Do You Want to Date a Philosopher?


We’ve all dated a dude in academia and, yes, that mysterious air of “think of all these deep, important, bookish things that he knows” can be intoxicating at first. His vague condescension can even be a turn-on, in the right context. But cut to six months later when you’re hungover, blearily sharing a plate of hash browns at the Waffle House he deeply feels is beneath him, and you’re trying to tune him out while he corrects you on the correct pronunciation of a French author’s name.

That’s from the “academia” section of a widely-shared Thought Catolog piece titled “6 Professions That Produce the Worst Boyfriends.” It reminds me of a recent discussion about the dating preferences of philosophers, in particular whether philosophers prefer to date other philosophers. Such a topic is silly, bordering on prurient, and thus perfect for the Friday of a slow philosophy news week in the middle of the summer. So come on, everybody, let’s do an internet poll!

[polldaddy poll=8206832]

guest
18 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Crimlaw
Crimlaw
7 years ago

Are there academics somewhere who are “paying upwards of 50k a year for the privilege of providing indentured servant labor for a private university.” Is the next trend in exploitation charging graduate students tuition for their teaching assistant positions?Report

Justin Schwartz
Justin Schwartz
Reply to  Crimlaw
6 years ago

Many decades ago (1980s), when I got my philosophy PhD at Michigan (I’m a lawyer now), TA’s were charged a reduced tuition rate of $2K+/- out of out $8K+/- wages. I can’t recall how much outstate tuition was, but I made a point of not going to a school where I’d have to pay them (net) instead of vice versa. And we were unionized. Later I heard the union won a complete tuition waiver. And even in the the 1980s, and even in Michigan, $6k didn’t go far.Report

Adam Omelianchuk
7 years ago

I for one am relieved that wife is not a philosopher, although I have a hard time articulating why.Report

Dani
Dani
7 years ago

I can’t take the survey because it doesn’t have the answer I would give, which is “I swore I would never in a million years date another philosopher, right up until I started dating the one I’ve now been partnered with for 7+ years.”Report

early career
early career
7 years ago

While there are many positives about dating a philosopher (or at least someone who “gets” what I do), there is no way I would. The climate is such that it is approaching irrationality to engage in romantic overtures with women in the profession. I care more about my career than I do about pursuing a romantic relationship with someone in the profession. The sea it too full of fish to pursue a relationship in a culture where “creep-shaming” is an accepted form of treating men who make good faith efforts to date professional colleagues.Report

Jesus
Jesus
Reply to  early career
7 years ago

Translation: Sorry ladies! Your demands to be treated fairly and respectfully in the workplace, and your outrage at sexual harassment and assault means you’ll be missing out on my lovin’.

Wow. That is some ace trolling.Report

Malcolm
Malcolm
Reply to  early career
2 months ago

Oddly enough, my wife, a philosopher, didn’t find my romantic pursuit of her creepy since it was prefaced by friendship, respect for her as an intellectual peer (if not superior!), and confirming verbally and via reading of social cues that there was mutual interest and the “pursuit” was consensual and reciprocal.

I think this is also a good strategy outside of academia, too.Report

David Mathers
David Mathers
Reply to  early career
2 months ago

I can’t think of a single case where someone in the profession has gotten in trouble *simply* for politely asking someone of the same professional rank as them out. Can you?Report

Matt Drabek
7 years ago

To answer the question in the headline: No.Report

Speculator
Speculator
7 years ago

About half of the answers are negative. A lot of philosophers trying to convince themselves that they’re cooler or nicer or more urbane than their fellow philosophers, or so it seems to me. Plus, you gotta love the opening line of the quoted portion: “We’ve all dated a dude in academia…” Not even the pretense of class-inclusiveness; she’s talking straight to the Wes Anderson demographic.Report

Funk
Funk
7 years ago

Am I to read this de re or de dicto?Report

Philip Kremer
Philip Kremer
Reply to  John Protevi
7 years ago

That fauxphilnews story made my wife laugh even more than me.Report

John Protevi
Reply to  Philip Kremer
7 years ago

It made me wince at memories of my (I hope!) former self.Report

Emily
Emily
6 years ago

I will date a man if and only if he’s a philosopher. E = (triple bar) PReport

david
2 months ago

Sounds like a recipe for disaster. “Did that sex we just had really happen? How do you know for sure?” Etc………Report

Michael Kremer
2 months ago

I have been married twice to historians with philosophical interests (first marriage ended in my wife’s death from cancer, second still very much a going concern). This has been ideal for me as a philosopher working in the history of philosophy. We are different enough that we always have new things to share with each other intellectually, and we are similar enough that we want to share them. We can both be challenged and we can both learn, but there isn’t the danger of some fundamental disciplinary disagreement disrupting domestic tranquility!Report

Walter Veit
2 months ago

RelateableReport