Monday, June 26, 2006

The limits of classical education

Having been led to the Savior by a history teacher and a linguist while in college, I am a sucker for well written history and etamology. One thing I've noticed lately is that actual historical documents demonstrate that there is a clear limit about how far the knowledge of logic and rhetoric can carry a man.

To wit, I read last night that during the First World War, people actually claimed that they were making war on Germany because if Germany were defeated, there would be little new impetus to start wars. The uncomfortable fact that nations had fought wars for millenia before there was a nation called "Germany" somehow escaped them, as well as the fact that they were also waging war. And of course, these were university graduates trained in the classics--they didn't have an excuse for sloppy thinking like too many of us to today.

In other words, the liberal arts only help those who are willing to be helped. I hope to train my children in them, but thanks to the study of history (part of Plato's dialectic phase), I do know its limitations.

1 comment:

David McCrory said...

I agree Bert. A Classical Education is the foundation for all learning, but it is not all learning in and of itself.

I believe it trains the mind to grasp a wide array of academic endeavors and equips the person for a well-rounded education.