In an essay of about 1000 words (that’s about 3 double-spaced typed pages) and n

In an essay of about 1000 words (that’s about 3 double-spaced typed pages) and no more than 1500
words, write an essay that explains what a liberal education is from a traditional perspective (that is,
the perspective we have been discussing throughout the semester). Write as if you were writing for an
educated public on the web. The essay is open-book and open note. You can use any of the sources
(including blog posts) we have used in the course. You should cite your sources—don’t forget to do
that. Please don’t go searching for additional materials on the web. They probably won’t be as helpful
as they at first appear. If you need help, just message me in Teams or via email.
Be sure to say something thoughtful about each of the following key ideas, with at least one supporting
quotation from each of the texts indicated:
• the way in which liberal education goes beyond mere usefulness for day to day life
– (see Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy, bk. 1, where Boethius confronts unjust imprisonment and death; you might consider how liberal education—an education that makes you
interiorly free—could also pertain to other forms of struggle or trauma.)
• what makes a liberal education philosophical
– (see Pieper’s The Philosophical Act, chapters 1 and 2, particularly the parts in which he
discusses getting beyond being manipulated by others or getting beyond sense experience
to the exercise of our intellect and will. You can also refer to Pieper’s Leisure the Basis of
Culture, chapter 1.)
• how this differs from the way college education is usually presented in American culture.
– see Reno, “Critical Thinking and the Culture of Skepticism”—this is the essay originally
assigned for the third blog post. I’ve included the essay with this final exam prompt in
Blackboard.
I encourage you also to consider whether a college education is meant to make people virtuous, critical,
or perhaps something else. Feel free to reflect on application to your own life and experience at UST.
Writing about both of these things is a great strategy for your essay’s conclusion.

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