Liberal Education, once the central and defining feature of American Higher Education, has been displaced by technical training and career-oriented majors. But it has also suffered from the decline in genuine liberal learning found in humanities disciplines, owing to specialization, politicization, and the adoption of new literary and psychological theories. The social sciences, too, have arguably abandoned the kind of relentless and sometimes disturbing questioning that used to constitute the core of education. In this compelling volume, thirteen college educators describe in sparkling prose what liberal education is, its place in a liberal democracy, the very serious challenges it faces in the 21st century—even from some of its alleged friends—and why it is important to sustain and expand liberal education’s place in American colleges and universities. Proponents and critics of liberal education alike will benefit from these insightful essays.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Perspectives on Political Science.
Introduction Timothy W. Burns and Peter Augustine Lawler 1. Liberal Education: Its Conditions and Ends David D. Corey 2. Why Do We Wear These Gowns and These Hoods? Timothy W. Burns 3. The Conservative Defence of Liberal Education Peter Augustine Lawler 4. Liberal Education and Liberal Democracy Fred Baumann 5. Reclaiming the Core of Liberal Education in the 21st Century Lorraine Smith Pangle 6. The Liberal Arts and the Arts of Liberty Susan McWilliams 7. The Fading Promise of a More Meritocratic Society Ross J. Corbett 8. Education For Freedom Fr. Barry Bercier, A.A. 9. Liberal Education versus Great-Books Education Patrick Deneen 10. Liberal Education and Civic Education Daniel Cullen