What is a Noun?

In his Companion to a Higher English Grammar, a most delightful and erudite read by the way, Alexander Bain considers whether to define a noun by its meaning or its office, that is, by what objects a noun names or by what function a noun plays in a sentence. He first does admirable work unfolding the … Continue reading What is a Noun?

Greek is Regular; Greek is Fun: Memory, Science, and the Face of God

Adapted from a talk given for Perspective Student Weekend at New College Franklin, Spring 2017  There are times when a song is in my head, or more precisely, part of a song–a refrain which I repeat over and over. No matter how lovely or stirring such a refrain may be, it is imperfect apart from the whole, and … Continue reading Greek is Regular; Greek is Fun: Memory, Science, and the Face of God

The Poetics of Faith and Learning, Part 1

Euclid The study of Euclid’s Elements serves as an excellent example of the contemplative learning process. Proposition 5, an early proposition in the text, marks a turning point for most students, where they must not only identify a chain of equalities (something akin to a hypothetical syllogism), but do so in transposition. Whereas students needed only identify equality by imposing … Continue reading The Poetics of Faith and Learning, Part 1