Thank you for visiting.
I’m Keith Buhler, a philosopher and classical educator. I’m currently the founding headmaster of a new classical academy in Southern California.
This site is a guide to my professional activity and personal interests.
You may want to check out:
- my current projects in philosophy, education, and arts
- my academic research to dialog about virtue and wisdom
- the “Buhler Report”, a blog with recent reflections on sundry topics such as books, culture, parenting, movies, politics, and living intentionally
- The Classical Academy Podcast, which offers a friendly introduction to classical education.
My life mission is to help people of all ages to pursue virtue and wisdom. The pursuit of wisdom informs my teaching, coaching, and other activities.
In my day job, I’m a headmaster at a classical Christian school and an academic philosopher with a special interest in virtue ethics.
In other areas of the classical education renewal, I serve as a board member of another classical schools and recently became an Alcuin Fellow (West Coast chapter).
When possible, I teach online philosophy courses for Asbury University.
Virtue is possible but it requires hard work and practice. We all need to “try on” the practical skills that bring about human flourishing, even if we wobble and sometimes fail. These skills include listening well, being proactive, self-discipline, serving others, prayer, and spiritual discipline.
I’ve developed and implementied a 10th grade philosophy course introducing students to Plato and Aristotle by reading the whole Republic and the whole Nicomachean Ethics, as well as teaching them to write and argue using the medieval “disputatio” format (a la Aquinas).
In 2018, I gave a lecture entitled “Philosophy for Everyone” at Trinity Classical Academy, introducing our community to the nature and value of philosophy.
Last summer, I spoke at the ACCS conference on “Assessing for Virtue”. and received positive feedback from the 120 teachers, admin, and parents in attendance.
Around the same time, I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Robert George of Princeton for my YouTube channel.
Before that, I did audio interviews with Eric Silverman, David Bradshaw, and JP Moreland for my Christian Philosophers podcast.
I’m on a quest to read the complete works of Chesterton.
A foolish errand. But even he wrote a “Defense of Rash Vows.” https://www.gutenberg.org/files/12245/12245-h/12245-h.htm…
I think I’ve read all his novels.
In graduate school, for about two years, I had to drop my Books to Read list and focus only on philosophy. This was a hard sacrifice. I gave up fiction for the first time in my life. After the pain subsided, I reintroduced Chesterton only (Librivox free audiobooks) because reading him restores my sanity. Graduate school is not a sane place. And Chesterton is cheaper (and more effective) than most therapy.
But after the novels, you get into Chesterton’s vast ouevre: essay collections, short stories, poetry, biography, literary criticism, and philosophy. Where to start?
I worked through them all. Eventually, after finishing the novels and books… I had nowhere to turn.
I started on his essay collections: Alarms and Discursions, the Defendant, Tremendous Trifles. I wasn’t super excited about these because I thought they were “second best” to his full novel or book-length works.
Then it struck me – the obvious fact – that Chesterton is an essayist. Even his best novels (Man Who Was Thursday, Ball and Cross, Manalive, etc.) are a series of short stories.
Father Brown is precisely a series of short stories.
Chesterton is a short-form writer. That’s who and what he is. Decades of journalistic writing formed him irrevocably into such. Now I see that Orthodoxy and Everlasting Man are a series of essays. It’s obvious once you see it but I didn’t before.
So now, as a matter of responsible literary criticism, I have to go back to his essay collections and judge them as his primary and preferred medium.
Alarms and Discursions. Tremendous Trifles. The Defendant. All Things Considered. These are the water in which Gilbert is the happiest fish.
Given all that – and you may freely disagree thus far – I ask myself: Which is best? As of right now, I think Tremendous Trifles is the best thing Chesterton ever wrote.
I will always cherish Man Who Was Thursday and Orthodoxy. Don’t get me wrong: they are world-class works. They light me up and restore my sanity.
But Tremendous Trifles is perhaps the most Chesterton-y piece of Chesterton I’ve come across.
It smacks you upside the head with his wisdom, humility, wit, and pithy humor. Each essay, revolving around the theme that small things are great, crashes upon the imagination like wave after wave of the ocean until you wonder why you never knew it before – and then convicts you of the answer: your pride. You did not see the greatness of small things because you (wrongly) assumed you were bigger than them.
I do hope that our separated Roman brethren will canonize Gilbert Keith, and not just because of his middle name.
Finally, I recommend to you, dear reader, the Surrender of the Cockney, which I shall be trying to apply to my life in this new season: I shall try to see my new city (Riverside) as a bumpkin would see it: with awe. https://www.gutenberg.org/files/9656/9656-h/9656-h.htm…
Interview with English professor and CS Lewis scholar Louis Markos Real virtue wins out every time.
Interview with Christian philosopher Eric Silverman How Christians can succeed in academic philosopher. How a thoughtful reflection on Christianity’s view of love inspires his ethical work.
“Life is Suffering”, and other Jordan Peterson quotations “We don’t understand the world. I do think the world is more like a musical masterpiece than it is like anything else. And things are oddly connected.”
This Classic Text Explains why Classical Education is Best – If you haven’t read the Yale Report, it is very good. The “Yale Report of 1828” is one of the “most influential documents in the history of American higher education” according to R.J. O’Hara. It is still a pleasure to read, and its influence should not wane.
In 2017, completed a philosophy book (as of yet unpublished), titled Becoming What We Are. It defends Aristotle’s ethics in light of scientific naturalism – and offers a tendentious definition of scientific naturalism.
In 2012, I published a my first book, Sola Scriptura, a Platonic dialogue consisting of of various Christians discussing Scripture and Tradition.