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Abstract or Description
When controversy on innovation in liberal arts education is joined there is typically a lot of talk about the origin and meaning of the liberal arts. Much of this discussion, variously, takes flight on the wings of metaphor, comes to ground in argument from classical authority, takes root in etymological erudition, or waxes nostalgic about nineteenth century ideals.
This academic doxology can be as tedious a ritual as it is obligatory. But for humanists to forget their roots is suicidal. For philosophers to fail to define their terms is anathema. So, in addressing the need for a new agenda in liberal arts education, and roles for the computer and other technology in that agenda, I will say something about tradition and terminology, about what I take the philosophical mission of liberal arts education to be, and how that mission might assume new and powerful forais in our own contemporary institutional settings.