As an educator but outsider to philosophy I've heard rumors about students' experiences as philosophy students in college and was wondering if the professors on this site could shed some light:
One student told me that while philosophy began properly with Socrates as a relentless quest to improve the soul, philosophy as it is taught today has long abandoned the goal of improving character or deepening the philosophy student's lived experience, and that it has become an exclusively mental activity. I was also told that in disuniting learning from life, philosophy departments were only following the trend of other humanities departments which were also divorcing knowledge from soul as much as possible and keeping all assignments and discussions mental and analytic. Without intending to criticise, if this is indeed true, isn't it strange and antithetical to the essence of philosophy, literature, and many of the humanity subjects, since the goal of so many writers was to touch and expand the contours and sympathies of the souls of their readers? (Naturally one could still do this, I would think, even if the 'soul' as a philosophical concept were in question in some courses).
Thanks for your time.