Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Diogenes' college search 

DJ Drummond didn't like the list Larry Arnn gave to Hugh Hewitt of serious, old-fashioned colleges. Arnn said on-air that it was a hastily constructed list and likely to be incomplete. (Listen here.) Hugh characterizes Claremont, where I taught for a year, as on the list but I think he has to prod Arnn to include them. (I also taught at Pitzer next door for three years, but I certainly would not call Pitzer old-fashioned -- indeed, it was almost conceieved to be the anti-CMC.)

So quibble the list if you like, but the remainder of the interview is wonderful, in particular Arnn's question of a college admissions official during a tour given to him and his daughter, "what values would you like to instill in my daughter?" As George Stigler once observed, "The typical college catalogue would never stop Diogenes in his search for an honest man." Doesn't that strike you as a shame?

I sent the Arnn interview to my niece, a high school senior, this morning. Give it a listen, and then go back to read Jeffery Hart's What is a College Education? and Ben Rogge's The Promise of the College. (The Stigler quote comes from there.) See also my post on Intellectual Takeout.