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Daniel Harrell on Freedom, Death, and Liberal Education with Brendan Boyle

Books and a Balance

Release Date: 10/29/2021

Roosevelt Montás on Rescuing Socrates with Brendan Boyle show art Roosevelt Montás on Rescuing Socrates with Brendan Boyle

Books and a Balance

“[The human] condition of freedom, which is the condition that makes ethical life possible, is the question to which liberal education addresses itself.” So says Roosevelt Montás, Senior Lecturer in American Studies and English at Columbia University, in conversation with Brendan Boyle. Their discussion explores the use of texts as a means to help students shape their own lives, the compatibility of liberal education’s positive and negative ends, and the role of the teacher, among other topics.

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Daniel Harrell on Freedom, Death, and Liberal Education with Brendan Boyle show art Daniel Harrell on Freedom, Death, and Liberal Education with Brendan Boyle

Books and a Balance

Daniel Harrell joins Brendan Boyle to discuss competing defenses of liberal education and the nature of liberal education’s “freedom.” What does it mean to be “freed” by education if we remain “bound” in other ways? How can we be free human beings in the face of our own mortality? What is the relationship between knowledge and experience? How are tools of learning used and abused?

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Zena Hitz on Thinking, Technology, and the Limits of Being Human with David McDonald show art Zena Hitz on Thinking, Technology, and the Limits of Being Human with David McDonald

Books and a Balance

What is thinking? What isn’t? When does technology move from aiding to impeding human flourishing? How can limitations help us live better? Zena Hitz joins David McDonald to consider these questions and many more. Also discussed are higher education, tragedy and comedy, Don Quixote, depth and longing, the complexities of technological progress, and the influence of upbringing.

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More Episodes

Daniel Harrell joins Brendan Boyle to discuss competing defenses of liberal education and the nature of liberal education’s “freedom.” What does it mean to be “freed” by education if we remain “bound” in other ways? How can we be free human beings in the face of our own mortality?  What is the relationship between knowledge and experience? How are tools of learning used and abused?

Read or listen to the lecture discussed in this episode: Daniel Harrell, “The Lost Idea of a Liberal Art,” delivered as part of the Graduate Institute summer lecture series in 2015 (pdf, audio).