The Liberal Arts

//The Liberal Arts

The Liberal Arts

  Well given that this is the day I discuss the Renaissance it would seem only fair to cover a topic that’ll be on the exam next week and is somewhat interesting. I have a strong feeling that the following information might be the initial reasoning behind the concept of the “Lucky 7”.

  The initial way to remember this is the terms trivium et en quadrivium. I might be screwing up the conjunction words but essentially this means the three roads and the four roads. Or something of that idea. Essentially these combine to become the four essential arts, the liberal arts, or the arts of the free man.

  Apparently when discussing these you should get them in the correct order, otherwise people you are talking to that DO know the correct order will get really smug and we all know how smelly smug can be. The hope today is that we can device a manner that can consistently return the proper order. Firstly remember your numeric order, 3 always comes before 4 (unless alcohol is involved).

   The Trivium consists of the Grammar, Dialectic (Logic), and the Rhetoric. Obviously the option of merely remember them is available and you have the simple acronym of GDR. Unfortunately neither list is alphabetical but I do think the general idea is that each leads fluidly into the next. If that is not the case at the very least it can be stereotyped to do so. Everyone knows how helpful stereotypes are (and unfortunately damaging at times).

    Grammar would be what you see in modern day, it’s easy to remember because most of the images show a woman with some sort of beating instrument. So just imagine old school Grammar classes where your teacher was just waiting for a way to beat you if you got a D or acted like a Dummy.

    Dialectic (Logic) which starts with a D is a term I’ve never had to use before. Now of course you won’t find a philosopher that doesn’t tickle the idea of Logic when discussing the important values in life. After all their entire job is to try and influence people which generally leads to biases and in particular the use of Rhetoric.

    Rhetoric is essentially the art of persuasion through language. It’s a popular term in any political debate or discussion but it has a life wide importance. Without a proper understanding of rhetoric you can’t influence people at all, which is not a good thing because there are indeed very important lessons that people need to learn and its not reasonable to assume someone could learn them all strictly through experience.

    The Quadrivium consists of Arithmetic, Geometry, Astronomy, and finally Music. I find these four to be far easier to keep in mind and keep in order mainly because they really really lead into one another (Music not included).

    Arithmetic is essential to the proper functioning of any civilized human and I’m sure it would be very easy to argue its essential for any human regardless. Moving from Arithmetic to Geometry I’d hope would require no real explanation, essentially they are like Peanut Butter and your favorite complimentary foodstuff.

    Geometry is a fantastic field of study that covers shapes and angles both of which have universal implications and are naturally occurring which gives them physical ramifications that are much more solid in the minds of those learning them. When you take Arithmetic and Geometry to their extreme you will reach the field of Astronomy.

    Astronomy is my absolutely favorite field of study followed closely by psychology. It is with the aid of Geometry and Arithmetic that we can grasp the otherwise unimaginably large expanse that surrounds us for a seemingly infinite distance. The greatest (literally) beauties that may arguably ever be found can be attributed to this field. While this hardly leads into the next you can take two roads to reach Music. You can either relate it to the harmonic resonance of cosmic noise or just remember its the obscure one in the group.

    Music in this case is actually not talking about the hip hop or country but the actual physical use of music. A good example is when people plug the ropes of a catapult, if one resonates with a different pattern than the other you will be launching diagonally. Now that example comes from my professor and I think it ends this post on a wonderfully vivid visual.

By | 2009-05-06T16:26:29+00:00 May 6th, 2009|Journal|Comments Off on The Liberal Arts