Is High Culture a Luxury, or a Necessity?

A brief but excellent article by thinker and writer Roger Scruton. William Shakespeare (natch!) is mentioned. The theme reminds me of what my friend Carol Hernandez is trying to accomplish as coordinator of visual and performing arts at the Murrieta Valley school district as well as what Christine Cooper Angeli is doing at St. Jeanne de Lestonnac School. Actually, it’s the reason why so many wonderful teachers I have the honor to work with choose to incorporate an appreciation of the arts into their courses. Thank you for all that you do!

My favorite bit:

“Scientific and technical knowledge may confer collective mastery over the means to our ends. But it will not bring us any nearer to the ends themselves. It will not tell us which goals to pursue or which things to value. Shakespeare portrays, in the character of King Lear, the slow crumbling of a vain old man as he discovers the difference between real and fake devotion. Shakespeare does not merely awaken our sympathy. He shows how the fault and its remedy lie deep within ourselves. He is helping us to know our own emotions, and to distinguish the ones that raise us up from those that drag us down.”

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