Document Type


Publication Date



Louise Cowan believes

1. There is a body of “classic texts” that constitute a necessary knowledge for members of Western civilization.

2. These texts interact with--and welcome--sufficiently qualified new texts.

3. Underlying these texts is an oral tradition that sustains the unconscious life of a people.

4. A culture is formed by all the public virtues—both written and oral--cohering to form a cosmos and a code.

5. Poetry is the foundation of this conscious and unconscious cosmos in which people live.

6. Two kinds of learning exist: the first with the purpose of transmitting a sense of this unconstitute cosmos in which one’s world exists; the purpose of the second is to constitute a self. The two make up a liberal education.

7. All young people should be given a liberal education.

Included in

Education Commons