Education and its Discontents

By Leland Tyson Anderson.

Published by The International Journal of Humanities Education

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Education in the humanities is in a crisis. There is at the very least a general malaise, at the worst a sense of hopelessness. This is not a superficial problem, but a deep one, rooted in western culture itself but especially far-reaching in the form it takes in the U.S. The problem is a “Hydra” with many heads, and it seems when one is cut off, two grow back. The more immediate problem is that “bureaucratic reason” and a desire for “measurable goals and objectives” have penetrated the university system, and online education has proven fruitful field for bureaucratic learning. The underlying problem is that the very virtues of modernity—liberty and science—have in fact become its vices. Liberty has ended up being something enjoyed by the financial “1%” while science and technology have resulted in a materialistic and quantitative view of the human person which has the effect of suffocating personal, qualitative life—the very life that the humanities seek to nurture. The way out requires a reaffirmation of what is fundamentally human, transcending all measurement.

Keywords: Higher Education, Crisis, Bureaucratic Reason, Modernity

The International Journal of Humanities Education, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp.39-48. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 216.907KB).

Dr. Leland Tyson Anderson

Professor of Religion and Philosophy, Religion and Philosophy, Saint Leo University, Saint Leo, Florida, USA

Leland Tyson Anderson has published in the areas of comparative religion and philosophy, religion and culture, and higher education. Anderson’s recent work is on Thomas Merton and the relevance of contemplation for the changing conception of the university in a market-driven economy.