This Week [2/28-3/6]

2/28 Sunday – Inquirere Session (3:00-4:00pm ET).  The first of two sessions this week dedicated to sharpening our questioning after difficult topics of philosophical interest in the Quaestiones Disputatae program.

3/2 Tuesday – Philosophical Open Chat (5:30-7:00pm ET). Join us for 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 (and write “Happy Hour” in the message box)!

3/3 Wednesday – Inquirere Session (3:00-4:00pm ET).  The second of two sessions this week dedicated to sharpening our questioning after difficult topics of philosophical interest in the Quaestiones Disputatae program.

3/5 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–part of the truly international nature of the Lyceum Institute.  A good way to bring the thinking of one week to a close and launch into the next.

3/6 Saturday – Latin Class(10-11am ET).  Continuing our immersion in the Latin Language: reading capitulum sextum in Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata and establishing our habits of thinking in the language.

3/6 Saturday – Seminar Discussion Sessions.  First at 1:15pm ET we will be finishing out our discussion of Metaphysics: Discovery of Ens inquantum Ens with a consideration of the act of existence as really distinct from that which exists by it.  Second, at 3:00pm ET we’ll be considering how to bring the silence, celebration, and joy a mind attains in leisure out into the world in ​​​​​​​Ethics: The Good Life.

Spring Seminars Open!

The two spring Seminars are now open.  Discussion sessions will begin on March 20.

[2021 Spring] Politics: Postmodern Culture and Principles

This seminar will explore contemporary political and cultural issues from a classically realist foundation, proposing a genuinely “postmodern” response to the crisis of our time. When the term “postmodern” is used today, it typically denotes what is in practice a kind of “hypermodernism,” that is, an ideology which simply takes modern thinking to its logical conclusion (e.g., complete subjectivism, moral relativism, skepticism, nihilism, etc.). What “postmodern” should signify is something which looks beyond modernity, and it is in this sense which we use the term ourselves. Our “postmodern” response against the modern crisis retrieves from pre-modern political philosophy what modernity wrongfully left behind while engaging directly with modern culture. More information & registration.

[2021 Spring] Semiotics: The Tractatus de Signis of John Poinsot

There are few works which have received less of the attention they deserve than the Cursus Philosophicus of John Poinsot—more commonly known as John of St. Thomas, for his professed fidelity to the teaching of Thomas Aquinas. Within this cursus—a tome spanning 2348 pages—Poinsot addresses logic both formally and materially, as well as many intricacies of natural philosophy pertaining to physics, life, and psychology. But dispersed through these considerations there exists an implicit treatise, one concerned with an element essential to understanding not only topics logical but also natural; namely, the Tractatus de Signis. More information & registration.

[2021 Spring] Semiotics: The Tractatus de Signis of John Poinsot

What is a sign? It is a deceptively difficult question–deceptive because we think we know when we have never bothered truly to ask the question. We believe that we see and hear signs everywhere: guiding our use of streets, telling us where to exit, the location of the bathroom, what dangers might lie ahead, and so on. But in truth, though we experience signification in this instances, the things we identify as the “signs”–the on the street corner, the plastic “EXIT” over a fire door, the nondescript white silhoutte of a representatively feminine shape over one door, the print of a large clawed mammal in soft dirt–are only a part of the signs that we experience.


Read more about
Lyceum Institute Seminars

And so, you now stand today on the edge of a road: a road little used and oft neglected for the previous four centuries, but for the occasional intrepid traveller—its development abandoned very nearly at this spot where you stand today.  Where does it go—where ought it to go?  And from where does it come?  To answer the latter, we must know something of the former: and it is this knowledge that the seminar intends to provide, with indications for where the road leads and where it ought to lead.

There are few works which have received less of the attention they deserve than the Cursus philosophicus of John Poinsot—more commonly known as John of St. Thomas, for his professed fidelity to the teaching of Thomas Aquinas.  Within this cursus—a tome spanning 2348 pages—Poinsot addresses logic both formally and materially, as well as many intricacies of natural philosophy pertaining to physics, life, and psychology.  But dispersed through these considerations there exists an implicit treatise, one concerned with an element essential to understanding not only topics logical but also natural; namely, the treatise on signs.  This treatise was extracted, translated, edited, and compiled by John Deely (following a cue from Poinsot himself) and published in 1985 under the title Tractatus de  Signis: The Semiotic of John Poinsot, with a second edition released in 2013. 

In this seminar, lasting 8 weeks (see here for more information on all Lyceum Institute seminars), we will carefully survey this text we will discover the Way of Signs—that long-abandoned road—and thereby reclaim not only the history of thought abandoned by modernity but find a way forward past its recalcitrance to the realist thought of semiotics.

WHEN: Saturdays from 20 March through 8 May 2021, from 1:00-2:00pm Eastern Time US.

WHERE: on the Lyceum Institute platform run through 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).

Saint Thomas d'Aquin prêchant la confiance en Dieu pendant la tempête

[2021 Spring] Semiotics: The Tractatus de Signis of John Poinsot – Standard

Includes full access to the seminar and a free month at the Lyceum Institute. Price is suggested for those with full-time employment.

$135.00



Saint Thomas d'Aquin prêchant la confiance en Dieu pendant la tempête

[2021 Spring] Semiotics: The Tractatus de Signis of John Poinsot – Professor / Clergy

Includes full access to the seminar and a free month at the Lyceum Institute. Discount is suggested for professional academics and clergy.

$85.00



Saint Thomas d'Aquin prêchant la confiance en Dieu pendant la tempête

[2021 Spring] Semiotics: The Tractatus de Signis of John Poinsot – Student

Includes full access to the seminar and a free month at the Lyceum Institute. Discount is suggested for students and others with part-time employment.

$60.00

This Week [2/7-2/13]

Weekly Schedule

2/9 Tuesday – Philosophical Happy Hour (5:30-7:00pm ET). A late announcement, but we had a good time… you should have been there! Good reason to sign up, I suppose.

2/12 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–part of the truly international nature of the Lyceum Institute.  A good way to bring the thinking of one week to a close and launch into the next.

2/13 Saturday – Latin Class(10-11am ET).  Week four marches in!  We continue progressing through Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata: Familia Romana and forming our habits.

2/14 Saturday – Seminar Discussion Sessions.  The 2021 Winter Seminars continue apace.  At 1:15-2:15pm ET, Metaphysics: The Discovery of Ens inquantum Ens dives into a consideration of the principles of the science and how they help us to define its boundaries. Following, at 3:00-4:00pm ET, Ethics: The Good Life takes a look at how we form habits of happiness in this life through participation in the common good.

2/15 Sunday – Open Chat Asia (4:00-5:30am ET/5:00-6:30pm GMT+8). Technically this is next week–but one of our members hosts an open chat for those on the other side of the world. A great opportunity for those living in far-removed parts of the world to meet some members and chat. Open to the public. Use the “Send Us a Message” form here (write “Open Chat Asia” in the message box) and we’ll see you on Teams!


New merch at the Lyceum Institute Shop! Semiotically-inspired:


Updates

Partnership with Reality – Reality: a Journal for Philosophical Discourse has officially become a publication of the Lyceum Institute.  This will mean many opportunities for members to publish, including our first such, a bi-monthly essay contest. 

Trivium – Module 3 of our Trivium program will be added this month, opening some fundamental considerations of the grammatical structure of language and its connection to logic.

Latin Reading Practice – In addition to our regular classes, we’re adding some sporadic reading practice sessions throughout the week to increase our confidence and familiarity with the language as a daily habit of the mind.

This Week [12/6-12/13]

Events this week at the Lyceum:


12/8 Tuesday – Philosophical Happy Hour (5:30-7:00pm ET). Grab a drink and have a chat about the eternal things! Always open to suggested topics: any questions you may have, feel free to bring them. Open to the public this week. Use the “Send Us a Message” form here (write “happy hour” in the message box) and we’ll see you on Teams!

12/11 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–part of the truly international nature of the Lyceum Institute. A good way to transition into the weekend.

12/12 Saturday – Seminar Discussion Sessions. The final sessions for our 2020 Fall seminars, and for the year. In “Thomistic Psychology: Cognitive Life”, we will undertake to grasp the nature and importance of cognitive habits. In “Semiotics: Thought and Contributions of John Deely”, we will take into consideration the universality of semiosis, from inorganic nature to the specifically-personal dimension of human semiosis.

We’ve also started Trivium Module 2 — on the rhetorical practice of inventio, the discovery of arguments — and will be having a Quaestiones Disputatae Inquirere session on 12/19! We had a great Colloquium Q&A this past Friday, and are poised for a great 2021.


Be sure also to check out the Lyceum Institute Shop! Keep your head warm with wisdom:

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Mending the Cartesian Rift – Walker Percy on Being Human

In the sixth of the Lyceum Institute Colloquia, we present Faculty Fellow Kirk Kanzelberger, PhD, who brings us an insightful, lengthy, and challenging discussion of Walker Percy, Charles Sanders Peirce, and their collected efforts to battle the Cartesian presuppositions.

ABSTRACT: “Our view of the world, which we get consciously or unconsciously from modern science, is radically incoherent,” argues Walker Percy in “The Fateful Rift: The San Andreas Fault in the Modern Mind.” The dualism of Descartes — the rift between man as psyche and man as organism — continues to pervade our inherited view of the world and scientific practice. And yet it was a century ago and more that Charles Sanders Peirce indicated the road to a more coherent anthropology based upon the crucial datum of the triadic sign-relation that unites “mental” and “physical” in one single natural event.

This lecture explores Percy’s argument and its background in the thought of Descartes and Peirce, and provides an assessment of this final public articulation by Percy concerning the issues that preoccupied him as a writer: the contemporary predicament of the human being, lost in the cosmos that it understands more and more, while understanding itself less and less.

Dr. Kanzelberger’s lecture is now available to all members at the Lyceum Institute. The live question and answer session will be held on 4 December 2020 (Friday) at 6:15pm ET/3:15pm PT. Colloquia lectures are released the year after publication at the Lyceum, and Q&A sessions are reserved for members. For information on signing up for the Lyceum, see here.

Preview – Dr. Kirk Kanzelberger, Mending the Cartesian Rift – Walker Percy on Being Human

[Fall 2020] Semiotics: John Deely

Semiotics–toward which human beings took their first explicit steps in the beginning of the Latin Age of philosophy, in the work of St. Augustine of Hippo–is that by which we begin in a true postmodernism. This is one of the key and perhaps surprising claims of John Deely (1942–2017). That is, often today what is called “postmodernism” is nothing more, in fact, than an ultramodernism: a fragmentary, distorted view of the world grown out of the errors of modern philosophical thinking, run toward its natural, incoherent conclusions.


Read more about
Lyceum Institute Seminars

In contrast, consider this description Deely gives in his 1994: New Beginnings (18 and 19):

In a word, postmodernism is the opening of a passageway from the age of classical modern philosophy to an epoch as distinct from the modern age as the modern age was from Latin times, or Latin times from the ancient Greek period. The opposition of modernity to Latin (and Greek) times eventually took the form of the opposition of idealism to realism in philosophy. Postmodern thought begins, properly speaking, not so much by rejecting this opposition as by transcending it, for in experience integrally taken, mind-dependent and mind-independent being assert themselves equally–not “equally” in the quantitative sense, but “equally” in the sense of components both asserting themselves in different ways at different times and in different proportions throughout the course of human life, both together making up the one fabric of our lives we call “experience”.

What was needed for philosophy to mature [to postmodernism] was not so much a shift as an expansion, an expansion of the notion of reality–and with it, being–to include the whole experience as the prior ground out of which human understanding arises and on which it throughout depends. From the start, being should have been an inclusive, not an exclusive and oppositional notion. Being is not only “that which can only be said in many ways” (Aristotle), but that out of which the division between what is and what is not independent of the mind arises (Aquinas), and not in any finally fixed way, but differently according to the time and circumstances of the one experiencing such a contrast among objects.

To understand and affect this maturation into postmodernity, we will turn our attention in this seminar to the major contributions to semiotics given by Deely: the proto-semiotic history, an expanded doctrine of causality,  the retrieved and clarified notion of relation, the concept of physiosemiosis, the continuity of culture and nature, the notion of purely objective reality, and the real interdisciplinarity which semiotics fosters. This is an advanced seminar which provides a serious challenge to all participants.

WHEN: Saturdays from 17 October through 12 December 2020 (no session on 28 November), from 3:00-4:00pm Eastern Time US.

WHERE: on the Lyceum Institute platform run through Microsoft Teams.

Lyceum Institute seminar costs are structured on a principal 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).

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

Interpretation and Traditions

An Intersection for Semiotics, Phenomenology, and Thomism

Often, in my own work–and in a way which spills inevitably into my own teaching–I draw together insights from three distinct traditions: Thomisim, Peircean semiotics, and Heideggerian phenomenology. In this presentation, given at the University of St. Thomas, in Houston TX, in 2018, illuminates this connection. These three traditions inform much of the teaching, thinking, and conversation at the Lyceum Institute, beyond even my own contributions.

A text version is also available at Reality.