Prescribing the life of the mind : an essay on the purpose of the university, the aims of liberal education, the competence of citizens, and the cultivation of practical reason /
Charles W. Anderson.
Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, c1993.
xvi, 173 p.
0299138305 : 0299138348 (pbk.)
More Details
Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, c1993.
0299138305 : 0299138348 (pbk.)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Charles W. Anderson is Glenn B. and Cleone Orr Hawkins Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1994-04:
Political scientist Anderson provides, in this slim volume, a reasoned argument for the liberal arts and for the link between liberal education and what he calls "practical reason." He criticizes the modern American university for giving up its time-honored responsibility to provide a thoughtful, coherent, and well-articulated education to undergraduates, and argues that if the university is to prosper, it must return to a variation of its roots and provide a thoughtful liberal education. While his ideas about the curriculum are broader than those of such general education gurus as Robert Hutchins, Anderson seems to argue in the Hutchins tradition. Students, he asserts, should be taught to think and to reason, and that the university is neither a "trade school" nor a repositiory of what is "currently popular" in intellectual life. The prose in this book is not exactly easy, but Anderson has provided a useful addition to the literature on liberal education. In the current period of curricular debate, his book is especially welcome. Graduate level. P. G. Altbach; SUNY at Buffalo
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 1994
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Main Description
A distinguished political philosopher with years of experience teaching in undergraduate liberal arts programs, Anderson shows how the ideal of practical reason can reconcile academia's research aims with public expectations for universities: the preparation of citizens, the training of professionals, the communication of a cultural inheritance. It is not good enough, he contends, to simply say that the university should stick to the great books of the classic tradition, or to denounce this tradition and declare that all important questions are a matter of personal or cultural choice. By applying the methods of practical reason, instead, teachers and students will think critically about the essential purposes of any human activity and the underlying arguments of any text.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. vii
Liberal Education and Practical Reasonp. 3
The Rationale of the Going Concernp. 22
Purpose: What Do We Expect a University to Do?p. 40
Competence: What Can We Know? What Are We Entitled to Teach?p. 61
Efficiency: The Mystery of Teaching and Learningp. 79
The Cultivation of Practical Reasonp. 96
The Core of the Curriculump. 121
The Governance of the Universityp. 146
Notesp. 163
Indexp. 171
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem