We believe in examining values! We believe in taking an undogmatic approach to questions of how we should live and what is most important in this life. We believe in questioning popular opinions and habits that we often follow without much thought. We believe in considering alternatives and evaluating their meaning and worth.
We believe in books! The paper kind that you hold in your hand and mark up with your pencil and highlighter. Books have the power to expose us to new worlds and to change our minds, hearts, and behaviors. In the age of the tweet, we believe it takes more than 140 characters and a few seconds to articulate ideas fully, to explain oneself, to argue a point, and to build common understanding.
We believe in conversation! The face-to-face kind, where we look each other in the eye. Conversation offers us an opportunity to explore different perspectives, to learn to listen, and to think through the strengths and weaknesses of different arguments with partners who have varying experiences. It builds a community of truth-seekers who care about improving their lives. In the age of social media and anonymous online debate, talking in person offers a rare opportunity to be present with others and participate in civil discourse.
We believe in experimentation! We believe that questioning, reading, and talking lead to action. We believe in experimenting with the new ideas and philosophies that inspire us. We believe that connecting speech and deed is essential for a coherent philosophy of life.
We believe in the self-directed life! We believe that being human involves not only questioning and deliberating. It also involves intentional choice. We believe that deciding on a future path, and activating our capacities for freedom and creativity, are key for realizing our full humanity.
We believe in the power of process! We believe that grappling with ideas, intentions, choices, and actions is an open ended process. We find great value in the process, the journey, and the adventure of everyday learning and growth.
We believe in the therapeutic value of philosophy! Philosophy, in its beginnings, was understood to be a medicine for the soul. Literally the "love of wisdom," philosophy could relieve the soul-sicknesses of ignorance, injustice, anxiety, excess, and even types of enslavement. Like the Ancients, we too believe that patterns of thinking affect patterns of feeling, wanting, doing, and being. We believe that philosophy has the power to transform one's whole way of being, and to heal in dramatic ways.