Periagoge : liberal education in the modern university

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von Heyking, John
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Southern Utah University Press
Chapter contained in the book The Democratic Discourse of Liberal Education". One of the common criticisms of the contemporary university is that it lacks individuals unwilling or incapable even of conversing. Critics such as Anthony Kronman and Stephen Miller rightly observe that there’s something about contemporary culture and the contemporary university hostile to the arts or habits of conversation. Conversation has had a place in liberal education going back at least to the Platonic dialogue, if not back further, should one wish to see things this way, to the point in the evolution of bipeds that sat conversing so long that as apes, they lost their tails and became human beings.2 Conversation as the primary mode of liberal education is not meant to produce “results” but is an ongoing quest for understanding the human condition in all its manifold.
Permission granted by Lee Trepanier
Liberal education , Modern university , Learning and scholarship , Humanities--Study and teaching , Conversation
“Periagoge: Liberal Education in the Modern University,” in The Democratic Discourse of Liberal Education. Ed. Lee Trepanier. Cedar City, UT: Southern Utah University Press and the Grace A. Tanner Center, 2010. Pp. 160-187.