Liberal education is always in crisis. Its aims are too extraordinary for it not to be. In his recent valedictory address “Ave atque vale” (June 2013), Donald Kagan has accurately portrayed the current crisis of liberal education. His list of the four benefits ascribed to liberal education is certainly also correct: that it engenders knowledge for its own sake, that it assists in career training, that it provides practice in the arts of freedom, and that it builds character. “At some places and some times,” Kagan says, “all the benefits are claimed at the same...


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