It’s All Good! The Democratization of Intellect Russell McNeil Malaspina Great Books
The Good Life 1. Do the Right Thing – moral action 2. Seek the Truth – intellectual action or We ought to seek truth because we ought to do good, and truth is the template or standard we reference in moral action.
Greek Virtues Intellectual or Contemplative Virtues (goal – seeking the good) – associated with thinking well Philosophic Practical Artistic Scientific Intuitive Moral Virtues (goal – doing good) – associated with choosing actions well Prudence Justice Fortitude Temperance Spear Bearer Polyclitus c. 420 BCE
Christ’s CommandmentsStrive for Truth and do Good? Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind (editor: seek the Truth).' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself (editor: do good).' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." Matt. 22:34-40
Primacy of Conscience Democratization of the Intellect Conscience is a universal activity Conscience is informed by Truth Truth is informed by conscience
What I Observed • The idea of abstract universallaw • A wonder and desire to know why • There must be government in the cosmos
The Idea of the University John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890)
Cicero to his son Marcus – a student at the Academy The principle function of human reason, is the search for Truth. This search is part of the Universal Nature of Man. Truth is the good. And the search for truth - which lies at the root of all wisdom -- defines our duty. Action in conformity with the virtues of wisdom, justice, courage and moderation - or decorum as I call it - is action in conformity with this duty … Actions in conflict with these virtuesare abhorrent (Editor:anti-intellectual activities). Pain and pleasure are irrelevant considerations in all actions done in accordance with this duty. Moral goodness consists in being in harmony with the Universal principles of nature - in doing the right thing - and doing the right thing in accordance with the principles of human society. This means that our duty to the gods, to our country, to our parents and to the rest of society - in that order - are prior to any duty to self. Self-interest can never be used as a yardstick for action …