Guided Summary: “Seneca on Liberal and Vocational Studies”
In the essay on “Liberal and Vocational Studies,” Seneca gives us the notion that while getting a liberal arts education will not make you a morally right person, it will give you the knowledge that you need to become so in the future. The essay then goes on to explain the difference between Liberal Studies and Vocational Studies. Seneca states that the only liberal study truly worth your time was the pursuit of wisdom, the others are just worthless, and with their main goals ending in making money.
Seneca then asks the question “do these liberal studies make a man a better man?” the question is then answered with no, they do not make us a better person it only gives us the knowledge and what we need to become a better person later on. Seneca then follows the answer up by stating “Someone will ask me how I can say that liberal studies are of no help towards morality when I’ve just been saying that there’s no attaining morality with them. My answer would be this: there’s no attaining morality without food either but there’s no connection between morality and food.” (Seneca,19)
“One side offers us no guiding light to direct our vision toward the truth, while the other just gouges our eyes out.” Seneca ends the essay by stating that he doesn’t know which kind of people annoy him the most, those that would have us know nothing, or those that refuse to even leave us the small satisfaction of knowing we know nothing.
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