Humanitas, Metaphysics and Modern Liberal Arts

Educational Philosophy and Theory 46 (5):488-498 (2014)
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Abstract

There is a new myth of the heterogeneous that is reducing the concept of humanity to a sinful enlightenment. In this article I investigate the contribution that a renewed understanding of liberal arts education might offer for the idea of a humanist education and for the concept of humanity; and this at a time when not only the concept of humanity per se, and of a humanist education in particular are suspected of Western imperialism and rational logocentrism, but also, in England at least, when the tuition fees of humanities students have trebled. I argue that within a concept of modern metaphysics first principles are re-formed to have their universality in instability and struggle. This instability and struggle is the modern culture of rational education, and speaks of a non-abstract comprehension of two of modernity’s most contested terms: freedom and humanity.

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