David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy in the Contemporary World 17 (2):119-130 (2010)
This paper addresses what some view as a progressive and decades-long devaluing of the liberal arts in our educational institutions and society at large. It draws attention to symptoms of this trend and possible contributing factors, identifies benefits commonly attributed to the liberal arts, and then shows how insights from recent research on neuroplasticity provide good reason to believe that a traditional liberal education has positive effects on a person's brain. The paper supports the thesis that well-designed liberal arts courses can literally transform students' minds and lives as a result of unique and synergistic brain processes activated and strengthened by the leaming experiences such courses provide. It finishes with recommendations to help reinvigorate and promote the value of liberal education
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