One Worthy of Free Men

05/02/2014

Plato-Republic Walden\

What good, if any, is the study of the liberal arts, particularly subjects like philosophy? Why, in short, should plumbers study Plato?

My answer is that we should strive to be a society of free people, not simply one of well-compensated managers and employees. Henry David Thoreau is as relevant as ever when he writes, “We seem to have forgotten that the expression ‘a liberal education’ originally meant among the Romans one worthy of free men; while the learning of trades and professions by which to get your livelihood merely, was considered worthy of slaves only.”

from The Atlantic, “Why I Teach Plato To Plumbers”

Major hat-tip to Maria Popova and her tremendous efforts over at Brain Pickings and Explore.