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 emphasized [...]

Science Lost in Math

By |2019-07-03T13:39:30-05:00January 29th, 2019|Categories: Beauty, Books, Mathematics, Science|

Now, when the subatomic world and the cosmological universe seem to reveal some of the inconsistencies in modern theoretical physics, could the whole idea of a world sitting on fundamental elements be in question? Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, by Sabine Hossenfelder (304 pages, Basic Books, 2018) Sabine Hossenfelder’s little book Lost in [...]

Death and Blind Hopes

By |2019-10-16T13:59:45-05:00October 23rd, 2018|Categories: Death, George Stanciu, Hope, Mathematics, Theology|

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... Prometheus was the one Olympian god to rebel against Zeus’ plan to wipe [...]

Why We Learn Mathematics

By |2021-04-23T14:49:45-05:00August 1st, 2018|Categories: Education, Mathematics, Plato, Socrates|

When we learn math, we are using our mind alone, not our senses. Socrates calls it a study that “by nature leads to intellection.” It is a common occurrence: A math teacher stands at the front of the classroom, struggling to keep the student’s attention. One student is on the phone. Another stares straight ahead [...]

In the Beginning Was the… Music?

By |2021-01-20T12:33:22-06:00July 21st, 2018|Categories: Audio/Video, Existence of God, Mathematics, Nature, Science|

Michio Kaku has made a name for himself as a world-leading theoretical physicist unafraid to speak his mind. Dr. Kaku, the Henry Semat Chair and Professorship in theoretical physics at the City College of New York, has published more than 70 articles in physics journals on topics such as supersymmetry, superstring theory, supergravity, and hadronic [...]

Plato’s “Timaeus”: Science, Mathematics, and a Life Lesson

By |2021-04-29T16:41:18-05:00May 12th, 2018|Categories: Great Books, History, Liberal Learning, Mathematics, Plato, Truth|

The first fragment of Plato's Timaeus is worth a lifetime of study. There is a whole education in just these few lines. The attention drawn to mathematics from them and the elevation of mathematics in the rest of the Timaeus made Western thinkers look to mathematics for truth. Science started when Christians thought hard about two books: [...]

Einstein on the Humanities

By |2020-10-16T18:45:56-05:00January 24th, 2018|Categories: Education, Featured, History, Humanities, Joseph Pearce, Mathematics|

It is clear today, as it was clear to Albert Einstein then, that an education obsessed with science, technology, engineering and math, to the exclusion or neglect of the humanities, stems the growth and development of the human person, on the one hand, and unleashes technology without ethical constraints, on the other. Those architects of [...]

How Should Classical Schools Teach STEM?

By |2018-10-23T13:06:18-05:00June 23rd, 2017|Categories: Classical Education, Classical Learning, Common Core Curriculum, Education, Liberal Learning, Mathematics, Science, Technology|

Trying to put science in a classical paradigm is putting new wine into old wineskins. Modern science just does not easily fit into a classical paradigm… STEM, or science, technology, engineering, and math, is the newest acronym for what is considered a great education, and it often leads to a satisfying and financially rewarding career [...]

The Purpose of Mathematics in a Classical Education

By |2020-02-01T12:14:14-06:00February 12th, 2017|Categories: Classical Education, Mathematics, Plato, Timeless Essays|

One of the chief aims of mathematics has always been to reveal and describe an order in the natural world. Mathematics, as a language, reveals this order and harmony, yet it should also be lifted from this concrete foundation and brought into the world of the abstract… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords [...]

Kant’s Philosophical Use of Mathematics: Negative Magnitudes

By |2021-04-27T21:40:49-05:00December 12th, 2016|Categories: E.B., Eva Brann, Existence of God, Immanuel Kant, Mathematics, Philosophy, Senior Contributors, St. John's College|

Kant shows that the one necessary, non-contingent existence is God, a being that is one, simple, unchangeable, eternal, and a spirit. There is, then, necessarily a God, a being comprehending not all, but all the highest positive reality… I hope that this consideration of a peculiar little work of great interest will appeal to readers [...]

The Elements: The Key to Understanding the Cosmos

By |2021-02-09T12:51:30-06:00March 3rd, 2016|Categories: Christopher B. Nelson, Education, Featured, Iliad, Mathematics, Plato, St. John's College|

The quest for elements is the best way we humans have of getting to the roots of things and making sense of our experience. And working at this together, in a community dedicated to learning, is one of the best services we can do, both for our own souls and for those of our fellow [...]

The World of Imagination in Mathematics

By |2019-08-06T17:32:12-05:00December 26th, 2015|Categories: Christopher B. Nelson, Education, Featured, Mathematics, St. John's College|

Welcome to St. John’s College. To our returning students, faculty and staff, welcome back. To our freshmen and their families, we are very happy to have you joining us. In the next few days, you freshmen will begin working your way through a book that I think, more than any other, serves as an exemplar [...]

Beauty of Numbers

By |2019-08-08T12:56:48-05:00September 21st, 2013|Categories: Books, Communio, Film, Liberal Learning, Mathematics, Stratford Caldecott|

Michael S. Schneider’s wonderful work A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe, which I recommended in Beauty for Truth’s Sake, is linked to a lot of classroom teaching that Michael has done over the years. This has now been captured in his superb DVD called Constructing the Universe, which could be an important resource for teachers and parents [...]

Why Study Mathematics? It Is the Language of Creation

By |2018-10-11T17:30:17-05:00August 3rd, 2013|Categories: Liberal Learning, Mathematics|Tags: |

Mathematics: Is God Silent? by James Nickel Mathematics: Is God Silent? answers the question posed in its title with a resounding “No! God is by no means silent!” As we are told in Romans 1:20, God is manifestly visible in His creation: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine [...]

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