Of course, he’s got some good points:
“As defenders of a unique discipline inextricably linked to the origin of American values and traditions, classicists also need to introduce the Greeks and Romans to a wider public, both to enrich contemporary American society and to bring both an ability to popularize and a much needed pragmatism to what has otherwise become a stultifying and often pedantically narrow field.”
Not much here you won’t find in Allan Bloom (which I think gets some things right and some things very wrong). Values? Well, the Greeks and Romans are important I suppose. Anyways, we’ve gotten away from our intellectual roots:
“In acknowledgment of such frequent controversies and loud revisionism, the compromise is that “Western civilization” continues to metamorphose into something known as “World Civilizations”: India, China, Africa, and the New World merit roughly the same attention in the university core curriculum as the West, inasmuch as they are merely “different,” hardly less influential in the formation of Western and now global civilization.”
Okay, I’ll bite, there do seem to be some departments in universities intellectually adrift, too easily tethered to a set of ideas (certain French philsophers, moral relativism, probably even in response to logical positivism) that thus could be tethered to deeper classical, and Western ideas.
Though as for the hubris of moral relativism, Hanson’s mixing of current politics and philosophy seems just as, if not more, guilty of hubris.
Maybe I’ll just read Aristotle on my own…with an open and focused mind, asking questions. Aren’t other people doing this in universities…without political agendas?