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Brand Blanshard a respected philosophy professor published an essay entitled The Uses of a Liberal Education which accounts for a few arguments against a liberal education but stresses the overwhelming advantages to the same education According to Blanshard liberal studies are the sort of studies that are pursued for their own sake rather than for their utility p 121 The first step Blanshard takes in analyzing the usefulness of a liberal education is to highlight the opposing arguments First he examines the price one pays for an education in such subjects as philosophy mathematics or history That price is that of freedom He enforces this with the idea that 18-year-olds are at the time in their lives where they are entranced by freedom In studying these tedious subjects they lose that freedom His second point is that of the usefulness He gives multiple examples of men who have changed the face of the earth without education such as Thomas Edison and Henry Ford For if it is our purpose to be educated to better our lives materialistically a liberal education serves no purpose Thirdly he highlights languages explaining that when will any of us need French or Spanish to understand something Can we not find information in English anywhere The only worthy case of studying languages is if one intends to live in a foreign countryFor the rest of the essay Blanshard enforces the positives of a liberal education First he explores the meaning of usefulness and comes to the conclusion that usefulness involves comfort and quiet and richness of the mind which is simply good p 125 Blanshard then highlights three reasons why a liberal education is useful First it satisfies our human desire to know Second it is useful indirectly through our use of different perspectives And finally it may permeate with its influence all our thought and feeling and action p 124 He concludes this essay by reminding us that the Greek
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