The Asahi, Japan’s leading newspaper quoted the following famous closing words of Steve Jobs’ in his last speech at the iPad 2 event in March 2011 in its popular editorial column, “Vox populi, vox Dei” on its April 22 issue. It deplored in the column that today’s Japanese management lacks great vision and big dream as Jobs had:
"It's in Apple's DNA that technology alone is not enough. That it's technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing."
In the column, the Asahi translated the phrase, “technology married with liberal arts” as “technology married with kyoyo (教養:culture, refinement, education)” in Japanese.
I’m not sure whether the Asahi’s choice of word, kyoyo- meaning culture and education exactly fits the notion Steve Job meant by “liberal arts” in his speech.
Oxford Dictionary Online defines “liberal arts” as:
- chiefly North American arts subjects such as literature and history, as distinct from science and technology.
- (historical ) the medieval trivium and quadrivium.
Cambridge Dictionary Online defines it as:
mainly U.S. College or university subjects such as history, languages and literature.
What does “liberal arts” mean in general? And what did Steve Jobs mean by “liberal arts” married with technology in his speech?
Are there difference between general perception of the word, “liberal arts” among public and specific usage of “liberal arts” by Steve Jobs in his speech?