Educational Formula

AILAS intends to offer four types of courses:

  1. Aimed at general education on the basis of the most important political, scientific, philosophical, theological and literary thinkers, books and ideas in the Western tradition. These courses are of interest particularly to Bachelor students of all disciplines;
  2. Aimed at general education in the foundations of a specific academic discipline or interdisciplinary field, such as social policy;
  3. Aimed at a specific theme, such as The Dutch Republic; and
  4. In support of fundamental interdisciplinary research, such as Econometrics and the Austrian School of Economics, possibly combined with contemporary questions that could be understood better with the aid of fundamental sources.

Activities are organized along six tracks:

  1. Programs aimed at Bachelor students (also open to Master students);
  2. In support of academic research focused on the fundamental sources of the Western tradition (also the basis for courses aimed specifically at Master students);
  3. In support of secondary school teachers and university lecturers;
  4. Programs aimed at secondary school pupils;
  5. Courses aimed at professionals (such as journalists, civil servants or lawyers);
  6. Activities for the general public.

The curriculum consists of two layers: a basic level and an advanced and specialized level. The basic level contains two courses. The first is a broad overview of the Western intellectual tradition. The second provides an introduction to arithmetic and mathematical reasoning—knowledge of numbers and algebra, and understanding of mathematical logic, creative proof and empirical applications. The latter concerns the role of arithmetic and mathematical methods in the empirical sciences and the limits of such research. The relationship between numbers, mathematics and logic is also discussed. The course provides humanities majors with access to arithmetic and mathematical reasoning, and develops awareness of its principles and limits amongst science majors.

At the advanced and specialized level the basic level is deepened by discipline. Depending on relevance, the study skills are either linguistic, or both linguistic and arithmetic and mathematical. Some of the courses taught at the advanced and specialized level explore the foundations of the different disciplines with a linguistic character, other courses focus on disciplines with an arithmetic and mathematical character, and yet others on disciplines with a combined linguistic and arithmetic and mathematical character.

To make this possible an open and free exchange of arguments between students, teachers, researchers and alumni is indispensable. Teaching hence takes place in small groups where Socratic discussion is pivotal.