Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Tag Archives: Liberal Arts

The Death of the Humanities

A liberal arts education was once a gateway to wisdom; now it can breed ignorance and arrogance.

by Victor Davis Hanson // Defining Ideas 

The humanities are in their latest periodic crisis. Though the causes of the

Moyan_Brenn via Flickr

Moyan_Brenn via Flickr

ongoing decline may be debated, everyone accepts the dismal news about eroding university enrollments, ever fewer new faculty positions, the decline in majors, and the lack of jobs for humanities graduates. Less than 8% of current BA degrees are awarded to humanities majors. The New York Times recently reported that while 45% of the undergraduate faculty at Stanford teach in the humanities, only 15% of the students major in them.

Of course, the numbers of humanities majors have been in decline since the 1970s. But what seems different today is that the humanities are less sacrosanct in the university. Literature, philosophy, and art are no longer immune from budget cuts by virtue of their traditional intrinsic value to the university. Either Read more →

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