The standpoint of study

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On A Place to Study, persons strive to form themselves, learning liberally in the company of others.

Newly born, thrust out to live life, inchoate, each person must make sense of herself and her world. She must use her vital capacities, not knowing what they are, to maintain herself in a prodigious world, ignorant of what it is. To perceive, to judge, and to act, as best she can despite perplexity: that constitutes the standpoint of study.


The Standpoint of Study

All life lives by using information to maintain itself in the flux within and about it. And each person does so by living her life from the standpoint of study, symbolized in the logo of our site. In our logo, the reddish inner circle stands for the person—a vital center, the outer bands colored with alert activity, growing paler further inward, still teaming within, as thought and feeling take place at an imperceptible scale and pace.

The parallel shafts, each pair a U-shaped arrow, symbolize a person's interactions with the surrounding world. The feathered ends indicate perceptive elements—seeing, identifying, planning. The pointed ones stand for the active—moving, organizing, probing. And their parallel proximity displays the person's attention, which imparts the coherence that sustains interaction—perception and action collaborating together. And as the shafts reach inside, the jumble of semi-obscured intersections joining them symbolize the inner network with which each person acquires and cultivates her capacities to control herself and her interactions with the world.

And around her, the world stretches out, extending in actuality without bounds. In it, smaller forms symbolize other persons, at once like and unlike her, ready to join with or disengage from her, constituting her sociocultural world. There she contributes to the betterment of humanity and to life itself what she makes of what she can and should become.

Living requires that a person studies her self and her world from birth until death. At the earliest stages of that self-cultivation, A Place to Study will have limited relevance, for a person's initial studies take place in the intimate, interpersonal world, embedded in the cultural world, but not through it. When a person has formed her basic capacities to interact with her cultural world, she begins to study through the culture. Then, each person finds herself in a world heaped with history, know-how, ideas, conventions, all the stuff of culture.

Much of the cultural world pertains to diverse yet predictable situations. For these matters, formal education offers the student one or another preparation for one or another role with respect to them. Taking part in that is a given element of life as we know it. If A Place to Study should seem useful from within the system of formal instruction, well and good. But as a new initiative, we are forming A Place to Study as a place within public life, part of the digital commons, independent of the systems of formal instruction.