Funding the Lyceum Institute in 2022

Dear friends:

I need your help.

Two-and-a-half years ago I started an experiment: to see whether people genuinely and seriously interested could engage in a philosophical inquiry, online, dispersed around the country or even the world. The answer? “Yes”; but a “yes” that demanded more. As it turns out, those who are genuinely and seriously interested *always* want more. True answers raise new questions.

It quickly became evident that I could not answer all of those questions myself. Thus, the experiment expanded, and this past year, five others joined me–a first group of Faculty Fellows–in building an environment of inquiry. As they all discovered (a somewhat painful revelation, I think), it’s a lot more work than it seems–but also (I think), much more rewarding than one might anticipate. After years of teaching at the university level, one becomes a bit jaded about the nonchalance, the apathy, the mercenary disposition characteristic of many of our students. Encountering people who truly want to learn, who invest themselves into the study… it makes us remember why we got into academia in the first place.

I want to keep that rewarding if difficult work going. I want to keep building this environment of the Lyceum Institute. And so I am asking for your help. I’ll probably be asking for it again, too, but right now I’m asking you to help fund these Faculty Fellows, to fund our colloquium speakers, to fund our access to research materials–I’m asking you to help us become free from the constraints that have held honest intellectual work and philosophical education down for decades. To this end, I have started a $5000 fundraising campaign at GiveButter.com. Please, if you can, donate; share; participate. There’s more detail at the link. Anyone is welcome to sign up, or to come by a Happy Hour.

Thank you!

Support the Lyceum Institute’s Faculty Fellows

New Book – Linguistic Signification

Dr. Kemple has–at long last–finished his Linguistic Signification: A Classical and Semiotic Course in Grammar & Composition. Comprising twenty-six chapters and four appendices, this text is the work of two years concerted effort, but roughly a decade of thinking closely about the nature and function of language, particularly in light of the doctrine of signs–that is, semiotics. It is available in either paperback or hardcover from Amazon, or as a PDF to all Lyceum Institute members.

This book intends to serve one principal end: instructing students, of sufficiently mature mind, how to compose thoughtful and insightful essays in the English language. Accomplishing this rather specific end, however, requires a broad range of study: a study much broader than that comprised by a simple question of “how to write”. That is, we cannot write well unless we understand the instruments whereby writing is accomplished; or, to employ one of those instruments—the metaphor—the fruits of composition are nourished best through growing deep the roots of grammar. As we will see, this linguistic growth requires some knowledge also of logic and rhetoric: for although this book intends an introduction into the first study of the liberal arts, all three arts of the Trivium are nevertheless inseparably convergent in the flourishing of our natural human ability for linguistic signification.

We will combine some use of all the Trivium, however abecedarian our talents in these arts may still be, by the time we reach the final chapter. While we will draw upon logic and rhetoric, however, the focal study of grammar, as pursued in this book, forms not only the foundational but rather the central part of this non-trivial pursuit of the Trivium.

This aim is carried out through various readings, exercises, investigation of literature, philosophy, and more.

Lyceum Institute Happy Hour

What are you doing this evening? Well, why not come on down to the Lyceum Institute Philosophical Happy Hour, where we gather online to have a drink (if you so chose–no pressure!) and think through the interesting questions of life. As a prelude to tomorrow’s International Open Seminar on Semiotics interview, Dr. Kemple will have signs and their study on the mind, so if you’d like any deeper insight into the issues, feel free to drop on by!

Use the contact form here (just write “happy hour”) to request an email invite!

2022 International Open Seminar on Semiotics

A Tribute to John Deely on the Fifth Anniversary of His Passing

Announcing the 2022 International Open Seminar on Semiotics (IO2S) to all friends of the Lyceum Institute!

The occurrence of this seminar over the calendar year 2022 also marks the 80th anniversary of Deely’s arrival. Although Deely would most certainly instruct us not to focus on celebrating his life, but instead on developing the Way of Signs, there seems to be no downside to accomplishing both of these tasks simultaneously. Hence, this seminar seeks to render homage to his genius and further develop his work. Deely spent a lifetime studying semiotics and fostering a network of semioticians from around the planet. Hopefully, his mission is here dutifully echoed, as we attempt to congregate a number of distinguished experts in the field of semiotics in a shared enterprise to provide a formative environment openly accessible to the general audience through a series of presentations on semiotics and its history, with particular care for Deely’s historical perspective and the challenges presented to semiotics in the world today. In doing so, chances are that we match Deely’s aspiration for future generations to acknowledge the core significance of semiotics and its history for the evolution of human understanding.

On 13 October 2021, at 9:30am ET, a live interview will be held with Dr. Brian Kemple, Executive Director of the Lyceum Institute, discussing the legacy and influence of Dr. John Deely, the preeminent philosophical mind of his lifetime (1942-2017) and the thinker most responsible for developing semiotics into the 21st century. You can watch the interview here.

The 2022 International Open Seminar on Semiotics is presented by the Institute for Philosophical Studies of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Coimbra, the Lyceum Institute, the Deely Project, Saint Vincent College, the Iranian Society for Phenomenology at the Iranian Political Science Association, the International Association for Semiotics of Space and Time, the Institute for Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Semiotic Society of America, the American Maritain Association, the International Association for Semiotic Studies and the Mansarda Acesa.

2022 International Open Seminar on Semiotics (IO2S) | Website

This collaborative international open scientific initiative and celebration is jointly organized by the Institute for Philosophical Studies of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Coimbra, the Lyceum Institute, the Deely Project, Saint Vincent College, the Iranian Society for Phenomenology at the Iranian Political Science Association, the International Association for Semiotics of Space and Time, the Institute for Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Semiotic Society of America, the American Maritain Association, the International Association for Semiotic Studies, the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies and the Mansarda Acesa with the support of the FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P., of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of the Government of Portugal under the UID/FIL/00010/2020 project.

Fall Seminars

The Lyceum Institute Fall Seminars will begin the first week of October. Brief descriptions and links with more details and enrollment options are below below.

More than Aesthetics: Ens Artificiale & the Philosophy of Art [REGISTER]

Matthew Minerd

What is the being of a work of art?  What is the nature of “poetic” knowledge, the experience of the artisan and the artist?  How should a Thomist speak about these matters?  This lecture series is devoted to these questions, taking as their principal guide, Jacques Maritain, who probed these questions in his works Art and Scholasticism, Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry, and Art and Poetry.  Other thinkers will be consulted along the way, presenting a synthesis which, however, uses Maritain’s texts as the primary guiding thread of the lecture discussion. [REGISTER]

Thomistic Psychology: The Meaning of Evil [REGISTER]

Kirk Kanzelberger

Every human being has some notion of evil, vague though it may be, as that which is opposed to a good:  the good that one desires, the good that one honors – or, perhaps, the good that one wishes one honored or desired more than one does.  Even those who lack an inclination to deeper questioning concerning the matter and the meaning of evil can nevertheless find themselves possessed with anger at states of affairs, ideas, and other persons they clearly judge to be evil.  Might there be some relation of dependence between the lack of deeper questioning and the frenzy of the anger, as well as the lack of humility it evinces?  For if we are honest, we must admit that, despite every good intention, we ourselves have some share in, and make some concrete contribution to, the mysterious reality of evil in the world.  This seminar aims to deepen our questioning concerning the meaning, that is, the intelligible reality signified by the term evil. [REGISTER HERE]

Metaphysics: God [REGISTER]

Brian Kemple

In the second Metaphysics seminar, we will engage in a deep Thomistic discussion of the intelligible discovery of the existence of God and the justifiable inferences which may be made concerning the Divine Nature.  This stands in corresponding opposition to the via resolutionis secundum rationem discussed in the first Metaphysics seminar, concerning the discovery of ens inquantum ens, as the via resolutionis secundum rem—according to the thing, according to the existential cause.  This will unfold further into a consideration of the attributes of the Divine which may be justly inferred from the resolution to a First Cause.  Thus, the primary reading for the course will be from the Prima pars of the Summa theologiae. [REGISTER HERE]

[2021 Fall] More than Aesthetics: Ens Artificiale and the Philosophy of Art

Exploring its topic from a broadly Aristotelian-Thomistic perspective, this course will use the work of Jacques Maritain to probe the broader set of philosophical issues involved in the “philosophy of art”: ens artificiale, the nature of practical reason, the metaphysics of art-craft, and topics pertaining to philosophical aesthetics, considered primarily from the perspective of this metaphysical consideration of the domain of ens artificiale.  Throughout our course, we will discover how questions of philosophical anthropology are in fact pivotally important for fashioning a metaphysics that is broad enough to account for the phenomenon of “being of art.”

Minerd

In this seminar, lasting 8 weeks (see here for more information on all Lyceum Institute seminars), we will study the nature of the artificial, its relation to the natural, morality, beauty, and more. The instructor for this seminar is Matthew Minerd, PhD, Faculty Fellow 2020. You can read more about Dr. Minerd here and download the syllabus here.

WHEN
October 2–20 November
Saturdays, 1:15-2:15pm ET/5:15-7:15pm UTC [6:15-7:15pm UTC after Nov.7]

WHERE
Lyceum Institute digital platform run on Microsoft Teams

Lyceum Institute seminar costs are structured on a principle of financial subsidiarity. There are three payment levels, with discounts for those who are professors and clergy (whose continuing education is not sufficiently prioritized by their institutions) and for students (who are already taxed excessively by the educational system). However, if you are part of the working world and wish to take a seminar but cannot afford the “standard” rate, it is acceptable to sign up at one of these discounted prices. The idea is: pay what you can. Those who can pay more, should, so that those who cannot pay as much, need not. Lyceum Institute members receive a further discount (see here for details).

[2021 Fall] Metaphysics: The Existence, Nature, and Intelligibility of God

The fourteen questions which we will read in this seminar, comprising eighty-five articles, will explore the existence, nature, and intelligibility of God.  The existential demonstration—the famous “five ways” of Aquinas—will be covered quickly: for their intelligibility grows the better we understand the rest of the questions, and we will be better equipped for grasping their significance in light of the divine nature and its intelligibility to us.  In addition to the divine attributes (simplicity, perfection, goodness, infinity, omnipresence, immutability, eternality, and unity), we will take recurrent interest in the topics of analogy, significance, knowledge, and the relation of act and potency which cuts across all being.

In this seminar, lasting 8 weeks (see here for more information on all Lyceum Institute seminars), basic principles of metaphysics will be applied to an understanding of the existence, nature, and intelligibility of God. One should be at least passingly familiar with both Aristotle and Aquinas, and especially the doctrine of act and potency. The instructor for this seminar is Brian Kemple, PhD, the Executive Director of the Lyceum Institute. You can read more about Dr. Kemple here and download the syllabus here.

WHEN
October 2–20 November
Saturdays, 3:15-4:15pm ET/7:15-8:15pm UTC [8:15-9:15pm UTC after Nov.7]

WHERE
Lyceum Institute digital platform run on Microsoft Teams

Lyceum Institute seminar costs are structured on a principle of financial subsidiarity. There are three payment levels, with discounts for those who are professors and clergy (whose continuing education is not sufficiently prioritized by their institutions) and for students (who are already taxed excessively by the educational system). However, if you are part of the working world and wish to take a seminar but cannot afford the “standard” rate, it is acceptable to sign up at one of these discounted prices. The idea is: pay what you can. Those who can pay more, should, so that those who cannot pay as much, need not. Lyceum Institute members receive a further discount (see here for details).

This Week [6/20-6/26]

Weekly Schedule of Events

Somehow missed last week altogether–just slipped my mind! But now that you’re here, how about buying some Lyceum Institute merch? It looks pretty good and helps support our mission.

6/21 Monday

  • Exercitium Linguae Latinae (2:00-2:30pm ET). Legemus ex Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata ut melioremus nostrum locutionem et augeamus familiaritatem vocabulis.
  • Semiotics: An Introduction (6:00-6:45pm ET).  The second discussion session–continuing the conversation concerning the nature of the “phaneron” and Peirce’s science of phaneroscopy, concerning the universal categories of experience.

6/22 Tuesday

  • Ex Sancto Thoma Legimus (10:00-10:30am ET).  Legemus ex Sancto Thoma et convertit in linguam Anglicam; practicum bonum et utile est!
  • Philosophical Happy Hour (5:30-7:00pm ET). Join us for drinks, conversation, lively debates, and get to know the Lyceum Institute and its members!  Open to the public: use the “Send Us a Message” form here (write “Happy Hour” in the message box) and we’ll see you on Teams!

6/23 Wednesday

  • Exercitium Linguae Latinae (2:00-2:30pm ET). Legemus ex Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata ut melioremus nostrum locutionem et augeamus familiaritatem vocabulis.

6/24 Thursday

  • Ex Sancto Thoma Legimus (10:00-10:30am ET).  Legemus ex Sancto Thoma et convertit in linguam Anglicam; practicum bonum et utile est!

6/25 Friday

  • Open Chat (9:30-10:15am ET). Our regular Friday-morning open chat, allowing conversation between those in the West and those in the East–bridging the international community of the Lyceum Institute.
  • Exercitium in Lingua Latina (11pm-12am ET).  Etiam exercitium in Lingua Latina!  Ista hora conveniens Orientalibus est (11am Manila time).

6/26 Saturday

  • Latin Class(10-11am ET).  Capitulum XXII in Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata legemus et convertemus in linguam Anglicam.  Qui ianuam pulsat?  Et quid vult?
  • Seminar Discussion Sessions:
    • ​​​​​​​Science: Aristotle’s Organon (1pm-2pm ET).  We will begin to unfold this week the Posterior Analytics of Aristotle, to see the importance and role of first principles and begin striving to understand what makes something inductive in the thought of the Stagirite.
    • Semiotics: An Introduction (3pm-4pm ET).  What is thinking?  We all think–you are thinking right now–but despite this, it remains to most of us a rather vague concept.  By reading some of Charles Peirce’s earlier writings on the question of our cognitive capacities, we hope to bring some clarity and precision to the concept of thinking.
    • Thomistic Psychology: World and Passions (5pm-6pm ET).  Love.  No small topic, this, for our third week; for all things that we do, says Aquinas, are done for something that may fall broadly under the umbrella of what we mean by the word “love”–even, it shall turn out, the things done from hate and anger.

This Week [6/6-6/12]

SEMINARS START THIS SATURDAY!

6/7 Monday

  • Exercitium Linguae Latinae (2:00-2:30pm ET). Legemus ex Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata ut melioremus nostrum locutionem et augeamus familiaritatem vocabulis.

6/8 Tuesday

  • Ex Sancto Thoma Legimus (10:00-10:30am ET).  Legemus ex Sancto Thoma et convertit in linguam Anglicam; practicum bonum et utile est!
  • Philosophical Happy Hour (5:30-7:00pm ET). Join us for drinks, conversation, lively debates, and get to know the Lyceum Institute and its members!  Open to the public: use the “Send Us a Message” form here (write “Happy Hour” in the message box) and we’ll see you on Teams!

6/9 Wednesday

  • Exercitium Linguae Latinae (2:00-2:30pm ET). Legemus ex Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata ut melioremus nostrum locutionem et augeamus familiaritatem vocabulis.

6/10 Thursday

  • Ex Sancto Thoma Legimus (10:00-10:30am ET).  Legemus ex Sancto Thoma et convertit in linguam Anglicam; practicum bonum et utile est!

6/11 Friday

  • Open Chat (9:30-10:15am ET). Our regular Friday-morning open chat, allowing conversation between those in the West and those in the East–bridging the international community of the Lyceum Institute.
  • Exercitium in Lingua Latina (11pm-12am ET).  Etiam exercitium in Lingua Latina!  Ista hora conveniens Orientalibus est (11am Manila time).

6/12 Saturday

This Week [5/24-5/29]

First: Summer Seminars are open! 

Science: On Being, Language and Reason, and Cause in Aristotle’s Organon

This seminar treats Aristotle’s methodology for coming to know reality in two parts. In the first part, to be led by Dr. Daniel Wagner, students will gain understanding of the primary terms for defining (Topics), the classification of the most general concepts of the intellect (Categories), and the method of reasoning used for defining beings, which Aristotle calls induction (ἐπαγωγή/epagoge) and division (διαίρεσις/diairesis and ἀνάλῠσις/analusis) (Posterior Analytics). In the second part, to be led by Dr. John Boyer, students will gain understanding of Aristotle’s method of deductive demonstrative reasoning and explanation by proper cause (αἰτία/aitia), which constitutes scientific understanding (Posterior Analytics).
[Click here for more]

Semiotics: An Introduction

Among the specific goals for the seminar are to understand the general theory of semiotics—as the study of the action of signs—which was founded in Charles Peirce and has since been developed; though we cannot truly grasp this notion of signs unless we first understand the categorical basis of Peirce’s thought, or his “phaneroscopy”; and by grasping this phaneroscopy, along with the general notion of “sign”, we will further pursue the goal of understanding how signs play a role in specifically human thinking.
[Click here for more]

Thomistic Psychology: World and Passions

Contrary to both [an extreme Stoicism and a libertine Humeanism], the Aristotelian-Thomistic perspective sees in the intellect and human body a hierarchical complementarity, for the passions are a means of receipt and response to the world—and especially the specifically human world—in which we live and by which we pursue our proper ends. Thus, understanding the dynamism of world and passions is essential to understanding the rectitude, and failures, of our passionate dispositions.
[Click here for more]

5/24 Monday

  • Quaestiones Disputatae – Inquirere (9:30-11am ET).  First of two May Inquirere sessions.  These sessions, lasting anywhere from 30-90 minutes, allow us to work out our questions communally in a live chat.  There are three ways in which someone may participate in an Inquirere session: as an Inquirer, as a Responder, or as an Observer. An Inquirer is seeking to define and develop a question.  A Responder brings updates to their question and works in a live dialectic on what updates have been brought.  Observers listen and comment on the inquiries and responses given.
  • Exercitium Linguae Latinae (2:00-2:30pm ET). Legemus ex Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata ut melioremus nostrum locutionem et augeamus familiaritatem vocabulis.

5/25 Tuesday

  • Ex Sancto Thoma Legimus (10:00-10:30am ET).  Legemus ex Sancto Thoma et convertit in linguam Anglicam; practicum bonum et utile est!
  • Philosophical Happy Hour (5:30-7:00pm ET). Join us for drinks, conversation, lively debates, and get to know the Lyceum Institute and its members!  Open to the public: use the “Send Us a Message” form here (write “Happy Hour” in the message box) to join us on Teams!

5/26 Wednesday

  • Exercitium Linguae Latinae (2:00-2:30pm ET). Legemus ex Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata ut melioremus nostrum locutionem et augeamus familiaritatem vocabulis.
  • Quaestiones Disputatae – Inquirere (3:00-4:30pm ET).  The second of two May Inquirere sessions.

5/27 Thursday

  • Ex Sancto Thoma Legimus (10:00-10:30am ET).  Legemus ex Sancto Thoma et convertit in linguam Anglicam; practicum bonum et utile est!

5/28 Friday

  • Open Chat (9:30-10:30am ET). Our regular Friday-morning open chat, allowing conversation between those in the West and those in the East–bridging the international community of the Lyceum Institute.
  • Exercitium in Lingua Latina (11pm-12am ET).  Etiam exercitium in Lingua Latina!  Ista hora conveniens Orientalibus est (11am Manila time).

5/29 Saturday

  • Latin Class (10-11am ET).  Remanemus magistro et discipulis in ludo, dum docet et discunt… eh… alius discit sed alius queritur.  O puer improbus!