Eliot on education and the arts

I seem to be bent on hijacking blogging material from The Philosopher mom today. This quotation from my beloved T.S. Eliot is just too juicy to pass up:

“You cannot expect continuity and coherence in literature and the arts, unless you have a certain uniformity of culture, expressed in education by a settled, though not rigid agreement as to what everyone should know to some degree, and a positive distinction—however undemocratic it may sound—between the educated and the uneducated. I observed in America, that with a very high level of intelligence among undergraduates, progress was impeded by the fact that one could never assume that any two, unless they had been at the same school … had studied the same subjects or read the same books, though the number of subjects in which they had been instructed was surprising … In a negative liberal society you have no agreement as to there being any body of knowledge which any educated person should have acquired at any particular stage: the idea of wisdom disappears, and you get sporadic and unrelated experimentation.”

~Christianity and Culture: The Idea of a Christian Society

 

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