The canon and the whole canon
Theo Farrell, University of Wollongong law, humanities and arts dean, points out the university has offered a politics, philosophy and economics degree since 2014 and from next year it will be available in a double degree with the Ramsay Centre-funded western civilisation programme. Professor Farrell responds to a learned reader (CMM, Wednesday) who says PPE programmes offer a better understanding of western civ’s origins and achievements than a classic books course. “it might be said that from next year, UOW will offer the most comprehensive study of western civilisation in Australia,” he says.
This may placate a learned reader who took exception to the suggestion (also CMM Wednesday) that reading the Federalist Papers rather than Middlemarch was more useful for understanding the west’s achievements, saying – “anyone wanting a historical insight into some of the major issues facing our society today (such as the status of women, the nature of marriage, self-interest, social inequality, political reform and coping with change) could do far worse than read Middlemarch.”