Great Books, Honors Programs, and Hidden Origins: The by William Haarlow

By William Haarlow

First released in 2004. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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They also pioneered the study of the fine arts, particularly music and art, which along with embroidery, dance, and conversation, made up the “ornamental” subjects in the curriculum. Like the male antebellum colleges, female colleges gradually Before the Virginia Plan • 21 introduced parallel courses of study; young ladies chose between a classical course and an English course. Yet the notion of “separate spheres,” of different societal roles for men and women, meant that questions of vocational training for women did not emerge, especially in the South.

However, during the humanist revolution that occurred roughly between 1820 and 1860, a new philosophy of education emerged, one which sought to promote a virtuous citizenry, not just classical erudition. It was believed that the study of the classical world as a whole, and not just classical grammar and language, would help preserve the young American Republic from declension. ”16 This is an important point, for when the liberal artists of the twentieth century argued that their philosophy of education, based in part on the great books, was a re-introduction of what had always been the basis of Western education, they were only partly correct.

82 In 1879 Pope Leo XIII codified the Summa as the official philosophy of the Roman Catholic Church. ”83 Adler’s interest in Aquinas was hardly pre-ordained, and in some sense ironic. Adler was a nonobservant Jew and his promotion of Thomist Aristotelianism was dumbfounding to a largely Protestant faculty. ”84 Yet Aquinas appealed to Adler because: Aquinas’s scholastic method of introducing every question with objections to his views, then spelling out the truth in crisp, logical form before refuting the initial objections with the same clear logic fitted Adler’s habit of mind perfectly.

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