Volume 23, 2018
Integrating the Liberal and Practical Arts
Catholic colleges and universities should integrate liberal and practical education. John Henry Newman and Josef Pieper attempt, unsuccessfully, to distinguish the liberal and practical arts in terms of being ends in themselves versus having ends beyond themselves. Jacques Maritain, instead, advocates making all education liberal. The purpose of liberal education is to enable students to understand reality, so they can pursue happiness correctly. The purpose of practical education is to teach students how to earn a living virtuously. These purposes should not be separated. Students need courses that integrate a liberal arts discipline and a practical arts discipline within a single course.