Friday, April 08, 2005
Our Newest Op Ed- By David Morrell
- By David Morrell
Within the American university is an imperceptible shift of allegiance from age-old principles to a new banner of peremptory axioms and half-considered adages. The twentieth-century witnessed this tacit transformation of the university from a place of learning to the bastion of failing propositions, as cries for progress permeated the unshaped minds of the rising generation, drowning out centuries of tradition. This new wave of educators and its proteges are committed-more than the previous-to rejecting all standards of the good, the beautiful, and the true, replacing them with transitory social, cultural and political paradigms. Each successive generation is characterized by its will to reject the one preceding it, rendering many American minds devoid of tradition and of a belief in any standard of truth. A nation without these "great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of man and citizens" is a country slowly decaying into a spiritual stupor.
Aristotle once wrote, "Man by nature desires to know." And, in the words of the Claremont Institute's Chris Flannery, "what man by nature ultimately most needs to know is the final end, or highest good, or that for the sake of which all things exist." Thus, education-or what it ought to be-is simply the process by which individuals discover "their chief and highest" end in life-the purpose for which they exist. America's traditional form of learning-the liberal arts-seeks to answer those fundamental questions at the heart of the human experience...........
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