Life Raft Debate

The University of Montevallo has a “life raft” debate each year.  They imagine that a catastrophe has eliminated the entire population save the few hundred people in the audience and 6 professors.  There is room for only 1 professor on the life raft, so each has to make an argument for why their discipline in the most indispensable to human flourishing and so is the most deserving of the final seat on the raft.

“Every student getting a liberal arts degree worries at some point that their education might actually be useless.  That’s what makes the life raft idea a funny idea, and a serious one.  It is a forum for the students to say to their professors, ‘Make us believe in the value of what we are doing here.'”

Click here and move to 42:27 of the show for the segment.  Or here for the life raft debate homepage.

Thoughts on radio show?  Thoughts on which discipline is most deserving of the final seat in the raft?

Author: Kleiner

Associate Vice Provost and Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Utah State University. I teach across the curriculum, but am most interested in continental philosophy, ancient and medieval philosophy as well as Catholic thought, all of which might be summed up as an interest in the ressourcement tradition (returning in order to make progress). I also enjoy spending time thinking about liberal education and its ends.

2 thoughts on “Life Raft Debate”

  1. Sounds like a great idea, but it seems like it is done poorly. No real argument or discussion. Instead, we hear only silly antics for entertainment.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: