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By Jason Baxter
What is the good of studying the humanities? This frequently asked question is usually answered with some variation on the theme of self-improvement. Study the humanities, the formulation goes, and become a more creative individual, with a more well-rounded résumé and a more empathetic outlook. At root, however, such an answer—factual as it may be—is as useless as it is utilitarian. In Falling Inward, Jason Baxter addresses the pressing question of why we should study of humanities with an answer that is philosophically robust and rich with examples of literature and science, weaving an intricate and innovative argument for why we should not only study the humanities, but love the truths that such study brings.
“We do not want merely to see beauty… We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to bathe in it, to become part of it.” - C. S. Lewis
Jason Baxter (PhD, University of Notre Dame) is Associate Professor of Fine Arts and Humanities at Wyoming Catholic College. He has lectured widely on the liberal arts, poetry, humanism, and theology, and his scholarly writings include articles on the Platonic tradition in the Latin West and on Dante and the book A Beginner’s Guide to Dante’s “Divine Comedy.”