Science and the Decline of the Liberal Arts

By Patrick J. Deneen for FRONT PORCH REPUBLIC
http://www.frontporchrepublic.com/2010/03/science-and-the-decline-of-the-liberal-arts/

My essay “Science and the Decline of the Liberal Arts” is now available in its entirety on The New Atlantis website.

Here’s an excerpt:

When conservative critics of our universities nowadays lament the decline of liberal education, they usually decry its replacement by a left-leaning politicized agenda. But the deeper truth is that liberal education has been more fundamentally displaced by scientific education buttressed by the demands of global competition. While conservatives might wish to apportion blame to those increasingly irrelevant faculty whose postmodernism has become a form of stale institutional orthodoxy, the truth is that the rise of this sort of faculty was a response to conditions that were already making liberal education irrelevant, a self-destructive effort to make the humanities ‘up to date.’ These purported radicals — mostly bourgeois former children of the 1960s — were not agents of liberation, but rather symptoms of the neglect of the liberal arts in a dawning new age of science reinforced by global competition.

Read the whole thing here.

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