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Liberal Arts

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In Othello, William Shakespeare, the philosopher of everyday life, holds up a mirror to us and shows us what human beings are capable of. Beneath our most pleasantly cultivated exterior, there often lurks a serpent... William Hazlitt is widely...
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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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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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For many years I taught a course in Twentieth-Century Literature to college seniors. In truth it was actually a course in early to mid-twentieth-century literature because I didn’t teach any text published within the previous forty to...
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Editor's Note: Andrew Balio of the Future Symphony Institute interviews architect Allan Greenberg, whose  philosophy of "canonical classicism" challenges the postmodernist school of architecture.  ANDREW BALIO: Among America’s music schools, Rice University’s Shepard School of Music...
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Modernity consists of perversions of notions drawn from Christianity; to be a modern means to be deeply enmeshed in them... The part of the title of this talk which I asked to have announced is "The Roots...
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The end of liberal education is not the learning of settled truths, and the inculcation of useful habits for obtaining useful goods, but the perfection of the human as human, not, primarily, as worker, citizen, or even believer...
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There's a pace to reading that corresponds to walking, and probably to thought itself; the followers of Aristotle are called the “peripatetics,” a word that means “those who walk to and fro”... At the end of this...
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It is for the soul’s health that we engage in inquiry; right action is the indirect, one might almost say, the unintended, consequence of thinking things through. Indeed, the old understanding of liberal education is that its very liberality consists in its being pursued for its own...
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Traditional Catholic liberal arts education faces two major challenges right now: 1) the massive redirection of higher education per se away from any serious consideration of God; and 2) the corruption in the Church. The former challenge has...
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There is a sickness, traditionally called melancholy, which is particularly at home in communities of learning such as ours. Its visible form can be seen in the engraving by Duerer called Melencolia Prima. Amidst the signs and symbols of...
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What strikes me is that the capacity to choose to do things for their own sakes defines a free people. The highest arts of the mind, most freely pursued, as our whole tradition has recognized until lately, are paradoxically the most useful of all...
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One of our most remarkable capabilities is our power of at once being and not being in a certain condition. It gives us a way to do justice both to self-avowed fictions and to other people’s truths... Our country’s three...
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If one cannot hope for an informed citizenry—and the evidence is overwhelming that such a hope is futile—one must hope for something else: a formed citizenry. For the remedy for thoughtlessness is not information; it is thought, thought about what man is, what the good man is,...