John Peterson: For Love of the Liberal Arts

John PetersonJohn Peterson, a student in the Institute of Philosophic Studies program in the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts, chose to pursue a doctoral degree at UD in order to read the works of authors like Homer, Augustine and Dostoevsky, instead of doing the methodology and statistics that would be required in traditional political science programs.

A graduate of St. John's College, Peterson is no stranger to the rigorous study required to earn a liberal arts degree.

"At UD, I have learned how to be shaped by the thinking of others without losing grasp of my own insights, how to present my own understanding without being daunted by the quality of work of the scholars I am engaging," said Peterson.

In addition to learning from the Great Books, Peterson appreciates the opportunity to learn from "accomplished professors in divergent fields who are nevertheless able to talk to and understand each other; they come to other departments' lectures and benefit from each other." One such professor is Joshua Parens, professor of philosophy, "a fantastic professor and lecturer from whom I have learned a great deal about academia and scholarship," said Peterson.

While on the long road to earning his doctoral degree, Peterson spends summers as a seminar leader for Arete in Irving, a summer program for high school students focusing on the essential texts of Western civilization.

"Students attend lectures given by UD professors and participate in small seminars led by graduate students," said Peterson. "It's amazing what you can do in two weeks. As a seminar leader last summer, I was impressed by how much my students came out of their shells and learned how to express their thoughts and listen to the expressed thoughts of others."

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