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I f asked to identify important topics for a new journal on national affairs, few of us would think first — if at all — of the humanities and their condition in American life today. The sorry state of elementary and secondary education would surely make the list, as might the need to improve scientific literacy and technological competence, so that, as we are often told, America may remain competitive in the globalized economy and high-tech world of tomorrow. Attention might be invited also to political correctness in college classrooms or campus restrictions on free speech. But the larger and more important educational issue of what college students should be learning and why — and especially in the humanities — is a subject below the radar for nearly everyone. It was not always thus. Fifty years ago, when Europeans and Americans still distinguished high culture from popular culture, and when classical learning was still highly esteemed in colleges and universities, C.

Emperor Alexander the Great was visiting the city of Corinth in the fourth century B. He had rallied a lot of of the Greek city states en route for assist him in invading the Persian Empire. At the age of barely 20 he had already fought all the rage three wars and won them, after that now he was in wealthy Corinth to gain support for him after that his men as they went en route for Asia Minor. The Greeks were add than happy to assist Alexander, all the rage the fond hope that it would get rid of him once after that for all. Diogenes lived in a clay barrel outside of town along with a pack of dogs for friends. Indeed, the word cynic comes as of the Greek word for dog as this school of philosophers lived along with dogs and like them in abject poverty. Diogenes and the Cynics held experienced good and property in contempt, after that people came from all over en route for consult them for guidance. Approaching the barrel, the great king boomed absent a loud greeting, worthy of a great man.

Diogenes of Sinope fourth century BC is too irascible a character not en route for share some anecdotes about him as of the compendium of Diogenes Laertius arrange the lives of the philosophers. They illustrate the precepts by which he lived: that personal happiness is content by meeting one's natural needs after that that what is natural cannot be shameful or indecent. His life, as a result, was lived with extreme simplicity, inured to want, and without shame. It was this determination to follow his own dictates and not adhere en route for the conventions of society that he was given the epithet dog, as of which the name cynic is copy.