What sort of university starts in May?!
Welcome, friends! I have a bone to pick with liberal arts education.
In the least finger-pointy way, I have long felt that there is something vaguely grifty about commoditising freely available knowledge, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, when the primary value proposition is the books themselves and the insights offered therein. Sure, you have the accountability offered by a competitive academic environment, and (at the best/most expensive schools) a healthy discursive environment in which you can develop opinions about these texts. I maintain, however, that these conditions can be easily and affordably replicated, for instance, through live-blogging the process of reading these books. Readers provide accountability, and writing about books is thinking about them.
These criticisms are ultimately toothless, though, because I’m a STEMbrained philistine whose philosophical education consists of skimming SEP articles to fight about things that I don’t really understand online. So, as any good scientist does, I’m putting this theory to the test, right here, for your schadenfreude.
I will be attempting to follow the St. John’s College ‘Great Books’ reading list and write a weekly post on my progress and reflections on what I’m currently reading. Since I will be doing this alongside research work and a medical degree, I’m not committing to a hard timeline, but aim to finish the reading list within four years, which is the length of the official course.
I will hopefully “graduate” as worldly and sophisticated as an esteemed St John’s alumnus, but remain unburdened by the one hundred and twenty thousand dollar ransom that this knowledge typically commands.
If this sounds interesting to you, feel free to subscribe and accompany me on this quest. I cannot promise anything but the pure breeze of prose most naïve.
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