Institute of Critical Thinking & Philosophy
Director: Creston Davis, PhD
Creston Davis is a renowned public intellectual, philosopher and activist who founded and directs The Global Center for Advanced Studies (GCAS). He previously worked in the Department of Philosophy & Religion as an Associate Professor at Rollins College and taught philosophy at Colorado College. He was a visiting professor at the University of Silesia in Poland and Vice-Dean of the Humanities MA & PhD program at Institutum Studiorum Humanitatis (Ljubljana). He is currently the Director of GCAS Research Institute Ireland where he is Associate Professor of Philosophy. He has published many books with world-renowned philosophers. He has served in an elite Airborne Recon unit in the US Army. He studied philosophy, religion, bioethics and politics at Oxford, Duke, Yale and the University of Virginia where he earn a PhD in 2006.
We have lost and forgotten what critical thinking and philosophy means today. We think of philosophy as something we do in a very expensive course you take at college. But doing philosophy at an expensive university is merely a distant reflection or interpretation on some ideas. For example, you read snippets of Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and so on, as ways of learning how to be more critical about information, ideas, and maybe history. Yet, after you've received a grade and the class is over, so too philosophy ends. For me, philosophy is not about a passive exercise done while you're locked away in a prison-cell of thinking we normally call a "classroom". This, in fact, is the absence of philosophy because it only engages fragmented ideas at a distance and remains within the sphere of dominate ideology.
Philosophy, if it is to be anything, is about changing the world.
Listen to what my friend, Alain Badiou says in these videos. Professor Badiou, for those who may not know him, is widely considered to be the greatest living philosopher.
To do philosophy, to think critically, must therefore not just be about reading philosophers of a certain tradition (i.e., European), or learning to apply reason to a situation or an event. Philosophy is much more than this. Philosophy, in short, is a way of life--a journey that seeks out truths and brings truths together into what it means to live and thus to transform oneself and the world.
This institute is about transformation. A student who studies with GCAS becomes part of the process of changing our world. Joining us in class (online or in person) is an encounter with others who are seeking truths, not just to interpret or reflect on ideas, but to embody--to become empowered by converting truths into life. You will study with some extraordinary people who take thinking out of the sterile classroom and into the world. Here at GCAS we learn to see the world differently to confront dominate ideas, unjust powers and institutions, and finally to enact truths.
Julie Reshe, PhD
Creston Davis, PhD
Cleo Kearns, PhD
Note: More courses will be made available from which you may choose to fulfill requirements.
You may also take other courses in the GCAS E-School to satisfy the "Topics-Seminar" requirements.