foundation : something (such as an idea, a principle, or a fact) that provides support for something — Webster
liberal arts : college or university studies (such as language, philosophy, literature, abstract science) intended to provide chiefly general knowledge and to develop general intellectual capacities (such as reason and judgment) as opposed to professional or vocational skills — Webster
Liberal arts refers to a curriculum aimed at imparting general knowledge and developing general intellectual capacities in contrast to a professional, vocational, or technical curriculum. — Encyclopædia Britannica
Liberal arts are subjects or skills that in classical antiquity were considered essential for a free person, in other words, a citizen, to know in order to take an active part in civic life and public debate (slaves were by definition excluded from the duties and responsibilities of citizenship). The aim of these studies was to produce a virtuous, knowledgeable, and articulate person. Grammar, Rhetoric and Logic were the core liberal arts. During medieval times, when learning came under the purview of the Church, these subjects (called the Trivium) were extended to include mathematics, geometry, music, and astronomy (which included the study of astrology). This extended curriculum was called the Quadrivium. Together the Trivium and Quadrivium constituted the seven liberal arts of the medieval university curriculum. — Wikipedia
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