Interdisciplinearity LO22769

tabeles (
Wed, 29 Sep 1999 11:41:38 -0400

Replying to LO22751 --

Robert Bates Graber, in his little book, Valuing Useless Knowledge
discusses this in a few wonderous pages.

"The liberal arts may be defined -- impishly, but accurately, nonetheless
-- as essentially those areas of knowledge in which practical minded
parents hope their children will not major."

In the end he says: "In this light, the valuing of 'useless knowledge'
appears as nothing less than humankind trying to save itself."

Along the way, he says:

"We must value 'useless knowledge,' then, precisely because we cannot
trust ourselves to know truly useless knowledge when we see it. Our vision
is too limited, our judgements too archaically shortsighted,
self-centered, and simpleminded."


tom abeles

Brian Gordon wrote:

> I would have to agree with Tom that the humanities are generally seen as a
> waste of time by people who describe themselves as "practical" and
> "realistic." Those studying engineering, science, medicine, and so on are
> usually loathe to take electives in the humanities - because they do not
> see the immediate value to them. For my part, I have to admit that the
> technological side has certainly added to our material standard of living
> and our lifespan.


tabeles <>

[Host's Note: Well... THAT's an intriguing title, especially when it comes with Tom's recommendation! In assoc with, this link:

Valuing Useless Knowledge : An Anthropological Inquiry into the Meaning of Liberal Education by Robert Bates Graber


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