Textkit Logo

Quotes from the Reading Course

Here's where you can discuss all things Ancient Greek. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get translation help and more!

Quotes from the Reading Course

Postby Borealis » Fri Oct 17, 2003 12:53 pm

One of the things I'm really enjoying about this Reading Course in Homeric Greek book (aside from the fact that I HAVE IT!!!!) is the quotes at the top of each lesson. I'm keeping a running quote list on my computer, and I thought I'd share some of them with the people on the forum. Note that these quotes are taken from a textbook written in 1945.

“The liberal arts college is one of the foundations upon which our democracy is built… It’s curriculum must return, if our Navy experience is any index, to certain basic compulsory courses rather than allowing complete freedom of selection to its students. It must recover its ability to turn out men soundly trained in mathematics and sciences, as well as in the broadening humanities… I would like to see Greek and Latin restored to their ancient glory.” Secretary of the Navy Forrestal, in graduation address at Princeton University, June 21, 1944

Interesting how even then they saw the decline in classical studies, and saw that it was a bad thing...

Glen
phpbb
Borealis
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 1:41 am

Lesson 2 Quote

Postby Borealis » Fri Oct 17, 2003 12:55 pm

I'll post the first four today, so as to catch up to where I am in the lesson book. These are great quotes.

“I studied Latin and Greek as a college student. I have always been happy that it was thus. Indeed I know of no studies which develop precise and logical thinking as surely as does the pursuit of these two languages. I have said many times that if I had to choose between Greek and Latin and some of the so-called practical commercial courses for business training, I would choose Latin and Greek. This, of course, is entirely besides the joys to be found in their cultural values.” Wendell Willkie, in a letter to the American Classical League, 1943
phpbb
Borealis
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 1:41 am

Lesson 3 Quote

Postby Borealis » Fri Oct 17, 2003 12:56 pm

“In my opinion, Latin and Greek (especially) are the most valuable subjects in the college curriculum… This association is opposed to too much science, and it definitely favors and recommends a cultural education, with the Classics as a basis. Personally, I would unhesitatingly accept as a medical student one who is long on the Classics, especially Greek, and short on science. Physicians should be educated, not trained… If the arts colleges will stop their pernicious and (to this Association) objectionable ‘premedical’ propaganda and stress education, self-education, many of our problems concerned with better scholarship will be solved… The purpose of college is education, not preparation by ‘pre’ something or other. A sound, fundamental education is ‘pre’ to any and every future field of activity.” Dr. Fred C. Zappfe, Secretary of the Association of American Medical Colleges, in a statement to Professor B.L. Ullman, 1940
phpbb
Borealis
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 1:41 am

Lesson 4 Quote

Postby Borealis » Fri Oct 17, 2003 12:57 pm

“I think knowledge of the classics is valuable in any walk of life, and it is especially so in any capacity of a public nature.” Senator Alben W. Barkley, in Louisville Courier-Journal, April 10, 1938
Last edited by Borealis on Sat Oct 18, 2003 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
phpbb
Borealis
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 1:41 am

Lesson 5 Quote

Postby Borealis » Sat Oct 18, 2003 10:30 am

“During the past forty or fifty years those who are responsible for education in many of our schools have progressively removed from the curriculum of studies the Western culture which produced the modern democratic state. The schools and colleges have, therefore, been sending out into the world men who no longer understand the creative principle of the society in which they must live…who no longer possess, in the form and substance of their own minds and spirits, the ideas, the ideals, the logic, the values, or the deposited wisdom which are the genius of the development of Western civilization… Yet the historic fact is that the institutions we cherish are the products of a culture which, as Gilson put it, is essentially the culture of Greece, inherited from the Greeks by the Romans, transfused by the Fathers of the Church with the religious teachings of Christianity, and progressively enlarged by countless numbers of artists, writers, scientists and philosophers from the beginning of the Middle Ages up to the first third of the nineteenth century. The men who wrote the American Constitution and the Bill of Rights were educated in schools and colleges in which the classic works of this culture were the substance of the curriculum and the transmission of this culture was held to be the end and aim of education. Modern education, however, is often based on a denial that it is necessary or useful or desirable to transmit the religious and classical culture of the Western world… The prevailing education is destined, if it continues, to destroy civilization, and is in fact destroying it.” Walter Lippman, in The American Scholar, 1941, p. 184
phpbb
Borealis
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 1:41 am

Lesson 6 Quote

Postby Borealis » Sun Oct 19, 2003 12:55 pm

"The roots of American liberty are sunk deep in philosophic and religious soil.They go down to those far-off days in ancietn Greece when men sought to discover the requirements for living a good life in a republic of free men, and to those brief years of Christ's ministry in Judea, proclaiming the brotherhod of men and the fatherhood of God. At the very base of the taproot we find Socrates and Aristotle..." (W.H. Prentice, Jr., President of Armstrong Cork Co., in an address on education in time of war: "Preserving the Roots of Liberty," Jan. 2, 1942)
phpbb
Borealis
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 1:41 am

Lesson 7 Quote

Postby Borealis » Mon Oct 20, 2003 10:18 am

"It is my opinion that this neglect of the classics is one of the most serious mistakes of modern education, and that the study of the classics is very important and valuable, and more so in the education of the technical engineer than in some other professions, for the reason that the vocation of an engineer is specially liable to make the man one-sided." Charles P. Steinmetz, consulting engineer to General Electric Co., in a letter to Dea, Andrew F. West of Princeton University

Feel free to comment as well as read. :D
phpbb
Borealis
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 1:41 am

Re: Lesson 7 Quote

Postby Lex » Mon Oct 20, 2003 7:00 pm

Borealis wrote:Feel free to comment as well as read. :D


Ummmm, ok.

<devil's advocate / flame retarding suit on>

I would much rather have surgery performed on me by a doctor who skimped on classical studies and focused on his specialty. Likewise with riding in an airplane; I would much rather it was designed by a geeky engineer who really knows his aerodynamics or stress mechanics any day over one who skimped on those to study classics.

No offense, but IMHO the classics are a great hobby, and incredibly pleasing intellectually and aesthetically if that's what you're into, but they won't make you a better person. (Think Hannibal Lector; he can quote Dante in the original, but that doesn't make him a nice person.) To be perfectly honest, I don't think one needs to have the classics to do much of anything except teach the classics. That goes especially for highly specialized fields like the law, medicine, engineering, etc. Studying the classics is great, but let's not give more credit than is due.

<devil's advocate / flame retarding suit off>
I, Lex Llama, super genius, will one day rule this planet! And then you'll rue the day you messed with me, you damned dirty apes!
User avatar
Lex
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 732
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 6:34 pm
Location: A top-secret underground llama lair.

Lesson 8 Quote

Postby Borealis » Tue Oct 21, 2003 12:16 pm

Lex wrote:I would much rather have surgery performed on me by a doctor who skimped on classical studies and focused on his specialty. Likewise with riding in an airplane; I would much rather it was designed by a geeky engineer who really knows his aerodynamics or stress mechanics any day over one who skimped on those to study classics.


Interesting how the doctors seem to disagree with you...

"The careless or the superficial man is not suited either to the practice of medicine or to the conduct of experiments for the elucidation of medical problems... Now there has been found nowhere a better training for the thinking apparatus of the young than the study of Latin and Greek. Carelessness and superficiality are incompatible with any thorough study of them… And the direct value of Greek and Latin, especially of the former, as aids to the exact meaning of medical terms, as shown by their derivatives, is disputed by no one.” Dr. Victor C. Vaughn, Dean of Dept. of Medicine, University of Michigan; in Kelsey, Latin and Greek in American Education, pp. 84-85
phpbb
Borealis
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 1:41 am

Re: Lesson 8 Quote

Postby Lex » Tue Oct 21, 2003 2:46 pm

Borealis wrote:
Lex wrote:I would much rather have surgery performed on me by a doctor who skimped on classical studies and focused on his specialty. Likewise with riding in an airplane; I would much rather it was designed by a geeky engineer who really knows his aerodynamics or stress mechanics any day over one who skimped on those to study classics.


Interesting how the doctors seem to disagree with you...


<devil's advocate / flame retarding suit on>

Yeah. Interesting how those doctors you are quoting are in academia, and all the quotes that have dates are from the 1940's at the latest....

Borealis wrote:"The careless or the superficial man is not suited either to the practice of medicine or to the conduct of experiments for the elucidation of medical problems...


I agree with what this literally says about carelessness. I disagree with what it implies; that a man must study Greek and Latin, or he is careless. A man can make a careful study of anything; Greek and Latin, or Javanese, or the social life of ants... or medicine. It matters not what he is studying, as long as he does it with care. And, studying Greek and Latin will not make a careless man careful.

As for superficiality, I stand by what I said earlier. If I am going into heart surgery, I want that man to know everything he possibly can about heart surgery and cardiac care. I don't care one whit if he is not a well-rounded individual, as long as he is good as what he specializes in. And it stands to reason that every hour spent studying the classics is one hour that was not spent studying medicine.

Borealis wrote:Now there has been found nowhere a better training for the thinking apparatus of the young than the study of Latin and Greek.


I am a believer in specificity in study, for the most part. If you want to be good at medicine, study medicine. If you want to be good at Greek, study Greek. Yes, studying anything is good for keeping one's mind active, so that it does not atrophy in later years. For this, the classics are as good as anything else. But I can't understand why the study of the classics is "better training for the thinking apparatus" of an aspiring doctor than the study of medicine. I can't see that there would be much "carry-over" from one field to the other.

Borealis wrote:And the direct value of Greek and Latin, especially of the former, as aids to the exact meaning of medical terms, as shown by their derivatives, is disputed by no one.


I would imagine one can familiarize oneself with the Greek- and Latin-based medical vocabulary without reading Caesar and Xenophon.

Greek and Latin will not make one a better doctor, lawyer, baker, Indian chief, or person. Besides improving your vocabulary, all it will do is give you some (IMO) very interesting, but useless and esoteric, knowledge. If we want Greek and Latin to be taught more than they are now, I think we should be honest about the limitations of these subjects. If you make the study of the classics seem like those Ronco do-everything gadgets you see on TV ("It slices! It dices! It makes julienne fries!"), people's "bullshit detectors" will light up, they will (rightly) intuit that studying dead languages and 2000 year old books can't possibly do everything for them that is claimed, and they will reject the idea of studying the classics and go back to watching "Joe Millionaire".

<devil's advocate / flame retarding suit off>
I, Lex Llama, super genius, will one day rule this planet! And then you'll rue the day you messed with me, you damned dirty apes!
User avatar
Lex
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 732
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 6:34 pm
Location: A top-secret underground llama lair.

Need for classical study

Postby Geoff » Tue Oct 21, 2003 6:28 pm

I think you're both right to a degree. The quotes were a bit hyperbolic (that's funny, can something be a tad hyperbolic :wink: ). I trust a doctor who has learned how to think and study for himself. Some doctors, (or any other professional) without great discipline in study, can excel in their field regurgitating facts and learn what is taught. The study of classics (the language especially) doesn't guarantee that this will not happen, but it teaches and hones skills essential to good thought and study like very few others.

The reason that it is preferred over many other detailed studies is the wide range of influence that these studies have. Whereas one can learn a great deal about study by examining ants they will be hard pressed to apply the things they've learned in other areas including day to day affairs and detailed study in other fields. The study of Latin and Greek plus the study of those ancient texts have a relevancy which is rivaled by very few other studies.

A doctor who has not merely been through a classics course, but learned and demonstrated proficiency of study and thought through excellence in the classics is no doubt better equipped to do his job if he chooses (unlike Lector). However, Lector chose to be insane and no doubt his classical training was a contributing factor to his criminal skill.

I am by no means a "classicist", but I think the education system would be much improved if these studies were once again considered essential.
User avatar
Geoff
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 345
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2003 2:30 pm

Re: Need for classical study

Postby Lex » Tue Oct 21, 2003 7:41 pm

Geoff wrote:Some doctors, (or any other professional) without great discipline in study, can excel in their field regurgitating facts and learn what is taught. The study of classics (the language especially) doesn't guarantee that this will not happen, but it teaches and hones skills essential to good thought and study like very few others.


<devil's advocate / flame retarding suit on>

Sure, you have to have some discipline to master Greek or Latin. But Greek and Latin are far from the only ways of developing discipline. One can develop discipline by applying oneself to many different fields of study. Greek and Latin just aren't that special in that regard, IMHO.

Geoff wrote:The reason that it is preferred over many other detailed studies is the wide range of influence that these studies have. Whereas one can learn a great deal about study by examining ants they will be hard pressed to apply the things they've learned in other areas including day to day affairs and detailed study in other fields. The study of Latin and Greek plus the study of those ancient texts have a relevancy which is rivaled by very few other studies.


How? How is the study of the classic texts really relevant to pragmatic day-to-day matters in the modern world? How will it help a doctor perform surgery better? How will it help an engineer design a better jet engine? I can easily understand how studying anatomy would directly benefit a doctor. I can easily understand how studying thermodynamics would directly benefit an engineer. I cannot easily understand how studying Aristotle would directly benefit either of them in their professions.

Even in matters of ethics, where Aristotle might be relevant, I don't necessarily think that reading him is going to have that much of an effect on one's behavior. Most people do not derive their ethical beliefs from reading philosophers. They have their ethical beliefs already more or less set by the time they approach them. Most of the truly good, decent people I've met never read philosophy, and weren't particularly intellectual. On the other hand, those people who attempted to justify acts that I consider wrong, if not abhorent, used some sort of philosophical argument that would never occur to the unsophisticated. It was not completely without reason that the Athenians killed Socrates for corrupting their youth. A little philosophy can be a dangerous thing!

The only serious benefit I can see in the classics is that, for those individuals who find them intellectually and aesthetically pleasing, they make us happy; we enjoy them for what they are, without any ulterior, pragmatic motivations. But intellectual or aesthetic pleasure will not make somebody a better person. Again, I use the fictional example of Dr. Lector (sometimes fiction is truer). The aesthetic pleasure he took in classical music led him to kill a flautist in order to improve the sound of his local symphony orchestra, and serve the man's organs in a goulash to the board of directors!

Geoff wrote:A doctor who has not merely been through a classics course, but learned and demonstrated proficiency of study and thought through excellence in the classics is no doubt better equipped to do his job if he chooses (unlike Lector). However, Lector chose to be insane and no doubt his classical training was a contributing factor to his criminal skill.


I think the study of medicine is sufficiently demanding in and of itself, that the study of the classics would not be necessary. (And I'm not sure one can choose to be insane, but that's quibbling. :wink: )

Geoff wrote:I am by no means a "classicist", but I think the education system would be much improved if these studies were once again considered essential.


I think concentrating on making students competent in reading, writing and speaking English (or whatever the native language in the area is) would be a much higher priority!

<devil's advocate / flame retarding suit off>
I, Lex Llama, super genius, will one day rule this planet! And then you'll rue the day you messed with me, you damned dirty apes!
User avatar
Lex
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 732
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 6:34 pm
Location: A top-secret underground llama lair.

Re: Lesson 8 Quote

Postby Borealis » Tue Oct 21, 2003 11:07 pm

Lex wrote:Yeah. Interesting how those doctors you are quoting are in academia, and all the quotes that have dates are from the 1940's at the latest....


Can't be helped; that's when the book was published, 1945. Besides, today's doctors, businessmen, etc. were educated by a system that was attempting to displace classical studies. So most of them don't have the background to comment on whether or not the classics are useful.
phpbb
Borealis
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 1:41 am

Postby mingshey » Wed Oct 22, 2003 1:39 am

At least so many of the medical terms are from Latin, and in turn, from Greek. Knowing some important greek words help you peek at a doctor's recipe or patient's chart and guess what's wrong with the patient, if that serves any curiosity or purpose. For doctors, learning a lanuage from which many of their professional terms come from, will help their vocational vocabulary.

By the way, education is a hot political(and religious) issue in reality. A fuel.
I wanna beat it from this issue. :mrgreen:
User avatar
mingshey
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1325
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 6:38 am
Location: Seoul

Postby Emma_85 » Mon Oct 27, 2003 10:17 pm

Woah, missed this discussion!
Anyway, I've found something that Lex and I can sort of agree on! :wink: (I'm on your side, Lex)
phpbb
User avatar
Emma_85
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1564
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: London

Postby Lex » Mon Oct 27, 2003 10:59 pm

Emma_85 wrote:Woah, missed this discussion!
Anyway, I've found something that Lex and I can sort of agree on! :wink: (I'm on your side, Lex)


As Keanu Reeves once said, "Whoa!" :wink:
I, Lex Llama, super genius, will one day rule this planet! And then you'll rue the day you messed with me, you damned dirty apes!
User avatar
Lex
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 732
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 6:34 pm
Location: A top-secret underground llama lair.


Return to Learning Greek

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot], MSNbot Media and 36 guests