Do the Liberal Arts Benefit Society?

Do the Liberal Arts Serve Any Useful Public Function?


JMC board member and former President of St. Johns College John Agresto will discuss the public utility of the liberal arts at Dartmouth College’s Daniel Webster Project, a JMC partner program.

April 12, 2018 • 4:30PM
Location TBD

John Agresto’s talk will address the degree to which the liberal arts ought to help inform our opinions of the good, and to what degree our opinions should influence what a liberal education can teach us. The latter is the root of today’s politicization in the academy, using the liberal arts rather than learning from them.

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John AgrestoDr. John Agresto is a JMC board member and President Emeritus of St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico and President of John Agresto and Associates, an organization dedicated to educational reform. While acting President of the College, which has been praised as one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country, Dr. Agresto actively worked in designing and supporting its “Great Books Program.” He has been a leading proponent of the value of a liberal arts education, lecturing and writing on its nature and benefits for many years.

Before assuming his position at St. John’s College, he served as President at the Madison Center in Washington, D.C. and as Assistant Chairman, Deputy Chairman, and Acting Chairman to the National Endowment for the Humanities for seven years.

Dr. Agresto is a graduate of Boston College with a B.A. in Political Science/History and holds a Ph.D. in government from Cornell University. In 1989 he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Kenyon College. He is the author of several books including The Humanist as Citizen: Essays on the Uses of the Humanities and The Supreme Court and Constitutional Democracy.

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