In his excellent article in the most recent issue of Modern Age, Thomas S. Hibbs discusses what E. D. Hirsch, Jr. elsewhere calls the “Skills Delusion”: the idea that you can dispense with content knowledge and study only skills and benefit from it in any meaningful way.
In “The Liberating Power of the Humanities,” Hibbs points out that we can’t talk about skills in isolation from knowledge, particularly the kind of knowledge taught in the humanities:
The deprivation of self-knowledge, of information about one’s past, one’s sources or roots, cuts one off from knowledge of where one now stands in the present; paradoxically perhaps, the ignorance about the pasts deprives one of the hope for the future. The scope of one’s awareness contracts to the mere present. One approaches the condition of animals, whose capacity for memory and for anticipation of the future is quite limited.
Read the rest in the latest issue of Modern Age.