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Cicero on Education: The Humanizing Arts

Written By: 
Walter J. Nicgorski

Early in Book V of his Tusculan Disputations Cicero gave what has become a classic expression of the Socratic turn of philosophy. 


But from the earliest philosophy to the time of Socrates, who sat under Archelaus, a disciple of Anaxagoras, motion and number were explored as well as the origin and destiny of all things; those philosophers zealously inquired after the sizes of the stars, the distances between them, their paths and all heavenly phenomena. Socrates was the first to call philosophy down from the heavens, to set it in the cities and even to bring it into the household; he compelled it to inquire into life and character and issues of good and evil [de vita et moribus rebusque bonis et malis] (Tusc. 5. 10-11).


A Reading of Augustine's Confessions and Its Implications for Education

Written By: 
William A. Frank

In his Confessions Augustine fashions an account of the first thirty-four years of his life. He situates moments of his personal story within the dynamic whole of the cosmos as he comes to understand it through his exegesis of the book of Genesis. At the time he composed and published the Confessions, some ten to twelve years after the last historical events narrated in it, Augustine was the bishop of Hippo. However, the Confessions is not primarily a book about the author’s past. He is just as concerned that his readers follow him in his present meditations on the Word of God as with their interest in how the Word brought him to where he now is. In effect, we encounter two Augustines. First, there is the Augustine narrated, the boy and young man whose actions and thoughts and feelings are brought forth out of memory. Second, there is Augustine who is the mature, teaching bishop writing his confessiones and situating the biographical parts within the larger “speech act” of the whole of his work. It is the overarching intent of the text as a whole that carries implications for understanding the meaning and practice of education.