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St. John's College

1 975

The "liberal" in "liberal arts" has traditionally and rightly been understood to refer to freedom in several ways. In a classical context the liberal arts rescue us from banal pursuits. In a religious context they deliver us from earthly bonds. And in a modern context they set...
0 2563

The great vehicle of liberal learning is discussion, in which begetting, questioning, refuting, and again questioning take place... What I have to speak about, briefly and in a most elementary way, is what...

What our students surely need is to learn in some detail and with a minimum of ideological static how they came by the opinions they bring along, so that they may be able to choose whether to hold on to them or to change them. But even...
0 2758

When the ancient philosophers speak of the philosophical life, one thing is immediately clear: It is a life and not a profession of which they are speaking. For the life of philosophy seems to have one reason for being—the search for truth...
0 1532

Our tradition may be in dire need of resuscitation and recollection, and it seems quite possible that the Chinese may help us in our necessity... Sour Sweet, by Timothy Mo (Sphere Books, 1982; Aventura Paperback, 1985) Shenfan, William Hinton (Random House, 1983; Vintage...

A free mind is necessary for our personal happiness, for living a good life, the life suited to our nature... Fifty years ago I shook the hand of our president,...
0 2179

Phantasia is the realm of the imagination, the realm into which nothingness first erupts, and the begin­ning of philosophy... I The Unending Story by Michael Ende is both literally and in several...
0 1357

To question is not merely to know that one lacks knowledge but to love knowledge passionately, to pursue it and never give up... “…by indirections find directions out…” Hamlet, 2.1 Let me begin by...
3 1962

Kant shows that the one necessary, non-contingent existence is God, a being that is one, simple, unchangeable, eternal, and a spirit. There is, then, necessarily a God, a being comprehending not all, but all the highest positive reality...
2 614

Richard Wagner's Tristan and Isolde should prompt us to search for an antidote to the lovers’ death wish—to pursue a love that preserves rather than destroys, celebrates rather than abolishes individuality, and seeks life rather than death... “They who were two and divided now became one and...
0 801

There is nothing in the natural world, or in the inner and outer life of man, that does not find its counterpart in the all-embracing realm of tones. Music as symbol is the whole of all things... “They who were two and divided now became one...

Here’s a cause close to my heart: public and semi-public speech. I mean occasions when we are addressed by our political leaders on grand occasions of concern to the whole republic, and times, like the present, when we...
1 944

The ancient rhetoricians, who knew their business, taught that the way to begin a speech, the more so a breakfast talk, was with what they called a captatio benevolentiae, a “capturing of goodwill.” I’ll try that on you—I’ll...
1 652

For the first time in nearly a decade I again have the great pleasure of teaching a freshman language tutorial. I am myself a believer in the "spirit" of a tutorial, because I am convinced that...