To the editor:
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is discussing eliminating the requirement of the “reading heavy” Western Civilization course. There is a statement that the course is not going away but that there will be “other options” for the bachelor of arts degree.
As I recall, the discussions and the works were sometimes long and, from a 20-year-old point of view, not really relevant to the world of 1964. Why did I need to read “The Communist Manifesto”? What did long-dead philosophers have to do with the gritty world of the 20th century with its “new” ideas and problems. Forty years makes a lot of difference in perspective.
It is 2012. And we still have arguments flying around as “new” and innovative. And, unless we are required to, the majority of us do not discuss the historical and philosophical underpinnings of Western culture. I hear people talking about defending Western civilization from people who have no clue as to what they are defending and what are the consequences.
This discussion should be open and the fact that the curriculum is “reading heavy” should not be considered a drawback.