchange today, with an interview of me by

David Brown. The interview starts with me worrying about academics

who pursue fame. I think that the desire for fame is a major motivation

in academia; in fact, status and fame seem to be professors’ main selfish

goals. (Curiosity is one of their main unselfish motives.) I’m interested

in this because I think that both the pursuit of fame and its attainment

can have distorting—even corrupting—effects on scholars. I also

think that fame goes to the already famous in a way that’s unfair and

that undermines meritocracy in the university. This would be a good subject

for a serious philosophical article, I believe.