Author Archives: Andrew Seeley

About Andrew Seeley

With over 30 years of immersion in a Great Books based, fully integrated curriculum at Thomas Aquinas College in California, I enjoy sharing the fruits of the discussions I have with students, colleagues and friends about authors and ideas. As the Director of Advanced Formation for the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education and a founding member of the Justin Martyr Fellows, I work to share my good fortune with Catholic educators and students around the country. As a lover of God, Church, family, America, Tolkien, Shakespeare, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas, I like to write about them in particular ways.

Hamlet’s Split Soliloquy

Years ago, a student became notorious at our college for arguing that Hamlet’s famous “To Be or Not To Be” soliloquy is not about suicide. It became the subject of Soren’s senior thesis, which led him to draft a book … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Reflections on the Books, Shakespeare | Leave a comment

Hamlet and the Problem of Conscience

Originally published in the St. Austin Review (March/April 2016) Introduction I have never really liked Hamlet, neither the character nor the play. The character I found too full of self-doubts, too wistfully desirous of death as a solution to his … Continue reading

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Tolkien Essays

I just added a page featuring three of my essays on Tolkien’s works, which have meant so much to me from the time I encountered them as a teenager.

Posted in Classical Education, Literature | Leave a comment

What Good Are Exams?

Over the past few years, I have grown more concerned about the negative effects of written exams on our students. In spite of our efforts to promote “learning for its own sake”, and success in generating engaging discussions ‘from time … Continue reading

Posted in For Teachers, Living It, Post-Secondary Education | 1 Comment

The Frenzy of Philosophy

For the second semester in a row, I handed out copies of “What I Learn From Exams”. Last year, it led to intense in-class discussions about what grades mean to students, and about aspects of our college’s culture that inadvertently … Continue reading

Posted in Living It, Philosophy, Reflections on the Books | 1 Comment

Human Exceptionalism Proven by Science!

A study released earlier this year of DNA strands from a large variety of species and millions of different individuals reveals that, while species genetically differ from one another markedly (there are no “blurred” lines among species), individuals within a … Continue reading

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Unexpected Classroom Enchantment

A few weeks ago, I was not looking forward to my morning class. Family health care issues had gotten me down, and I had little energy or inspiration for Sophomore Language. The translation assignment I had given them I did … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Education, For Teachers, Languages, Living It, Theology, Trivium | Leave a comment

Esolen Describes Beautiful Schools Anthony Esolen shares his delight in being a part of a small, fully intentional Catholic educational community in ways that many of us have been blessed to recognize: Yesterday as I was walking to class, two of my students, … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Living It, Post-Secondary Education, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Five Definitions of Man

Five Definitions of Man Am I a monster more complicated and swollen with passion than the serpent Typho, or a creature of a gentler and simpler sort, to whom Nature has given a diviner and lowlier destiny? Socrates, Phaedo I … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Reflections on the Books, Theology | Leave a comment

Questions, Opinions, and the Philosophic Life I, with Quotations from Authorities

I gave a talk this week at our college (Thomas Aquinas College) which I entitled, “Questions, Opinions, and the Philosophic Life”. In it, after sharing something of my experience as a sometimes joyfully, sometimes painfully driven questioner, I tried to … Continue reading

Posted in Living It, Philosophy, Reflections on the Books | 3 Comments