This question pertains to philosophical education or philosophical pedagogy:
Even though I do not hold any degrees in philosophy (I hold undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science), I believe that philosophy should constitute one of the foundations of higher education. It is impossible, I believe, to be truly educated without a sound background in philosophy and logic.
To this end, I have always believed that with the wonderful emergence of new technologies it should be incumbent upon every capable institution of higher learning to seek to disseminate such core foundations. This can be done, with remarkable ease these days, through distance learning.
However, with the exception of a very small number of philosophy departments associated with certain universities, most departments of philosophy look upon distance learning, seemingly, with great loathing.
Furthermore, the thought of actually establishing distance degree programs in philosophy (whether at the undergraduate or graduate level) is considered absurd.
How do I know this?
Because I received my Masters degree in political science from Virginia Tech -- online. Immediately following this educational experience -- a truly wonderful educational experience -- I queried a large number of departments of philosophy, asking why there were no online courses or online programs. I was greeted with great disdain for even asking the question.
(Exceptions to this include Oxford University's beginnings in online philosophy courses, as well as the University of Illinois (Springfield) who has sought to develop an undergraduate degree (available online) in philosophy. Harvard University also offers one philosophy course -- available online -- each semester through their Extension division. I had the great pleasure of completing this online course (in metaphysics) a short while ago.)
With so many homes and workplaces connected to high-speed/broadband Internet, and with the combination of online and on-campus (periodic/brief) residencies, the further development of undergraduate or graduate programs in philosophy (online) is certainly a viable option. (Especially when one considers the fact that as it pertains to "adult education," it is often tremendously difficult for individuals who are presently established in one locale (most often in association with their occupation) to be able to pick up and move their entire family to the on-campus situation. This is absolutely true in my case.)
My question is: why do departments of philosophy find even the suggestion of online learning so disagreeable? Is there no hope for the further development of online philosophy courses and degree programs?
Thanks in advance for all responses!
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