Are you interested in philosophy, gardens, and profit? If so—and if you don’t think Plato is a better philosopher than Aristotle—then read on for details about an exciting opportunity [though be sure to see the update at the end of this post].
A reader sent in a recent advertisement at PhilJobs for a position as Director of Philosophy at Lyceum Gardens, a “for-profit enterprise” with a mission to incentivize people “to build gardens and host discussions for income.”
The ad provides some background:
During the first half of the 19th Century, a Lyceum Movement occurred across the United States, creating approximately 5000 Lyceums from coast to coast. Lyceum-Gardens intends to restart this movement by providing guidance and instructions to those wishing to sit down and discuss the world in reasoned and polite ways. We have conducted over 100 discussions already to very high praise.
Based on its success so far, they say,
we are developing a garden and philosophical guide and will take other steps to advocate for and assist with developing Lyceums of intelligent discussion spaces. Our premise is that everyone is a philosopher, and we only need a receptive forum for people to express themselves away from the satellite-type one-way broadcasts of our digital world. Our discussions provide feedback and questions in real time as opposed to the anonymous environment of our digital world.
What’s the job, though?
This is the start of this organization with very grand expansion plans. Still, for now, anyone involved will be tasked with everything that needs doing from ordering paperclips to writing blogs, organizing and conducting meetings, and many other responsibilities, including travel and raising additional funds for expansion.
It’s a creative idea for a business, and the job sounds like it could be an interesting combination of philosophy and entrepreneurship.
Further, Lyceum Gardens says they’re “flexible about workload, location, and other aspects of the position.”
But there’s one thing they’re not flexible about:
Our approach is based on ARISTOTLE, and an in-depth knowledge of his Organon, Rhetoric, and Ethics is REQUIRED for this position.
And in case that wasn’t sufficiently clear, an addendum was made to the ad:
No Platonists need apply.
You can learn more about the philosophical views of the founders of Lyceum Gardens here.
UPDATE: A philosopher shared with me their interaction with the founder of Lyceum Gardens, Steven Easley. Apparently he seems to strongly identify with Aristotle—perhaps as Aristotle. He expresses very negative opinions about professional philosophers. He reacted obnoxiously when this philosopher talked about their work, and when the philosopher sought to end the interaction, he called them names and made other insulting remarks. Applicants beware!