Odysseus: Patron Hero of the Liberal Arts

By |2019-02-25T14:28:17-05:00February 4th, 2019|Categories: Audio/Video, Classics, E.B., Education, Eva Brann, Great Books, Homer, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Odyssey, St. John's College|

Odysseus has the art we need. I think he came by it through a rare combination of acutely honed cleverness and deep-souled imagination; we can acquire it by education. This art, the art of discovering significance, is the art of interpretation... I am to write about my hero Odysseus and to connect him to Liberal [...]

Liberal Learning, the Human Person, and Plato’s “Meno”

By |2019-02-25T14:28:30-05:00January 28th, 2019|Categories: Audio/Video, Classics, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, Meno, Plato, St. John's College|

“First attend to the adjustment of your own soul, particularly the regulative liberal learning of your intellect, then project your internal economy on the world as social and political justice. The other way around is headless.”  – Eva Brann, The Music of the Republic: Essays on Socrates’ Conversations and Plato’s Writings Eva Brann is a [...]

Self Addressed Speech: The Soul Speaking to Itself

By |2019-01-20T21:06:07-05:00January 21st, 2019|Categories: E.B., Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Philosophy, Reason|

Ask anyone what speech “is for” and the answer will be, “Speech is for communication.” To be sure. But not primarily! Speech is first for self-address... My first title for this little musing was “Silent Speech.” That, however, turned out to be inaccurate. As I thought out what had set me wondering about this strange [...]

A Writer’s Life

By |2019-01-15T06:17:46-05:00January 14th, 2019|Categories: Audio/Video, E.B., Eva Brann, Liberal Learning, St. John's College|

Distinguished scholar Eva Brann, of St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, shares her thoughts, discusses how St. John’s is truly unique among American colleges, why students should read Homer first, how Aristotle speaks to us today, and why Yogi Berra is one of her favorite philosophers. The first part of the interview is below; a link [...]

What, Then, Is Time?

By |2019-02-25T14:29:59-05:00January 7th, 2019|Categories: Aristotle, Classics, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, St. Augustine, St. John's College, Time|

When our dean asked me to lecture this September it was because I’ve just completed a book on time, and I’m happy to have the opportunity to talk about it. There seemed to be three possible kinds of profit that I figured might come to you and to me if I gave what one might [...]

Tolerance or Respect?

By |2018-12-31T22:14:14-05:00December 31st, 2018|Categories: Books, Culture, E.B., Eva Brann, Quotation, St. John's College|

Respect is (1) an alternative to tolerance and (2) the better one. It is an alternative because it concerns the same issue: how to live with fellow humans who appear to be identically constituted in their need to formulate opinions and to assert them in speech (not always in that order) but disparately developed in [...]

The Logos of Heraclitus

By |2019-02-25T14:30:20-05:00December 25th, 2018|Categories: Books, E.B., Eva Brann, Heraclitus, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Philosophy|

http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/partiallyexaminedlife/PEL_ep_079_6-22-13.mp3 In the above podcast, Eva Brann discusses her book The Logos of Heraclitus (2011). What is the world like, and how can we understand it? Heraclitus thinks that the answer to both questions is found in “the logos,” which is a Greek word with multiple meanings: it can be an explanation, a word [...]

Reflections on Imaginative Conservatism

By |2019-02-25T14:30:31-05:00December 17th, 2018|Categories: Conservatism, E.B., Eva Brann, Imagination, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, St. John's College, Virtue|

Author's Note: I wish to dedicate this essay to a writer of books whose greatness is at once utterly at home in America and quite without spatio-temporal boundaries, Marilynne Robinson, who produces in reality the images I only analyze, and thereby not only saves but augments the tradition I love–the aboriginal imaginative conservative, one who [...]

Talking, Reading, Writing, Listening

By |2019-02-25T14:30:41-05:00December 10th, 2018|Categories: Classics, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, Plato, St. John's College|

I imagine that on Parents’ Weekend there might be some parents attending this once weekly occasion when the college assembles to hear a lecture. By its very name, a lecture is read—but read out loud, delivered in the writer’s voice. Thus, the sequence goes: I thought, I wrote, I read, I speak. Although this is the principal way of [...]

Inner and Outer Freedom

By |2019-02-25T14:30:51-05:00December 3rd, 2018|Categories: Culture, E.B., Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, Religion, St. John's College|

Vast topics are notoriously easy to avoid, and those who undertake to wrestle with them in public owe their audience some concrete reason for their choice. Let me begin with mine. First, this summer I had occasion to study Supreme Court decisions bearing on freedom of religion and the public schools. The graduate students with [...]

A Tiny Essay on Taking Offense

By |2019-02-25T14:32:35-05:00November 19th, 2018|Categories: Character, Civil Society, E.B., Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series|

I love midnight movies, the Golden Oldies; they are the silver-lining of insomnia. Recently I caught part of an old black-and-white movie—Pressure Point—of the days when African-Americans were still called Negroes. Sidney Poitier plays a black prison psychiatrist. At one point his white patron says something about not expecting a Negro to be a successful [...]

On the Imagination

By |2019-02-25T14:34:36-05:00November 12th, 2018|Categories: Art, Beauty, Culture, E.B., Eva Brann, Imagination, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, St. John's College, Wisdom|

The imagination invests the world with that richness and resonance which makes it an attractive dwelling for the intellect. But the imagination is indispensable to action as well. For the real world is worth our exertion only when the visionary imagination sets the scene for action... Tonight I shall commit the deliberate indiscretion of trying to say [...]