Thursday, April 01, 2010

Another liberal arts major enters the job market...

In 1594, being then seventeen years of age, I finished my courses of philosophy and was struck with the mockery of taking a degree in arts. I therefore thought it more profitable to examine myself and I perceived that I really knew nothing worth knowing. I had only to talk and wrangle and therefore refused the title of master of arts, there being nothing sound or true that I was master of. I turned my thoughts to medicine and learned the emptiness of books. I went abroad and found everywhere the same deep-rooted ignorance.
-- Jan-Baptista Van Helmont, 1648 (a posthumous collection of works), in Jacques Barzun's _From Dawn to Decadence_, 2000

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