Andrew Kern Feb 15, 2019

Young people judge things too hastily. It is a mark of immaturity, and we all have areas where we are immature.

However, the ability to rightly judge what is good or bad, just or unjust, fitting or inappropriate is essential to our ability to function as human beings in a world that we all agree is full of dangerous people, immoral people, unjust people. 

We have an organ by which we can judge these things, but like every organ when we don't use it or when we lose confidence in it, we stop developing it. 

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Andrew Kern Feb 12, 2019

Under Modernism the last vestiges of meaning are removed from the universe. However, the divinely established (as I believe) impulse toward artistic expression remains as strong as ever, an irresistible energy that will unnerve the soul it possesses if it doesn't find an expression.

Prior to the Enlightenment, Europeans at least, and I think most cultures, used art to embody meanings that they believed themselves to have identified in the world as it is.

After the Enlightenment, this use was reduced and then, eventually, eliminated.

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Brian Phillips Oct 23, 2018

“Now both sexes have melodies and rhythms which of necessity belong to them; and those of women are clearly enough indicated by their natural difference. The grand, and that which tends to courage, may be fairly called manly; but that which inclines to moderation and temperance, may be declared both in law and in ordinary speech to be the more womanly quality.” - Plato, Laws (Book VII)

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Andrew Kern May 15, 2018

I suppose it must be theoretically possible to create an ethic without God or a god, but historically in the west it’s been a problem.

When Machiavelli developed the first utilitarian handbook on politics, that is to say, a book on politics that approached them without religion (except considered as a tool), he laid the foundations for Thomas Hobbes to develop his Social Contract.

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Andrew Kern May 10, 2018

I want to make an appeal for conversation, for its extension and for thoughtful commitment to its practice. I am pleased to make this appeal now because I believe conversation has not died and that many people I know and love participate in conversations now and even more want to. 

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Andrew Kern May 7, 2018

Laurus/Arseny/Ustin/Amvrosy was born on May 8 in 1440. I post this review today in honor of his birthday and in honor of St. Arsenius, from whom he derived his name.
 

Russia is to me a foreign country and the Middle Ages are an alien time. Consequently, to read a novel by a Russian author about medieval Russia pretty well guarantees that my understanding will be stretched. 

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Andrew Kern Mar 13, 2018

My view of classical education is far more concerned with the real thing than with the word "classical." So drawing from the very long Chrisitan classical tradition, I would include Charlotte Mason in that tradition every bit as much as any body else because she:

1. Was a metaphysical realist (which post Dewey progressives are not, and this is crucial). 

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David Kern Feb 8, 2018

We often get asked about the best books on education. So I asked around the office a bit. Here's what some of the folks on our team had to say. 

 

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Matthew Bianco Nov 28, 2017

Dear A—,

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Photo by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash
Matthew Bianco Nov 10, 2017

What do you call a thing that is so "normal" to you that you couldn't imagine how life would work without it, but is so rare everywhere else that others wonder why you do it at all? What would even qualify for that description? I imagine sugar might be close. Americans, apparently, eat far more sugar than the rest of the world. Is sugar such a "normal" part of our lives that we couldn't even imagine life without it, whereas the rest of the world wonders why we use so much of it? Testing fits in this category.

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