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Around the Web: December 23, 2014

Here are a few of the noteworthy classical education stories circling the web this week:

Liberal Arts Take Wrong Direction

“The classical understanding of the goal of liberal-arts learning is not to liberate us to act on our desires, but rather, and precisely, to liberate us from subjugation to them. Personal authenticity, on the traditional account, consists in self-mastery – in placing reason in control of desire. On the classic liberal-arts ideal, learning promises liberation, but it is not liberation from demanding moral ideals; it is rather liberation from slavery to self.”

Italo Calvino’s 14 Definitions of What Makes a Classic

What makes a book a “classic”? Here, Italo Calvino offers his perspective on the characteristics of classic works of literature. For example, “A classic is a book which has never exhausted all it has to say to its readers.” What do you think, CiRCE readers?

Here’s Why Writing Things Out by Hand Makes You Smarter

Here’s an interesting little article with a terrible title from Business Insider. “The benefits of handwriting — though it’s a disappearing skill — have been documented by lots of educational psychologists, who have found that handwriting engages parts of the brain that typing neglects, especially areas associated with memory formation. For these reasons, the arguments go, kids come up with more ideas when they’re writing in cursive versus typing.”

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