- Oct 2017
Some good men, and even of respectable information, consider the learned sciences as useless acquirements; some think that they do not better the condition of men; and others that education like private & individual concerns, should be left to private & individual effort
In this quote, there is this all or nothing mentality; many of the founders seem to take different stances. The question: is the teaching and education of "learned sciences" beneficial? Universities in the 21st century seem to promote goals aimed at developing deeper thinkers, people with a desire and curiosity to continue learning, even after college. The fact that there was such a debate over whether "learned sciences" were an important factor of the UVA curriculum is shocking to me since the University seems to be so centered around creating "informed citizens" nowadays. I have a hard time understanding how learned sciences are useless since I believe they do "better the conditions of men." Learned sciences promote engagement throughout all disciplines and create better students and sharper thinkers as they have stronger abilities to collaborate with others. I think they included this statement to avoid criticism; they decided to ultimately leave the decision of whether or not to include learned sciences to the “private and individual effort,” exhibiting that this decision would be less contested if left to the specific individuals (i.e. professors and students). This surprised me to read because it’s easy to see how much values have changed to bring us to today’s version of the University of Virginia. From my “Doing Fieldwork” engagement, it is easy to see how much other people influence our own perceptions and ideas, so I think that Learned Sciences are an essential part of a college education.