A Manifesto for Liberal Education

By |2019-03-25T14:34:55-05:00March 25th, 2019|Categories: E.B., Education, Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, St. John's College|

Since liberal education is non-academic, in my sense, it has real gravity, moral gravity. And so it is, finally, also concerned with questions of “good and evil.” The college years are the time for students to frame those moral allegiances that will help them decide more sure-footedly how to act when leisure is over [...]

The School for Scandal: A Parents’ Guide to Colleges in a Corrupt Era

By |2019-03-19T23:25:45-05:00March 19th, 2019|Categories: Education, St. John's College|

The recent scandal concerning parents who paid to bribe school officials to admit their children into college tells me that most parents know nothing about higher education in America. Here’s the straight skinny! “Education” is a way to understanding Western culture and languages, and the history, culture, and languages of other cultures. There are [...]

Momentary Morality & Extended Ethics

By |2019-03-18T22:32:13-05:00March 18th, 2019|Categories: E.B., Ethics, Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, Morality, St. John's College, Virtue|

Morality requires command-issuing universal law; ethics, on the other hand, demands natural and acquired personal qualities. One human being may indeed live with two moralities, one public, one private, and this duplicity is not always hypocritical; it may simply make life livable and prevent it from becoming worse. You have been reading and talking about [...]

Immediacy: The Ways of Humanity

By |2019-03-11T23:39:09-05:00March 11th, 2019|Categories: E.B., Eva Brann, Humanities, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, St. John's College, Time, Wisdom|

Opposition to greatness comes from the kind of irrational irritation that made the Athenians ostracize Aristides because they were tired of hearing him called "the Just," or from egalitarian resentment, or from fear of the demands things of quality make on us... I want to steal four minutes of my talking time to speak of [...]

Killing Socrates: The Death of a Great Books Program

By |2019-03-09T09:22:14-05:00March 8th, 2019|Categories: Classical Education, Classical Learning, Classics, Culture, Education, Great Books, Humanities, John Senior, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Wyoming Catholic College|

Few people know that in the early 1970s a “great books” program, founded by John Senior and two other professors, flourished at a large state university in the midwest. Even fewer know of its slow demise. Editor’s Note: Robert Carlson was a student and friend of John Senior, one of three founders of the [...]

A Light in the East: Thoughts on Education from Japan

By |2019-03-07T00:26:45-05:00March 6th, 2019|Categories: Books, Culture, Education, Joseph Pearce, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

Having read Fr. Peter Milward’s book, My Idea of a University in Japan, I am firmly of the opinion that it needs an audience in the West. It is universally applicable and relevant to those seeking a deeper understanding of what constitutes an authentic university education. Last year saw the passing of Fr. Peter Milward, [...]

Storytelling and How We Learn

By |2019-03-07T00:06:27-05:00March 6th, 2019|Categories: Civilization, Culture, Education|

Stories convey wisdom about ourselves, our culture, and human nature. The existence of Bigfoot or the Abominable Snowman is more believable than the existence of a civilized people who have no need of poets or sages. Whatever I teach, I teach storytelling because it is an expression of human creativity that provides perspective. Stories help [...]

Socrates & the Un-Willed Life

By |2019-03-05T12:07:03-05:00March 4th, 2019|Categories: Books, E.B., Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, Plato, Socrates, St. John's College, Wisdom|

For Socrates choices are of a life-pattern. Decisions, which are the deliberated choices that a particular occasion calls for, are not his mode, even at a crucial moment. Such choice, decision occasioned by the moment, will become the pivot of action. It is notoriously difficult to prove a negative, to catch, as it were, non-being [...]

On Loving Writing

By |2019-03-01T16:12:44-05:00March 1st, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Love, Senior Contributors, Writing|

Few things in life have given me as much pleasure as writing has. I’ve never been what anyone would describe as “low-energy,” but I’ve also not always been exactly sure how to release my own energies, especially when it came to writing. I’ve also always possessed the creative impulse, but that impulse was frustrated [...]

Liberal Education: The Foundation and Preservation of a Free Society

By |2019-02-28T15:50:32-05:00February 27th, 2019|Categories: Classical Education, Freedom, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Liberty, Tradition, Western Tradition, Wisdom|

In a time of economic uncertainty, liberal education holds out the promise of joy in learning, contentment in contemplating truth, and satisfaction in community. These things are available to all people, rich or poor. Liberal education and the free society have always been intimately connected. A liberal education, an education which prepares one for [...]

Roots of the World: The Program of St. John’s College

By |2019-02-27T14:12:28-05:00February 25th, 2019|Categories: E.B., Education, Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, St. John's College|

Every plan of education is fraught with implicit philosophical principle. Since the program of St. John's College is devoted to that peculiar kind of learning which of necessity includes a reflection on its own conditions, most members of the college accept the obligation of engaging in ever-recurrent discussion and review of the philosophical bases that [...]

Remembering To Be

By |2019-02-25T10:40:37-05:00February 24th, 2019|Categories: Charles Dickens, Education, Glenn Arbery, Liberal Learning, Literature, Timeless Essays, Wyoming Catholic College|

“Forgetfulness of being”—perhaps we could also call it “forgetfulness of givenness”—underlies most of the problems that we face. To forget being means to forget how astonishing it is that anything exists at all... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Glenn Arbery, as he ponders the wonder of [...]