Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wednesays with Words: Beauty for Truth's Sake

[I wrote this up and scheduled it for the next Wednesday before Cindy announced that she's leaving the blogging world.  I'm keeping the title because, well . .  y'all know why.]

From Chapter 1:  The Tradition of the Four Ways

"The process of education requires us to become open, receptive, curious, and humble in the face of what we do not know."

"[P]hilosophy is a preparation for dying; or rather, for dying well."

"An integrated curriculum must teach subjects, and it must teach the right subjects, but it should do so by incorporating each subject, even mathematics and the hard sciences, within the history of ideas, which is the history of our culture."

"Beauty is the radiance of the true and the good, and it is what attracts us to both."

"[Beauty] is, we should add, difference or otherness held in a unity that does not destroy uniqueness. As Hart explains, if the Trinity were instead a Duality, God would not be love but narcissism, and beauty would lose its radiance. It is the Holy Spirit, the fact that true love is always turned away from itself, pouring itself out for others, that makes it open and radiant, and creates room in the Trinity for the creation itself, as well as for all the suffering and all the sacrifice that creation involves. The Trinity is the home of the Logos and the shape of love. These are the high secrets of our Western tradition, and together they offer the key to its renewal."


Dawn at Ladydusk is continuing Cindy's WWW link-up.  Yay, Dawn!  Check her blog for more quotes.


  1. I love that third quote I just wish I knew how to *do* it.

    1. Yeah, I'm working on it. I've bought a few books -- The Librarian who Measured the Earth, Archimedes and the Door of Science, and The History of Counting.

      Do you follow the Let's Play Math blog? She has a lot of recommendations -- here's her section on the history of math.

      Also, read Joyce McPherson's biographies of Blaise Pascal and Isaac Newton, plus Carry On, Mr Bowditch, and anything else you can think of like that. Our library has a pathetic math section, so it only has ONE children's bio of a mathematician, but yours might be better.

      There's a delightful out of print book called Those Calculating Crows that's based on a true story. Isaac Asimov's book, Realm of Numbers, also out of print, is really good. It's not written for children so you probably wouldn't use it as a read-aloud, but he has a winsome style and you'd learn a lot from him that would inform your teaching.

      HTH. I'll post others as I think of them.

  2. Thank you for the math book ideas. DS #3 is my math kid and I'm always looking for books about math that are winsome, not just a bunch of facts.

    Thanks for the information on the Wednesdays with Words link up. I plan to get back to that on my blog once we finish moving and I take ds #1 back to college next week.

    1. I don't remember how old #3 is, but I have some others he might be interested in, especially if you've gotten A History of Pi for him and he's enjoyed it.

      The first is Quadrivium (which I bought from Eighth Day Books at the conference, but it's almost twice as much as from Amazon). It's a compilation of six books, which you can buy separately if you like, but it's beautiful and interesting.

      The next is A History of Mathematics, which I've quoted from a bit the last few months. It's fairly scholarly, but I can read it, and it's just full of information and has a HUGE bibliography.

      Last, there's Mathematics for the Nonmathemactician, which was recommended to me at the conference by Ravi Jain, one of the authors of The Liberal Arts Tradition (someone in my blogging circle is reading that right now -- Mystie, maybe?). Anyway, tell him not to be put off by the title. It was written in the 1950s for liberals arts majors to fulfill their college math requirement, so it's intelligently written and puts math into its historical and philosophical context. Also at the end of every chapter there's a long "Recommended reading" list.

      Hope y'all are setting in well -- I've missed your posts!


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