I will be teaching a philosophy special topics course this spring (PHIL 4900 Special Topics: What is an Educated Person?), MWF 2:00-2:50. This is a full course version of the CHASS reading group I have run the past few years. The book order has just been submitted, so in a day or two the course should show up on Banner for registration.
The class will investigate the purpose and value of liberal education. Some questions to be considered: What is the end of liberal education? How does liberal education differ from vocational education (job training)? What is the place of books in education? What underlying metaphysics of man, if any, is implied by liberal education? Can a university be truly secular / metaphysically neutral, or must it make metaphysical commitments? What challenges are facing the modern university, and what opportunities?
Texts / authors read: Gilgamesh, Plato, Aristotle, Newman, Hobbes, Descartes, Bacon, Dewey, Nussbaum, Lewis, and more!
No prerequisites required. I expect that students will leave the class (a) having thought deeply about some interesting questions, (b) having developed a deeper understanding of the ends of education and (c) having developed the capacity to speak clearly and powerfully about the value of a liberal arts education.