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Education's End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life

Thursday May 2008


Anthony T. Kronman Sterling Professor of Law, Yale Law School

Anthony Kronman argues that one of the central purposes of a college education has been lost. That purpose, he writes, is to explore the question of life’s meaning in a disciplined way—to transmit to students an acquaintance with the range of lasting answers to the question of what matters most in life and why. He urges a revival of the humanities’ lost tradition of studying the meaning of life through the careful and critical reading of great works of the literary and philosophical imagination. Though our campuses are now largely preoccupied with research and concerns about one’s career, Kronman sees a readiness for change among students and teachers to engage questions of ultimate meaning.