Pathways to Philosophy
In 1998, after the final version of the six Pathways to Philosophy had been completed, all the materials — consisting of 90 course units and 30 essay question sheets — were submitted to the acting Head of the Philosophy Department at the University of Sheffield, Professor Peter Carruthers, and also to the previous Head of Department, Professor David Bell for their evaluation.
In his testimonial, Professor Peter Carruthers wrote:
"The Pathways materials are excellent, and the whole idea is a very good one, for which there is an obvious need. I believe Pathways will provide a route into degree-level work in philosophy which is both rigorous and exciting. Dr Klempner taught in the Philosophy Dept at Sheffield University at a variety of levels for many years and student feedback was always very positive. He has a real talent for communicating — whether it be information, enthusiasm, or core reasoning skills. I am confident that students following one of Dr Klempner's Pathways will receive an excellent, carefully structured, grounding in philosophy." (Letter, 7th September 1998)
After the formation of the International Society for Philosophers in 2002, Professor David Bell accepted an invitation to join the Board of the ISFP as an honorary (non-active) member.
A year later, Pathways with the ISFP accepted the first students taking the University of London International Programme leading to a BA Honours Degree in Philosophy. Over the subsequent twelve years these students received an unprecedented level of support, which is documented in over 1000 essay reviews by Geoffrey Klempner collected at Electronic Philosopher.
In recognition of the significant impact of Pathways on the level of attainment of students on the University of London International Programme, the Director of Studies, Professor Samuel Guttenplan, wrote:
"I have been meaning to write to you about your Pathways in Philosophy programme and its involvement with the London External BA and Diploma courses. It was apparent to examiners (and to me as Chair of the Board of Examiners) that the level of performance reached by a number of students was particularly high. Loath to admit that students studying on their own could match or exceed those studying at Birkbeck (in the internal BA), I believe I am right in attributing a good part of the success of these students to your programme. For that, and for your general support of the programme, I congratulate you. I do hope the whole of the Pathways programme is going well and will continue to thrive." (Email, 11th August 2005)
Despite the success of Pathways and the ISFP over the last two decades, and the great support we have received from philosophers around the world, both inside and outside academia, we took the decision not to apply for formal recognition or accreditation, for the simple reason that it would compromise our integrity and our independence.
This is the main explanation why our fees are so low. No university or institution gets a 'cut' for offering an endorsement or rubber stamping our programs. We don't need permission from any academic body to do what we do.