Divine Comedy | By Chris Berger

When was the last time the average undergraduate student broke out in raucous laughter in a philosophy or political science seminar? It probably was not recently. The atmosphere on these occasions usually tends toward the somber – after all, this is very serious subject matter: humanism, existentialism, realism, structuralism, orientalism. “-Isms” do not usually crack […]

Allan Bloom: Searching for Souls with Longing for Learning | By Nathan Pinkoski

Allan Bloom, a teacher of political philosophy, spent most of his life in the obscurity of the academia. The highlights of his career were teaching at a number of top institutions in North America, including Yale, Cornell, Toronto, and Chicago, and in the meticulous work of translation. He produced a new, literal translation to Plato’s […]

Goodnight, and Goodluck: A Reply to the Some Concerns about Strauss and the Post-Modern Right | By Nathan Pinkoski

Some weeks ago, Dustin McNichols produced a lively and carefully written piece against some of the essays of Chris Berger. This piece was most welcome, as it invited healthy debate on the meaning of a liberal education, and the intellectual sources that might clarify or distort a genuine education. In offering this short piece in […]

Leo Strauss, Postmodern Conservatism and the New Academic Right | By Dustin McNichol

UDaimonia continues to live up to its founding vision of providing an arena for intellectual exchange on a wide variety of topics dealing with university education and contemporary academia. In particular, the various articles on the current state of the liberal arts, arts education, politics, and “the good life” have greatly sustained my interest. Even […]

Living the Conflict – Athens & Jerusalem in the University | By Chris Berger

In a recently published compilation of essays on the state of modern education entitled The Idea of the American University, William Mathie’s contribution, “Socrates in America,” provocatively suggests that the university ought to “live the conflict” between Reason and Revelation.  Given the possible strangeness of this suggestion to our ears, Professor Mathie’s suggestion is cause […]

Evidence Based Science Education: My Friend Taught Me Quantum Mechanics | By Geoff Woollard

Several years ago the University of British Columbia hired Carl Wieman, a physics nobel Laureate, to improve science education. The initiative was lead by a team called the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative (CWSEI). The CWSEI team replaced rote memorization, 100% finals, and passive lectures with something more engaging and interactive: conceptual understanding, carefully constructed assignments, […]

In Defence of the Technical Education and the Art of Law | By Kirsten Snell

Technical education means education for a profession, the antithesis to liberal arts. Education with a narrowly defined purpose, membership in a closed society for a fee, the continued desirability of which depends at least somewhat on the prospects of earning good money following graduation. I write to defend the technical education, specifically in law, as […]

Making it Meaningful: Why Student Group Engagement is Dwindling | By Maggie Danko

For many students, a key part of the post-secondary experience is involvement in student associations. Welcome week is inundated with banners and flyers advertising for a club that meets every student’s needs. Ski club, Choir, Debate Team, Amateur Bartenders, or the Harry Potter Club. You have an interest, there’s a group for that. Throughout high […]

What are the “Liberal Arts,” anyway? – A Reply to Chris Berger | By Dustin McNichol

In a well-written and provocative article, Chris Berger argues that the liberal arts are suffering from a serious identity crisis and that apologists who champion them are missing the point. We must therefore, as Berger correctly points out, take a deeper look at what liberal arts and education mean. However, Berger’s argument that the arts’ […]

Neil Smelser on the “Dynamics of American Universities” | By UDaimonia Editors

The University of California-Berkeley is well-known for its Centre for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE), one of North America’s preeminent institutes on research into the philosophy of higher education. Every two years, an esteemed academic (often a university president emeritus) provides several lectures to the Berkeley community, entitled the “The Clark Kerr Lectures on the […]

What are the “Liberal Arts,” anyway? | By Chris Berger

The liberal arts are suffering from an identity crisis.  This crisis entails an inferiority complex, existential bafflement, even self-loathing.  Faculties of Arts in the Canadian and American universities talk much of the value of a liberal arts education through their social media, and beseech young people to “broaden their minds” and to learn to think […]

A Lesson from the Karamazovs: The Limits of the Application of the Sciences to the Humanities | By Nathan Pinkoski

Essays in defence of the application of science to the humanities, such as Stephen Pinker’s recent article in the New Republic, are nothing new. They form part of a long intellectual war between the sciences and humanities: in the last century, it had perhaps its greatest flare in the Snow-Leavis debate concerning “the two cultures,” […]

Recent News