Universities: Generalist's Elysium

The oddest graduate school in the U.S. is a far-out arm of the University of Chicago called the Committee on Social Thought. Physically, it is a dingy office under the eaves of the social science building. Its faculty, which includes Novelist Saul Bellow and Political Scientist Hannah Arendt, numbers only eleven. But its goal is as big as the world. While other graduate schools atomize knowledge, this one aims toward "a unification of knowledge and a revealing of the human being as a whole."

The committee is a generalist's elysium, a haven for...

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