Author

Andrew Kern

Andrew Kern is the founder and president of The CiRCE Institute and the co-author of the book, Classical Education: the Movement Sweeping America

Andrew Kern Jul 29, 2019

The hardest thing by far about my vocation is the travel, and the hardest thing about travel is coming home. 

No, it isn't returning to my dear Penelope (nee Karen) that is so hard. It's returning to a world that has kept on moving without me, both at home and at work. And it has been moving without my guidance or oversight or sovereign rule. 

Again, don't misunderstand me. I don't even mean the people - I just mean the world. It keeps on changing and adapting to changes around it. 

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Andrew Kern Jul 4, 2019

A great deal is made of "critical thinking" in the general background noise of our culture, especially when people talk about education and what kids aren't getting.

I got thinking about that while I was listening closely to a John Denver song on my way in to work this morning. Being a John Denver song it was filled with lofty ideals and longing and very little connection to the real world where decisions are made and have consequences.

This one was about children and the chorus goes:

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Andrew Kern Jul 2, 2019

The formal structure of reality, the foundation on which everything is based, enables you to think more clearly about anything.

In every experience, moral, artistic, athletic, philosophical, even spiritual, there are three participants:

The actor, artist, or producer

The audience, viewer, or percipient (i.e., one who perceives with his senses)

The action, object, or artifact

Neither of these three is the master of the experience, none is the standard by which the experience is measured.

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Andrew Kern Jun 29, 2019

Every lesson we teach embodies a theory of authority:
 

  • About the teacher's authority
  • About the lesson's authority
  • About the student's authority
  • About what authority itself is

The purpose of what I can consider "a true lesson" is to give authority to the person learning it.

The essence of a lesson is, therefore, the handing on of authority from a magister (teacher) or auctoritas (author, authority) to the discipulus (learner, disciple).

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Andrew Kern Feb 15, 2019

Young people judge things too hastily. It is a mark of immaturity, and we all have areas where we are immature.

However, the ability to rightly judge what is good or bad, just or unjust, fitting or inappropriate is essential to our ability to function as human beings in a world that we all agree is full of dangerous people, immoral people, unjust people. 

We have an organ by which we can judge these things, but like every organ when we don't use it or when we lose confidence in it, we stop developing it. 

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Andrew Kern Feb 12, 2019

Under Modernism the last vestiges of meaning are removed from the universe. However, the divinely established (as I believe) impulse toward artistic expression remains as strong as ever, an irresistible energy that will unnerve the soul it possesses if it doesn't find an expression.

Prior to the Enlightenment, Europeans at least, and I think most cultures, used art to embody meanings that they believed themselves to have identified in the world as it is.

After the Enlightenment, this use was reduced and then, eventually, eliminated.

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Andrew Kern Sep 24, 2018

“Like a musician who has tuned his lyre and, by an artistic blending of low, high and medium tones, produces a single melody, so the wisdom of God, holding the universe, adapting things heavenly to things earthly, and earthly things to heavenly, harmonizes them all and leads them by his will to make one world order in beauty and harmony.”

—St. Athanasius, Contra Gentes par. 42

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Andrew Kern May 15, 2018

I suppose it must be theoretically possible to create an ethic without God or a god, but historically in the west it’s been a problem.

When Machiavelli developed the first utilitarian handbook on politics, that is to say, a book on politics that approached them without religion (except considered as a tool), he laid the foundations for Thomas Hobbes to develop his Social Contract.

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Andrew Kern May 10, 2018

I want to make an appeal for conversation, for its extension and for thoughtful commitment to its practice. I am pleased to make this appeal now because I believe conversation has not died and that many people I know and love participate in conversations now and even more want to. 

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Andrew Kern May 7, 2018

Laurus/Arseny/Ustin/Amvrosy was born on May 8 in 1440. I post this review today in honor of his birthday and in honor of St. Arsenius, from whom he derived his name.
 

Russia is to me a foreign country and the Middle Ages are an alien time. Consequently, to read a novel by a Russian author about medieval Russia pretty well guarantees that my understanding will be stretched. 

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