Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Martin Stone tonight!

Martin Stone's Talk is "Adrian of Utrecht and the Transformation of Moral Thought in Fifteenth-Century Louvain" and will be presented on Tuesday, Oct. 24th at 7:30 in the Fifth Floor Lounge of McGuinn.

Professor Martin Stone is Associate Professor of Renaissance and Early Modern Philosophy at the Hoger Instituut voor Weijsbegeerte at the University of Louvain and also a permanent Visiting Professor at King's College, London.

He did his BA at King's College, his Maitrise at the Sorbonne, his M. Phil. at Birkbeck College of the University of London and his Ph.D. at The Warburg Institute of the University of London - writing his dissertation under the superivision of David Wiggens and Jill Kraye.

He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Melborne, the University of Wisconsin (Madison) and the University of Cologne. He has lectured at Utrecht, Budapest, Trier, Strasburg, Leipzig, Bayreuth, Munich, Cardif, Helsinki, Belfast, Fribourg en Suisse, Zurich, Prague, Vienna and is now on his way to Salt Lake City. These lectures throughout the world have been on a wide-variety of subjects (liberum arbitrium, grace, probabilism, practical reasoning, casuistry, Jesuit casuistry) and a wide variety of thinkers - some familiar: Molina, Baius, Gerson; and some less familiar: Antoninus of Firenze and Adrian of Utrecht.

As editor or co-editor, he has produced an impressive number of volumes: Humanism and Early Modern Philosophy; The Proper Ambition of Science; Theories of the Will and Human Action: From the Ancients to the Present Day; Philosophy, Science and Exegesis in Greek, Arabic and Latin Commentaries; and Reason, Faith and History.He is preparing a two-volume series for Oxford University Press entitled: The Subtle Arts of Casuistry: I: The Casuistic Tradition from Aristotle to Kant; II: Ordinary Morality and Practical Reasoning. More related to his present talk is his promised Oxford University Press volume: A Virtuous Man in Sad and Dangerous Times: The Life and Thought of Adrian of Utrecht.

Shirley Gee
Department Administrator
Political Science Department
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467
(O) 617-552-4144; (F) 617-552-2435

faculty page

Monday, October 23, 2006

Johan Huizinga

The importance of leisure?

Homo Ludens
wiki; Age of the Sage; another page

see also Hugo Rahner's Man at Play

Foolishness and wisdom...

Is it not the case that those who have lesser natural gifts with respect to the acquisition of knowledge and wisdom might nonetheless live a more meritorious life, and thus have a greater share in the beatific vision than those with greater natural intellectual gifts but who waste their talents?

Hence another possible understanding of the scriptural inversion of the foolish and the wise?

(Natural gifts -- primarily endowments of the body, especially the inner senses. I don't see how there can be a differences between the intellects of individuals.)

Feasibility Study wanted

1. How possible is it to start an independent college, one that issues a degree equivalent to a Bachelor's but attainable by students of secondary-school age?

2. At this school, there would be a student to teacher ratio of around 15:1 (perhaps 10:1, but that depends on tuition and operating costs).

3. Tuition would be kept as low as possible, in the range of $5000 to $10000 a year.

4. It should not need to be said that the education provided at this independent college would be a true liberal education, following a good plan of studies recognizing the hierarchy of the sciences. It would also have a strong liberal arts component, with special attention given to rhetoric and composition.

5. The number of classrooms needed would be around 6? The size of the student body: around 100 students? The length of studies, 6 years or so, terminating in the Bachelor of Arts.

6. Administrative work would be divided among the faculty as much as possible, and the number of actual administrators and support staff kept to a minimum. In this vein, maintenance and cleaning of the facilities should be done by students and teachers as much as possible, once a week, in order to eliminate the need for a janitorial staff.

7. If the only thing preventing such a project from taking off is that accreditation will not be given by any American agency since it is a threat to the status quo, then the possibility of creating a new accreditation agency that would maintain high standards and requirements, especially with respect to teacher credentials and the curriculum, should be examined.

8. The use of computers and electronic media within the classroom should be discouraged as much as possible. Any vocational training should be kept as separate as possible, especially any involving the use of computers.

9. An urban location might be ideal in so far as it would be better able to attract local students, and a project such as this should emphasize its roots in the local community. On the other hand, given the lack of economically self-sufficient communities in the United States, one should strive as much as possible to create such schools in areas where a healthy agrarian lifestyle is practiced.

10. With these sort of considerations in mind, how difficult would it be to get such a school started? What costs (like rent) be the limiting (and possibly prohibitve) factor? Can they be offset by donations from benefactors (especially donations of land and buildings)?

11. Even if such a project is feasible, does it have a future in this country? Or will it be possible only after relocalization has begun?

Other niceties:
1. An "Asian" understanding of the relationship between teacher and student. (But one removed of the family metaphor and understanding.)

2. Physical training component. (This would of course require additional facilities and equipment.)

Also, we need to examine whether a liberal education should also be universally available, or if only for individuals with certain vocations. If the latter, then what sort of education is to be given to the others?