© 2018

Contemporary Philosophical Proposals for the University

Toward a Philosophy of Higher Education

  • Aaron Stoller
  • Eli Kramer
  • Draws contemporary philosophers into a critical conversation about higher learning with novel and original contributions to the field of philosophy

  • Raises discussion regarding the scope, direction, and organization of institutional contexts considered philosophically insignificant

  • Engages philosophy in meta-critical discussion of role of philosophy and philosophers in an institutional context


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Aaron Stoller, Eli Kramer
    Pages 1-23
  3. The Problematic Situation: Challenges Facing Higher Education

  4. The Wellspring of Experience: Reflections on Robust Higher Education

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 79-79
    2. George Allan
      Pages 103-122
  5. Generalization: Reconstructive Proposals for the University

  6. Return to Experience: Reconstruction Put into Practice

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 187-187
  7. Future Inquiry: Higher Education in the Coming Century

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 215-215
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 261-268

About this book


This edited collection brings together a robust range of philosophers who offer theoretically and critically informed proposals regarding the aims, policies, and structures of the university. The collection fills a major gap in the landscape of higher education theory and practice while concurrently reviving a long and often forgotten discourse within the discipline of philosophy. It includes philosophers from across the globe representing disparate philosophical schools, as well as various career stages, statuses, and standpoints within the university. There is also a diversity in method, approach and style, which varies from personal narratives and case studies, to philosophical genealogies, to traditional philosophical essays, and to systematic theories. The collection can serve as a theoretical resource for critically minded administrators and faculty who wish to analyze and change policies and structures at their home institutions. It will introduce them to a wide range of possible educational imaginaries, as well as provide them with productive suggestions for pragmatic change on campuses. 


critical university studies critical engagement in higher education John Dewey philosophy of education neoliberalism

Editors and affiliations

  • Aaron Stoller
    • 1
  • Eli Kramer
    • 2
  1. 1.First Year ExerienceColorado College First Year ExerienceColorado Springs, COUSA
  2. 2.Department of the Philosophy of CultureInstitute of Philosophy of the University of WarsawWarsawUSA

About the editors

Aaron Stoller is Director of First Year Experience at Colorado College, USA.

Eli Kramer is an affiliated researcher at the Department of the Philosophy of Culture at the University of Warsaw Institute of Philosophy, Poland. He is also a Philosophy PhD Candidate at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, USA.

Bibliographic information


“The editors of this exciting new collection argue that university professors lack shared vocabularies for diagnosing the university’s current problems and deliberating together to resolve them. Each chapter then provides the critical resources, new vocabularies, and modes of organizing to move toward solutions. Readers will come away ready and eager to join a renewed dialogue about the future of the university.” (Leonard Waks, Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership at Temple University, USA)

“The university is one of civilization’s preeminent institutions because it was designed to lead, rather than follow, social development. Today, other social forces feel entitled to infiltrate and manage higher education. Philosophy created the university, and is responsible for sustaining its vision for tomorrow. This collection of timely essays is required reading for anyone still daring to think that education should fulfill a higher purpose.” (John R. Shook, Adjunct Professor of Learning and Instruction, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, USA)