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Liberal Arts

1 371

Modernity consists of perversions of notions drawn from Christianity; to be a modern means to be deeply enmeshed in them... The part of the title of this talk which I asked to have announced is "The Roots...
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The end of liberal education is not the learning of settled truths, and the inculcation of useful habits for obtaining useful goods, but the perfection of the human as human, not, primarily, as worker, citizen, or even believer...
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There's a pace to reading that corresponds to walking, and probably to thought itself; the followers of Aristotle are called the “peripatetics,” a word that means “those who walk to and fro”... At the end of this...
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It is for the soul’s health that we engage in inquiry; right action is the indirect, one might almost say, the unintended, consequence of thinking things through. Indeed, the old understanding of liberal education is that its very liberality consists in its being pursued for its own...
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Traditional Catholic liberal arts education faces two major challenges right now: 1) the massive redirection of higher education per se away from any serious consideration of God; and 2) the corruption in the Church. The former challenge has...
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There is a sickness, traditionally called melancholy, which is particularly at home in communities of learning such as ours. Its visible form can be seen in the engraving by Duerer called Melencolia Prima. Amidst the signs and symbols of...
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What strikes me is that the capacity to choose to do things for their own sakes defines a free people. The highest arts of the mind, most freely pursued, as our whole tradition has recognized until lately, are paradoxically the most useful of all...
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One of our most remarkable capabilities is our power of at once being and not being in a certain condition. It gives us a way to do justice both to self-avowed fictions and to other people’s truths... Our country’s three...
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If one cannot hope for an informed citizenry—and the evidence is overwhelming that such a hope is futile—one must hope for something else: a formed citizenry. For the remedy for thoughtlessness is not information; it is thought, thought about what man is, what the good man is,...
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What enabled men like Athanasius, Augustine, and Aquinas to discover their “why” in ages past can still transform young men and women today... Over the years, I have discovered that nearly every time I come across...
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Up in the heights of the...

Ideologies are mind-traps: They are constructed in such a way that they prejudge the motive of opposition to their systems. The great aim of liberal education is to liberate students from mere unexamined opinion into genuine thought... Some people...
2 1118

An odyssey is an adventurous and searching journey, or an intellectual or spiritual quest. It is the proper name for the life of learning. One can shape one's own odyssey into a journey that lacks neither enchantment nor definition... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series...
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If we want to live in a world where there are only means to other means with no end in sight, where only the kitsch consumerist monuments of selfish human will and desire exist, where all knowledge is ordered to use, then we must say goodbye to...