Liberal Arts: Introspection or Outrospection?

I’m sharing my latest favorite RSA Animate Lecture:  “The Power of Outrospection.”

It raises important questions for what we hope to accomplish in the Cornerstone and Keystone courses, and in fact, the larger project of the liberal arts.  The question is for our educational programs here at North Park: “Are we cultivating empathy?”

In the past, one of phrases associated with  the liberal arts has been that they “cultivate the life of the mind.”  The problem, we might argue in light of the above video, is that this goal has often been interpreted in terms of another goal, namely “introspection.”  In other words, the life of the mind is something that I experience and cultivate within myself.  But what if we think of the life of the mind as something not only practiced external to the self, but that is fundamentally learned and oriented away from the self?

This might be a way to re-envision the liberal arts – away from the model of a introspective cultivation of a virtuous self and toward a model of an outrospective cultivation of an ecstatic and empathetic life.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Liberal Arts: Introspection or Outrospection?

  1. The link didn’t work for me. Did anyone else have the same problem?

    From: Viking Professors <comment-reply@wordpress.com> Reply-To: Viking Professors <comment+7i8w5c4z1_6om_rs3dprd6@comment.wordpress.com> Date: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 9:51 PM To: Default User Name <rdooley@northpark.edu> Subject: [New post] Self Awareness: Introspection or Outrospection?

    Karl Clifton-Soderstrom posted: “I’m sharing my latest favorite RSA Animate Lecture: “The Power of Outrospection.” It raises important questions for what we hope to accomplish in the Cornerstone and Keystone courses, and in fact, the larger project of the liberal arts. The question “

  2. I would like to see “outrospection” added to our Common Learning Outcomes. Or, perhaps better, it allows us to consolidate several outcomes and provides a connection among them. Perhaps something like: “Outrospection: Demonstrate empathy through effective written, oral and visual communication skills; through environmental stewardship, social justice and intercultural dialogue.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s