What’s the value of the liberal arts?


Yesterday in Iowa, Senator Marco Rubio joined the discussion about the value of the liberal arts. According to Inside Higher Education, Rubio made the same point in the past:

“‘So you can decide if it’s worth borrowing $50,000 to major in Greek philosophy,’ The Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier reported Rubio as saying. ‘Because after all, the market for Greek philosophers has been very tight for 2,000 years.’ Greek philosophy seems to be Rubio’s go-to example — see this article from June. Or this one from March. Or this one from February.”

I’ve spoken on this topic and written about it as well.


What people like Rubio don’t seem to understand is that we never know what we’re going to need to know in the future.  Steve Job didn’t forsee that the calligraphy course he took in college would play a pivotal role in developing the Macintosh.  He took it because he was interested and he was in a liberal arts environment.

We as a society want to foster innovation and creativity as well as opportunity. The liberal arts give us the best chance to do all three.

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