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Amor Mundi 1/10/16

In our Amor Mundi, we reflect on how life pressures us to remember some pasts over others, check in on the state of American rage, and much more! Posted on 10 January 2016 | 8:01 pm

Amor Mundi 4/26/15

In this week's Amor Mundi, we reflect on the occurrence of violence in our world, meditate on the benefits of a college education, and much more! Posted on 27 April 2015 | 11:41 am

The Laboratory as Anti-Environment

“Seen from the perspective of the “real” world, the laboratory is the anticipation of a changed environment.” -Hannah Arendt, The Life of the Mind I find this quote intriguing in that its reference to environments and environmental change speak to the fact that Arendt’s philosophy was essentially an ecological one, indeed one that is profoundly…Read more The Laboratory as Anti-Environment Posted on 16 December 2013 | 10:49 am

The False Culture of Utility

“Culture is being threatened when all worldly objects and things, produced by the present or the past, are treated as mere functions for the life process of society, as though they are there only to fulfill some need, and for this functionalization it is almost irrelevant whether the needs in question are of a high…Read more The False Culture of Utility Posted on 23 September 2013 | 11:57 am

MOOCs, Sufi Devotion, and the Ethics of “Presence”

The recent ascendance of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, has generated considerable enthusiasm among college faculty members and administrators. But it has also created a great deal of anxiety, as Nathan Heller notes in his recent article “Laptop U,” which appeared in the May 20 edition of The New Yorker. Among their other concerns—the…Read more MOOCs, Sufi Devotion, and the Ethics of “Presence” Posted on 9 July 2013 | 11:00 am

On MOOCs; and Some Possible Futures for Higher Ed

Barely more than a year old, MITx and edX now dominate discussion about the future of higher education like nothing else I have seen in my time in Cambridge, MA. I have been teaching at MIT for more than 10 years now, and can’t remember any subject touching directly on university life that came even…Read more On MOOCs; and Some Possible Futures for Higher Ed Posted on 4 June 2013 | 12:19 pm

The MOOCs Debate Continues

Thinking stops us. To think is to slow down, even stop, turn around, and reflect. There is that famous scene in the Symposium where Socrates simply stands there in the street for hours, thinking. Barbara Sukowa, in the new film Hannah Arendt, literally smokes saying nothing for minutes on end to offer the exemplary sense…Read more The MOOCs Debate Continues Posted on 17 May 2013 | 2:12 pm

Amor Mundi 5/5/13

Hannah Arendt considered calling her magnum opus Amor Mundi: Love of the World. Instead, she settled upon The Human Condition. What is most difficult, Arendt writes, is to love the world as it is, with all the evil and suffering in it. And yet she came to do just that. Loving the world means neither uncritical acceptance nor contemptuous…Read more Amor Mundi 5/5/13 Posted on 6 May 2013 | 12:32 pm

MOOCs: The Debate Continues

After months in which university after university signed on to the bandwagon for Massive Open Online Courses called MOOCs, the battle over the future of education has finally begun. This week Duke University pulled out of EdX, the Harvard/MIT led consortium of Massive Open Online Courses called MOOC’s. The reason: Its faculty rebelled. According to…Read more MOOCs: The Debate Continues Posted on 3 May 2013 | 4:10 pm

The Higher Education Bubble? Not So Fast.

We have a higher education bubble. The combination of unsustainable debt loads on young people and the advent of technological alternatives is clearly set to upend the staid and often sclerotic world of higher education. In this month’s The American Interest, Nathan Hardin—the author of Sex & God at Yale: Porn, Political Correctness, and a…Read more The Higher Education Bubble? Not So Fast. Posted on 23 January 2013 | 10:43 am