If you've found a pertinent selection from a Shimer Core author, we'd love to post it. Email shimerspeaksout@gmail.com .

Monday, March 29, 2010

Robert Maynard Hutchins on the Assembly

To our knowledge, no text by Robert Maynard Hutchins has ever been included in the Shimer College core curriculum. However, given his seminal role in shaping that curriculum, he is without doubt a Shimerian author. Some might even call him the author of Shimer College.

The following text is taken from Hutchins' essay "The Idea of a College".

I have said that the great problems of our time are the right use of leisure, the performance of the duties of citizenship, and the establishment of a community in this country and the world. The idea of a college that I have attempted to outline solves the problem of the use of our leisure by proposing that it should be used for the continuation of education in adult life. The idea of a college that I have outlined tries to solve the problem of the duties of citizenship by proposing that the college help its students to develop the intellectual powers of understanding and judgment in so far as it is possible to develop them in youth.


Now at last we shall have to think. Now, if we have the power of understanding and judgment, we shall have to show it. Now we must have intelligent citizens who know how to rule and be ruled in turn for the good life of the whole community. Now we must apply ourselves to the task of creating a community in this country and then throughout the world. The education that will help us toward these ends is liberal education, the education of free men. This education is the task of the college.

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