The Theoretic Life - A Classical Ideal and its Modern Fate
Reflections on the Liberal Arts
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This work theorizes the origins of modernity in a rebellion against this Greek conception resulting in a complete inversion of the classical hierarchy. Sir. Francis Bacon reconceiving the purpose of knowledge as power, enthroned technology over philosophy and the liberal arts. The unfolding of the modern Baconian revolution progressively sidelines the liberal arts, as practical economic and technical utility become the standard of value. In assessing this problem, the book engages in a capacious journey across disciplines like philosophy, history, art, politics, and science. It is also a veritable tour across the Western intellectual tradition including Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Seneca, Thomas Aquinas, Bacon, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, Dewey, Berdyaev, Einstein, and Heidegger. It pleads the urgent need to preserve the humanizing cultural ideals of the ancient classics against the modern tyranny of utility and the dangers of a new barbarism.