New philosophical institute set to open in Murphysboro - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

New philosophical institute set to open in Murphysboro

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MURPHSYBSORO -- An SIU professor is turning his home into a institute for learning. The Murphysboro man lives in a two story historic Victorian home, designed to hold classes and events. 

Next week, professor Randall Auxier will hold a grand opening introducing the public to the American Institute for Philosophical and Cultural Thought.

When you walk into Professor Auxier's home you may have to catch your breath gazing at wall to wall books on Philosophy from 1923-2000.

"This is the largest Victorian parlor I had ever seen and I could envision this library in it," says Auxier.

Next Monday, the entire house will have around 35,000 books to help graduate students do research. The institute will foster the study of philosophy and cultural thought in America by collecting and archiving literary and educational resources.

"People already come here to study American Philosophy because of the holdings of the Dewey Center and because of the holdings of the Morris Library, second only to Harvard in the world," says Auxier.

Dr. Larry Hickman calls the institute a life-saver. The Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Director of SIU's Dewey Center says humanities in higher education has been on the decline awhile. Couple that with the uncertain future of the Dewey Center due to state budget issues, Hickman believes this couldn't come at a better time.

"My best information is that the people who work there will have no contract after December 31st. This means that a 50-year tradition at SIU may be closed down," adds Hickman.

At the grand opening Hickman will give a Inaugural Lecture titled, "Humanism, the Humanities, and Technoscience."

Auxier says the institute is a way to share his home and his passion to graduate students who want to learn and grow.  He says they will hold receptions, openings, concerts, seminars and courses.

"I think it improves a community to have things of a cultural nature going on and the better those things are, the better the community," says Auxier.

The Grand Opening for the institute is Monday, November 21 at 5:30 p.m with the lecture at 7 p.m. There will also be an introduction from the President of AIPCT, John R. Shook. 

Refreshments will be served. The address is 411 N. 9th Street, Murphysboro, IL. Parking is in the rear of the house (down the alley) and on the streets in the neighborhood.

The AIPCT has applied for 501c3 status in the State of Illinois.

Other viewings of the institute is by appointment only. To learn more information call 618-565-1238.

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