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Why We Still Need English Majors (Hint, It's Not Because They're More Humane)

Liz Dwyer

Being an English major is pretty passé—it's seen as one of those "you must want to be broke" degrees. Plenty of advocates say English majors make us more humane. As Adam Gopnik beautifully puts it in the New Yorker, we still need English majors because "No sane person proposes or has ever proposed an entirely utilitarian, production-oriented view of human purpose. We cannot merely produce goods and services as efficiently as we can, sell them to each other as cheaply as possible, and die."

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  • Stef McDonald

    I don't regret majoring in English one bit. Like this line from the piece, too: "You choose a major, or a life, not because you see its purpose, which tends to shimmer out of sight like an oasis, but because you like its objects." Books—yes, I really like books and I learn from them all the time.