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The Ralston College Podcast

Jun 28, 2024

Stephen Blackwood is the founding President of Ralston College, with advanced degrees in Classics and Religion and visiting positions at Harvard, Toronto, and Cambridge.


David Butterfield is a renowned classicist and Senior Lecturer at the University of Cambridge. His work centres on the critical study and teaching of classical texts.


John Vervaeke, PhD, is an award-winning professor of psychology, cognitive science, and Buddhist psychology at the University of Toronto.

What are the fundamental principles required to cultivate an educational environment free from ideological bias? 


In this episode, Stephen Blackwood, David Butterfield, and John Vervaeke explore the current landscape of higher education and its pervasive ideological influences. They discuss the importance of fostering genuine freedom of inquiry, intellectual diversity, and non-coercive teaching practices. Through personal anecdotes and reflections on academic experiences, the conversation examines the conditions that make real dialogue and meaningful education possible. This episode challenges listeners to reconsider the essence of true education and its role in developing critical, independent thinkers.



00:00 Introduction and Exploring Education Without Indoctrination

02:20 Defining Indoctrination in Education

05:25 Current State of Higher Education

09:05 Neo-Marxism and Power Dynamics in Education

16:30 Teaching and Parenting: Fostering Realization and Free Agency

26:05 John Vervaeke:Exploring Logos, Love, and the Meaning Crisis

35:35 The Dual Aspects of Free Speech: Good Faith and Inquiry

38:30 Audience Q&A: Handling Classroom Dynamics and Approaches

53:45 Conclusion: University Traditions and Political Orientations



Authors, Ideas, and Works Mentioned in this Episode


Friedrich Nietzsche

Thomas Jefferson

Martha Argerich


Jordan Peterson

Education without Indoctrination

Freedom of Speech

The New Criterion

Meaning Crisis

Dialectic into Dialogos

The Vervaeke Foundation


Re-Humanising Education By Stephen Blackwood and Bernadette Guthrie — ARC Research



Additional Resources 

Dr Stephen Blackwood 


Ralston College (including newsletter)


Support a New Beginning 


Ralston College Humanities MA

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