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The art of choosing what to do with your life

Benjamin Storey and Jenna Silber Storey

In an essay appearing in The New York Times, former Furman University faculty members Benjamin Storey and Jenna Silber Storey advance the idea that colleges tend to inundate students with endless choices for enriching their college experience. At the same time, these institutions do little in the way of helping students understand the choices and why they make them. They write, “Many institutions today have forgotten that liberal education itself was meant to teach the art of choosing, to train the young to use reason to decide which endeavors merit the investment of their lives.”

They conclude by writing, “Colleges should self-consciously prioritize initiating students into a culture of rational reflection on how to live, and this intention should be evident in their mission statements, convocation addresses, faculty hiring and promotion, and curriculums. Doing so will hold them accountable for performing their proper work: helping young people learn to give reasons for the choices that shape their lives and to reflect about the ends they pursue.”

A subscription may be required to view the content. Furman ID holders may gain access to the essay through databases available through Furman University Libraries.

Benjamin Storey and Jenna Silber Storey, who remain research professors at Furman, are senior fellows at the American Enterprise Institute. They are the authors of “Why We Are Restless: On the Modern Quest for Contentment.”

Article by Tina Underwood, Contributing Writer
Last updated August 19, 2022
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