In the current debate about where to invest our public higher education dollars, the study of philosophy doesn’t make it very high on the priorities list. This is especially true when it comes to institutions that serve low-income and working-class students—institutions like Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC). It’s all well and good for upper-middle-class students at private liberal arts colleges to spend time searching for the meaning of life in a philosophy class, or exploring their inner poet in a literature seminar. But first-generation college students don’t have time for all that. They need an education that leads to a career. And what does studying philosophy have to do with that?
It turns out that the habits of mind and heart nurtured by philosophy are critical to both the world of work and a healthy democracy. Joining Truth to Tell to tell us why are: MCTC philosophy professors RuthAnn Crapo and Maram Wolstan and three of their students: Priscilla Mobosi, Alberto Martell and Kelly Watson.