Category Archives: Subject areas

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

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, Theology, Languages, Trivium, For Teachers, Living It | 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

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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

Sacra Doctrina Project

John Brungardt informs us of a promising new initiative that ‘aims to contribute to the Church’s longstanding tradition of seeking a knowledge through causes that is certain and evident about the source of our salvation that is still, at its height, … Continue reading

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Discussing Elijah

I had a wonderful discussion of Elijah’s journey to Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 19) with St. Augustine Academy students. You never know where discussions will lead, and what students will come up with, if you can get students to talk, … Continue reading

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

Towards Reforming High School Math and Science

…If I had to design a mechanism for the express purpose of destroying a child’s natural curiosity and love of pattern-making, I couldn’t possibly do as good a job as is currently being done— I simply wouldn’t have the imagination … Continue reading

Posted in Math and Science, Quadrivium, Secondary Education | 1 Comment

Turning the Whole Soul: The Moral Journey of the Philosophic Nature in Plato’s Republic

I forgot that we were playing and spoke rather intensely. For, as I was talking I looked at Philosophy and, seeing her undeservingly spattered with mud, I seem to have been vexed and said what I had to say too … Continue reading

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Oliver Sacks — Imitation is source of originality

Impressive people report how much insight they have found in the works of neurologist Oliver Sacks, as in this article on BrainPickings.org: Sontag’s experience, Sacks argues, reflects the common pattern in the natural cycle of creative evolution — we learn … Continue reading

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Basing Thought on Common Sense

A good, clear explanation of the meaning of common sense, one which stands up to scientific reductions and provides the foundation for bringing science into the service of wisdom. But perhaps someone playing devil’s advocate would preempt us and say: … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Science, Uncategorized | 1 Comment