Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Damon Linker on How to Save Liberal Arts Education

Damon Linker thinks that the humanities and liberal arts will survive, but not with the "prestige and power they acquired in the post-war university.  The structural trends working against the humanities are just too strong."

These structural trends include:

1.  The rise of STEM and the demand for practical skills in our capitalist economy.

2.  The cultural radicalism of the humanities as they are taught at American universities.  Linker writes: "Do you really want to take yet another class devoted to exploring the myriad ways that sexism, racism, and homophobia suffuse the literature of Western Civilization?"

Linker concludes that the liberal arts and the humanities should be studied because they teach us how to live.

Here is Linker's podcast at The Week:

Linker references this lecture from Mark Lilla at Columbia: