Drawing on a distinguished 40-year university career, Allen Thiher probes the subjects that serve as a basis for higher education in the twenty-first century.
Addressing the general reader as well as the scholar, he argues that all the best about contemporary culture springs directly from the unfettered rationalism of the Enlightenment.
Provocatively, Thiher argues that today's education system is failing to produce students with the enlightened sensibilities they need to lead good and ethical lives and instead focuses on short-term utilitarian aims. Thiher pleads for the arts and sciences to be restored to their central position in education.
His ideal curriculum is unabashedly rationalist and designed to set forth a coherent program of study that avoids the destructive pieties of right-wing nationalism and the censorious cliches of "political correctness."