The Unexamined Life May Be Your Own

When philosophy professors contemplate the "philosophical life," it tends not to be their own.

Socrates, who brilliantly initiated dialectical back and forth, then nobly died for his beliefs, works as role model for lots of alpha men in the field. Hypatia, torn apart for her beliefs and independence, and French doyennes from Beauvoir to Hélène Cixous doing it their way, form a helpful late-night vision for many women.

By comparison, looking in the mirror, or in the