leadimageVitalities of the Mind

A Vitalities of the Mind Glossary

Vol. 11 No. 2
October/November 2008

Return to Contents

Vitalities of the Mind
The Gustafson Seminar on the future of Liberal Education

Educating the Vitalities of the Mind

2007-2008 Gustafson Seminar

Vitalities of the Mind Matrix

A Vitalities of the Mind Glossary

“People who understand liberal arts education argue that it’s the ultimate practical education.”

Civility and contemplation and ethics and compassion and courage—all these things are great. But we need Apollo and Dionysus. ”

Website special:
“Bathing in Reeking Wounds: The Liberal Arts and War”
Catharine R. Stimpson, University Professor of English and Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Science at New York University

Comments on the Liberal Arts
Response to the Gustafson Faculty Seminar

Some Thoughts on Overcoming Paralysis
Education and curricula in the context of war

Can the Liberal Arts Reduce the Likelihood of War?
An important but limited resource


Affect Theory: A branch of psychoanalysis that attempts to organize affects into discrete categories and connect each one with its typical response. (For example, the affect of joy is observed through the reaction of smiling.)

Analogy: Similarity or likeness between two objects/subjects that otherwise are or are perceived to be unlike each other.

Anchoring: The capacity to situate oneself within specific historical and temporal contexts.

Contemplation: Derived from the Latin root templum (which, in turn, comes from the Greek temnein—temnein, to divide or cut), it means a process of separation of a subject from his/her environment, enclosing him/herself in a place (physical, literal, or figurative, imagined). In a religious context it can signal a manner or place of prayer or meditation.

Epistemology: Theory of knowledge; the study of the nature and scope of knowledge.

Hermeneutics: Refers to the different study or interpretation
(or “lens”) of religious, literary, historical, and cultural texts or experience.

Inference: Process, or act, of reaching a conclusion believed to be true by virtue of its derivation from a proposition, a statement, or a judgment that one already knows and also believes to be true.

Metaphor: Figure of speech constructed with non-logical language, not meant to be read literally. Without explicitly establishing a comparison between two or more objects otherwise different or unrelated, a metaphor compares them by means of identification or substitution of one for the other.

Motivation Theory: A psychological approach to understanding the motives underlying the generation of courses of action.

Negative Capability:
Theory of the poet John Keats that describes the human ability to accept uncertainty, that not everything can be resolved and understood.

General principle applied in science, philosophy, and other related fields to arrive at a course of action or hypothesis exercising economy, thrift, caution, or frugality.

Praxis: Derived from the Ancient Greek root praxis—praxis, used to refer to the activities in which free men engaged, it is the process by means of which subjects learn, practice, apply, or enact a lesson, skill, or theory.

Proxemics: The study of how human beings use space and how various differences in that use can make us feel more relaxed or anxious.

Right Living: From the Buddhist Eight-Fold Path corresponding to modes of livelihood that generate from enlightened actions.