Adam Andrews Feb 8, 2017

In his 1947 book Miracles, C.S. Lewis tells a story about two men who both think that a certain dog is dangerous. The first man holds this opinion because he has often seen it muzzled and has noticed that the mailman avoids that house. The second man fears the dog because it has a black coat, and he was once bitten by a black dog in childhood.

Josh Mayo Nov 17, 2015

Some who encounter medieval philosophy complain of too much minutiae, too many abstruse questions. Proofs. Counter-proofs. Articles. Objections. It's foreign stuff, no doubt. At the same time, we might challenge the reigning prejudice against this kind of rigorous questioning. Men like Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus retained the child’s love of asking questions. How embarrassing it is then that the medievals are younger than we are.                  

Joshua Butcher May 29, 2015

I recently re-read this article, written by Josh Gibbs in the winter of 2013. The title makes it seem like the article is about sports, but its particular point is about grades. The general point, however, has to do with the natural affections of the human hearts which have been entrusted to teachers in Christian classical schools to be shaped and molded into lovers of truth, beauty, and goodness: lovers of Christ.

Brian Phillips May 26, 2015

In the opening pages of Plato: The Great Philosopher-Educator, David Diener observes that “Plato was one of the principal founders of the Western intellectual tradition, and it is nearly impossible to examine the historical development of any academic topic without, knowingly or unknowingly, addressing Plato’s views.”  Indeed, it would be nigh impossible to overestimate the impact of Plato’s thought on Western civilization. 

Joshua Butcher May 12, 2015

In an unpublished essay, “Philosophy as a Hobby,” written in 1936, philosopher Gordon H.

Dana Gage Mar 11, 2015

As an undergraduate, I studied mathematics, with the single ambition of teaching it to high school students who, except for getting into college, would also have no other use for it. The major was not easy. I remember one night when, instead of watching the Super Bowl, I spent the evening trying to maximize the area of an industrial building. But schlepping a six-pound Calculus book makes you look smarter and improves muscle tone, which was good, because, as it turns out, I never actually taught mathematics to high school students. At least it wasn't a total waste.

Andrew Kern Aug 27, 2014

This afternoon, I will be participating in a Podcast on Hamlet in which I hope to invite people to read Shakespeare's play and to look for what is obvious. Meanwhile, I'm reading the Iliad for the Apprenticeship and have been thinking quite a bit about how to read and to teach it. 

Joshua Sturgill May 4, 2014

It is said that one day the Caliph Mamun saw a bald-headed man with a long beard and broad forehead sitting on his private couch. In awe and with a trembling voice the Caliph inquired: “Who are you?”  The man replied, "I am Aristotle." 

9th century Islamic legend

Andrew Kern Feb 26, 2014

It isn't a substance; that's an idea embodied.

It isn't a sentence; that's an idea verbalized.

It isn't knowable, but it's already known. 

Without it, every attempt to know anything ends in frustration and even despair, if the learner tries long enough to know without it. 

If you think you know it, then you don't yet know it as you ought to know it. 

The quest to know it is what gives birth to every art and science. 

When you start to speak but know you haven't said what you meant to say, it's the idea that told you.

Andrew Kern Sep 27, 2013

The heart of the difference between classical and conventional education is not in curriculum or teaching methods, though those are effected. The heart of the issue is in goals and beliefs. Our practices often entangle us so much that we can't get back to the things that matter most. 

The biggest difference is theological. Conventional education is ultimately nihilistic, believing that we live in a great meaningless vacuum. Classical education, Christian or philosophical, rests on the foundation of Being. Everything, quite literally follows from this.