Newman on Modern Students

“The pleasurable excitement of reading what is new is their motive principle; and the imagination that they are doing something, and the boyish vanity which accompanies it, are their reward. They do not like Logic, they do not like Algebra, they have no taste for Mathematics; which only means that they do not like application, they do not like attention, they shrink from the effort and labour of thinking, and the process of true intellectual gymnastics.”

St. John Henry Newman
On the Idea of the University

Aristotle, On Interpretation. Chapter 09

Aristotle is history's master of the art of Logic

In this lesson, we will study chapter 09 of Aristotle’s work “On Interpretation”. translated by Thomas Taylor. To complete the objectives of this lesson, complete the following tasks: Study the Prelection. Read through the lesson once for familiarity. Study the lesson for mastery. Complete the lesson assessment. Prelection by William … Read more

Aristotle, On Interpretation. Chapter 8

Aristotle is history's master of the art of Logic

To complete the objectives of this lesson, complete the following tasks: Read through the lesson below. Study the lesson for mastery. Complete the lesson assessment questions. Lesson Translation by Thomas Taylor. WHAT ARE SIMPLE ENUNCIATIONS? 1. The affirmation, however, and also the negation is one, which signifies one thing of … Read more

Aristotle, On Interpretation. Chapter 7

Aristotle is history's master of the art of Logic

Of Universal, Particular, Indefinite and Singular Enunciations Chapter 7 of Aristotle’s work On Interpretation” is one of the most difficult chapters for students to understand. To complete the objectives of this lesson, complete the following tasks: Read through the lesson below. Study the lesson for mastery. Complete the lesson assessment … Read more

Understanding Chapter 11 of Porphyry’s Introduction

Study Porphyry's Introduction in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy

Students often have a difficult time understanding chapter 11 in Porphyry’s Introduction, but this is actually very simple. In the Introduction, Porphyry is explaining the five kinds of things that can be predicated of subjects, known as the five predicables: Genus, Difference, Species, Peculiarity and Accident. In chapter 11, Porphyry … Read more

What is “Enunciation”?

In the study of the art of Reasoning, we seek to understand the right ordering of the mind. We begin with Aristotle’s “Categories”, where we learn of the ten categories, which can be studied here. After learning of the categories, we take up the study of sentences in Aristotle’s “On … Read more

What are Aristotle’s “Ten Categories”?

Aristotle is history's master of the art of Logic

One of the most important achievements in the pursuit wisdom of by the ancients was Aristotle’s discovery of the “Ten Categories”. These are taught for the first time in human history in chapter 4 of Aristotle’s work titled “The Categories”. They are: Substance (or Essence) Quantity Quality Relation Location Time … Read more

St. Thomas Aquinas on the Ends of Speaking and Writing

“If man were by nature a solitary animal the passions of the soul by which he was conformed to things so as to have knowledge of them would be sufficient for him; but since he is by nature a political and social animal it was necessary that his conceptions be made known to others. This he does through vocal sound. Therefore there had to be significant vocal sounds in order that men might live together. Whence those who speak different languages find it difficult to live together in social unity.

If man had only sensitive cognition, which is of the here and now, such significant vocal sounds as the other animals use to manifest their conceptions to each other would be sufficient for him to live with others. But man also has the advantage of intellectual cognition, which abstracts from the here and now, and as a consequence, is concerned with things distant in place and future in time as well as things present according to time and place. Hence the use of writing was necessary so that he might manifest his conceptions to those who are distant according to place and to those who will come in future time.”

St. Thomas Aquinas
Commentary on Aristotle’s “On Interpretation”

What is Dialectic?

As you learn about the seven classical liberal arts, you’ll notice a number of different names used to refer to the art of reasoning– “dialectic”, “logic”, “analytics”, or just “reasoning”. These names seem to be used with no distinction, yet they do not mean the same thing. In this video, I explain what “dialectic” is and why we should not use it to refer to the second of the seven classical liberal arts.

God bless,
Mr. William C. Michael
Classical Liberal Arts Academy

Porphyry’s Introduction, Chapter 1 Prelection

In the 5th century BC, ideas of democracy were growing in Greece and wise men saw a danger growing alongside them. As power moved into the hands of the people, opportunities opened for cunning men to deceive. These men, called “Sophists”, pretended to be wise in order to gain influence … Read more