Author Archives: Dr. D. T. Sheffler

Libraries and Laboratories

Libraries and Laboratories

We classical educators tend to be a bookish lot. We like Cicero and Shakespeare. We like Latin and Greek. We like musty bookstores with alleyway entrances in Edinburgh. We use a picture of the library at Trinity College Dublin as the desktop background on our computers. We like traditional school uniforms and Gothic arches. We […]

The Mind of a Gentleman

Man sits in chair

In his book The Idea of a University, John Henry Newman argues that the goal of education in a university should be the cultivation of a “liberal” type of mind. In Latin, liber means a “free man” as opposed to a slave, and the education appropriate for such a man is an education in the […]

C. S. Lewis on Why We Should Read Old Books

Why We Should Read Old Books

The flood of hot topics that comes through our innumerable feeds has a way of trapping us in a whirlpool of endless scrolling. We read the same sentiments over and over again, since there are, after all, only so many things to say about a celebrity’s shallow comments on a shallow subject at a shallow […]

Curing the Disease of the Soul

We all want our children to become virtuous, so we naturally shop around for the schools and communities that have the best results. Upon inspection, however, we find that the graduating classes at even the best schools are not infallibly filled with saints. Parents eventually complain. Teachers complain too. “Perhaps we should include more hard […]

On Vulcans And Androids

Science fiction has made popular a certain trope concerning us logicians. The common depiction is that logic is somehow cold and calculating, the activity of a merely robotic kind of intelligence. In the original Star Trek, Dr. Spock captures this stereotype with his pointy-eared precision. In The Next Generation, the role is taken over by […]

Reading for Wisdom

Reading for Wisdom

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. — Proverbs 4:7 Ancient cultures had a special wisdom literature, such as Proverbs or Ecclesiastes in the Bible, a literature which gives direct, sage counsel. To a great extent, however, all of ancient and medieval literature counts as wisdom literature. […]

The Surprising Logic of the World

Surprising Logic of the World

A logic teacher often encounters the complaint that logic is not useful, that being so abstract it is detached from the real issues of life. The student must memorize names (in Latin, of course) for basic patterns, and the examples of these patterns all seem to involve Socrates somehow. Students are made to work through […]

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