Who Killed the Liberal Arts? Joseph Epstein blames his fellow professors in a Weekly Standard essay.
(Professors) in their hunger for relevance and their penchant for self-indulgence, began teaching books for reasons external to their intrinsic beauty or importance, and attempted to explain history before discovering what actually happened. They politicized psychology and sociology, and allowed African-American studies an even higher standing than Greek and Roman classics. They decided that the multicultural was of greater import than Western culture. They put popular culture on the same intellectual footing as high culture (Conrad or graphic novels, three hours credit either way). And, finally, they determined that race, gender, and social class were at the heart of all humanities and most social science subjects. With that finishing touch, the game was up for the liberal arts.
Epstein became a liberal arts major because he didn’t think he could pass accounting.
He’s responding to Andrew Delbanco’s College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be, which complains that most students enroll in college to earn job credentials, not to pursue an education.
This cartoon says it all.