Thursday, 15 September 2016

Quote of the Day: On why students are turning their backs on the Humanities

"Prior to the mid-1960s, English was about learning to see the world through the eyes of those who saw it most clearly and who expressed what they saw with a descriptive vocabulary that was beautifully inspiring. Such vocabulary, once seen and learned in great literature, gave students the tools to see the world, understand it and communicate that understanding to others. At the same time, the narrative aspect of literature taught students to see the connection of cause and effect, i.e. that ideas and actions have consequences and that, therefore, they cannot be severed from responsibility.
    “Since the 1960s, English has been subject to the latest academic fads and fashions. It is no longer about learning to see the cosmos and humanity’s place in it through the eyes of Homer, Sophocles, Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare, Austen or Eliot; it’s about the way that the English professor sees the cosmos and humanity’s place in it. Students are no longer taught to test their own pride, prejudice and presumption in the light of these great writers and sages. Instead they are taught to judge these sages according to the pride, prejudice and presumption of the English professor."

~ Joseph Pearce, in ‘Why the Liberal Arts (Sadly) Are Becoming Meaningless
[Hat tip Anoop Verma]


  1. Include in that category of worthless, the social sciences, including and especially, political science. Over here in Bangkok, General Prayut gave the Thammasat University progressives a warning the other day. Government is not impressed in having to fund worthless degrees, and justice warriors.

  2. This comment describes what appears to be a change from running into the incoherence of arts graduates, but is there rigour behind the assertion? Is it based on changes in reading lists? Or measured pedagogy changes?


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.