Thaddeus Kozinski

Sertillanges' The Intellectual Life: A Call to Arms
By Thaddeus Kozinski on January 06, 2011

In this last part, I shall discuss some of Sertillanges’ prescriptions for fruitful intellectual work, including what one should read, both in general and particular, to fulfill one’s vocation of producing work that glorifies God and sanctifies men.

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Part IV (of V): Sertillanges' The Intellectual Life: Ite ad Thomam
By Thaddeus Kozinski on October 18, 2010

For Sertillanges, philosophy and theology are not just for philosophers and theologians. For they are the queen and divine sciences respectively, and where either is absent or neglected or misapprehended in the intellectual life, the other sciences that are present, cultivated, and apprehended will suffer.

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Part III (of V): Sertillanges' The Intellectual Life: On Depth and Breadth
By Thaddeus Kozinski on September 27, 2010

When, what, and how to study? In what spirit? How, and how much, to sow the seeds of reading and memory to reap a fruitful harvest of creative production?  How to strike the right balance between life qua intellectual and life qua human being?

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The Christian College in the Pluralist Polis: Part III (of III)
By Thaddeus Kozinski on September 14, 2010

What, then, are the effects of this peculiar idolatry of pluralism on colleges? One symptom is curriculum deformation.

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The Christian College in the Pluralist Polis: Part II
By Thaddeus Kozinski on August 22, 2010

Men are still free to pursue the good, true, and beautiful (at least in a private manner), even when living in a city is publicly indifferent to or even contemptuous of these transcendentals. Yet, lest we subscribe to the enlightenment, social-contract, state-of-nature, atomized individualist concept of the relation of man to society, we must recognize the inevitable influence of the city’s idols upon individual men, whether it is the true idol of the true religion, a false idol of a false religion, or the idol of pluralism, “the absent idol” of the pluralist regime.

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The Christian College in the Pluralist Polis: Part I
By Thaddeus Kozinski on July 29, 2010

The school that aspires to be integrally Christian is susceptible to severe deformations in its identity, mission, and character if it ignores or underestimates the subtle yet architectonic soul-and-institution-shaping power of the regime in which it resides. The liberty of any educational institution to profess an exclusivist faith and truth-grounded worldview while under a liberal, pluralist, truth-indifferent regime, as well as its ability to act and autonomously govern itself according to this faith and worldview, is always precarious, notwithstanding the physical liberty afforded it. Excessive confidence in this freedom, however, precludes a salutary wariness regarding the possible threats to a school’s moral liberty, the liberty that permits and fosters authentic, integral, uncompromised Christian formation. The liberal pluralistic state or polis has considerable ideological influence on both the individual citizens and corporate institutions under its authority. Just the mere awareness of the existence and nature of this influence is a great threat to its ideological hegemony, and hence, an indispensable weapon for its eventual conversion to a Christian-friendly culture and polity. In this series of posts, I shall examine the effects of the contemporary pluralist regime upon the Christian college.

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A.G. Sertillanges' The Intellectual Life, Part II: The Intellectual Vocation, Solitude, and Attention
By Thaddeus Kozinski on July 12, 2010

In the last installment, we discussed the importance of Sertillanges’ book as an antidote to our anti-intellectual culture, and as a lens by which to discern its myriad pseudo-intellectual surrogates and expose its dangerous distractions. In the next three installments we shall attend to the book itself, examining its major themes and commenting on selected passages. This is especially not a book that can be adequately summarized, for it is essentially a set of aphorisms, though systematically and adeptly combined into a flowing whole, so I shall quote often and generously.

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A.G. Sertillanges' The Intellectual Life: Part I
By Thaddeus Kozinski on June 24, 2010

Many of us live much, perhaps most, of our intellectual life on blogs. I don’t condemn this, of course, for the irony and hypocrisy of such a condemnation would be off the charts. Yet, the kind of intellectual habits that we are forming and the quality of intellectual fare of which we are partaking—the overall character of the intellectual life we are living—in and by long-term, virtual inhabitation in blog culture is something we vitally (literally) need to consider, even if such consideration takes place right smack in blog country.

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The Emotivist Classroom: A Transcript
By Thaddeus Kozinski on May 20, 2010

You begin a discussion of the topic of good and evil, and then several of your students volunteer anecdotal, subjective stories from their personal lives that not only veer far away from the ethical concepts you were trying to introduce and which were integral to their reading assignments for the day, but also manage effectively to translate every normative, natural-law, objective suggestion you were trying to make into ingredients for an emotivist soup.

In such a situation, the teacher is wise to accept the pedagogical and institutional limitations of his educational institution and the emotional and psychological limitations of his emotivally-inclined students. Yet, perhaps one can still shake things up a bit, dialectically speaking, with some subtle Socratic suggestions. Here’s a possible transcript:

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Can Modern, Liberal, Pluralist, Secularist Democracies Educate Themselves? Part III and Conclusion
By Thaddeus Kozinski on March 03, 2010

Cave InsetThe thesis of this series of articles, of which this is the final installment, is that the modern, liberal, pluralist, secular democracy (MLPSD) is incapable of educating itself. Education is the communal (social, political and cultural) imposition of a particular image of the good upon the members of a community, and MLPSD, by self-definition, rejects the program of paideia, which is what all education ultimately is and must be.

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about the author

Thaddeus Kozinski
Thaddeus Kozinski

Thaddeus J. Kozinski, Assistant Professor of Humanities and Philosophy: Wyoming Catholic College.

B.SC. (Comprehensive Science), Villanova University; M.LA. (Liberal Arts), St. John’s College Graduate Institute; Ph.D. (Philosophy), The Catholic University of America

Dr. Thaddeus J. Kozinski has taught courses in the humanities, the trivium, and philosophy for over twelve years at the secondary and postsecondary levels, including medieval and modern philosophy, logic, and ethics at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy in Barry’s Bay, Ontario, medieval philosophy at Christendom College, and philosophy, ethics, and mathematics at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. Dr. Kozinski was also the Assistant Headmaster and Director of Curriculum at The Montfort Academy, a Great Books-oriented Catholic preparatory school in Katonah, New York. Here he taught Socratic conversation classes in several areas of the humanities and created a monthly lecture and discussion series, the disputatio, modeled on the famous medieval disputations. He is widely published in both popuar and academic venues and is particularly dedicated to political philosophy.

His book The Political Problem of Religious Pluralism: And Why Philosophers Can't Solve It will be published in July of 2010 by Lexington Books.