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Liberal Education and the Meaning of Freedom, Albright U

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Roosevelt Montas

on 10 September 2018

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Transcript of Liberal Education and the Meaning of Freedom, Albright U

Liberal Education and the
Meaning of Freedom

Liberal Education
The best city-state will not confer citizenship on vulgar craftsmen … for it is impossible to engage in virtuous pursuits while living the life of a vulgar craftsman or hired laborer.
The science of the laws of nature is called Physics, whereas the science of the laws of freedom is called Ethics.
-Immanuel Kant,
Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals
For to be driven by appetite alone is slavery, and obedience to the law one has prescribed for oneself is liberty.
--Jean-Jacques Rousseau,
The Social Contract
It is evident, then, that there is a certain kind of education that children must be given not because it is useful or necessary but because it is noble and suitable for a free person.
Human Freedom
Liberal "Knowledge"
Scientific vs. Liberal Knowledge
-Cumulative vs. Iterative ("Changes in internal proportions")
-Servile vs. Liberal
-Instrumental value vs. Intrinsic value
-Empirical vs. Intuitive
-"The speculative reason that Plato shared with God vs. the pragmatic reason that Ulysses shared with the foxes" (Niebuhr, on Whitehead)

“The most important thing is to find out what is the most important thing.”
-Shunryu Suzuki

Immanuel Kant: “What has a price can be replaced with something else as its equivalent; whereas what is elevated above price, and hence allows of no equivalent, has a dignity.”

“Autonomy is thus the ground of the dignity of a human and of every rational nature.”
Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals
, 4:436 and 4:434)
Chaos and Indeterminacy:
The Double Pendulum

*More Complexity
Two Trends
Four Challenges Ahead
1. The predictable and unpredictable consequences of climate change
2. The extension, and possibly the dramatic extension, of the human life span
3. Forms of artificial intelligence that will rival and exceed human intelligence
4. Genetic manipulation of human and non-human species
Two final quotes:

1) "Our duty is to compose our character, not to compose books, to win battles and provinces, but order and tranquility in our conduct. Our great and glorious masterpiece is to live properly. All other things—to reign, to lay up treasure, to build—are all at the best but little aids and additions.” (Montaigne, “On Experience”)

2) “I study myself more than any other subject. This is my metaphysics, this is my physics”
(Montaigne, On Experience)
: What are the subjects of difference that cause hatred and anger? Let us look at it
this way. If you and I were to differ about numbers as to which is the greater, would this difference make us enemies and angry with each other, or would we proceed to count and soon resolve our difference about this?
: We would certainly do so.
: Again, if we differed about the larger and the smaller, we would turn to
measurement and soon cease to differ.
: That is so.
: And about the heavier and the lighter, we would resort to weighing and be
: Of course.
: What subject of difference would make us angry and hostile to each other if we
were unable to come to a decision? Perhaps you do not have an answer ready, but examine as I tell you whether these subjects are the just and the unjust, the beautiful and the ugly, the good and the bad. Are these not the subjects of difference about which, when we are unable to come to a satisfactory decision, you and I and other men become hostile to each other whenever we do?
, 7b-c
"A complete community…comes to be for the sake of living, but it remains in existence for the sake of living well.”

...in the first place, I put for a general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth not till death.”
, Leviathan
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