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Liberal Learning

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Human beings are not simply producers; they are also lovers of beauty and contemplators of truth. They are wasters of time. The liberally educated person has a rich inner life that allows him or her to waste time well...
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The imagination must be won back. This is Dr. Onalee McGraw’s aim, and she fights with the finest of the films made in our own nation, by Hollywood itself, and sometimes even by corrupt men and women... “You...

Podcast stories, like reading, have the advantage of engaging the audience’s imagination. And lest the technophobes among us decry the dominance of gadgets, rather than the gadgetry taking us into a brave new world, the technology is actually allowing us to participate in a much older form of literature:...
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For the twenty-first-century disciple of Darwin, man—though he possesses no essential, intrinsic worth that separates him from his chimpanzee cousins—has proven himself a most effective destroyer of that very mother nature who evolved him into his present form... The Third Chimpanzee, by Jared Diamond (432...
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Last week a student asked me, “What is creativity?” I was unsure how to respond. I felt like the speaker from Leaves of Grass musing about a child, who, fetching a handful of grass, asks him what the...
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The ends of higher education are the acquisition of wisdom and virtue and the serious pursuit of knowledge and truth. Reading the Great Books helps us to get to these ends. Informed by the wisdom, the beauty, the goodness, and the truth we encounter in Great Books, we can...
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Did you know that your words not only explain the things you want to communicate, but that your words also tell people things about you personally? When I began teaching almost 15 years ago, this time of...
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In the late 1960s, revolutionary protests were directed at the conduct of the war in Vietnam and in advocacy of a "Civil Rights" movement. Leftist activists, assessing how best to capitalize on this unrest, concluded that revolution in...

The document entitled “To the Honorable the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, A Memorial and Remonstrance” is a jewel of republican rhetoric. Nor has this choice example of American eloquence gone without notice. And...
Education as Self-Liberation
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The self is more distant than any star, says G.K. Chesterton, and we can only see the distant star which is the ego by learning to gaze beyond the self to the stars in the sky and the stars that sparkle in the eyes of our neighbours...

We turn to the Great Books so that the encounter with them might do for us what they did for past generations. We turn to them as world makers, that they might aide us in understanding the world they were instrumental in bringing about, our world...
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Publisher's Note: In this episode of a documentary series on St. John's College's most beloved tutors, Senior Contributor Dr. Eva Brann recounts how she escaped Nazi Germany and ended up at the College; her relationships with such philosophic luminaries as Jacob Klein, Seth Benardete, and Leo Strauss; and her vision...
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Because of intense fear, we refuse to acknowledge that nothing in this world is permanent, that everything perishes, that soon we will be no more. Lodged within every human heart is the blind hope that death comes to others, not to us...
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My title is a question: "Do you know what an odyssey is?" I am asking each of you to ask yourself: "Do I know what an odyssey is?" In learning as in traveling and, of course,...