Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Reading Without Learning: On Not Missing "Sublime Passages"

Reading Without Learning: On Not Missing "Sublime Passages" Fr. James V. Schall, S.J. May 22, 2006


Furthermore, we know that we have no real "core" curriculum because we cannot agree on what it ought to contain, or even whether it ought to exist. Thus, in practice, there ends up being many "core" curricula, take your choice. Each politically correct view has its input of what "ought" to be there, no one having any other criteria by which to include or exclude anything. The average core curriculum is closer to the Tower of Babel than any other known construct. The end result is that what was once considered something that everyone had to read to be at all aware of the nobility of our lives is not read by anyone or,
if so, only in an adversarial context. Not only is Aristotle's Ethics itself
"beyond good and evil," to steal a phrase from Nietzsche, but it is beyond comprehension in a world where all "values" are either equal or less than equal. If all "values" are equal, then nothing that is called "value" is of much importance.

But, as I intimated, it is not so much whether you are able to read, but what you read when you are able. The world is full of folks who can read but who, in fact, have read little or nothing. It is also full of folks who constantly read but reading nothing that is noble, nothing that really might move their souls. But to read well and accurately, we need the grammar, we need to know the parts of speech, how things fit together. This seems basic, even when spell-check and
grammar-check are on our standard computer software.

See also his "Catholic Commencements: A Time for Truth to Be Honored"

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