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Liberal Learning

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For the ancient myth-maker, there is something at the heart of all of human events that is worth preserving, something marvelous and worthy of renown, even if the account is not entirely true to life... The second-century satirist, Lucian...
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I imagine that on Parents’ Weekend there might be some parents attending this once weekly occasion when the college assembles to hear a lecture. By its very name, a lecture is read—but read out loud, delivered in the writer’s voice. Thus, the...
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'Twas the week before finals and all through the school All the students were panicked and losing their cool. The deadlines flew by because no one would heed The dates in the syllabus no one would read. The children were buried nose-deep in their...
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Vast topics are notoriously easy to avoid, and those who undertake to wrestle with them in public owe their audience some concrete reason for their choice. Let me begin with mine. First, this summer I had...
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It is the encounter with beauty, all-consuming beauty, the infinite, which directs the human soul back to God. The sky calls us up; the earth drags us down... On December 2, 1805, the French Emperor...

Pick up a Jane Austen novel, and you will discover that behind the long gowns and country dances, people in her era struggled with the same weaknesses we struggle with today. Well-written stories like Austen's bring to life the human drama that is played out in every...
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We’re filling up so much of kids’ time with extracurriculars and studying that they don’t have time to play—and without play, it’s harder to develop the self-starter instincts and resilience of an entrepreneur... This election...
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In America today, we are living in a toxic political climate that is the product of a very dangerous combination: Our rulers lack the learning necessary to ask the kinds of deep and fundamental questions that leaders and lawgivers ought to make a habit of pondering, while our people...
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If people and dogs have common ground of a higher order than animal needs, it must be in the territory of the spirit. Spirit is, just as Aristotle says, where friendship is at home. Now among us humans, this capability of the spirit is both an accomplishment and a...
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Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Christine Norvell as she considers the model of scholarly endeavor embodied by John of...
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We live in a pathetically dumbed-down culture. Levels of literacy and numeracy plummet and levels of ignorance rise. Knowledge of the past disappears, its lessons unlearned, as the present shows its contempt for the wisdom of the...
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In Othello, William Shakespeare, the philosopher of everyday life, holds up a mirror to us and shows us what human beings are capable of. Beneath our most pleasantly cultivated exterior, there often lurks a serpent... William Hazlitt is widely...
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Human beings are not simply producers; they are also lovers of beauty and contemplators of truth. They are wasters of time. The liberally educated person has a rich inner life that allows him or her to waste time well...
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The imagination must be won back. This is Dr. Onalee McGraw’s aim, and she fights with the finest of the films made in our own nation, by Hollywood itself, and sometimes even by corrupt men and women... “You...