without presuming to tell them how to use it

Aristotle’s education assumed his students’ future leisure and taught them how to use it, the modern educator—assuming the psychological enslavement of the proletariat—would teach his students how to acquire more leisure without presuming to tell them how to use it. From Norms and Nobility by David Hicks, pages 76.

they must fail to excite

The inability of the present generation of young people to read, write, and think is only a symptom of our departure from dialectical learning, but it is everywhere being treated as the disease itself. So long as these skills are valued only for utilitarian ends, such as those delineated by Mao, they must fail toContinue reading “they must fail to excite”

what lies beyond the five senses

It takes little training to doubt what lies beyond the five senses and no effort at all to drop the stern demands of noblesse oblige. (49) …Only Odysseus’ knowledge of the past–his longing for Ithaka, Penelope, and Telemakhos–keeps him alive; and only the responsibility he takes for that knowledge rescues him from Kalypso’s pointless lifeContinue reading “what lies beyond the five senses”

fills the young person’s head with the sound of voices

The poet, Plato writes in Phaedra, “clothes all the great deeds accomplished by the men of old with glory, and thus educates those who come after.” The poet’s myth teaches the Ideal Type by example, not by precept, and allows the student through his imagination to participate in the past, partaking of the Ideal. OftenContinue reading “fills the young person’s head with the sound of voices”

across the face of the waters

From Norms and Nobility: a Treatise on Education by David Hicks (35): Righting this imbalance necessitates a classical understanding of the nature of language, which acknowledges its mystery and weds the word to the mind through the imagination, not exclusively to the external object through the senses. …A love of words and an understanding ofContinue reading “across the face of the waters”

conflict which shares its purposes is good

David Hicks in Norms and Nobility: The theoretic life completes the individual, holding him against the warmth of the divine spark in his nature and making sense of an existence otherwise consumed by the infinite wishing of one thing for the sake of another. Indeed, the theoretic life is the life of virtue…: the lifeContinue reading “conflict which shares its purposes is good”

we like heroes in shirtsleeves

My teaching experience has led me to believe that unless my aims are more broadly defined than to make my students rational thinkers, I will surely fail to achieve even that. Education must address the whole student, the teacher’s methods, the books and lessons, the traditions, and regulations of the school—all must express not justContinue reading “we like heroes in shirtsleeves”