I attended the NEH’s Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities tonight. Prof. Donald Kagan defended history. Fully aware of both poetry’s and philosophy’s claims, he used manly words to defend the particulars that history has to offer. One need not agree with him to fully sense his pith and eloquence and his attempt to get the modern (post-modern especially) ear to listen to Sophocles injunction:
"Reason is God’s crowning gift to man." Kagan argued that a liberal education is possible, that wisdom and virtue are not dead things, that history understood wrongly as no nature, no human nature, teaches nothing, can study nothing, is blind to its own ineptitude and
has inhuman consequences. His eloquence was as a painting of his thoughts. Glad I went. Kagan’s lecture will be avaliable on line by Monday.