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comment by NotPhil
NotPhil  ·  1514 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why America’s obsession with STEM education is dangerous

    it’s not conducive to thinking, problem solving or creativity.
    What does that mean? Those things can be inspired -- to a degree. But they can't be taught

Yes, they can, and the liberal arts do just that.

Want to learn to think? Study philosophy. It teaches reasoning.

Want to learn to solve problems? Study literature, history, and social studies. They teach how people, organizations, and societies have solved problems.

Want to learn creativity? Study the fine arts. They teach you how to create.

If we abandon the humanities, we abandon education.




flagamuffin  ·  1514 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I see that I am very much in the minority -- which does not surprise me; I've had this conversation before on hubski -- but no, I don't really believe that being "creative" is as simple as studying the creative process. Or that reading some Kant will teach you to reason. I'm surprised as usual that any of you believe that. It seems to be mistaking the cause and the effect.

Grendel  ·  1514 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    “Scholars are those who have read in books, but thinkers, men of genius, world-enlighteners, and reformers of the human race are those who have read directly in the book of the world.”

    “It may sometimes happen that a truth, an insight, which you have slowly and laboriously puzzled out by thinking for yourself could have easily have been found already written in a book: but it is a hundred times more valuable if you have arrived at it by thinking for yourself. For only then will it enter your thought system as an integral part and living member, be perfectly and firmly consistent with it and in accord with all its other consequences and conclusions, bear the hue, colour and stamp of your whole manner of thinking, and have arrived at just the moment it was needed ; thus it will stay firmly and forever lodged in your mind.”

    “The intellectual attainments of a man who thinks for himself resemble a fine painting, where the light and shade are correct, the tone sustained, the colour perfectly harmonised; it is true to life. On the other hand, the intellectual attainments of the mere man of learning are like a large palette, full of all sorts of colours, which at most are systematically arranged, but devoid of harmony, connection and meaning.”

    “Students and scholars of all kinds and of every age aim, as a rule, only at information, not insight. They make it a point of honour to have information about everything, every stone, plant, battle, or experiment and about all books, collectively and individually. It never occurs to them that information is merely a means to insight, but in itself is of little or no value.”

    “As the biggest library if it is in disorder is not as useful as a small but well-arranged one, so you may accumulate a vast amount of knowledge but it will be of far less value to you than a much smaller amount if you have not thought it over for yourself; because only through ordering what you know by comparing every truth with every other truth can you take complete possession of your knowledge and get it into your power.”

- Arthur Schopenhauer

I think this picture adequately summarises my feelings about modern so-called liberal arts - warning: profanity and symbolic nudity.