Matthew Rose

Matthew Rose

Director & Senior Fellow, Berkeley Institute

The End of Education: A Case for the Liberal Arts

The question of what an education is for is the most important question any student can ask. Yet our universities, having lost confidence in their ability to answer the question, have largely removed it from formal study. The result is that the liberal arts, long regarded as the foundation of Western education, now find themselves widely embattled, disdained, and ignored. This seminar will ask about the purpose and value of liberal education in the twenty-first century, as well as threats to it. Themes we will discuss include the importance of tradition, the function of critique, the cultivation of the intellect, and the relationship between the humanities and human freedom.

Dates: Thursdays On 1.28, 2.4, 2.11, 2.18
Time: 6:00-7:15 PM

Reading schedule:

1/28: Wilfred McClay, “Escaping the Matrix”; Jaroslav Pelikan, The Vindication of Tradition (excerpt)
2/4: Leo Strauss, “What is Liberal Education?”; Dwight MacDonald, “A Theory of Mass Culture” (excerpt)
2/11: Martha Nussbaum, Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education (excerpts)
2/18: Jacques Maritain, Education at the Crossroads (excerpt); Thomas Huxley, “On Liberal Education”

To receive the short readings, please contact