Monday, September 7, 2009

Nussbaum on College

Here's what Martha Nussbaum says about College:
It’s easy to think that college classes are mainly about preparing you for a job. But remember: this may be the one time in your life when you have a chance to think about the whole of your life, not just your job. Courses in the humanities, in particular, often seem impractical, but they are vital, because they stretch your imagination and challenge your mind to become more responsive, more critical, bigger. You need resources to prevent your mind from becoming narrower and more routinized in later life. This is your chance to get them.
This claim is often made, and I would probably agree with it. But I don't think it's too much to ask that the claim be made through slightly less hackneyed language. You would never drop two hundred grand more on a house because a highly interested party said it would "stretch your imagination and challenge your mind to become bigger," so use some of that supposedly non-narrow, non-routinized brainpower to write something better.

Of course, maybe I'm assuming too much about College kids. Maybe they need to major in the Humanities before they can realize how tired and bad some of the arguments are for taking the Humanities.

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