0001 Betsy DeVos serves as the eleventh Secretary of Education of the US Federal Government. She advocates for reform. She speaks for herself. Whether her message is heard by the people is another matter. Her book’s full title is Hostages No More: The Fight for Education Freedom and the Future of the American Child. The publisher is Center Street (Nashville, New York), a division of Hachette Book Group (New York).
Isn’t that French for “tiny axe”?
0003 Well, I have my own little cognitive hatchet. It is called the category-based nested form. I used this tool in the May 2023 blog (www.raziemah.com), Looking at Heather Heying and Bret Weinsteins’s Book (2021) “A Hunter-Gather’s Guide to the 21st Century”.
Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein resigned from modern higher education in 2017 and are now offering guidance, in the form of the Darkhorse podcast. These two were not about to be held hostage by the minions of big government (il)liberalism (BG(il)L: spoken “bigilib”).
Why did these two professors run from the BG(il)L education system?
Perhaps, it no longer teaches critical thinking, unless, of course, one alters the definition of the term, “critical”.
Does “critical” mean “be skeptical” or does it mean “situate by Marxist resentment”? Most people would point to the former, but educators teaching so-called “critical theory” technically indicate the latter.
The April 2023 blog, Looking at Gad Saad’s Book (2020) “Parasitic Mind”, educes a three-level interscope where three normal contexts align. Social justice3c virtually brings critical theory3b into relation with the potential of social constructivism3a.
0004 Saad’s reality makes Betsy DeVos’s book intriguing.
Do the nested forms obtained in prior examinations apply to Betsy DeVos’s work?
Before it opens, I want to thank Betsy DeVos for taking this reader beyond the notion of school choice and into the dynamics of educational freedom1c. There is more to be discovered in this new jurisdiction, standing outside the prison of big government3c (il)liberalism1c.
0056 Of course, the curtain may never open. People may decide that it is better to live as slaves under the appearance of freedom. But, that collective decision only assures the experts that appearances are no longer necessary. Experts are trained to know these things. Certain experts are prepared to make us slaves to the identities that they have manufactured for us.
0057 Be that as it may, the following diagram presents (what I imagine) is behind the curtain. Betsy DeVos’s educational interscope is a vision to behold.
0001 Many home and private schoolers face a difficulty.
They want to teach their children and students about God and nature.
At the same time, they want their children and students to pass standardized tests constructed by government agencies that declare themselves to be “not religious”.
Can a “not religious” sovereign establish a religion?
I like to call this apparent anomaly, “Big Government (il)Liberalism”.
Other names also apply.
0002 Indeed, parents and teachers suspect that the standards… or perhaps, the norms… of these godless educational… er, indoctrinating agencies do not allow a type of thinking that has been common to Christian civilization since its inception. This type of thinking is both analytic and synthetic and is promulgated by the schoolmen (or “scholastics”) of the so-called “Middle Ages”.
As it turns out, scholastic debates concerning mind-independent and mind-dependent reality end up with a definition of sign-relation that incorporates modern science, while at the same time transcending it.
Of course, the mechanical philosophers of the 1600s don’t know this. Modern scientists try to model observations and measurements of phenomena, using their highly specialized disciplinary languages. These models break down into two elements: cause and effect.
But, material and physical cause and effect cannot describe the causality inherent in sign relations.
0003 Surely, there are three elements to all existence.
Charles Peirce (1839-1914 AD) reads Francisco Suarez (1548-1617), a Baroque Scholastic, and comes up with the idea that there are three categories. Firstness has one element. Secondness (which includes mechanical science) has two elements. Thirdness has three. These three categories describe the causality inherent in a sign relation.
These three categories are also the foundation for the category-based nested form.
0004 So, what does this mean to parents and teachers?
None of the government agencies, who declare themselves to be “scientific”, can define the sign as a triadic relation.
So, perhaps that is a good place to start.
0005 Semiotics encompasses the natural sciences, not the other way around.
Teaching your students the analytic and synthetic practices of the category-based nested form and semiotics will prepare them for technology, engineering and mathematics. Science typifies secondness. And, secondness stands between thirdness and firstness.
Take a look at the following figure. Even without familiarity with Peirce’s categories, the diagram tells a story concerning the relevance of triadic relations1 in regards to inquiry3 and science2. Understanding is not the same as scientific determination.
0006 What about the social sciences?
I wonder, can modern social scientists observe and measure social phenomena?
Can they model observations of religious behavior, when they describe themselves as “not religious”?
If everyone can be religious and if social scientists choose not to be religious in order to build models of their observations of those who are, then isn’t there some sort of contradiction?
Or, is that the nature of specialization?
Speaking of specialization, sociologists do not study psychology. Psychologists do not study sociology. Plus, sociology and psychology ignore biology. All these disciplines are alchemically sealed within their own academic echo-chambers. They cannot hear one another.
0007 The category-based nested form is a triadic relation, that is both synthetic and analytic. It is useful for reading texts. It is a powerful tool for picturing the purely relational characteristics of psychology, sociology, cognition and evolution.
A Course on How to Define the Word “Religion” offers a unique path into topics covered by the so-called “social sciences”, without the blinders of BG(il)L.
Please consider this course when developing a curriculum for your children and your students.
0161 In conclusion, many home and private schoolers face a difficulty.
They want to teach their children and students about God and nature.
At the same time, they want their children and students to pass standardized tests constructed by government agencies that promulgate a religion, even though they declare themselves to be “not religious”.
This course is one way to approach the difficulty.
This course offers a path, a text, along which you, the adult, and your children and your students may walk together.
0162 No other work in the field of educationin 2022 compares.
Except of course, other courses by Razie Mah, such as A Course on The Archaeology of the Fall and A Course on the Human Niche.
Welcome to the fourth age of understanding.
0163 A Course on How To Define The Word “Religion” may be found at smashwords and other e-book vendors, using the search terms: Razie Mah, series, course, how to define the word “religion”.
The course consists of ten primers, followed by the masterwork, How To Define The Word “Religion”.
Each primer and masterwork is punctuated, not by page numbers, but by points. A one-hour class may cover between twenty and forty points. That is a little slower than one per minute. If you conduct a class, record the number of points covered per session and report to firstname.lastname@example.org.
0164 These blogs provide a taste of the style and the content. They complement, rather than substitute, for the primers and the masterwork.
I hope that you enjoy these blogs and pass them onto others who may serve as guides in a world where education is the job of parents and those similarly motivated, rather than those who are certified by the state.
0001 Twenty years pass since Professor Peter Redpath publishes an article, titled, “The Homeschool Renaissance and the Battle of the Arts”, in the Summer 2000 premier issue of Classical Homeschooling Magazine.
Homeschooling is one alternate to failing public schools systems, which are unlikely to be reformed, because these systems are governed by acolytes of the religion of big government (il)liberalism.
0002 Homeschool parents face difficult choices. There are no paths to guaranteed success.
But, certainly, homeschooling is better than the path to failure embodied by public school systems. Even the child who is accepted to a fast-track program or School of the Arts or Sciences, becomes a loser in a house divided. There is only one house, the House of God. No one knows that more than the newly minted postmodern disciplines of resentment.
Homeschools seek guidance about the Big Schoolhouse, where everything that rises must converge.
0003 Often, homeschooling parents turn to great books programs. The classics are ideal for recovering the former glory of Christendom. Here is where Peter Redpath stands, 20 years past. He is a guide to the big Schoolhouse, where the liberal arts are born again.
Classical Homeschooling Magazine illuminates the way.
0004 Today, the winds are more insistent. The leaves of disenchantment rustle through public schoolyards, as entrepreneurs follow Redpath in offering their wares, for the Big Schoolhouse, to many little schoolhouses, and to many many home schools, networked in patterns hitherto unimagined.
0005 In the following blogs, Razie Mah looks at Redpath’s whirlwind tour of a failure in the Italian, later European, Renaissance. Mah uses tools derived from the first postmodern philosopher, Charles Sanders Peirce. These simple tools, wares on offer for the education of young minds, include the category-based nested form, the three-level interscope and the triadic structure of judgment.
0006 Small mistakes at the beginning of a grand enterprise become larger mistakes at the end.
So notes Thomas Aquinas, at the opening of his overtures to both God and fellow man.
0007 Peter Redpath wants to avoid making initial errors.
Small errors may eventually culminate in misfortune.
To magnify this insight, Redpath tells a tale…
0008 … about the last great rebirth of Western civilization.
Oh, to be born again. We wash away the sins of prior eras. So, we imagine. Then, we don white garments with tiny flaws that will unravel slowly, at first, then exponentially, at the terminus, when the once-birthed era ages and rips apart.
Redpath identifies the start of the Italian Renaissance with humanist Francesco Petrarch (7104-7174 U0′).
Why the strange dates?
Subtract 5800 in order to get to AD.
0 Ubaid Zero Prime nominally corresponds to the formation of the Ubaid culture of southern Mesopotamia. The First Singularity and Its Fairy Tale Trace addresses the importance of this culture, at the dawn of our current Lebenswelt. The current year is 7822 U0′.
The time-distance between today and Petrarch is one tenth the distance between Petrarch and Adam.
0009 Petrarch reads the ancient Latin writers and longs for the days of Rome. Petrarch envisions a return to political actuality, arising from Christendom’s spiritual potential. The actuality of Rome is political. Yet, Petrarch lives in a world where the capitol, Rome, governs a theological and organizational network and weighs upon sovereign states. The network is based on a religious construction, seeking to portray itself as sensible, operating according to the criteria of the most sensible philosopher to have walked the face of the Earth, Aristotle.
One could say that the Catholic worldview, where God encompasses both reason and revelation, might have entangled a small error. The tear becomes a harbor, for Petrarch and his fellow travelers, to lobby for a political capitol arising from the spiritual capitol.
0010 The Italian humanists offer an alternate to Christendom’s vision.
0011 First, philosophy is not sensible. It is apocryphal, initiated by the most prophetic person to have walked the face of the Earth, Moses.
Second, Moses is a humanist. He is a poet.Third, a new politics, that is, a new “polis” or “city”, will arise from the network of Christendom, as humanist learning, the poetry of governance, flowers in the rebirth of Rome.
Surely, it is valuable in the arts of seduction, inspiration and adornment.
But who needs these, when God is Love, Commitment and Awesomeness incarnate?
0013 The Italian humanists face a problem. How do they place poetry and the writings of classical Rome front and center?
The academics in the room have an easy answer, “First of all, get rid of logic in the curriculum.”
0014 Ah, does that not sound like a small error?
Starting with Petrarch, Italian humanists alchemically place the actualities of Greek philosophy and Western history2 into the novel context of the liberal arts3, emerging from the potential of five disciplines1: grammar, rhetoric, poetry, history and ethics.
The result can be portrayed as follows, according to A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form.
0015 The dyadic actuality of Greek philosophy [and] Western history2 is placed in an alchemic vessel3 alien to its original, natural and organic milieu1. Plutarch’s liberal arts3 is a normal context that excludes Aristotle’s realist philosophy3. The pentagram of grammar, rhetoric, poetry, history and ethics1, whose points operate independently and in combination, constitutes a digestive organ potentiating transformation.
0016 What is this [and] between Greek philosophy and Western history?
0017 According to Charles Peirce (7639-7714 U0′), the category of secondness is the realm of actuality. Secondness consists of two contiguous real elements. The nomenclature is one real element [contiguity] other real element.
Here, the contiguity, [and], describes a substance that coheres to the most rudimentary causality, the contiguity between matter and form. Or, should I say, style and form? The nomenclature is Greek philosophy [and] Western history.
0018 The [and] composed by Thomas Aquinas (7025-7074 U0′) takes Aristotle as Greek philosophy and the Bible as the foundation of Western history. Does that sound like matter [and] form or style [and] form? The normal context is scholastic inquiry3 and the potential is understanding1, formatted according to the synthetic and analytic logics of Aristotle’s four causes.
0019 The tradition of Petrarch alters the normal context to the liberal arts3 and the potential to the pentagrammatic disciplines: grammar, rhetoric, poetry, history and ethics1.
Do these alterations elevate style [and] form over matter [and] form?
Do these alterations serve as an alchemic vessel3 and digestive juices1 for the meat of scholastic inquiry2?
Is the contiguity, [and], the same for the scholastics and the Renaissance humanists?
0020 Petrarch and his fellow travelers assert that common folk, traditional Christians, cannot appreciate the lofty metaphysical grammar and moral realities offered by the ancient poets. A Christian knows that the Greek and the Roman pantheons are simply not true. These gods are idols.
But, change the normal context, and let rhetoric, poetry and history work their magic, then newly digested truths become palatable.
These pre-digested morsels are valid in the normal context of the liberal arts3, which excludes all other normal contexts, and thus is universal. Only after digestion by pentagrammatic modes of inquiry1, do the allegorical and figurative meanings of Moses2 turn into the stuff of Renaissance, and later, Enlightenment ideals. Only a nominalist can delineate the pathways from Moses to Socrates and onwards to the Christians and Neoplatonists. Only a nominalist can reveal the mysterious [and], the contiguity between Greek art, philosophy and wisdom and Western history.
0021 [And], the contiguity between ancient Greek and Roman literature and the glories of Rome, takes on the substance of revival.
0023 The Renaissance program sets the humanities against Aristotle’s logic and naturalism. It undermines the union of philosophy and scholastic theology.
Poetry gains attention.
Logic is neglected.
Before: Philosophy (including logic) stands as a handmaiden to theology, the queen of the sciences.
After: Poetry is the transcendent queen of the arts.
0024 Of course, I speak allegorically.
According to Redpath, the humanist ascent of allegory has historic precedent. Allegory appears in Hesiod’s attack on Homer’s veracity, the Ionians critique of mythological reasoning, and Plato’s interpretations of epic poetry. Then, allegory is used to counter-attack, arguing for the truth of Homer, myths and epics. The truth is found, not in fact, but in fiction. The truth is concealed within a rhetorical facade. By the time of Augustine, rhetorician and philosopher are one and the same.
0025 I pause and ask myself, “What on Earth is allegory?”
Allegory is a technique, characteristic of our current Lebenswelt (and perhaps, the Lebenswelt that we evolved in), whereby symbols associate to concrete or material forms.
For Renaissance humanists, the forms are literary. The symbols are political.
Style becomes matter. Symbols of the glory of Rome are matter, and ancient literary works are the corresponding forms.
On the one hand, matter [substantiates] form. On the other hand, form [informs] matter.
Now, style [substantiates] form. Form [informs] style.
0027 I left off with the following pair of hylomorphes.
0028 These two actualities associate to Redpath’s argument.
First, starting with Petrarch, Italian humanists elevate the disciplines of rhetoric, poetry and history in their search for symbols that (1) trace back to antiquity and (2) exploit the dual charisms of Moses and Greek philosophy.
Second, these symbols, isolated in the digestion of Greek philosophy [and] Western history2 by the solvents of rhetoric, poetry and history1, alchemically coagulate (or “occult”) into universals and abstractions that can be read as the grammar1and the ethics1 of nature and revelation.
Third, these grammatical and ethical slogans concern political matters. They announce a revival of the Roman polity, a polis at once outside of the city of God and the city of man.
0029 Oh, what about tiny, initial flaws?
Even though, in the above figure, I associate this Renaissance vision to two hylomorphes, the dyadic structure of the hylomorphe is logical and thus disregarded in the normal context of the liberal arts3.