The Complete Works of C. S. Lewis

10.18.2017 / Misc

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The list below supplies, in chronological order, all of C. S. Lewis’s books.

The reason for composing it is that many Lewis fans want to read “everything he wrote” but may have a hard time actually finding everything he wrote. There are lots of unpublished or hard-to-find essays, letters, and introductions. This list is only about full books. Making this list has helped me find some hidden gems in the Lewisian corpus. Hence I present it for you.

Explanation and more information on how it’s organized is below (scroll to the bottom).

Happy reading!

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Upcoming Lecture at University of St. Katherine

10.14.2017 / Classical education

Join me at the University of St. Katherine on Monday, 7:30pm, where I’ll be speaking to the students about classical education as a form of initiation into a life of virtue and the pursuit of wisdom.

This is an extra special visit for me, since the last time I visited St Katherine it was just “St. Katherine College” and Lindsay was on the admissions team. I’m glad to see the work God has done growing and building the school.






Scruton on "Intransitive" Prayer

10.10.2017 / Philosophy

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Two years ago, I attended the “Special Divine Action” conference at Oxford University. One of the most powerful presentations was that by Roger Scruton on “intransitive prayer” – that is, prayer without an object, prayer as a posture.

I do not know if he has written essay or book-length treatments of the theme, but it was new to me. I found it thought-provoking, though I’m not sure I agree… I’m still considering it.

His premise was the “intransitive” prayer is valuable, even if there is no god.

In the case of the pious and non-ironic believers, we pray to an Object, of course: God himself. But there is still merit in Scruton’s premise, for at least two reasons:

  1. The positive effects of a prayerful posture are available to atheists, non-believers, the searching, the confused, the backslidden, etc. Why should we who actually believe jealously guard those positive effects and not share them with non-believers? Even in the absence of belief in God or participation in true religion, we can wish that outsiders enjoy the crumbs that fall from our table.
  2. The positive effects of a prayerful posture are beneficial, in addition to God’s answering our prayers or communicating his presence and love to us.

At the risk of opacity, I present the transcribed notes that I took which amount to an outline of Scruton’s presentation. You can just make out the contours of the talk.

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The AFI Top 100 Movie List

10.05.2017 / Culture

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I am almost done watching all 100 of the American Film Institute’s best American films.

“Why would you watch 100 movies?” you say… “Why would you use this list?”

I’m glad you asked.

Background

In 2003, living with Biola University film students, I learned of the AFI list.

At that time, I resolved to watch them all. It was a casual resolution. I originally started the list to become a more informed film viewer and because I wanted to maybe write screenplays. While I have written some screenplays now, my professional career is not headed in that direction.

Regardless, I just began watching.

Though it started casual, the project became more of a commitment. It was not only for self-education about film – though who doesn’t want to learn more about film? – but for entertainment.

Each film is unique, interesting, surprising, fascinating, and delightful. Many of them were, for a time, “the best film I’ve ever seen”… until I watched the next one.

So I kept watching. Even through marriage, a doctoral program, and now kids and a full-time career in classical education, I’ve averaged one AFI film every two months for the past 14 years.

Now, in 2017, the end is in sight. I’m on the final stretch.

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The Music of Lomanchenko

09.14.2017 / Culture

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After the Mayweather/McGregor fight, I’ve become mildly interested in boxing and MMA. This amounts to reading a bit about the sports, and watching a few historic fights such as Foreman’s comeback win at 45 years old, some Tyson, Ali.

But what I’ve found really exciting is one of the other biggest names out there: Vasyl (Basil) Lomachenko from Ukraine. I’ve now watched almost all his 7 pro-fights, and one of his two gold metal fights. He’s a virtuoso.

I know nothing about the history and art/mechanics of boxing but what I’ve learned listening to commentators in the last month or so, but Lomachenko is exhilarating to watch.

They call him the “Matrix” fighter because he moves like Neo, and it’s an apt exaggeration.

In one fight, he hurts his hand halfway through and finishes (winning every round) using only his right hand.

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Classical Education News Weekly Round-Up

09.04.2017 / Classical education

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New classical schools are opening across the country every year. Public charter, private, and home-school cooperatives are all successfully adopting the classical model and putting it to good use.

This week, Current reports a new school hosted at a farm in Boone County, Indiana. The school is funded by a Lily Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship and modeled after Hillsdale Academy in Michigan. It will educate 30 students from pre-K through eight grade, with plans to expand through 12th grade and dual-credit college courses.

Psychology today reports the process of self-education Abraham Lincoln followed a classical focus on the Bible, the Declaration of Independence, and Euclid’s elements.

Finally, Markets Insider reports that the successful and growing Great Hearts Academy in Arizona has announced plans for a third campus in San Antonio to be named “Great Hearts Western Hills.” Because Great Hearts is a stable and popular option in Arizona, the new campus will hit the ground running with 560 students its first year (fall 2018). The construction will have the capacity to serve 1,400. With 4,000 students already on the waiting list, it won’t be long before that capacity is met. (You can read the full report on PR Newswire here.)

Do you have any classical news? Leave a comment below!

If you enjoyed this article, please “Recommend” below, comment, and share to your social media networks. Thanks!






My Prediction -- Mayweather will win in round 12

08.25.2017 / Culture

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Who will win on Saturday in the McGregor vs. Mayweather fight?

Mayweather will win… But it will be interesting. And that’s the point. Here’s my prediction of what happens, and an explanation of why, written up like a news story I imagine people will write on Sunday morning.

Disclaimer: I know next to nothing about boxing or MMA. I’ve come to a tentative prediction from watching both men’s thoughts (in interviews) and fights on YouTube.

What will happen

Mayweather wanted to retire 50-0, and make a boatload of money one last time. He wanted a safe fight he can win easily, but he didn’t want to seem like he was playing it safe.

He lighted upon a cocky underdog opponent who actually has 0-1% chance, and made it seem like the underdog has a real 30%-40% chance. He played up the fight, “giving concessions” like 8 oz gloves. He played up the hypo, loving the drama, enhancing the drama, earning free publicity, and grew the hype as big as it could be. He let McGregor fans, Irishmen, and underdog lovers the world over hope for an upset.

In the ring, he enacted his time-tested formula. McGregor had to attack. He either missed and grew tired, or connected and grew tired. McGregor is used to opponents buckling under a couple of good counter-left punches, so he can finish with a “ground and pound.” But Mayweather didn’t buckle. Mayweather dodged a few, and took a few on the chin. But he didn’t get stunned like Mcgregor is used to. Mayweather even seemed to pretend he was more stunned he really was.

He survived rounds 1-4, and McGregor lost steam. McGregor hoped it would be over by now, and, being discouraged, began to take hits. Rounds 4-8 Mayweather clearly dominated, earning technical hits and becoming more aggressive as it became clear that McGregor could no longer counter with that vicious left-hook. McGregor grew more and more fatigued and Mayweather pummeled him until the end of round 12, taking only a few return jabs for his trouble. Mayweather wins on technical knock out, retires fabulously wealthy at 50-0.

McGregor spins the loss by saying that “if it were a MMA fight, I would have won”, walks with his $50 million, happy as can be, and goes back to UFC.

Why

Mayweather is a cautious investor first, a boxer second. He’s not just a defensive boxer, but a defensive person. He lives life on the defensive, cautiously, carefully, intentionally.

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A Dialog on Diversity of Opinion

08.20.2017 / Philosophy

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ONCE UPON A TIME…

A professor and his star student chatted after class in the hallway.

Professor A had just held forth, in his philosophy class, about the virtues of viewpoint diversity. Professor A argued that conformity of mind is a harbinger of intractable falsehoods, while hearing different perspectives from people who disagree with you can teach you things you otherwise would never know.

Student B stayed after to clarify things a bit.

B: “But if you value the opinion of even people who disagree with you, you’re just saying they can help you see new truths, right? You’re not saying that people who believe falsehoods that you do not believe have something to contribute, are you?”

A: “Yes, everyone’s opinion is valuable to me. Even people who think differently from me are correct about something and need to be heard.”

B: “I disagree, professor. You believe in tolerance. So, I think everyone who thinks differently from you on this point doesn’t value tolerance – and so they are incorrect.”

A: “Well, the people who think similarly to me are correct. But the people who think differently from me on that point are still valuable to me. They’re both valuable to me.”

B: “No, that can’t be right! If you’re saying even the intolerant and close-minded have opinions that are ‘valuable’ and should be heard, you’d have to conclude that conformity of mind is just as good as open debate and reasoned disagreement.”

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Diversity Problems, Damore Solutions

08.18.2017 / Politics

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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.)

Academic Dogmas

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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.

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Guest post 2 -- "Can CEO Pay Be Unjustifiably High?" by Stephanie Obieroma

08.11.2017 / Philosophy

This month I am happy to announce that I will be publishing a series of guest posts from my former students. I asked these students if I could publish their essays because I think they represent excellent examples of philosophical reasoning on important or contemporary topics. Some I agree with and some I do not… but they all make me think. – Keith

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Objection 1. CEO pay can sometimes be too high because the high pay does not have the right incentive effect (Boatright 169). Giving CEOs bonuses and providing them with stock options can be done without the exorbitant cost. The pay is not a motivator for CEOs to work hard, in fact, it makes them lazy, not wanting to put in the effort that is required of the position. They already see themselves making millions of dollars, and the idea of exuding more effort is not of interest to them (Boatright 169).

Objection 2. The ratio of pay between CEOs and lower-level working employees is disproportionately high. For example, the ratio of the S&P 500 CEO’s salary and bonus compared the lowest paid worker was 30 to 1 back in 1970. In 1996, the ration has increased to 90 times of the lowest paid worker (Boatright 169). There should not be this glaring disparity between the CEO and the lowest paid worker.

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