Nowhere do the aristocratic proclivities betray themselves more

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panview

Senior Member
Chinese
HI,everyone.The following if from On the Philosophy of Higher Education by John S. Brubacher,p.81

Nowhere, perhaps, do the aristocratic proclivities of liberal education betray themselves more than in its attitude toward vocational education. Thus, Newman (p. 134) associated liberal education with the gentleman and sharpened the meaning of liberal by contrasting it with servile. The nineteenth-century English society for which he wrote The Idea of a University was nearly as dichotomous as the Greco-Roman society that originated the idea of liberal education.
I wonder how to understand the meaning of the sentence coloured red. If the following understanding is right?
1. The whole sentences means ' liberal education despises vocational education'.
2. "the aristocratic proclivities of liberal education" doesn't
betray themselves anywhere, means that 'it always stick to its own ideas'.
3. Compare to its attitude toward vocational education, nowhere betray its basic idea, only the attitude betray its basic idea—the aristocratic proclivities?
 
  • The pianist

    Senior Member
    English - US
    1) is essentially correct. However, despises might be too strong. Perhaps "has a condescending attitude toward" would be a better way to put it.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I don’t think you’ve understood it very well.

    Nowhere, perhaps, do the aristocratic proclivities of liberal education betray themselves more than in its attitude toward vocational education.​

    Paraphrase:
    It is in its (disdainful) attitude towards vocational education, above all, that liberal education betrays its aristocratic orientation.
     

    panview

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    It is in its (disdainful) attitude towards vocational education, above all, that liberal education betrays its aristocratic orientation.
    You mean that if liberal education doesn't betrays its aristocratic orientation, it shouldn't have such a disdainful attitude, it should pay the same attention as it pays on liberal education. I am afraid this is your idea,nowaday's aristocratic idea, but not the aristocratic orientation of liberal education in the past, which itself shows its condescending attitude toward vocational education.
     
    Last edited:

    panview

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Pan: 1. is vague, but your 2. and 3. are not correct.
    Thank you for your answer. But can you tell me your understanding the meaning of the sentence? and could you change the structure of the sentence into a easily understandable one for me?

    The small problem is that "education" {nor 'proclivities' is you want to get picky) cannot despise or disdain or even have an attitude. The passage is vague drivel.
    Yes, it is the people who have the idea of liberal education have an attitude.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    …"education" … cannot despise or disdain or even have an attitude.
    This is true. As an abstract concept, “liberal education” is incapable of having any kind of attitude or opinion. So to that extent the sentence is illogical. (It’s probably also a misrepresentation of Cardinal Newman’s point, but that’s another matter.)
    You mean that if liberal education doesn't betrays its aristocratic orientation, it shouldn't have such a disdainful attitude, it should pay the same attention as it pays on liberal education.
    No. You’ve misunderstood. I also suspect you’re misreading the word “betray”? What it means here is “reveal”, in the same sense as “giving away” a secret.
     
    Thank you for your answer. But can you tell me your understanding the meaning of the sentence? and could you change the structure of the sentence into a easily understandable one for me?


    Yes, it is the people who have the idea of liberal education have an attitude.
    Nowhere, perhaps, do the aristocratic proclivities of liberal education betray themselves more than in its attitude toward vocational education.

    =
    {explicated}
    Unnamed persons {advocates for 'liberal education'; the administrators and professors in the field of liberal education} have a tendency to believe that there are--indeed, they are-- 'better people', an elite, in society. This snobbish view is not stated directly but can be inferred from the way they speak about 'vocational education {as if it's lower or inferior to 'liberal education'}.
     
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