The Humanities in Dispute: A Dialogue in Letters

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Purdue University Press


Disturbed by acrimonious arguments about the value of humanistic education, the authors-former colleagues and university-press board members-embarked on an ambitious project to reexamine a number of major literary and philosophical works dealing with the liberal arts and education. With their discussions ranging from Plat to Rousseau, from Cicero to Vico, from Erasmus to Matthew Arnold, Sousa and Weinsheimer offer not a history of education philosophy but an examination of the present. They read these astonishingly diverse works with one question foremost: "Do our predecessors' reflections offer anything better in defense of humanities education than modern platitudes about broadening one's horizons?"