By Gerson Moreno-Riano, July 31, 2008 in Uncategorized
In a recent comment to my post, Lee suggested that the question posed above serve as a possible topic of discussion prior to any discourse regarding general education requirements. The following, then, are some general thoughts through which to begin this discussion.
I like to think of education in light of Plato's Allegory of the Cave. It involves leadership (something well within the mission of the LASC) as well as leading students out of a certain place to another place. In the language of the Allegory, someone must lead others out of shadows and delusions toward truth and light.
An educated person thus involves a number of prerequisites: s/he must have been led by someone else. Ideally, s/he must have been led by a more advanced knower and hopefully, in the words of Leo Strauss, by a great mind or teacher. This also implies willing submission to the tutelage of one's teachers and intellectual leaders. Thus, an educated person must be teachable, humble, and open to instruction and persuasion. Perhaps I can reorganize these prerequisites as follows:
An educated person must contain the following:
- A persuasive leader (teacher/great mind)
- A teachable intellect and character
- A recognition that s/he must leave a particular place of being and journey toward a higher place of being (the assent of the soul)
I am arguing that an educated person must possess these three characteristics as a starting point. There are other things that can be added to this list. But, I argue, this are the beginning foundations.
Before I add to this, what suggestion do any readers of this blog have? Are these three foundations for education essential? Are there other things we should add to the foundations block?