The Mind-Body Problem
I found myself being able to think about philosophy within that novel in a different way. It opened up a freedom in me, to be able to think philosophy in that setting, putting different points of view into characters. I mean Plato did it for goodness sakes. It all starts with Plato, right, in the dialogues. So, another thing that had happened to me is — I mean several things had happened. I had given birth to my first child, and my father, the father who I adored, died, and I was thinking on about like how to think about these things philosophically, did I know how to think about these things philosophically, how to grieve a parent, how to raise a child?1 No, I was so compartmentalized, there was the philosophy I studied and learned and taught, and there was the philosophy — and then there were the questions of my life. And I wanted a way to integrate that and it was also a way of grieving for my father, because I made him the father of my protagonist. The protagonist wasn’t me, but I did give her my father, and somehow that worked for me very — it was somehow a healing process, but it did just become to me an exciting way of thinking and full of surprises.2 Characters who’d do things that surprised me, and then I could understand it in retrospect. But I just found it sort of epistemologically thrilling, a new way of knowing that could use my other ways and — yeah, I still find it like surprising and thrilling.