Recently, three present and former Justices of the Supreme Court (each of them ΦBK members) voiced strong support for the arts and sciences. In an interview about Marcel Proust conducted in French for the New York Review of Books, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer discussed how study of the humanities is an asset for jurists. “We are only allowed to live one life: it’s the human condition, there’s no escaping it. In my view, only by studying the humanities can we hope to escape this fundamental limitation and understand how other people live.”
Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor encouraged Arcadia College students to use college for its “intended purpose, as a liberal arts education that teaches you about people and the world,” recommending core classes such as economics, religion, philosophy, and sociology. “Spend your time growing as a person” she counseled.
In Albany, retired Associate Justice David H. Souter decried cuts in the humanities and called on citizens to rally to restore them. "For the sake of the spirit of liberty, humane learning and humane teaching in the United States must not get short shrifted."
Add your voice to the current national dialogue on higher education. Why do you think the arts and sciences are important? Did your liberal arts and sciences education prepare you for a career in unanticipated ways? Share your arts and sciences story with Phi Beta Kappa.
Image courtesy of the United States Supreme Court