The UCLA Center for Liberal Arts and Free Institutions (CLAFI) seeks to promote understanding and appreciation of the history and achievements of western civilization, with emphasis on the development and underpinnings of free institutions. We sponsor courses that serve UCLA undergraduates and host lectures and seminars open to the public.

CLAFI is founded on the principles that an educated citizen in a democracy should have a sound understanding of the history of free institutions and their underlying principles; that a central purpose of a university is to assist and encourage students, faculty, and others, to confront basic questions of the meaning of life, the nature of the cosmos and of human society, and the principles of right and wrong; and that the study of the great works and achievements of western and other civilizations, not uncritically but with the presumption that we have much to learn from our greatest forerunners, is a valuable if not indispensable means for education directed toward the principles of free institutions and the fundamental questions we face as individuals. CLAFI exists to provide a home for faculty, students, alumni and others in the surrounding community who share these principles and wish to give them greater emphasis in their own educational and research activity.


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