January 2010

The Poverty of Positivism
By Paul DeHart on January 04, 2010

I find it striking that, though logical and scientific positivism have now, as Al Plantinga says, been swept into the dustbin of history that practitioners of social sciences, sometimes historians, a good number of political theorists, and perhaps most legal and constitutional scholars continue to take it seriously. No self-respecting philosopher does. And for good reason—at best, there are no good reasons for being a positivist such that if one embraces positivism one must do it a priori. At worst, positivism is self-referentially incoherent.

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Newman and Online Teaching, Part 2
By Gabriel Martinez on January 06, 2010

Is the University of Phoenix the wave of the future, to be embraced? Or yet one more example of how technology must be managed? Or just the latest onslaught of the culture of individual atomization?

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Can Modern, Liberal, Pluralist, Secularist Democracies Educate Themselves? Part I
By Thaddeus Kozinski on January 07, 2010

In his masterpiece, Paideia: The Ideals of Greek Culture, Werner Jaeger wrote: “Education is the process by which a community preserves and transmits its physical and intellectual character. . . . The formative influence of the community on its members is most constantly active in its deliberate endeavor to educate each new generation of individuals so as to make them in its own image.” For Jaeger, what education requires is a well-defined community capable of and willing to engage in deliberate, collective action. And for this action to effect a definite, effective, and lasting educational result, the community must possess a distinct, coherent, and intelligible image of itself, and be willing to impose it upon its members. Do the communities we call modern, liberal, pluralistic, secularist democracies meet these requirements for education? Can they educate themselves?

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A New Year's Resolution
By Gerson Moreno-Riano on January 11, 2010

As we begin another decade, it is fitting to reflect on our calling as faculty—the education of the minds and souls of students. I am now beginning my second decade as a university professor and today marks the first day of classes in my university. There is much to distract faculty in today’s higher education environment. There are pressures from administrators, assessment directors, program directors and interested constituents. It is as if today’s faculty are expected to be much like congressional representatives—delegates representing various hostile interests. Amidst all of this “representation,” it is easy to forget our calling to educate.

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Newman and Online Teaching, Part 3
By Gabriel Martinez on January 13, 2010

Suppose the financial department of the college comes to the conclusion that “distance-learning is the way to go.” Can we design a long-distance education program that will actually educate, not just instruct? Can we find any good in internet teaching?

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Is it possible, now, for the philosophic soul to disappear?
By RJ Snell on January 15, 2010

Can we lose all contact with reality?

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Franklin and Lincoln: True leaders for change
By David Kidd on January 18, 2010

As we reflect on Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy, it's worth considering the statesmen whose leadership set the stage for King's success. Lewis E. Lehrman does just this in his article, Franklin and Lincoln: True leaders for change.

The balding and overweight Benjamin Franklin appears to have little in common with lanky, bearded Abraham Lincoln, but they shared an avid curiosity about the way the world worked and should work. ...

Read the full article at the Stamford Advocate.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. - America's Moses
By David Kidd on January 20, 2010

Lewis E. Lehrman reflects on how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired comparisons with Moses, and in doing so took a place in a tradition stretching back to America's founding.

"The Bible tells the thrilling story of how Moses stood in Pharaoh's court centuries ago and cried, 'Let my people go,'" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. proclaimed, as he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. "This is a kind of opening chapter in a continuing story. The present struggle in the United States is a later chapter in the same unfolding story," Rev. King said of the civil rights struggle.

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Match to Learning Styles, or Match to the Material
By Gabriel Martinez on January 25, 2010

An upcoming psychology article argues that professors should not adapt their teaching to students' learning styles (in spite of what we are told in seminars). We should, instead, pay close attention to our material and to the best way to convey it.

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Can Modern, Liberal, Pluralist, Secularist Democracies Educate Themselves? Part II
By Thaddeus Kozinski on January 27, 2010

In order to examine the Church as the educational community par excellence and contrast it with modern, liberal, pluralistic, secularist democracy (MLPSD) as the educational community qua impossible , we need to examine the indispensable, constituent theoretical elements of authentic community, virtue, practice, tradition, telos, the common good, reason, and revelation, and then apply these elements evaluatively to the particular communities of the Church, on the one hand, and MLPSD, on the other.

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