Advertisement
Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
Outlook.com

OPINION | The Importance Of Liberal Arts In Business Education Can't Be Denied

Business needs to be human and social in addition to being economic and sustainable, writes professor of creative writing Saikat Majumdar

OPINION | The Importance Of Liberal Arts In Business Education Can't Be Denied
Photographs by Apoorva Salkade
OPINION | The Importance Of Liberal Arts In Business Education Can't Be Denied
outlookindia.com
2019-10-05T13:06:24+05:30

What is the relation between liberal education and getting trained for a professional career? By definition, they are very different things. In fact, they are usually defined in opposition to each other. A ­programme of liberal study is a foundational engagement with a subject for the sake of advancing knowledge, without any specific job, vocation or career in mind. A professional programme is training for a specific kind of career. To be liberal, in the curricular sense of the term, is to be open to all possibilities, and not directed at just one; to be professional is not so much to study subjects for their own sake, but to do so with the structured goal tied to a specific kind of career.

The difference is not so much one of content, but of approach. Similar subjects can be a liberal or a professional subject, depending on how they are curricularised and/or taught: biology is a ­liberal art, but medicine is not; political science is a liberal art, but law is not; economics is a liberal art, while accountancy is not. The “art” of the ­“liberal arts” is, of course, an anachronism—it freezes the historical memory of a time when all subjects were considered arts, including those now considered part of the sciences, such as mathematics. Nearly any disciplinary field, the critic Louis Menand, points out, can be turned into liberal or non-liberal depending on its association with adjacent practical skills. English ­departments can become writing or publishing programmes; pure or abstract mathematics can merge into applied mathematics or engineering; sociology holds the promise of social work just the way biology holds the roots of medicine; political science and social theory offers the foundations of law and public administration.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Aryan Khan Drug Case: Bombay HC Adjourns Hearing Of Bail Petition Till Tomorrow

Aryan Khan Drug Case: Bombay HC Adjourns Hearing Of Bail Petition Till Tomorrow

Justice Sambre has once again adjourned the hearing. The Bombay High Court will hear the petitions of Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha tomorrow afternoon after 2.30 pm.

Mandi Bypoll: 'Do They Want Me To Become Sati?', Asks Congress Candidate Pratibha Singh

Mandi Bypoll: 'Do They Want Me To Become Sati?', Asks Congress Candidate Pratibha Singh

Pratibha Singh talks about her decision to contest the poll and carry forward the legacy of ‘Raja Sahib’, ex-Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh.

Neeraj, Lovlina, Chhetri Recommended For Khel Ratna

Neeraj, Lovlina, Chhetri Recommended For Khel Ratna

They were among 11 recommended for Major Dhyanchand Khel Ratna, India's highest sporting honour.

Pegasus Snooping Row: SC Cites 'Right To Privacy', Appoints 3-Member Probe Panel

Pegasus Snooping Row: SC Cites 'Right To Privacy', Appoints 3-Member Probe Panel

Stressing on the right to privacy, CJI Ramana said it was incumbent upon the Centre to seriously consider the use of such a technology.

Advertisement