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What is it like to be a generalist?

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Title: What is it like to be a generalist?
Authors: Chiba, Kei1 Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Authors(alt): 千葉, 恵1
Authors(alt): 千葉, 惠1
Issue Date: 10-Mar-2010
Publisher: 梓出版社
Citation: A study of healthy being : from interdisciplinary perspectives
Start Page: 47
End Page: 65
Abstract: In this paper, I shall examine characteristics and objectives of 'General Education (Kyoyo Kyoiku)" by considering its Aristotelian foundation and tradition. It is necessary to have a clear view about what a generalist is like in considering general education. I shall discuss a human characteristic called' generalist' which should be, at least partially, nurtured by the general education in our higher education. I shall suggest a ground design for a general education through the analysis of being a generalist. First, I shall raise a question concerning the relationship between intellectual discipline and moral discipline. Second, I shall characterize what a specialist is like, followed by characterizing what a generalist is like. Then I shall review how traditional education ever since ancient Greece has been nurturing generalists. I shall introduce how Aristotle, who is the founder of almost all academic disciplines, designs to educate generalists, by considering his arts of arguments such as dialectic and rhetoric. Through this analysis, I shall offer a new insight into the perennial problem of how it is possible for a man to possess both an acute intelligence and a moral decency. I shall try to elucidate one aspect of the generalist so that I can locate the problem within the context of the relationship between the specialist and the generalist. I shall re-interpret the notion of the generalist as one who understands the human being as a whole. When man:s activity of nurturing one's humanity (humanitas) is called by Cicero 'cultivation of soul (cultus animi)', he must have the discipline of the human being as a whole in his mind, implying both intellectual acuteness and moral decency as the objective of education (1). Cicero's thinking has caught the attention of people who have been in charge of general education over centuries. Let me quote a report of our well-known W.s.Clark from his First Annual Report (1877) of Sapporo Agricultural College, which was submitted to Kuroda Kiyotaka, the Minister of the Colonial Department. He wrote "It has been well said' A country is nothing without men, men are nothing without mind, and mind is little without culture. It follows that cultivated mind is the most important product of a nation. The products of the farm, the shop, the mill, the mine, are of incomparably less value than the products of the schools. If the schools of a people are well taught, all else will prosper .. ". In this paper, I shall seek a method as to how both activities, i.e. cultivating a decent character and cultivating a general ability of thought, are combined or reconciled so as to produce an integrated character of a well educated person called a 'generalist'.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:文学院・文学研究院 (Graduate School of Humanities and Human Sciences / Faculty of Humanities and Human Sciences) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)

Submitter: 千葉 惠

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