Author Archives: Martin Cothran

Is Hebrew Better Than Greek?

It is, according to one common objection to classical education. But is it really? One of the most common criticisms of classical education is that it imports into Christian education ideas that conflict with the Biblical world view. According to this criticism, classical education tries to incorporate both Biblical/Hebraic thought and Greek thought, and in […]

Logic & Reality: Why Traditional Logic Doesn’t Use Truth Tables

Surprising Logic of the World

One of the questions people ask about traditional logic is why it doesn’t teach truth tables. Modern logic, the most common kind of logic encountered in high school and college, uses them, so why does traditional logic ignore them? Many people encounter a smattering of logic in high school math courses. Here, more than likely, […]

The “Demon Irony”

Irony

Classical Literature as an Antidote to Modern Thought  When the movie Les Misérables came out last year, my wife and I went to see it with several of our adult children, none of whom are fans of musicals. I don’t know how this happened. My daughter was the only one who would even consent to sit down […]

Letter from the Editor: Late Summer 2014

letter from the editor 2014

  Letter from The Editor In M. Night Shyamalan’s film Lady in the Water, we encounter a character named Reggie who lives in the apartment complex in which the movie’s story takes place. Reggie boasts that he only exercises his right arm: “It’s an experiment,” he says. “It’s science.” The consequence, of course, is that […]

Letter from the Editor: Summer 2014

Summer

For some thirty years after the United States won World War II, there were islands dotting the Pacific where stray Japanese soldiers still hid in the jungles, unaware that the war was over. Even though the end of a war is a big event, it takes a while for some people to get the memo. American education has experienced […]

Aristotle’s Explanation for Why We Make Excuses for Ourselves

Aristotle Head Statue

As Ariel Castro was being sentenced to 1,000 years in prison without parole for keeping several women hostage in his Cleveland home last year, he unwittingly articulated a view of human responsibility that is championed by many of our intellectuals. Castro insisted he did nothing wrong and blamed his crimes on addiction. This is a […]

This History of Phonics

phonics

People who pay attention to education know that the question of how to teach children to read is a controversial one. But what they may not know is that it only became controversial relatively late, historically speaking. There was a time when there was no phonetic alphabet as we know it. Written language, in fact, […]

Filling Leaky Vessels

Filling Leaky Vessels Arrow

How Classical Education Forms and Fills the Mind Introduction: The Importance of Distinctions I am the only person I know who has his own personal metaphysician. Whenever I have a philosophical question I need answered, I consult him. I have had occasion many times, in the middle of a logic class, when one of my […]

The Critical Thinking Skills Hoax

critical thinking skills

Modern educators love to talk about “critical thinking skills,” but not one in a hundred even knows what he means by the term. Every time our country goes through an education reform spasm—which it has undergone about every twenty-five years since the 1920s—the education establishment trots out a set of slogans that always sounds good […]

The War Against Knowledge

knowledge

A couple of years ago, I was sitting down on a Sunday morning reading my local paper. I was reading a story about the “new” things happening in education. One of the “new” things happening, said the story, was that they were going to start getting rid of “rote memorization” and putting more emphasis on […]

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