Michael Oakeshott on the Tensions Between Political Theory and Practice

By |2020-08-19T13:42:20-05:00August 19th, 2020|Categories: Civilization, History, Liberal Arts, Michael Oakeshott, Political Philosophy, Politics|

Political theory sets out to consider the kind of knowledge involved in political activity and the appropriate form of education that will continue to inculcate this knowledge and the value in sustaining such knowledge to society. Political theory may not be so theoretical, after all. Within political theory, there is a pressure to operate [...]

Why Academics Should Consider Classical Education

By |2020-08-12T15:22:45-05:00August 12th, 2020|Categories: Classical Education, Classical Learning, Education, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Modernity|

Academics who are interested in understanding the world in which we live, producing good citizens, and thinking beyond their own disciplinary cage should reconsider throwing all their eggs in the university basket and give serious attention to the possibility of taking up a post in an institution of classical learning. Prior to the pandemic, [...]

Freedom, Responsibility, and the Liberal Arts

By |2020-06-11T12:46:33-05:00June 11th, 2020|Categories: Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Liberalism, Liberty, Politics, St. John's College|

Pericles was proud of Athenian freedom and insisted it was worth dying for. Our ancestors shared that pride and that insistence. But they and he were proud, not of the absence of discipline or authority, but of the fact that in a society of free citizens discipline and authority are self-imposed. The other day [...]

A Unique Liberal Learning Summer Opportunity: Why Not Now?

By |2020-06-06T14:27:43-05:00June 1st, 2020|Categories: Education, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, St. John's College, W. Winston Elliott III|

Becoming educated is a process of becoming intellectually free so as to be capable of thinking for oneself, engaging in ongoing learning and inquiry, and achieving inner freedom. St. John’s College believes that the life of the mind is crucial to full human flourishing. Loyal readers of The Imaginative Conservative have been given many [...]

Why “Western Civ” Is Losing Its Appeal

By |2020-05-18T08:09:17-05:00May 17th, 2020|Categories: Books, Civilization, Classical Education, Culture, Education, Great Books, Liberal Arts, Literature, Modernity, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

The Western canon as typically presented is increasingly unable to rally the enthusiasm even of devoted admirers of Western civilization, who recognize the commonly proffered canons as, at best, an impoverished rendition of Western culture and, at worst, a perpetuation of the very same cultural forces that are at the source of its decay. [...]

Liberal Arts Pandemiology

By |2020-05-12T22:13:57-05:00May 13th, 2020|Categories: Coronavirus, Culture, David Deavel, Economics, Education, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Politics, Senior Contributors|

Those of us who bemoan the “death of the liberal arts” do not do so simply because the jobs of professors are at stake, but because we believe that liberal learning is the only fit preparation for any portion of life—especially one that involves responsibility for the common good. Those of us who have [...]

The Joy of the Liberal Arts in a Pandemic World

By |2020-05-04T17:39:38-05:00May 4th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Education, Gleaves Whitney, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning|

In a crisis, it is best to balance change and continuity. The liberal arts help us do so by embracing both. On the one hand, they are the anchor-in-bedrock that conserves the best of our culture. On the other hand, they are the wind-in-the-sail that powers us to betterment. I. Accelerating Our Experience of [...]

Liberal Education and the Free Mind

By |2020-05-13T15:36:19-05:00April 21st, 2020|Categories: Culture, Education, Essential, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, St. John's College|

Liberal education has as its end the free mind, and the free mind must be its own teacher. Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Scott Buchanan as he asks a series of questions to discover the fruit, in individual character and thought, of a liberal arts education. —W. Winston [...]

Mathematics and Liberal Education

By |2020-03-03T13:23:08-06:00March 3rd, 2020|Categories: Classical Education, Education, Liberal Arts, Mathematics, St. John's College|

For most liberal arts colleges, mathematics courses are simply modern math stuck on to a “humanities” program. But if liberal education is not just meant to familiarize students with classics of the humanities, or the polish of culture, but to free the student to find the truth for himself, shouldn’t math be just as [...]

Liberal Education at the Naval Academy

By |2020-02-28T16:25:44-06:00February 28th, 2020|Categories: Classical Education, Culture, Education, Liberal Arts, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

The Naval Academy is regarded as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation, and many attend for that very reason. But what if the Academy’s curriculum does not reflect a true liberal arts education, but a radical distortion of it—a falsehood? The hour is here when midshipmen candidates of the Class [...]

On Teaching, Writing, and Other Discontents

By |2020-02-04T17:16:48-06:00February 4th, 2020|Categories: Civilization, Classical Education, Culture, Education, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Mark Malvasi, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

Teaching at a time when civilization is in such obvious disarray and such marked decline imposes even more stringent and pressing obligations on the teacher. I have reached the conclusion that what American teachers must do is really very basic: Teach young men and women how to read and write, how to imagine beyond [...]

Some Advice to Fellow Lovers of Liberal Learning

By |2019-12-26T16:02:58-06:00December 26th, 2019|Categories: E.B., Education, Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, St. John's College|

A preliminary function of a liberal education must be to serve as a purgative, a cleansing, of those who wish to be free. By its means we can cleanse ourselves of our undigested and unconscious prejudices. When it first came home to me that I would not be a tutor at the Graduate Institute [...]

Mortimer Adler & the Context of an Educational Philosophy

By |2020-06-26T14:26:00-05:00November 28th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christine Norvell, Education, Liberal Arts, Mortimer Adler, Senior Contributors|

Robert Woods’ “Mortimer Adler: The Paideia Way of Classical Education” embodies the life and educational philosophy of one education reformer. Though intended to be informative, most chapters are akin to an educator’s devotional, leaving the teacher inspired to be a more thoughtful and focused Christian tutor. Mortimer Adler: The Paideia Way of Classical Education, [...]

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