[H]igher education is the learning of certain habits, above all a sustained attention to things outside one’s familiar circuit of interests; and it is the beginning of a work of self-knowledge that will decompose many of one’s given habits and given identities. In these respects the aims of education are deeply at odds with the aims of any coherent and socializing culture. The former is critical and ironic; the latter purposeful and supervisory.[From the back cover: ”In this eloquent book a distinguished scholar criticizes attacks on liberal education by ideologies of the right and left, arguing that both groups see education as a means to indoctrinate students in specific cultural and political dogmas. David Bromwich calls for a return to the teaching of independent thinking, self-knowledge, and tolerance of other points of view, values that he claims are the essence of a true liberal education.” I found my way to this book after reading Diana Senechal’s Republic of Noise.]
Politics by Other Means: Higher Education and Group Thinking (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992).