I read with interest the Oct. 24 Collegian article, “‘So Much More’: Students share why they left their politics major.” The perspective presented rested on the assumption that politics as studied at Hillsdale College falls outside a “true” liberal-arts education. I find this assumption deeply inaccurate, not to mention troubling.
A liberal-arts education seeks to cultivate persons as both human beings and as citizens. Politics, as Aristotle explained, is fundamental to this endeavor. Politics investigates human nature, the definition of justice, as well as the manner, structure, and purposes of community.
Our department pursues these inquiries every semester. We do so by rigorously consulting a wide variety of thinkers, including Plato, Locke, Shakespeare, and Nietzsche, alongside Hamilton, Madison, Lincoln, and Woodrow Wilson. These classes certainly involve discussions and applications to our own time.
But to do so merely recognizes the following: the liberal arts were made for life and for man, not life and man for the liberal arts.
Adam Carrington is an assistant professor of politics at Hillsdale College.