Liberal Arts Quotes

Quotes tagged as "liberal-arts" Showing 1-30 of 46
Laurie Halse Anderson
“Why not spend that time on art: painting, sculpting, charcoal, pastel, oils? Are words or numbers more important than images? Who decides this? Does algebra move you to tears? Can plural possessives express the feelings in your heart? If you don't learn art now, you will never learn to breathe!”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

“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.”
Steven Ozment, The Age of Reform 1250-1550

Isaac Asimov
“In a properly automated and educated world, then, machines may prove to be the true humanizing influence. It may be that machines will do the work that makes life possible and that human beings will do all the other things that make life pleasant and worthwhile ”
Isaac Asimov, Robot Visions

Seth Godin
“The competitive advantages the marketplace demands is someone more human, connected, and mature. Someone with passion and energy, capable of seeing things as they are and negotiating multiple priorities as she makes useful decisions without angst. Flexible in the face of change, resilient in the face of confusion. All of these attributes are choices, not talents, and all of them are available to you.”
Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

“Give a poet a pen”
A. Jarrell Hayes

Wendell Berry
“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.”
Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture

William Deresiewicz
“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.”
William Deresiewicz, Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life

“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.”
A. Scott Berg, Max Perkins: Editor of Genius

Robert Kurson
“History was a crystal ball that told as much about the future as it did about the past.”
Robert Kurson, Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship

Seneca
“The liberal arts do not conduct the soul all the way to virtue, but merely set it going in that direction.”
Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius, Vol. 2

James Joyce
“We have the liberal arts and we have the useful arts.”
James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“One night I begged Robin, a scientist by training, to watch Arthur Miller's 'Death of a Salesman' with me on PBS. He lasted about one act, then turned to me in horror: 'This is how you spend your days? Thinking about things like this?' I was ashamed. I could have been learning about string theory or how flowers pollinate themselves.

I think his remark was the beginning of my crisis of faith. Like so many of my generation in graduate school, I had turned to literature as a kind of substitute for formal religion, which no longer fed my soul, or for therapy, which I could not afford.... I became interested in exploring the theory of nonfiction and in writing memoir, a genre that gives us access to that lost Middlemarch of reflection and social commentary.”
Mary Rose O'Reilley, The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd

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”
George F. Will, The Woven Figure: Conservatism and America's Fabric

“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.”
Denham Sutcliffe, What Shall We Defend?: Essays And Addresses

William Deresiewicz
“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.”
William Deresiewicz, Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life

Fareed Zakaria
“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.”
Fareed Zakaria

“College is about exposing students to many things and creating an aphrodisiac atmosphere so that they might fall in lifelong love with a few.”
David Brooks

“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.”
David Brooks

Anthony M. Esolen
“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.”
Anthony Esolen

Philip Zaleski
“Lewis was studying literary history with the present and future in mind.”
Philip Zaleski, The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams

Charles Dickens
“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.”
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

“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)”
Mortimer J. Adler, Charles Van Doren, How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading

Will Durant
“No man is educated for statesmanship who cannot see his time from the perspective of the past.”
Will Durant

James S.A. Corey
“They could address everything else and still not solve the problem. He was always proud of her when she said that. A liberal arts background was a hard thing to overcome, but she was doing great.”
James S.A. Corey, Drive

Husain Haqqani
“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.”
Husain Haqqani, Reimagining Pakistan: Transforming a Dysfunctional Nuclear State

Mark Vonnegut
“Being a good conversationalist is really what a liberal arts education is all about.”
Mark Vonnegut, The Eden Express: A Memoir of Insanity

“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]”
Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren

C.S. Forester
“We have no use for ablative absolutes in the Navy.”
Forester C. S., Mr. Midshipman Hornblower

Stratford Caldecott
“Mathematics is the language of science-- but it is also the hidden structure behind art… and its basis is the invisible Logos of God.”
Stratford Caldecott, Beauty for Truth's Sake: The Re-Enchantment of Education

“Paglia has written movingly about her days teaching Shakespeare and Sophocles to factory workers at the Sikorsky Aircraft plant outside New Have, so she could hardly endorse a solution that involves ejecting so many working-class students from college life. When you ask the average humanities professor whether too many unready students might not be getting hustled into the matriculation office, he (or, statistically, she) will often wax populist: everyone deserves a chance to contemplate the big questions of life. Such big questions are indeed the stuff of literature and philosophy. But they are also the stuff of church. Religion has historically been the place where classes below the upper middle can air their ideas about meaning and seek to integrate them with a greater tradition. The nice thing about church is, it doesn’t cost $50,000 a year.”
Helen Andrews, Boomers: The Men and Women Who Promised Freedom and Delivered Disaster

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