A New Approach

Conventionally, the human-centric education given by a course of philosophical study has been provided through a university program.  Small liberal arts institutions especially have attempted to give individual attention to students.  Such institutions have historically relied upon a model of approximately four-year residence in an atmosphere of dialectic, where a canon of ideas, texts, and thinkers are the common daily bread.

A series of related shifts in the educational and employment marketplaces have largely obsolesced such educational institutions, however: namely, the shifts towards demand for STEM-credential workers, the shift away from determinate canonical ideas, texts, and thinkers, and the shift towards a digital environment to which residential collegiate confinement is antithetical.

In other words: the conventional college route for attaining a human-centric education is disappearing.  Increasingly, colleges focus more upon providing students credentials for technical ability.  Support and promotion of humanities programs is decreasing, and the quality of those programs is lessened as they are moved increasingly to the periphery of the university curriculum.  Although attempts have been made to provide the same content once offered in humanities courses through “massive open online courses”, the individualized attention through which philosophical inquiry becomes a habit cannot be replicated except by direct and personal contact.

The paradigm of digital life allows us to bypass the limitations of conventional colleges—time, money, location—and instead take a new, lifelong approach to philosophical learning.