What is a Liberal Arts Education Today?
May 19, 2009 at 4:30 PM
Dartmouth College’s Rockefeller Center at 1 Rockefeller Hall
Kenneth Minogue, Professor Emeritus of Political Science
London School of Economics
“Academic World and its Corruptions”
The academic tradition goes back to the Pre-Socratics of the fifth century BC in Greece.
It was given one institutional form by Plato and Aristotle, inspired the mediaeval universities
and in its present form is central to modern societies. What is it that distinguishes the work
of professors from that of doctors, lawyers and the many other professionals of which
the modern world is composed? What is its specific focus? What constitutes academic
integrity? And what are the corruptions that might threaten that integrity?
Timothy Fuller, Professor of Political Science Colorado College
“Anxieties in the World of Liberal Learning”
Recent works by Anthony Kronman (Education’s End: Why Our Colleges and
Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life), J. C. Sommerville (The
Decline of the Secular University), and Alasdair MacIntyre (Three Rival
Versions of Moral Inquiry), among others, pose questions about the
adequacy of contemporary colleges and universities to respond to the quest
for meaning among their students. Such reflections lead to reexamination
of both the structure and content of higher education today. Considering
their arguments in juxtaposition will help to clarify what we need to
think about in discharging our academic responsibilities.
Free and open to the Public
Friday, April 4 at 4:00 PM in 3 Rockefeller
The Daniel Webster Project in Ancient and Modern Studies is pleased to announce the First Annual Janus Lecture to be held at 4:00 PM on April 4 in 3 Rockefeller Center.
What is the Daniel Webster Project in Ancient and Modern Studies? It is a new faculty initiative to bring greater structure and focus to the liberal arts experience at Dartmouth College by bringing ancient and modern perspectives to bear on issues of permanent moral and political importance. The Webster Program will sponsor regular lectures, conferences, and curriculum proposals designed to enrich the Dartmouth College experience. We aim to bring faculty, students, and alumni/ae together around the core ideals of liberal education. Daniel Webster, class of 1801, remains a compelling model of how the liberal arts can serve the highest ideals of American political life. As a renowned orator, in the tradition of Demosthenes and Cicero, Webster always explicitly engaged Greek and Roman political thought in his arguments about the American republic, federalism, and slavery. He is an exemplar of how liberal learning illuminates the most pressing moral and political issues.
Our first Janus Lecturer will be Anthony Kronman, Sterling Professor and former Dean of Yale Law School, who will be speaking about his new book “Education’s End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life”. Find out why this famous law professor now teaches the great books of Western civilization to Freshmen students at Yale College. Kronman argues that what students most need and want from their college education is the capacity to reflect upon and to choose the most worthy forms of human life. Professor James Bernard Murphy of the Government Department at Dartmouth will respond to Professor Kronman’s lecture by explaining how the Daniel Webster Project in Ancient and Modern Studies plans to address these urgent questions about the nature of liberal education. After the lecture and discussion, Professor Kronman will be available to sign copies of his new book.