Freedom Through Philosophy


What exactly are the liberal arts and what specifically is theirpurpose? Further, what is the relationship of the liberalarts to philosophy, or should philosophy itself be considered to bea liberal art? These are perennial questions that have been posedand answered in various fashions since the very inception of thenotion of the liberal arts, and such uncertainties continue to beraised by members of the contemporary academic community—both students and educators alike. Indeed, the development of theconcept of the liberal arts has a most curious and somewhatconvoluted history. What is now properly considered to be thecanonical division of the three arts of the trivium (viz., logic,grammar, and rhetoric) and the four arts of the quadrivium (viz.,arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy) was not the achievementof any single individual, as it took literally centuries ofphilosophic discussion to arrive at the existence of, and thedistinctions between, these seven liberal arts.
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