by Victor Davis Hanson
Hoover Institution
February 04, 2014
The humanities are in their latest periodic crisis. Less than 8% of current BA degrees are awarded to humanities majors. While 45% of the undergraduate faculty at Stanford teach in the humanities, only 15% of the students major in them. What was crowded out over the last half-century was often the very sort of instruction that had once made employers take a risk in hiring a liberal arts major. Humanities students were more likely to craft good prose. They were trained to be inductive rather than deductive in their reasoning and knew the referents of the past well enough to put contemporary events into a larger abstract context. Not now. The world beyond the campus has learned that college students know how and why to take a political position but not how to defend it through logic and example. Ignorance and arrogance are a fatal combination.



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