One achieves virtue when one gains wisdom through life experiences. Seneca illustrates this through the use of several key examples. Seneca says, “But there is only one really liberal study -- that which gives a man his liberty. It is the study of wisdom.” Seneca is explaining that although liberal studies helps one with the bases of virtue, wisdom is the only true study that separates from the rest. Wisdom can be defined as learning life lessons rather than a math lecture. Seneca writes, “All other studies are puny and puerile.” Any study that has to do with money-making does
Higher education in modern day America has become a debated topic, with some saying that it is not worth it due to the debt it leaves upon leaving, and some saying that it opens opportunities that surpass the results of obtaining one. A resulting view from this conflict is that certain forms of education aren’t as beneficial as others. A primary example of one of these less valuable educations is the study of Liberal Arts. Author Sanford J. Ungar discredits this view in his article The New Liberal Arts where he discusses the many misconceptions that have come to form this interpretation. To convince the reader of these misunderstandings, Ungar uses the appeals of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos, with heavy appeal to logic (Logos) over the other two. Each misconception uses and focuses on more of one appeal than others, and by doing this, he is very successful in influencing the reader into considering that these misunderstandings are present.
When Shorris explains his goal to the prospective students he indicates, “You’ve been cheated. Rich people learn the humanities; you didn’t. The humanities are a foundation for getting along in the world, for thinking, for learning to reflect on the world instead of just reaction to whatever force is turned against you.”(Page 4) That the rich have had the opportunity to buy that type of learning and embrace it, while the poor have had more things to deal with like getting food on the table from day to day. Therefore, Shorris believes that a liberal education will provide poor students with a new kind of lens to outlook the world. With the knowledge of philosophy, poetry, art history, logic and American history, Shorris trusts that these students will begin to uncover hidden talents and interests that will inspire them and help them to not only solve problems, but also seek plausible solutions. He believes that these qualities would provide the poor with an escape route from the ongoing cycle that have them trapped and it will provide them with “a certain kind of life, a richness of mind and spirit.” (Page 5) After his first thriving year teaching this class, sixteen of his prospective students completed the course, which then some went on to universities.
Much like the ancient philosopher Socrates, Seneca the young strived to uphold the idea of ethical knowledge. Not going solely after ones desires it is better to be guided by reason to truly live a happy life. The idea of virtue and the liberal studies are the key points of Seneca’s letter “On Liberal and Vocational Studies”. In Seneca’s famous letter “On Liberal and Vocational Studies”, the only way to establish virtue is through the liberal study of wisdom. The effects of having virtue can be seen through harmony, temperance, and kindness.
Ungar believes that the new Liberal Arts program is powerful because it develops character, lifelong learning, and values. He further explains that creating confidence and developing positive patterns is essential to life. He believes that, “Through immersion in liberal arts, students learn not just to make a living, but also to live a life rich in values and character”.On the other hand, Gitlin believes that learning from history ensures common ground and helps people socially accept their lives as well as those of others. He states that “Students need “chaff detectors.”They need some orientation to philosophy, history, language, literature, music and the arts that have lasted more than 15 minutes”. He does agree with Ungar that Liberal
Born of different backgrounds, upbringings, and experiences, Epictetus and Seneca are Roman philosophers who outwardly appear very different. Epictetus spent most of his youth as a slave while Seneca was born into money and became a tutor of Nero. Although these two men seem to be very dissimilar, they each shared a common purpose in studying philosophy and teaching people on how to live well. Each suggested different paths for how to do so. Epictetus suggests in his book, The Discourses and The Enchiridion, that living a life in accordance with nature could be achieved by living moderately. Seneca suggests in his work, Letters from a Stoic, that a happy man is self-sufficient and realizes that happiness depends only on interior perfection. Despite the differences, both Epictetus and Seneca are considered Stoics because of their shared belief in the idea that character is the only guarantee of everlasting, carefree happiness. The world outside ourselves will never give us happiness, nor will it be responsible for our unhappiness. It doesn’t matter what’s happening outside ourselves, Epictetus and Seneca claim that the only thing that matters is how we interpret those events. Further evaluating Seneca’s, Letters from a Stoic and Epictetus’s, The Discourses and The Enchiridion, we will clearly be able to differentiate the two in their ideas and opinions regarding stoicism and the keys to living a well, happy life.
The usage of the word that he likes the most based on his article is its relation to a Greek word that means free. He explains how he believes that having liberal arts education is freeing. In this form I agree with him. A liberal arts education is more versatile. I can take whatever I want and chose. If I went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology for example I would be imprisoned to doing those specific courses and the path that they set me on. At a liberal arts college I can take a business class one hour and the art history and appreciation for the finer arts where you can’t do that just anywhere. As he moves forward in his article however that is where I start to disagree. He makes a list of values that people who have had a liberal arts education possess. Values such as they listen and hear, that they detect logic and fully hear what you have to say. I have known many people who have that value and have not had a liberal arts education. They read and they understand, they can read any type of article you hand them whether its sports or arts or business they can read and understand it all. This is false my uncle who did not have
To discuss the value of liberal education, there should be a mutual understanding that investing in college means to invest in oneself. Furthermore, while some consider this investment to be a critical stepping stone to success, others dismiss it, explaining that school simply cannot prepare someone for the “real world.” Sanford J. Ungar and Robert Reich explore both of these subjective values in their essays “The New Liberal Arts” and “College is a Ludicrous Waste of Money.” Ungar, the president of Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, discusses why a liberal education should be sought after; he does so by introducing common misconceptions about liberal arts and, using argumentative persuasion, proves their insignificance. On the other hand, Reich, the former secretary of labor, argues against the conventional belief of college being the only road to financial wellbeing; rather, he explains why a two-year education may better accommodate many college students, especially those in need of immediate work or those that simply cannot afford a four-year education. In all, although both Reich and Ungar generally discuss liberal education, their perspectives differ when it comes to its practicality in the current economy. Also, to express their different views about liberal arts, the authors use contrasting tones to present their ideas to different intended audiences.
Percy would disagree with Du Bois that “old time glorified methods of delving the Truth, and searching the hidden beauties of life, and learning the good of living” is through being a “simple” student. One cannot be forced into liking something if they are truly not interested in it, but Du Bois argued that education is something that is necessary without taking into consideration the students desire to learn. Percy though, argued with an example that, “A student who has the desire to get at a dogfish or a Shakespeare sonnet may have the greatest difficulty in salvaging the creature itself from the educational package in which it is presented” (573). Percy suggests that the “educational package”
“The New Liberal Arts” is an article written by Sanford J. Ungar, who is a president of Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. In the beginning of his article, Ungar wrote, “Hard economic times inevitably bring scrutiny of all accepted ideals and institutions, and this time around the liberal arts education has been especially hard hit.” In other words, Ungar means that recent economic recessions have made a huge impact on what people think of going for a liberal arts degree. In his essay, Ungar lists seven misperceptions and how he reacts to them. The most common misperception that Ungar identified is that liberal arts degrees are no longer affordable. The cost for liberal arts education is very expensive while
Critical thinking means to think correctly in to find knowledge that is relevant and reliable. In terms of a liberal arts education critical thinking is crucial because a liberal arts education teaches students skills that are needed in the rapidly changing world that usually requires a lifetime of self-learning and understanding. Critical thinking is something that people usually must learn on their own; however, as a liberal arts school it is taught, so we have a better understanding of thinking critically.
In James V, Schall’s A Students Guide to Liberal Learning, he addresses the idea and importance of an authentic liberal arts education. Schall inquires about books and scholars of which centralize around the idea of a liberal education and of which has shaped our society. Schall examines the works of several authors who are in his opinion the guides to learning, and his essay serves as a fundamental building block for the creation of a “Personal Library”.
In this paper you will learn my insights into my life. I will touch on my formal and informal education. I will reflect on the four Breadth areas of Ottawa University’s program of liberal arts studies. Future goals, philosophy, values, and obstacles will be discussed. This will include significant people and events that have happened in my life.
In this paragraph, I am going to elaborate on why I agree with Seneca’s reasoning and how it has helped me. After analyzing Seneca’s main arguments on ethics and reflecting on past events in which I reacted in an irrational manner, I have come to the conclusion that I exhibit destructive emotions predominantly when I desire something beyond my control. In Nassim Taleb’s “Fooled By Randomness,” one of the chapters is titled “If your so smart, why aren’t you rich?” It is a constant reminder to myself that acquiring prosperity has more to do with luck than one’s work ethic, but a strong work ethic does help. In mathematics, there is a simulation which can help show the sequence of sample paths that result from a random event. Taleb describes the Monte Carlo Simulation as, “One sets conditions believed to resemble the ones that prevail in reality, and launches a collection of simulations around possible event” (Taleb 43). These alternative sample paths illustrate all the potential outcomes, rather than only one, the one which plays out in history. Why is this important? It is relevant because it is something Seneca implicitly eluded to 2000 years ago; rather than solely focusing on the event that occurred, known as survivorship bias, they looked at the whole picture. They understood that adversity and luck were products of randomness. Therefore, they realized it was irrational to become dependent on such a thing, dependence breeds anxiety and other destructive emotions. A
Through the examples of Oedipus and Socrates, the saying “the unexamined life is not worth living” proves true in three ways: first, to live a life full of discovery is a direct calling from God; second, an examined life leads to humbleness; and lastly, a life spent in investigation will constantly be in pursuit of truth.