Throughout the tradition of classical liberal arts education, science (or natural philosophy) plays an important role. The teaching of “science” today, however is often undertaken in a way that is deeply incongruous with the tradition’s understanding of the nature and purpose of scientific inquiry. In this seminar, I advocate for a restoration of science to the classical liberal arts tradition through an examination of the history and philosophy of science within that tradition. I argue that classical liberal arts educators should restore the intrinsic value of science by treating it as natural philosophy, grounded in wonder and directed toward wisdom, instead of as a tool to be used for instrumental, utilitarian ends. In so elevating the value of science, classical liberal arts educators also will inculcate in students a humble approach to science given its limits and interdependence on other disciplines.

Dr. David Diener

Dr. David Diener works at Hillsdale College where he is the Headmaster of Hillsdale Academy and a Lecturing Professor of Education. He also is a Fellow on the Alcuin Fellowship National Council, serves on the Board of Directors for the Society for Classical Learning and the Board of Academic Advisors for the Classic Learning Test, is a member of the National Council of Classical Educators, and offers consulting services through Classical Academic Press. He is the author of Plato: The Great Philosopher-Educator and serves as the series editor for Classical Academic Press’ series Giants in the History of Education. He holds a BA in Philosophy and Ancient Languages from Wheaton College as well as an MA in Philosophy, an MS in History and Philosophy of Education, and a dual PhD in Philosophy and Philosophy of Education from Indiana University.