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Liberal Learning

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The subtitle of my talk might be “Liberal Education: Program and/or Pedagogy?” The reason is that I think of Jacob Klein’s life as being an embodiment of that slash, “and/or” and therefore an occasion for...
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Johannes Moreelse, "Heraclitus" Think how peculiar this appellation is: “Pre-Socratics.” A whole slew of thinkers, poetical, aphoristic, prosaic—condemned to be known as the precursors of a man who wrote nothing! Forerunners are, it seems,...
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This note is written in memory of David Lachterman, who was an alumnus—using the term in its fullest significance—of St. John's College, Class of 1965, when I was a young tutor. He was in my classes...
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Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to explore the nature of education and its relation to the permanent things, lest we become a class of barbarians. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher
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We are still spirited in the West, but the modern spirit is based on egoistic ambition and self-referencing subjectivism. A spirit of relativism today leads us into...
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Soul, World, and Idea: An Interpretation of Plato’s Republic and Phaedo by Daniel Sherman. (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2013) “To save the phenomena” of heavenly motions by undergirding them with...

The Supreme Court currently is considering the case of Fisher v. University of Texas. The case concerns administrators’ use of race as a selection criterion in university admissions. It is seen by many as critical to the continued...

Welcome to St. John’s College. To our returning students, faculty and staff, welcome back. To our freshmen and their families, we are very happy to have you joining us. In the next few days, you...
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The Closing of the American Mind, by Allan Bloom. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987) Here is a book which compels the question whether we should be glad of its existence. My...
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http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/partiallyexaminedlife/PEL_ep_079_6-22-13.mp3 In the above podcast, Eva Brann discusses her book The Logos of Heraclitus (2011). What is the world like, and how can we understand it? Heraclitus thinks that the answer to...
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Here is a theory of time. It is neither new to me nor new in the world. I formulated it for publication in 1999 and had it formulated for me, so I could make...
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Now that school is back in session, I will shortly be resuming a study group that began last year on Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans. I thought I might say just two...
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What the church is to the spirit of religion, liberal learning is to the unbought grace of life—the only means for realizing the end. Where there is no liberal learning, in the long run there is no...
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The Tenants of Time, by Thomas Flanagan. (New York: Dutton, 1988). Here is a book that lives up to its captivating title. For its perspective on human events is that from which...