Dr. Matthew Bianco Dec 28, 2020

St. Athanasius: From where have you come, Matthew?

Matthew: I was at home, reading Plato’s Republic. It’s one of my favorite books, and I am hoping to teach it again soon. 

St. Athanasius: Plato’s Republic? That is a good one. What do you like about it?

Matthew: I think Socrates really wrestles through some important questions and has some very revealing insights about human nature.

Travis Copeland Sep 4, 2020

As a classical educator, I frequently observe the necessity of logic in the life of the student. Despite this truth, my students still bemoan both its practice and study, especially in the early days of the school year. Yet, nothing is more essential than “studying the tools” of classical education. To put it another way, there is nothing so needed in our classroom, than “learning to breathe, classically.”

Photo by Robert Bock on Unsplash
Dr. Matthew Bianco Mar 26, 2020

What motivates a person to make the decisions he makes, to do the things she does? What motivates a group of people, a community, a city or whole nation to do what it does, to decide what it decides? Some people are motivated by what is right and what is wrong. Some people are motivated by what will earn them recognition and honor. Some people are motivated by the "return on investment." Some people are motivated by what will be an expression of their freedom, the right to choose what they choose to choose. What other things motivate us? As individuals? As communities?

Dr. Matthew Bianco Dec 2, 2019

This post has been edited (January 4, 2020) to include a link to a podcast for those reading along.

Josh Mayo May 29, 2019

It’s May, and the world is finally awake. The campus of EDUCRAT STATE hums like a hive. Outside the dormitory, the day is all daffodils and spring zephyrs, but inside 303 WEST HALL a storm-cloud of academic fear brews. Dreading an impending final in literature, sophomore Joe Schmo peruses a SparkNotes article on Herman Melville’s classic whaling adventure. Travelling through time to rescue Joe from this perilous, ethical fog, Socrates materializes on the couch—quite unexpectedly.

SOCRATES: Hey, Joe. What are you up to?

Lindsey Brigham Knott Jan 22, 2018

It has been said that greatness in art is marked by the impossibility of imagining alteration. The story that could only have come right that way, the sculpture of which every contour begs contemplation, the music whose melody would fall flat were any one of its notes missing or moved—it is a quality that we recognize in such works as Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, or Michelangelo’s Pieta, or the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. 

Winston Brady Apr 3, 2017

Last week, we ended with the Greek world and the pride of this ancient people. As always I demand you take notes, as the whole premise of sprite school is to learn from the triumphs of our Father, improve your tactics against the Enemy, and win more patients for our cause, coffers, and confines. Our lesson tonight focuses on the willingness of patients to help us, as demonstrated in the most cherished of Greek institutions, the Delphic Oracle. 

Dr. Matthew Bianco Dec 11, 2015

There are three kinds of people in this word, it has been said. Those that think math is a waste of time beyond learning to count, add, subtract, multiply, and divide and thus is primarily useful for consumerism. Those that think that math is amazing because it is extremely useful for the construction of bridges, building, airplanes, cars, and more. These are the engineers. And, finally, those that think math is beautiful for its own sake. Each group is smaller than the previous.

A person's approach to teaching math will differ based on which group he is in.

Joshua Butcher Nov 16, 2015

In my last post I described how my class of high school sophomores struggled to believe Socrates’ arguments that a Just man is more powerful than a Tyrant. I turned to Aristotle for consolation, who confided to me that youth desire honor and victory. They hope for their future in the body moreso than do older people. They feel ashamed to challenge conventional norms moreso, too.

Joshua Butcher Nov 12, 2015

In Plato’s Gorgias, beginning in section 466b, Polus and Socrates disagree about what gives men power in the polis. 

Polus argues that the ability of the tyrant to kill whomever he wills, plunder whatever he wills, and imprison whomever he wills demonstrates his  enviable power. Socrates argues that knowledge of — living in accordance with — justice demonstrates power, and that tyrants are actually least powerful in the polis.