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One reason I can’t buy the claim that conservative intellectual has become an oxymoron is that on our campuses it’s so often the conservatives who defend “liberal education.” I’m going to sketch out the understanding of “liberal education” or “general education” shared by me and many of my fellow professorial conservatives (a tiny and shrinking minority oppressed from all sides…

What are the ends of education? We mean, of course, the ends for us, for us democratic Americans.
So we begin with the best book ever written on democracy and the best book ever written on America—Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.
America, Tocqueville noticed, is an overwhelmingly middle-class country. To be middle class, of course, is to be stuck in the…

So here’s my contribution to a symposium on “originalism” as the mode of interpreting the Constitution that facilitates the maximization of the libertarian value of “negative liberty.” Everyone else in the symposium operates on a higher pay grade than I do when it comes to really knowing all about the controversies in the field of constitutional law right now. There’s…

Perhaps the definition for freedom most commonly held in the West is some variation of the liberal ideal: “the ability to do what you want, so long as you do not encroach upon what belongs to another.”  This definition, however, leaves us with a difficulty: what about those circumstances when two conflicting interests clash?  Is it always possible to judge…

Docilitas. On Teaching and Being Taught. James V. Schall. South Bend, IN: St. Augustine’s Press.
 
Docilitas. On Teaching and Being Taught is a companion work to his book, Another Sort of Learning, where Schall examines what constitutes teaching, learning, and liberal education in today’s universities. Like the other work, Schall both encourages us to think about the fundamental questions of human…

Another Sort of Learning: Selected Contrary Essays on How Finally to Acquire an Education While Still in College or Anywhere Else: Containing Some Belated Advice about How to Employ Your Leisure Time When Ultimate Questions Remain Perplexing in Spite of Your Highest Earned Academic Degree Together with Sundry Book Lists Nowhere Else in Captivity to be Found. James V. Schall.…

Education supplies all other industries, including those concerned with the government and the defense of the country. If the educational industry falters it necessarily follows the whole structure of the nation is threatened.
- Hilda Neatby, So Little for the Mind: An Indictment of Canadian Education. Toronto: Clarke Irwin & Company, 1953
 
By the time So Little For the Mind: An Indictment…

Why The Humanities Matter Today: In Defense of Liberal Education. Lee Trepanier, ed. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2017.
 
This book promises to tell the reader why the humanities matter today and moreover why a new approach to the defense of the humanities is needed. Lee Trepanier, editor and author of both the Introduction and the final chapter, includes political science within the…

Everything is Political
Just as I began my college teaching career twenty-five years ago, the whole academy seemed to have accepted as axiomatic the assertion that “Everything is Political.” This self-evident universal truth (curiously, my relativistic colleagues have quite a few of them) came to be uttered frequently in response to complaints from a few recalcitrant professors who objected when other…