The university doesn't need a telos. The pursuit of truth needs traits the university can't teach.
If the university can’t teach these these things, can it at least develop them in those who tend toward them but haven’t yet been challenged to lean into them? College might be their first experience with professors who value and encourage students to nurture their own natural bent, to practice and become more comfortable with the discomfort of uncertainty. A long time ago I read a quote by...Alan Watts, I think. He was discussing our desperate quest for security, how it draws us away from the defining chaos of life into a hermetically sealed sort of death. He said that when we’re born, we go into free fall, and the only way to find real security is to get comfortable with being in free fall. Any thoughts on that, Will? ...excellent essay, btw.