How do books change our lives? In this episode, host Russ Roberts welcomes Columbia College professor Roosevelt Montás to assist reply that query and to speak about his new books, Rescuing Socrates. Montàs directed Columbia’s Core Curriculum program for a few years, and stays a fierce advocate of the liberal arts- one thing he sees as invaluable for all college students, whether or not formal or casual settings. He shares his inspiring private story, and gives all of us a fantastic deal to assume about- and skim!

What makes Columbia’s core curriculum so distinctive? How broadly relevant is it; is it simply an Ivy League factor, or is there one thing we will all profit from? If that’s the case, the place and the way would possibly we accomplish that?

Montàs places quite a lot of emphasis on the discursive nature of the liberal arts. So let’s hold the training and  the dialog going. As at all times, we love to listen to from you.



1- Why do the liberal arts appear so out of favor at the moment? Is it merely a query of “unhealthy advertising and marketing,” as Roberts suggests? Are the liberal arts and the mannequin of the trendy analysis college incompatible? (You would possibly assume right here in regards to the function of the non-expert professor main the liberal arts programs at Columbia. To what extent is there worth in studying with somebody who holds no explicit experience within the area?)


2- Roberts suggests we glance to the place the phrase “liberal” in liberal arts comes from, as a notion of freedom is a part of its origin. What does Roberts imply when he says this kind of schooling is one thing everybody has to determine for themselves? What is the function of freedom in a liberal arts schooling?


3- Montàs tells a narrative about 4 thinkers who profoundly influenced him: Freud, Ghandi, Plato, and Augustine. What’s your expertise with these thinkers? Who would you select to reply the query of essentially the most influential thinkers in your life, and why?


4- Unsurprisingly, the query of useless white males and the western canon arises. What does Montàs imply when he suggests we run the chance of conflating variety with chronological order? How did you react to his declare that, “…a type of nice values is that we will see in these historic texts–in these minds and writers from a unique world, a unique time, a unique class, a unique tradition than our personal–we will see what’s basically human.”


5- Why are liberally educated individuals higher for a democracy? Montàs says, “…I wouldn’t blame the disaster in our political discourse, type of the discursive disaster by which America finds itself at the moment–I wouldn’t blame that on larger schooling. However I’d say that larger schooling has did not make its contribution to stopping that.” What does this imply? What must be the function of upper schooling in shaping our political discourse?



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