I live in Rochester, N.Y. Since my undergraduate education in philosophy, I have had a long career as a newspaper editor.
Cedarville University’s proposal to eliminate its philosophy department is short-sighted. It is the mark of a institution in retreat; it is an indication that the university lacks the courage to engage every aspect of our culture.
A Christian university of 3,400 students should be embarrassed to have only two faculty members now devoted to teaching philosophy, and a proposal to eliminate the teaching of philosophy altogether should prompt far greater embarrassment. If the trustees agree to this proposal, Cedarville will no longer be able to claim honestly that it has comprehensive educational offerings and is committed to developing the whole person.
My undergraduate degree in philosophy is from Calvin College, a Christian college in Michigan. When I studied there, it was under some of the most gifted philosophers in America. Calvin’s academic reputation and tradition of philosophical education remain strong today: Its current enrollment is just a bit below 4,000, and its philosophy faculty has 14 people. Cedarville should aspire to something similar, instead of aspiring to have a philosophy department of zero.