logic

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

Throwing Stones: Everyone’s Favorite Fallacy

Classical education required students, before anything else, to learn the basic building blocks of thought. In the ancient trivium, students learned grammar, logic, and rhetoric, or how language, argument, and persuasion work. As emphasis on these arts has decreased, so has our society’s capacity to think. And where thought decreases, emotion increases, so that we [...]

Logic: What’s Missing from Public Discourse

What often passes for public discourse in contemporary society is really just a simulacrum, an imitation, of real “discourse” in the sense of a “reasoned exchange of ideas.”  One realizes before long how much we are suffering from the current lack of that key ingredient within all older forms of liberal arts education: namely, logic. [...]

Raising the Bar: Christianity and Liberal Arts in the University

I fear we Christians have lived so long in the shadow of the Enlightenment that, in our apologetic mode, we sometimes forget something we should undoubtedly remember:  that in an earlier time, the question was not (as it so often is now) “Can a great university be Christian?” but rather “Can a great university be [...]

How to Get to the Real Issue in an Argument

Have you ever found yourself having a hard time responding to someone in an argument and not exactly knowing what the problem is? Many times, the problem is that your opponent is making an assumption that you have not identified. And many times, it is this very assumption that is at issue. If you knew [...]

Sense and Nonsense: “In the shining light, destroy us”

For a course I gave recently on political philosophy and natural law, one of the books I had wanted to read, or reread, with my good class was C. S. Lewis's The Abolition of Man, a book I realized I had not taken a look at for some time, though its powerful theme has almost [...]

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