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ERIC Number: EJ1008816
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1474-0222
Augustine and the Liberal Arts
Kenyon, Erik
Arts and Humanities in Higher Education: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, v12 n1 p105-113 Feb 2013
In an early dialogue, "On Order", Augustine sets out a program for thinking about thinking. Through such reflections, students attain self-knowledge and prepare for philosophical inquiry. The liberal arts are useful for this project, insofar as they provide opportunities for thinking, yet they are not ultimately necessary. I suggest that "On Order's" program, correctly understood, provides a rationale for Augustine's beginning but never completing a set of works on the seven liberal arts, and that his approach has contemporary relevance. Current discussions of the liberal arts move between concerns for particular content, which after a canon war may seem political or arbitrary, and useful skills, which reduce the liberal arts to quasi-vocational programs. Augustine's focus on rational activity escapes the content/skills dilemma and gives us a fresh perspective on the liberal arts' value. (Contains 7 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A