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Showing posts from 2024

Liberal arts and civil society

Proponents of broader college attendance subsidized by the public treasury and disconnected from any concrete investment in an individual's marketable skills often make the claim that a liberal arts education is critical to the foundation of civil society. And they are probably right in that very specific claim, as it is hard to imagine this country's governing institutions having been founded by people who did not have a grounding in the liberalism of Locke and Burke. But not only is their claim insufficient to support either the social structure they advocate or fulfillment by the institutions they intend to deliver it, the problem with the idea of universal liberal arts is that it doesn't actually work the way its proponents idealize it. The evidence is all around you that the factory college model does not produce better citizens more capable of empathy or critical thinking, or a broader understanding of civics. Instead, it produces and promotes shallow thinkers with s