Star New York Times columnist and Jay-Z enthusiast David Brooks is taking his talents to New Haven. The Yale Herald's Bullblog noticed that every liberals' "favorite conservative" will be teaching a class in the spring titled just plain "Humility." According to its description, the course promises to explore "The premise that human beings are blessed with many talents but are also burdened by sinfulness, ignorance, and weakness," as demonstrated by men such as Moses, Homer, and "others," like maybe Paul Krugman. "I taught at Yale about six or seven years ago and at Duke since and really enjoyed it," Brooks told Intelligencer, "so I was pleased to be able to do it again. I'm going to commute up Mondays and Tuesdays each week."
But yes, he knows how it sounds. "The title of the Humility course is, obviously, intentionally designed to provoke smart ass jibes, but there's actually a serious point behind it," Brooks explained via e-mail last night. "People from Burke to Niebuhr, Augustine to Dorothy Day, Montaigne to MLK and Samuel Johnson to Daniel Kahneman have built philosophies around our cognitive, moral and personal limitations. The course is designed to look at these strategies as a guide for life and politics and everything else."
And if pleasing one's parents with a brand-name professor isn't reason enough to sign up, the class is listed as having "no regular final examination."