Best 35 of Liberal arts quotes - MyQuotes
He knew more of my intended career than I knew myself. I should be well enough educated for my destiny if I could "hold my own" with average young man in prosperous circumstances.
Being a good conversationalist is really what a liberal arts education is all about.
It is no longer just engineers who dominate our technology leadership, because it is no longer the case that computers are so mysterious that only engineers can understand what they are capable of. There is an industry-wide shift toward more "product thinking" in leadership--leaders who understand the social and cultural contexts in which our technologies are deployed. Products must appeal to human beings, and a rigorously cultivated humanistic sensibility is a valued asset for this challenge. That is perhaps why a technology leader of the highest status--Steve Jobs--recently credited an appreciation for the liberal arts as key to his company's tremendous success with their various i-gadgets.
Max sent Scottie some literary advice, the same dictum he gave every college student who called on him. He stressed the importance of a liberal arts education but urged her to avoid all courses in writing. "Everyone has to find her own way of writing," he wrote Scottie, "and the source of finding it is largely out of literature.
Slowly, even though I thought it would never happen, New York lost its charm for me. I remember arriving in the city for the first time, passing with my parents through the First World's Club bouncers at Immigration, getting into a massive cab that didn't have a moment to waste, and falling in love as soon as we shot onto the bridge and I saw Manhattan rise up through the looks of parental terror reflected in the window. I lost my virginity in New York, twice (the second one wanted to believe he was the first so badly). I had my mind blown open by the combination of a liberal arts education and a drug-popping international crowd. I became tough. I had fun. I learned so much. But now New York was starting to feel empty, a great party that had gone on too long and was showing no sign of ending soon. I had a headache, and I was tired. I'd danced enough. I wanted a quiet conversation with someone who knew what load-shedding was.
College is about exposing students to many things and creating an aphrodisiac atmosphere so that they might fall in lifelong love with a few.
The great works of art and literature have a lot to say on how to tackle the concrete challenges of living, like how to escape the chains of public opinion, how to cope with grief or how to build loving friendships. Instead of organizing classes around academic concepts — 19th-century French literature — more could be organized around the concrete challenges students will face in the first decade after graduation.
Though, even if there were no such great advantage to be reaped from it, and if it were only pleasure that is sought from these studies, still I imagine you would consider it a most reasonable and liberal employment of the mind: for other occupations are not suited to every time, nor to every age or place; but these studies are the food of youth, the delight of old age; the ornament of prosperity, the refuge and comfort of adversity; a delight at home, and no hindrance abroad; they are companions by night, and in travel, and in the country.
Talk about what you love and keep quiet about what you don't.
George F. Will
When a workman is unceasingly and exclusively engaged in the fabrication of one thing, he ultimately does his work with singular dexterity; but, at the same time, he loses the general faculty of applying his mind to the direction of the work. His every day becomes more of adroit and less industrious; so that it may be said of him, that, in proportion as the workman improves, the man is degraded. Alexis de Tocqueville
Mortimer J. Adler
To be equally serious in receiving such communication, one must be not only a responsive but also a responsible listener. You are responsive to the extent that you follow what has been said and note the intention that prompts it. But you also have the responsibility of taking a position. When you take it, it is yours, not the author's. To regard anyone except yourself as responsible for your judgment is to be a slave, not a free man. It is from this fact that the liberal arts acquire their name. (P. 140)
Only those are called liberal or free which are concerned with knowledge; those which are concerned with utilitarian ends... are called servile... The question is... can man develop to the full as a functionary and a "worker" and nothing else; can a full human existence be contained within an exclusively workaday existence? Stated differently and translated back into our terms: is there such a thing as a liberal art?
It could be said that a liberal education has the nature of a bequest, in that it looks upon the student as the potential heir of a cultural birthright, whereas a practical education has the nature of a commodity to be exchanged for position, status, wealth, etc., in the future. A liberal education rests on the assumption that nature and human nature do not change very much or very fast and that one therefore needs to understand the past. The practical educators assume that human society itself is the only significant context, that change is therefore fundamental, constant, and necessary, that the future will be wholly unlike the past, that the past is outmoded, irrelevant, and an encumbrance upon the future -- the present being only a time for dividing past from future, for getting ready. But these definitions, based on division and opposition, are too simple. It is easy, accepting the viewpoint of either side, to find fault with the other. But the wrong is on neither side; it is in their division... Without the balance of historic value, practical education gives us that most absurd of standards: "relevance," based upon the suppositional needs of a theoretical future. But liberal education, divorced from practicality, gives something no less absurd: the specialist professor of one or another of the liberal arts, the custodian of an inheritance he has learned much about, but nothing from.
The liberal arts do not conduct the soul all the way to virtue, but merely set it going in that direction.
Fortunately, our colleges and universities are fully cognizant of the problems I have been delineating and take concerted action to address them. Curricula are designed to give coherence to the educational experience and to challenge students to develop a strong degree of moral awareness. Professors, deeply involved with the enterprise of undergraduate instruction, are committed to their students' intellectual growth and insist on maintaining the highest standards of academic rigor. Career services keep themselves informed about the broad range of postgraduate options and make a point of steering students away from conventional choices. A policy of noncooperation with U.S. News has taken hold, depriving the magazine of the data requisite to calculate its rankings. Rather than squandering money on luxurious amenities and exorbitant administrative salaries, schools have rededicated themselves to their core missions of teaching and the liberal arts. I'm kidding, of course.
The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people, and must be willing to bear the expense of it," [John] Adams wrote. "There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." Jefferson's fear was that without such a system of public education, the country would end up being ruled by a privileged elite that would recycle itself through a network of private institutions that entrenched their advantage.
Scholars have argued that without humanism the Reformation could not have succeeded, and it is certainly difficult to imagine the Reformation occurring without the knowledge of languages, the critical handling of sources, the satirical attacks on clerics and scholastics, and the new national feeling that a generation of humanists provided. On the other hand, the long-term success of the humanists owed something to the Reformation. In Protestant schools and universities classical culture found a permanent home. The humanist curriculum, with its stress on languages and history, became a lasting model for the arts curriculum.
Reading can break us out of the tunnel vision of the narrow specialty and lead us into many intriguing and important avenues of thought.
We have the liberal arts and we have the useful arts.
What are any of the disciplines but a way in which people trying to make sense of the world or the universe?
Most people learn their trade – almost always farming – from their parents or village communities. Industrialization changed all that. People had to be able to learn to pick up new skills faster, since the economy had not only to produce but to continually grow and become more sophisticated technologically. Learning one frayed over many years would not do. People needed GENERIC skills, to which only a small amount of extra training would allow them to move around the economy, taking new jobs and responding to innovation.
Practical utility, however, is not the ultimate purpose of a liberal arts education. Its ultimate purpose is to help you learn to reflect in the widest and deepest sense, beyond the requirements of work and career: for the sake of citizenship, for the sake of living well with others, above all, for the sake of building a self that is strong and creative and free.
Richard J. Foster
Important insights ought never to be limited to the group from which may arise.
How decisive for the Christian educator, or for any educator of good will, is the revelation that man is made in the image and likeness of the three-Personed God? That is like asking what difference it will make to us if we keep in mind that a human being is made not for the processing of data, but for wisdom; not for the utilitarian satisfaction of appetite, but for love; not for the domination of nature, but for participation in it; not for the autonomy of an isolated self, but for communion.
Lewis was studying literary history with the present and future in mind.
Mortimer J. Adler
The ordering of knowledge has changed with the centuries. All knowledge was once ordered in relation to the seven liberal arts— grammar, rhetoric, and logic, the trivium; arithmetic, geometry astronomy, and music, the quadrivium. Medieval encyclopedias reflected this arrangement. Since the universities were arranged according to the same system, and students studied according to it also, the arrangement was useful in education. [How to Read a Book (1972), P. 180]
Liberal learning is that which underlies, that which gives purpose and direction to practical skills. It tries to distinguish between the more and the less important, between the grand and the trivial, and to concern itself rather with the center than with the periphery.
He turned the presidency – and the President's House – into something it had not been before: a center of curiosity and inquiry, of vibrant institution that played informal but important roles in the broader life of the nation, from science to literature.
No man is educated for statesmanship who cannot see his time from the perspective of the past.
Policy makers and politicians want more STEM; educators want more STEAM. Both, in ways that are eerily similar, are engaging in social engineering to support an ideology. At the macro-level, in both worlds, it’s all about teaching a point of view, rather than teaching students to learn. We seem hell bent on an arbitrarily linear approach to engineering a “useful” or job-securing education, from which we continue to get mixed results.
Give a poet a pen
...the literature student has learned to inquire, to question, to interpret, to critique, to compare, to research, to argue, to sift, to analyze, to shape, to express. His intellect can be put to broad use. The computer major, by contrast, is a technician - a plumber clutching a single, albeit shining, box of tools.
At least part of Pakistan’s quality of education problem stems from its ideological orientation. The goal of education in Pakistan is not to enable critical thinking but to produce skilled professionals capable of applying transferred information instead of being able to think for themselves. To produce soldiers, engineers and doctors indoctrinated with a specifically defined Islamic ideology, the country has ignored liberal arts and social sciences.
History was a crystal ball that told as much about the future as it did about the past.
Doris Kearns Goodwin
Whereas Taft discouraged the young Yale student from extracurricular reading, fearful it would detract from required courses, Roosevelt read widely yet managed to stand near the top of his class. The breath of his numerous interests allowed him to draw on knowledge across various disciplines, from zoology in philosophy and religion, from poetry and drama to history and politics.