School of Athens, by Raphael, 1505, Apostolic Palace, Vatican City.

School of Athens, by Raphael, 1505. Apostolic Palace, Vatican City.

Ways of Learning

Volume 1, Number 4 | fall 2008

A Young Man Being Introduced to the Seven Liberal Arts, by Sandro Botticelli, c. 1484. Louvre Museum, Paris, France.

Preamble

Playing with Fire

By Lewis H. Lapham

The framework of American education holds fast to the ardent but mistaken belief that education is a commodity, the stuff that one pours into empty vessels.

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I am an old scholar, better-looking now than when I was young. That’s what sitting on your ass does to your face.

—Leonard Cohen, 1970

Lapham’sDaily

A telescopic image of the formalhault solar system. A bright dot is surrounded by a cloud of smaller red dots. An inset shows a close-up of what looks like a planet, labeled Formalhault b.

DÉjÀ Vu

Space Oddities

2020:

Exoplanet revealed to be nothing but a large cloud of dust.

1903:

Supposed irrigation canals on Mars are merely optical illusions.

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The World in Time

Peter Fritzsche

Lewis H. Lapham speaks with the author of Hitler’s First Hundred Days: When Germans Embraced the Third Reich. More