Saturday, May 21, 2011

Poetic knowledge and classical education

What sort of mind is proportioned to an education in philosophy? Dialectic and contact with the real world are necessary for the student of philosophy, but what else is required for the student to be able to accept the definitions given to him by his teachers and books? I have thought that the best way to stimulate inquiry is through socratic questioning, but what other means are there for the teacher of philosophy? Is it proper to proceed in a "logical" fashion, with definitions/axioms and reasoning from them? This question about how to teach philosophy got me thinking about pedagogy and other modes of knowing... I again recall the complaints lodged by critics of the manuals. Was the seminary and Catholic university education of the early 20th century intellectually deadening because the requisite preparation that is necessary for scientific learning is missing?

John Senior and Poetic Knowledge:

A tribute to John Senior
Our Schoolmaster Remembered
An interview with James S. Taylor (His Poetic Knowledge: The Recovery of Education.)
"The End of Education": John Senior and the Idea of the University

Teaching Classical Literature Classically by Andrew Kern (CiRCE)
THE “GOOD BOOKS” LITERATURE PROGRAM by Elisabeth Carmack, Ph.D., N.D., DiH.
CIRCE Institute

Related:
Inside Classical Education
Institute for Classical Schools
Memoria Press
The Classical Scholar
Classical Academic Press

Institute for Catholic Liberal Education

A critique of certain programs (including Well-Trained Mind) by a Randian.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A piece on peak oil

Entropy, peak oil, and Stoic philosophy by Ugo Bardi

Any other proponents of neo-stoicism out there?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

CUA: Catholic University to Host 2012 Conference on 50th Anniversary of Vatican II

Enough talking, time for action? Or maybe the problem is that the talking was mostly for naught, because the authors of the documents didn't really address the problem of "modernity" because they failed to understand it?

If we could ignore the documents of Vatican II for a moment, what is there of pastoral and dogmatic value that could not be presented through what came before the council? American lay people are familiar with what is taught in the name of the council, but what would a summary of the council documents be like?
Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, St. John Climacus and Prayer (mp3)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sandro Magister, Benedict XVI the "Reformist." The Prosecution Rests

Introvigne replies to de Mattei, a leader of the anti-conciliarists. And Professor Rhonheimer returns to explain how and why Vatican II must be understood and accepted. In the way indicated by the pope

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Christian Philosophy

homistica: New book on Christian Philosophy debates

A collection of the original sources; it won't have later and non-French contributors like John Wippel and Ralph McInerny.

I wrote a paper on this once -- I'd have to revise part of it at least. The first question that needs to be answered is: "How are we to define philosophy?" Do we accept the scholastic definition, or do we define philosophy as something less exact, so that the lyrical expressions of wannabe poets can be considered philosophy? Is philosophy about the mode in which it is expressed or the reasoning? Are there universal rules for good reasoning (including how to define well), which are studied in logic? How much logic did moderns like Blondel study? I think the debate is illustrative of what happens when people have lost the art of definition and name without guidance.

Some could interpret those who affirmed that there is such a thing as Christian philosophy as making an apologetical argument - Gilson and Maritain, for example. A last gasp of Christian triumphalism, unwittingly put forth by "existential" Thomists? Or another attempt to discredit scholasticism, with its philosophical compnent as the target.

If we accept that philosophy is reasoned-out knowledge, then there is no such thing as "Christian" philosophy. Some may be referring instead to how faith and reason interact or how grace affects reason, and naming this nexus as "Christian" philosophy; while it is true that the supernatural life does have benefits for those who seek reasoned-out knowledge, to say that this is "Christian" philosophy is potentially misleading, as our starting points or logic are not affected.


(And if it is claimed that the life of grace enables reason to reflect upon truths "natural" reason cannot come to know, then this would not be philosophy at all.)