WithGabriel R. Ricci

In 1995, Robert Putnam caught the attention of politicians and civic-minded moralists with an essay in the Journal of Democracy. Had government and charitable trusts heard Robert E. Proctor's call to restore classical studies and the humanities in higher education, they would have learned that the demise of liberal studies in the academy should also be high on Putnam's list. In calling for a resuscitation of the humanities across the educational spectrum, Proctor reinforces his case by invoking the Founders whom he views as direct descendants of the Ciceronian ideal. If commitment to value and the cultivation of ultimate values remains an objective of liberal arts education, it is no wonder that in a cultural atmosphere seduced by the profit motive Ph.D.s in liberal arts might find themselves foundering ten years after a successful dissertation defense.