Thursday, March 11, 2010

The emerging global village makes it necessary to think of the liberal arts within a correspondingly global context.

The liberal arts education and learning remains important at any age. However, it is important to realize that what it signifies to be learned in the liberal arts changes over time.

To be sure, there are some unchanging classics. The canonical philosophical and literary works should be read and appreciated. Trainings in some fundamental scientific and mathematical methods and systems of thoughts would be essential. The ability to think logically, and to test one's ideas against empirical evidences should be acquired.

In the contemporary era, on top of that, one would need to get acquainted with many additional things which were not existent when the term "liberal arts" were invented and implemented in the higher education. Most noticeable is the advent of the internet. A certain set of basic skills, knowledge, modes of conduct, and ethics is needed to make most of the opportunities offered by the internet. There is a new "common sense" in its use, and failure to capture it would result in the user being trapped in the "local minimum".

Most importantly, as the societies on the earth become more and more interconnected, one needs to nurture a set of sensitivities and modes of conduct which were not necessarily when one was quite comfortably well within a nation state. The emerging global village makes it necessary to think of the liberal arts within a correspondingly global context.


Yuzu said...

Thank you for stimulative journal. I think the inner side of everyone and everything is mysterious and marvelous. I communicate with words, action and motion, whatever actually I can't understand people and everything. I'm very sorry about that. I would love to build my inner side of skills, knowledge, modes of conduct,and ethics... more. I'm sure it is very tough for me.
I am interested in the societies on the earth become more and more interconnected. I will study about that in internet. And I will walk ,see , touch and feel the earth. I would love to the earth and the live.

nekochama said...

Well stated. We have so much information at hand in this age and it's so crucial to train minds how to properly handle it...we should have your comments in our college brochure (MIC, a small liberal arts college in So. Kyushu)

OrangeRoomStudios said...


This reminded me of David Foster Wallace's commencement speech about the liberal arts education.

TED said...

I am very happy and excited to have given me an opportunity to comment on your electric journal. These days many Japanese students spend less time on reading great classical works of the West and the East and this situation contributes to depriving the ability of expanding wider perspectives among younger generation. In my opinion thinking is an indispensable tool to survive and act for all human beings in a globalizing society because in a global village we must express our ideas and opinions in a global context.