thesaurus wrote:I've always wondered about such statistics. The question is whether the study of classics (as these statements suggest) makes people better at tests, schools, etc., or whether the kind of people who choose classics as a major are naturally apt to these tests and studies. (Most likely a combination of the two...)
Shhhhhhhh. Thesaurus. These types of questions are not pious to ask.
I routinely tell parents that Med schools require Latin. Socrates calls it the Noble Lie.
But seriously, I see where you are going and have asked this question myself. My company line is the following.....Latin students are the best students. This is not because only smart kids takes Latin. It is because Latin makes you a better student.
I have found this piece of rhetoric effective. ( My beard helps to sell the line.)
And yet, I really do believe this, even if I am skeptical about Latin's effect on scores. Being educated and being intelligent are, in some ways, two different things. As a teacher, I can help anyone gain an appreciation and understanding of Shakespeare or Roman History. As a mortal, I cannot effect a person's intelligence.
I am now preaching................
I have met many intelligent people with bankrupt souls. My high school valedictorian had basically sacrificed his "eternal jewel" on the altar of Baal by the eleventh grade, studying really hard so that he can make as much money as possible (in Louisiana as an engineer !!!!!!!!!!!
),and drive sports cars, and buy big screen televisions. He was not even observant enough to realize that he needed to leave Louisiana to make real money.
I rarely find a great soul who is not in some way familiar with the Western tradition. Will knowing Shakespeare or Cicero's orations make you a more effective lawyer? Depends what you mean by effective. Will it get you a higher pay grade as an engineer? Probably not. But it might keep you from being afraid of the dark.
When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him. ~Swift