Philosophy of a prize-winning procrastinator

The Stanford Daily interviewed John Perry, the father of Structured Procrastination:

Philosophy of a prize-winning procrastinator

Joining the elite company of the mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania (who rolled a tank over a parked car in an attempt to deter illegal parking) and a group of doomsday forecasters (who have all incorrectly predicted the end of the world), professor emeritus of philosophy John Perry was awarded a 2011 Ig Nobel Prize….

Perry won the award for an essay published 15 years ago titled, “How to Procrastinate and Still Get Things Done.” The essay explains how procrastinators can exploit their procrastinating tendencies, delaying seemingly more important tasks by doing less important ones, to make themselves “effective human beings, respected and admired for all that they can accomplish and the good use they make of time.”

“For some reason the essay seems to have been liked by a lot of people, many of whom write me every week and say it has helped them,” Perry said. “I didn’t write it to help people, I just wrote it to get through a dark and depressing afternoon when I was down about being a procrastinator…so that’s nice that people like it.”

While the Ig Nobel Prize is Perry’s latest claim to fame, Perry is well known in philosophy circles as an influential, widely published author. He has published over 100 books and articles on topics ranging from philosophy of language to philosophy of mind to metaphysics. His work is so well respected that in 2007, other authors published a compilation of essays about his work.

In the introduction to the book, “Situating Semantics: Essays on the Philosophy of John Perry,” the editors praise Perry as one of the few modern philosophers who has bridged the gap between the modern approach to philosophy, which emphasizes highly specialized study over “larger syntheses” of ideas into a unified worldview, and the broader approach to philosophy used by philosophers like Immanuel Kant, John Locke and Martin Heidegger….