Why do research?

1) Social Justice, Environmental Flourishing  
2) Intellectual jouissance, artistry, curiosity  

Arent these two in conflict?

1) An orthodox Marxist answer: "yes, don't waste time and resources on bourgeois mental masturbation." See also "Bankrobber" by the Clash

2) A boring, trivial answer (one Marx might give in a good mood): "man does not live by bread alone"

3) Bourdieu's answer: academic work constitues cultural capital.

4) Popper's answer: because academic work that gives a more accurate account of the world will, in the long run, be more powerful, and you can't have an accurate account of the world if you are strictly constraining your research to only that justifyed by its practicality.

5) Ghandi's answer: in contradition to Marx and Machiavelli; because revolution must be pre-figurative. As Emma Goldman put it, "if I can't dance, I don't want the revolution."

6) Sophia Kovaleskaia's answer: as a radical I should pursue practical application; but women are always seen as incapable of pure mathematics, so I will seek the most abstract.

7) Luce Irigaray: jouissance (which in French implies not only joy but orgasm) is symbolic of the deeper self that women are denied; thus seeking jouissance is a form of resistance. (Other theorists such as Slavoj Zizek would suggest that such "identity politics" is self-negating since it is ultimately founded on the idea of democratic egalitarianism, which it contradicts in holding a special priviledge for one group).

In summary: the two should be in constant negotiation in your work.

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