One of the things that seems the most bizarre about philosophy as discipline is its horrible record at producing an income. As people deeply knowledgable and interested in the big problems surrounding ethics, how humans ought to behave, and the meaning of life and the universe, you would think there would be a monetary value attached to that knowledge! Especially with a populace who is deeply uniformed, and does seem to be (at least tangentially) curious about the results yielded by modern disciplined philosophical discussion.
So it got me thinking. Is it possible to produce an economically viable philosophy company? What would such a company look like? And what kind of business model could it use?
Potential business models:
- Call Centers | something like a pay per minute phone line that connects you to an informed individual with the worldview of your choice. (I would pay)
- Churches | non-profit weekly secular meet-ups where those who do not follow philosophy as a discipline can sit and here a pragmatic lecture on how they ought to behave.
- Books | While the idea of individual philosophers having financial success through selling books is nothing new, the idea of a company employing teams of philosophers to produce practical ethics manuals has not happened.
- Subscription Service | Similar model as books, but as a paid subscription service online. This would have the benefit of regular updates.
- Consultancy | This already exists to an extent with corporations higher experts in ethics to improve their image after some calamity.
- Cooperative | Something of a non-profit collective of less serious but interested individuals paying to a service in which all can participate, but with a core committee of philosophers and employees keeping the system and discussion running.
What do you think? What kind of model do you feel is appropriate and feasible? Or is my whole concept seriously flawed? -