This Week [3/28-4/3]

3/29 Monday

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

3/30 Tuesday

  • Exercitium in Lingua Latina (10:00-10:30am ET).  Legemus ex Sancto Thoma et convertit in linguam Anglicam; practicum bonum et utile est!
  • 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 (write “Open Chat” in the message box) and we’ll see you on Teams!

3/31 Wednesday

  • Quaestiones Disputatae: Inquirere (9:30-10:30am ET).  Monthly Inquirere Session for those participating in the Quaestiones Disputatae program.  Here participants may seek feedback on any extended programs of research and inquiry, learning how to form and pursue philosophically insightful and thoughtful questions.
  • Exercitium in Lingua Latina (2:00-2:30pm ET).  Legemus ex Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata ut melioremus nostrum locutionem et augeamus familiaritatem vocabulis.

4/1 Thursday

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

4/2 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–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.

4/3 Saturday

  • Latin Class (10-11am ET).  Continuamus nostrum studium linguae Latinae in Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata capitulum undecimum, de corpore humano et uno “medico crasso”.
  • Seminar Discussion Sessions.  Continuing our study of Semiotics: The Tractatus de Signis of John Poinsot (first at 1:00pm ET and again at 8:30pm ET) where we will attend to the notion of relation, in both its secundum esse and secundum dici meanings, as well as all its possible meaningful divisions.  Second, Politics: Postmodern Culture and Politics will look at the counterposition of modernity, through the lens of Thomas Hobbes, whose conception of the rule of law and the state are seen in stark opposition to the Aristotelian-Thomistic position.

Quaestiones Disputatae

We do not, today, know well how to ask a question. Of course, in the superficial sense, we are all well-practiced at asking questions: what is that? What do you mean? Why are you shouting? Where do I go? But these are questions of practical efficacy–not questions about meaning. Most of all, they are not questions which drive at the underlying intelligible causes which truly provide an answer.

This Wednesday we will have our monthly Inquirere session.  Believing that digital technology retrieves the inquisitive spirit of medieval scholasticism, Lyceum Institute members are encouraged to participate in the quaestiones disputatae program. The Inquirere is the intermediate phase of producing a quaestio, in which participants report, give feedback, and seek clarity on their questions and their development.

This Week [3/21-27]

3/22 Monday – Exercitium in Lingua Latina (10:00-10:30am ET).  Legemus ex Sancto Thoma et convertit in linguam Anglicam.

3/23 Tuesday – Exercitium in Lingua Latina (1:30-2:00pm ET).  Legemus ex Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata ut melioremus nostrum locutionem et augeamus familiaritatem vocabulis.

3/23 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 (write “Open Chat” in the message box) and we’ll see you on Teams!

3/25 Thursday – Exercitium in Lingua Latina (10:00-10:30am ET).  Legemus ex Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata ut melioremus nostrum locutionem et augeamus familiaritatem vocabulis.

3/26 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: now open to select members of the public.

3/27 Saturday – Cursus in Lingua Latina(10-11am ET).  Continuamus nostrum studium linguae Latinae in Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata capitulum decimum.

3/28 Saturday – Seminar Discussion Sessions.  Continuing our study of Semiotics: The Tractatus de Signis of John Poinsot (first at 1:00pm ET and again at 8:30pm ET) where we will examine closely the notion of the ens rationis and its constitutive role in human experience.  Second, Politics: Postmodern Culture and Politics will undertake an investigation of Thomas Aquinas’ philosophy of law.

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This Is Not A Sign
This Is Not A Sign

Quaestiones Disputatae

Inquirere sessions are coming!  One session will be held on March 28 at 3pm and another on March 31st at 9:30am.  These are an integral part of the Lyceum Institute experience, as they instill in us the habit of asking questions with a deep and thoughtful philosophical perspective.

[This Week] 3/14-3/20

3/15 Tuesday – Philosophical Open Chat (5:30-7:00pm ET). Join us for conversation, lively debates, and get to know each other!  Open to the public: use the “Send Us a Message” form here (write “Open Chat” in the message box) and we’ll you on Teams!

3/19 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.

3/20 Saturday – Latin Class (10-11am ET).  Continuing our “new look” Latin class with more focus on grammar and translation.  This week we’ll be concentrating on identifying the first three declension endings and the first conjugation active indicative.

3/20 Saturday – Semiotics: The Tractatus de Signis of John Poinsot [First Session](1-2pm ET).  Spring seminar discussion sessions start this week!  In the first week of the Poinsot seminar, we’ll be taking on a brief history of semiotics and seeing how Poinsot fits in, both historically and doctrinally–the latter by grounding ourselves in some of the key definitions and distinctions he exposes in the Tractatus de Signis. Still time to sign up!

3/20 Saturday – Politics: Postmodern Culture and Principles (3-4pm ET).  Professor Plaza opens his seminar with a consideration of the foundations of political science, drawing on Aristotelian and Thomistic roots and examining what “political science” really means–or ought to mean. Sign up before it’s too late!

3/20 Saturday – Semiotics: The Tractatus de Signis of John Poinsot [Second Session](8:30-9:30pm ET).  A second discussion session for the Poinsot seminar, held to accommodate more schedules and time zones.

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.

First Lecture, “An Abbreviated History” – Preview

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. The instructor for this seminar is Brian Kemple, PhD, the Executive Director of the Lyceum Institute. You can read more about Dr. Kemple here.

WHEN: Saturdays from 20 March through 8 May 2021, from 1:00-2:00pm [Session 1] and 8:30-9:30pm [Session 2] 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).

[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



[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



[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

[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.


Read more about
Lyceum Institute Seminars

In the first half of this seminar, we will consider the trajectory of Western political thought from the ancient to the modern era. Here, we shall try to understand how political philosophy and culture in the West has developed to its current stage. We will also identify features of Aristotelian and Thomistic thought which could serve us well today. The second half of this seminar will focus on Jacques Maritain’s Integral Humanism, as his work provides the basis for our claims in response to modernity. Here, we will consider Maritain’s critiques of modern culture, secular liberalism, and totalitarianism, and his proposals for “integral humanism,” and the “concrete historical ideal.”

What is “Political Science”? – Preview
Plaza

In this seminar, lasting 8 weeks (see here for more information on all Lyceum Institute seminars), we will consider the current state of our political culture, and try to figure out how we got to this point, along with what should be done next. The instructor for this seminar is Francisco Plaza, PhD Candidate at the University of St. Thomas, in Houston TX. You can read more about Prof. Plaza here.

WHEN: Saturdays from 20 March through 8 May 2021, 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 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 Spring] Politics: Postmodern Culture and Principles – 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



[2021 Spring] Politics: Postmodern Culture and Principles – 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



[2021 Spring] Politics: Postmodern Culture and Principles – 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

[Winter 2021] Metaphysics: The Discovery of Ens inquantum Ens

There are few topics which seem more unsuited to the 21st century than that of metaphysics: that is, the study of “being as being.”  The subject is impossibly vague; the claims it makes seem inescapably representative of opinion rather than fact; it is an impractical field of study, advancing no discernable good for those that undertake its study.  At best, it is seen as facilitating an ability for critical thinking or deconstructive analysis of arguments; but metaphysics as a science—as a real, substantive, revelatory process of human inquiry—is a mere pipe dream of religious academicians or would-be gnostic know-it-alls.  Metaphysics is impractical.  Metaphysics serves no purpose.  Studying metaphysics will not move you one iota closer to a better job, to a more diversified skillset, to a higher earning potential.


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Lyceum Institute Seminars

One might go beyond that and ask: “Why study philosophy at all?”  For while there are many schools of philosophical thought which strive to make it applicable to contemporary life, most of these schools do so only by aping the methods and goals of modern day empiriometric sciences (which interpret the world through quantification of things insofar as they can be observed by the senses) or by turning philosophy into a kind of self-help program.  Oftentimes, the contemporary university has attempted to relegate philosophical study to the category of “mental training”—it makes one better at critical thinking, at reasoning, at arguing, but does not actually teach anything; it trains you to think, but does not give you any answers.

Such thinking, of course, betrays the greatest ignorance and the weakest understanding of truth. For no study has a greater necessity—and correspondingly, a lesser utility—than that of metaphysics: for it, and it alone among all the pursuits open to human beings by nature alone, orients our minds to the highest principles whereby all things are ordered. The worldview possessed today by the many is fragmentary, incomplete, and thus often results in ways of existing which are incompatible with one another and destructive to the attainment of true human good.

In this seminar, lasting 8 weeks (see here for more information on all Lyceum Institute seminars), we seek to open the doors to a genuine metaphysics which gives the needed view of the whole of being, ens inquantum ens. In the course of this study, we will examine the meaning of the term “being”, the nature of it as a science, the . This is an advanced seminar which provides a serious challenge to all participants.

WHEN: Saturdays from 16 January through 6 March 2021, from 1:15-2:15pm 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.

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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How to be a Contemporary Thomist – The Case of Marshall McLuhan

In the fifth of the Lyceum Institute Colloquia, we present our own Adam Pugen, PhD, who brings us a discussion of Marshall McLuhan–who, despite his popularity as a “media guru”, was more fundamentally and consciously a Thomist–a discussion ranging through the influences of Chesterton, New Criticism, Jacques Maritain, analogy and metaphor, the Trivium (especially the deepening and expansion of grammar), and all this aimed at the meaning of what it is to truly be a Thomist in our own times. Not merely incidental but integral to true contemporary Thomism is the wrestling with our techno-media environments–and conversely, to understand in depth McLuhan’s own “medium is the message”, we must understand the Thomistic roots of his thinking.

Dr. Pugen’s lecture is now available at the Lyceum Institute. The live question and answer session will be held on 6 November 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. Adam Pugen, How to be a Contemporary Thomist – The Case of Marshall McLuhan

[Fall 2020] Thomistic Psychology: Cognitive Life

Among all things observed in the universe, human beings alone ask about things other than themselves: they ask what, how, why–and so on. This singularity, downplayed by those who would make us malleable to the worst of all moral inclinations, demands a careful and rigorous inquiry–one which seeks to understand not only the precise nature but also the full import of this distinctiveness.


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Lyceum Institute Seminars

Put otherwise, we human beings today seldom truly understand ourselves. If we look to the traditions of modern philosophy or its ultramodern derivations, we will continue failing to attain such understanding: for all such traditions mistaken introduce one or another division between the nature of the human being and the being of humans. We must look either to postmodernity or to premodernity–and the only genuine postmodern traditions heretofore being those that retrieve the premodern–in order to affect a righted understanding of the human cognitive life.

In this seminar, lasting 8 weeks (see here for more information on all Lyceum Institute seminars), we will strive to affect a genuine postmodern retrieve of the Thomistic understanding of the singular human distinctiveness through grasping the nature and development of our intentionally-cognitive lives. In the course of this retrieve, we will study the specifically intellectual nature of the human soul, the operations of intellectual discovery, the formation and development of concepts, and the integral union of intellectual and perceptual faculties in the human person. 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 1:30-2:30pm 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.