This post continues our Riverside Tutorial expose.
The Logician thinks clearly from well-scrutinized first principles. He examines arguments with a dissecting eye, can see the causes inherent in a variety of effects, and has developed a mental allergy to hogwash. He can make reasonable conclusions based on available information, can sequence events, and understands that, like any power tool, reason should be kept clean of gunk, handled respectfully (as it is dangerous when abused), and used only for its purpose: to cut along the grain with an accuracy beyond what the eye can see, making fine distinctions between Truth and Falsehood. He is a chain-saw miniaturist. His patron is St. Thomas More.
The following excerpt is from Thomas More: A Portrait of Courage by Gerard B. Wegemer
More considered the study of the liberal arts to be of great importance. In fact, he attributed his success in law, politics, and international diplomacy to his sound education in the liberal arts. Erasmus agreed, arguing that this education was responsible for More’s success in combining “so much real wisdom with such charm of character” that “it would be hard to find anyone who was more truly a man for all seasons.” Nonetheless, neither More nor Erasmus confused learning and intellectual agility with virtue and character.
As More put it, the liberal arts can “prepare the soul for virtue.” They can quicken the reason; they can form and perfect good judgement; they can clarify the highest principles which “both instruct and inspire the mind in pursuit of virtue”; they can develop prudence in human affairs. By themselves however, they cannot produce virtue or strong character.
You may ask why I am writing a post like this for the Art of Boyhood. Boys are in desperate need of an education where they learn the arts of liberty. For many years, as a result of silly notions in the world of academia, words lost their meaning, cause and effect went out the window, and language became a mere tool to assert one’s will and desires. It is time to rescue our children from a culture of relativism. St. Thomas more is the patron of our Logician honorific for his steadfast adherence to truth in the face of persecution.