In Defense of a Liberal Education: Zakaria has perhaps adapted his argument to find the utility of liberal arts education, which doesn’t convince the critics.
But I agree in broad strokes here, and anyone trying to communicate with many in the science religion like the new atheists discovers the alarming way they have been rendered brain-dead and beyond the possibility of simple conversation.
I would suppose that the study of philosophy is a part of the liberal arts, and even a brief study of Kant’s critique of metaphysics could have spared us the useless debates over issues of will, god, etc… Kant rectified the one-sided critique of metaphysics that haunted scientists and the issues hover near the noumenal are especially confused in their rendering by science (or by religionists). This should be considered as academic delinquency and aberrant one-tracking by competent academic authorities.
We suffer the Darwinian theory in part because of this ignorance of the Kantian revolution.
In general the question of liberal arts needs to be recast.
I have already proposed a unitary study of world history via my macro model which would automatically combine scientific, philosophical, religious, political and aesthetic study. Everything is combined into a unity by history itself. And study is automatically forced to integrate multiple opposites. This would show science and liberal arts appearing in the same contexts as one subject matter. There are many ways to do this beyond that of WHEE
The specialized study of science, languages, literatures, the arts, would be unified under one subject.The problems we see are all too obviously the result of obsessive study starting with calculus and solving problems in mechanics, thence suffering the delusion that any of this is going to help in other areas.
There is something odd about the state of science, and its obsession with scientism, reductionism, its inability to see through darwinism, atheism. It is a crippled culture whose emergence is not surprising: we see the way science tracks become the focus of intense concentration to the neglect of all else, and not just neglect, but pompous and arrogant dismissal fed by the narrow cadre that has graduated from this system of conditioning.
The result is also a failure of community and interpersonal communication. Xtians can at least talk to strangers. But the gangs of the new atheism and their science counterparts, are stuck up, self-isolating, nervously contemptuous and halting in conversion with the unsaved.
A curriculum based on a study project like that of WHEE could demonstrate clearly the place of science, philosophy, religion in world history and relieve discussion from the sterile fight over the meaning of secularism.