Two Interesting Articles

Posted on April 14, 2010

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  1. Putting Ethics Back Together Again: A British Perspective — John Haldane
    Much of our moral confusion comes from our failure to find a replacement for the Judaeo-Christian outlook that once animated the West. We need, and generally now lack, a philosophical understanding of human life.
  2. Science and the Decline of the Liberal Arts — Patrick J. Deneen
    In this article, the author traces the decaying state of modern universities to the decline of the humanities. Previously, they were at the heart of university education and, through classical works, sought to communicate ‘what it was to be human’. The rise of modern science and its insistence on not only understanding the world but transforming it resulted in a re-orientation of priorities in the university system. With an emphasis on scientific training and technological innovation, ‘the humanities began to question their place within the university’ and tried to ‘outdo their scientific competitors’, which provided a ‘fertile seedbed for self-destructive tendencies’. Underlying the entire article is the notion that, if the humanities wish to restore their place in the university, they need to return to their original and ‘proper understanding of liberty’: not as liberation from constraint, but rather, as a capacity to govern ourselves.
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