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Liberal Learning

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You needn’t bring on yourself a dark night of the soul over your essay deadline, since you’ve already got what it takes to be an essayist, and certainly an essay-writer. Instead of agonizing, start early and savor the sweet freedom, the lovely leisure, to be fully at work, essaying...
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Mr. Ropoulos and I were talking in the St. John’s College Coffee Shop, and the subject of modernity came up. So he asked me to write a few pages for his issue of the Gadfly [ed., the St. John’s student...

Whether the wisest should rule has always been a vexed question, largely because the wisest are least likely to seek (or be granted) the power and prominence that accompany the highest position. But even being educated—simply...
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Dualisms: The Agons of the Modern World, by Ricardo J. Quinones (472 pages, University of Toronto Press, 2007) Dualisms stand at the very beginning of Western ways of viewing the world. Aristotle bears witness to...
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Our morally bankrupt culture sees sex as no more important, complex, or harmless than the ABCs. But it is unwise to teach the young that which is both beyond their understanding and harmful to their developing character. What American families need are educators who understand the true...
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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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Why doesn’t the United States do what Europe does when it comes to students and college? Why isn’t a college education free? Fall is here. That means many things are on their way down, including bank accounts...
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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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John Dewey is such a big name in the educational world that it can seem like there is no way to push back against his work. But Dorothy Sayers offers a way for the Liberal Arts not only to push back on Dewey but also to steal...
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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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The Great Tradition patiently endures, ready to speak on its own behalf, ready to challenge narrow prejudices, ready to examine those with the courage to be interrogated by it, ready to teach those who are willing to be made unfit for the modern world... The...
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Those who truly seek to bring about the good also have to be ambitious for power, just not for their personal satisfaction, but for the greater good; they need to “baptize” their strong personal drive and accept power when it comes so that they can root out...
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A true, life-giving education is an education that recognizes and embraces a world filled with goodness, truth, and beauty. It is also an education that requires virtue from those who undertake it... Editor's Note: The following is an abridged version of the commencement address that Joseph...