Why is it that whenever I write something philosophical, I hate it? Do any other philosophers feel this way about their own writing? How do philosophers write?
Writing philosophy so very often involves uncomfortable compromises. If you put in all your own doubts and reservations, signal all the places where -- as you well realize -- objections might be raised, indicate all your silent assumptions, and so on, then your essay or paper or book would be pretty unreadable. But if you just silence the inner voice that keeps saying "But on the other hand ..." and go for the unqualified bold sweep and the big idea, you feel you are cheating your reader (and yourself). So you try for some middle way. And when it comes out in cold print -- even if you don't immediately spot some horrible mistake you now have to live with -- it is difficult not to worry that, after all your efforts, you've got the compromises all wrong, and the piece doesn't really convey quite what you intended. So yes, it is easy to "hate" your own writing ... Or is that just me?!
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