Published by the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas (founded in 1990 by Mortimer J. Adler and Max Weismann)
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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Stop Defending the Humanities

Simon During reviews The Humanities and Public Life (2014), edited by Peter Brooks and Hilary Jewett, at Public Books.
"Of course, those of us in the humanities who love and breathe them, whose institutional (but not just institutional) lives are formed in relation to them, who would like more people to join them and so become more like us, to think and feel and talk like us, who may even find the 'meaning of life' articulated from within them, find the prospect of their fading insupportable, heartrending, unimaginable. But that offers no substantive public reason to maintain them, just as it turned out in the end to be no reason to maintain all the more or less similar worlds that have disappeared over the centuries, before and after modernity: the worlds of the aristocratic honor code; the world of older humanisms and the 'republic of letters'; the worlds of industrial working-class solidarity; the world of Scholasticism and the trivium; the worlds of old Anglican rural, parochial, and liturgical life, and so on."
(via Arts & Letters Daily)

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