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Liberal Arts Education: Thinking—The Consequences

Uploaded by deemitzy on May 15, 2005

Liberal arts is a generalized term for a broad range of subjects including history, philosophy, and literature. These courses do not necessarily provide a solid foundation for a trade or profession, a lot of students ask or think “why am I taking this class?” or “why is it necessary to take a class that is not really going to help me become a doctor or lawyer?” The answer is that although they do not directly relate to there chosen area of study they expand horizons, give us a solid general knowledge base and establish better reasoning skills. They allow for question, exploration and deduction of ideas, thoughts and themes. For these reasons and many more they are a valuable and crucial part of an education. I’m going to try and compare the men to the women in the texts we have studied. It almost seems that the men lack certain skills that the women posses and that these skills could be obtained from studying liberal arts.

When we begin our college education we are becoming adults. We are expected think for ourselves and accept full responsibility for our actions. I think that liberal arts classes act as a catalyst to this process. Among the general population of adults it is believed that teenagers act impulsively, not thinking before acting and certainly not thinking about the consequences. This sort of reckless behavior is predominant in the male characters of the texts we have studied. Take for example when Tiresias, the blind prophet, in Sophocles, Oedipus the King, says:

“How terrible—to see the truth

When the truth is only pain to him who sees!” (p. 626 Lines 359-360)

Oedipus does not take the time to think about what the blind man was saying. He acts rashly, making him foolish. This shows the lack of a liberal arts education. He wanted instant gratification. Tiresias even tells Oedipus that he “is the murder [he] hunt[s]” (pg 630 Line 413). Oedipus does not even pause for a moment to reflect on the prophet’s words. A liberal arts education teaches us how to sit down and think things out and how important this process is. I think that if he had sat down privately with Tiresias and talked things over or even stopped to listen to him that the outcome would, perhaps, have been different.

Another example of the male characters lacking certain skills that can...

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Uploaded by:   deemitzy

Date:   05/15/2005

Category:   Miscellaneous

Length:   7 pages (1,601 words)

Views:   1947

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