"Intellectual distinction is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for election to a Rhodes Scholarship. Selection committees are charged to seek excellence in qualities of mind and in qualities of person which, in combination, offer the promise of effective service to the world in the decades ahead. The Rhodes Scholarships, in short, are investments in individuals rather than in project proposals..."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Intellectual Friendships (Part 1 of 4)

I'm reading through more of the ISI Student's Guides I had mentioned a year and a half ago in this post. I wrote the post about A Student's Guide to the Core Curriculum by Mark C. Henrie and promised I would write more about it. Here it is, very late.

As I was reading it yesterday, I realized there is a great discrepancy in my family with respect to Intellectual Friendships. I want to discuss the importance of Intellectual Friendship. We'll start off with what Intellectual Friendship is (part 1) and the need for our children (part 2), husbands (part 3) and us to have those types of friendships (part 4). Henrie discusses this in the section "A Core of One's Own."
Friendship is so important, Arisotle devoted two books of his Nicomachean Ethics to it - and only one book to Justice. One of the highest types of friendship is intellectual friendship....
In the everyday course of intellectual friendship, friends share with each other their moments of insight, present them to each other for testing. Such moments in turn require us to reconsider not just that discrete matter, but everything else in our view of the whole that touches upon the matter....As Socrates knew twenty-five centuries ago, the normal mean for penetrating further and synthesizing our knowledge is dialogue. Intelectual friendship consists in a great ocean of dialogue and discussion and those who have tasted it know it is among the highest human pleasures.
With whom do you dialogue? Do you have this kind of friendship? I do and I'm anxious to share more with you about it in Part 4.

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