In recent years, as preparation for the professions takes up an increasing share of undergraduate curricular space, courses in the arts and humanities are increasingly viewed as expendable and ephemeral. This, it is argued here, is a mistake. The arts and humanities are good not simply in themselves, but as part of an education in human motives, beliefs, values, and interactions that can enable people to engage more deeply with the human elements of their chosen professions. Courses in the arts and humanities raise hard questions, make ethical considerations explicit, and push students to assess the standards for entry and for measuring success in professions so that honorable objectives can be identified, pursued, and defended against pressures associated with unreflective mastery and manipulation.
Peter Iver Kaufman
The introduction, authored by Peter Iver Kaufman, includes a brief description of the origin of the project and then provides an overview of the subsequent chapters of the volume.
Peter Iver Kaufman
Both Machiavelli and Shakespeare were drawn to Livy's and Plutarch's stories of the legendary field commander turned political inept, Caius Martius, who was honored with the name Coriolanus after sacking the city of Corioles. The sixteenth-century ‘coriolanists’ are usually paired as advocates of participatory regimes and said to have used Coriolanus's virulent opposition to power-sharing in early republican Rome as an occasion to put plebeian interests in a favorable light. This article objects to that characterization, distinguishing Machiavelli's deployment of Coriolanus in his Principe and Discorsi from Shakespeare's depiction of Coriolanus and his critics on stage. The essay that follows puts Machiavelli's and Shakespeare's comments on Caius Martius in the context of the ‘factious practices’ they deplored in late medieval Italy and Elizabethan and early Stuart England, respectively.
Edited by Peter Iver Kaufman and Kristin M.S. Bezio
The preface, by Kristin M.S. Bezio, begins with a definition of “culture” and an explanation of how culture—and, specifically, cultural works like literature, art and music—engages in leadership, both on its own and through those who create it.