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.