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A Liberal Education Not According to Cronon A Critical and Rhetorical Analysis of Cronons Only Connect While the term liberal education is heard from the most prestigious university to an inner city community college the phrase itself has a hazy definition at best While educators across America struggle with the definition of the phrase William Cronon uses purpose structure and appeals in his essay Only Connect The Goals of Liberal education to define a liberally educated being and the characteristics that such an education should impart Cronon capitalizes on inductive structuring to lead the reader along gently building each new statement upon a foundation of previous ideas This effectively leads the reader to a strange and new concept that a liberal education should nurture the human mind and inspire students to have love for their fellow humanity One purpose of Cronons essay is to emancipate the phrase liberal education from the debates and misconceptions that have swirled around the words since their creation while also inspiring educators to embody a teaching philosophy that attempts to create a spiritual love for those around them While having no definition himself Cronon states that he is able to answer his question with a list of personal qualities the ten values he most admires in the people who seem to embody the values of a liberal education159 He wishes to move away from the mantra-like156 and empty156 definition that these words hold to a more functional working explanation of a liberal education Cronons list of characteristics provides the reader with a plausible understanding of a liberal education While Cronon is unable to define a liberal education he is competent in defining what a liberal education produces By admitting that he is unable to define a liberal education and instead focusing on the characteristics that such an education embodies Cronon is laying the groundwork for his revolutionary thesis Cronon allows the reader to easily see his purpose in
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