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Critical Idealism’s Defense of Investment in the Liberal Arts by Douglas R McGaughey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
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Critical Idealism’s Defense of Investment
in the Liberal Arts: Précis
A Critical Idealist begins by asking what are the (usually, unquestioned) presuppositions of the issue at hand. Appropriately, in my humble opinion, the usual defense of the Liberal Arts builds on issues of change, skills, knowledge, and creativity. However, these terms are employed as if they are self-evident. Maybe they’re not self-evident!
Succinctly, rather than acquiring skills in order to create, we are a creating species that must acquire skills – our instincts are so lousy. The symbolic (figurative language) and responsibility (morality) are not after-thoughts or “frosting-on-the-cake” but at the very core of what it means to be and become human. Creativity, the symbolic, and morality all require education because they are not “natural.”