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Why we need the liberal arts It is essential to nurture creators and inventors if our society is to thrive
Aspects of recent debates about the value of a liberal arts education, its usefulness and its appropriateness strike a familiar and disturbing historical chord. Our nation's brightest students, contemplating the dedication of four years to the highest level of cognitive challenge, are discouraged by a contingent of their elders and asked to consider something more practical. "A liberal education won't prepare you for a job," the student is told. "What can you do with a degree in philosophy? English?" — and so forth. The implication is that the desire possessed by the mind for abstract challenge is inappropriate, or more specifically a waste of time and money.
March 3, 2013