I’m Dr. Keith Buhler, a philosopher and classical educator based in Los Angeles. Welcome to my online hub for sharing new projects, connecting with people, and pursuing virtue and wisdom.
On this site, my high school students can see their syllabi and other resources, undergraduates can consider how and why to study philosophy, and fellow academics can explore my academic work in virtue ethics.
As an orthodox Christian, I am ipso facto an academic heretic.
It’s not just that I un-ironically defend certain religious dogmas as literally true and objectively accurate, nor even that I pray to and worship God without debonair agnosticism. My secular humanist friends are, as a rule, rather tolerant of my religiosity.
My academic heresy is being skeptical, undecided, or resistant to very particular rival dogmas.
For example, it flies in the face of academic orthodoxy even to remain open-minded or agnostic about socialism, philosophical naturalism, or climate change. Some of my otherwise open-minded philosopher friends are radically closed even to considering alternate political, scientific, or philosophical views with any seriousness. They find doubting Marxist revelations or (allegedly) scientific revelations more outrageous than not doubting divine revelation.
My heterodoxy inevitably creates a certain tension in academic contexts. At the average gathering of philosophers, I have the privilege of contributing to viewpoint diversity by representing a minority report.
The tension can be trying because one must work so hard to set up a discussion in such a way that one’s interlocutors will argue the point instead of attack the person. But it’s mostly delightful because the discussions, once they get going, are so rich.
My point here is that secular academics can be benignly dismissive about varying religious beliefs; but they are more often vociferous about varying political beliefs. (I even get into trouble with my co-religionists who are left-leaning.)
What are some other academic dogmas that are difficult, if not impossible, to foster serious discussion about in higher education journals, conferences, and classrooms?
Consider this beautiful list of secular political heresies outlined by heterodox academic Ben Foster in the Louisville Cardinal.Read the rest...
07.13.2017 Interview with Douglas Wilson PITTSBURGH – June 24, 2017. Scroll down for an interview with Douglas Wilson about the future of classical education. It was filmed at the Association of Classical Christian Schools national conference, “Repairing the Ruins.”
04.25.2017 “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.
04.01.2017 – A Recent Chapter on Deification His article clarifies what the notion of “becoming god” amounts to, and explains the various species of deifiction: political deification, deification through beauty, deification as magic, deification as imitation, Christian deification, self-deification, deification through Gnosticism. This is all historically informative and very interesting; the kicker is that he accurately covers our own fashionable form of deification: techno-deification.
02.23.2017 – Reflections on Graduate Student Stipends – Now that I am a postdoc scholar at the University of Kentucky (Go ‘Cats!), I am reflecting back on my experience as a Teaching Assistant. One thing that was hard to discover, perhaps understandably, was the expected “stipend” of graduate teaching assistants at other universities I applied to. For what it’s worth, I saved the information about our stipend. My department preferred that it not be public. But count your lucky stars you aren’t as poor as I was in 2012.
12.29.2016 – 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.
12.07.2016 – Force Awakens Wasn’t Just a Copy of New Hope – It’s been about a year since Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out. While we wait for Rogue One, it’s a good time to reflect. When Episode VII first came out…
11.09.2016 – Mini Exit Survey – Student Feelings about Trump – I teach 5 classes at two universities in Kentucky. So, after reading a lot about students on campus feeling terrible or unsafe after a Trump election victory…