- Oct 2023
Snyder, Christopher A. “A Liberal Education in Name Only.” Inside Higher Ed (blog), October 23, 2023. https://www.insidehighered.com/opinion/views/2023/10/23/liberal-education-name-only-opinion.
read Mon 10/23/2023 7:37 PM
reply to Our Journey, Day 84 by Dan Allosso at https://danallosso.substack.com/p/our-journey-day-84
There's already a movement afoot calling for schools who are dramatically cutting their humanities departments to quit calling what they're offering a liberal education. This popped up on Monday and has a long list of cuts: https://www.insidehighered.com/opinion/views/2023/10/23/liberal-education-name-only-opinion I was surprised that Bemidji wasn't listed, but then again there may be several dozens which have made announcements, but which aren't widely known yet. The problem may be much larger and broader than anyone is acknowledging.
Cutting down dozens of faculties into either "schools" or even into some sort of catch all called "Humanities" may be even more marginalizing to the enterprise.
Apparently, the Morlocks seem to think that the Eloi will be easier to manage if there isn't any critical thinking?
- Aug 2023
Remember ChatGPT? It is going to do to the white collar world what robotics and offshoring did to blue collar America. So maybe this isn't the best time to be abandoning the Humanities to focus on vocational training?
This is one of the things that doesn't seem to be being explored enough presently, or at least I'm not seeing it outside of the SAG and WGA strikes where it seems to be a side issue rather than a primary issue.
- vocational training
- artificial intelligence
- Writers Guild of America (WGA)
- Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA)
- universal basic income
- cultural shifts
- death of the humanities
- human resources
Imagine the younger generation studying great books andlearning the liberal arts. Imagine an adult population con-tinuing to turn to the same sources of strength, inspiration,and communication. We could talk to one another then. Weshould be even better specialists than we are today because wecould understand the history of our specialty and its relationto all the others. We would be better citizens and better men.We might turn out to be the nucleus of the world community.
Is the cohesive nature of Hutchins and Adler's enterprise for the humanities and the Great Conversation, part of the kernel of the rise of interdisciplinarity seen in the early 2000s onward in academia (and possibly industry).
Certainly large portions are the result of uber-specialization, particularly in spaces which have concatenated and have allowed people to specialize in multiple areas to create new combinatorial creative possibilities.
I should like to add that specialization, instead of makingthe Great Conversation irrelevant, makes it more pertinentthan ever. Specialization makes it harder to carry on anykind of conversation; but this calls for greater effort, not theabandonment of the attempt.
The dramatic increase in economic specialization of humanity driven by the Industrial Revolution has many benefits to societies, but it also has detrimental effects when the core knowledge and shared base of the society is lost.
Certainly individuals have a greater reliance on specialists for future outcomes (think about the specialization of areas like climate science which can have destructive outcomes on all of humanity or public health outcomes with respect to vaccines and specialized health care delivery), but they also need to have a common base of knowledge/culture and the ability to think critically for themselves to be able to effect necessary changes, particularly when the pace of those changes is more rapid than humans have generally been evolved to accept them.
Do science, technology, industrialization, and specializa-tion render the Great Conversation irrelevant?
- The Great Conversation
- the commons
- Mortimer J. Adler
- economic specialization
- interdisciplinary studies
- Robert Maynard Hutchins
- human resources
- resurgence of the humanities
- knowledge specialization
- rapid changes
- interdisciplinary research
- education policy
- combinatorial creativity
- death of the humanities