Kerry K. Kuehn

2018

Liberal Arts Reading Group--November 9, 2018

This week at LARGe, we will take a look at "The Palace Thief" by Ethan Canid. A pdf file can be downloaded here.

Chapel talk on All Saints Day

Here is a livestream video of the chapel talk I gave at Wisconsin Lutheran College on November 1, 2018. The talk itself begins at about 8:15. You will probably need adobe flash player to view the video.

Liberal Arts Reading Group--November 2, 2018

This week at our little liberal arts reading group let's discuss Metzengerstein. This haunting tale, which appears in the Selected Writings of Edgar Allen Poe, begins with the following Luther quote.

Pestis eram vivus—moriens tua mors ero.

If anyone would care to translate this—or one of the French lines in the story—he or she will win the admiration of the group.

Liberal Arts Reading Group--October 5

Last week, we read an article from Nautilus magazine entitled Albert Einstein and Henri Bergson's Great Showdown About the Nature of Time . In that article, we encountered philosopher Henri Bergson, who argued that our intuitive notion of time—and not merely Einstein's empirical notion of time—must be taken seriously.

This raised the more general question of whether intuition is a source of sure knowledge. Michael Huemer, in a recent book entitled
Ethical Intuitionism, argues that intuition is a sure source of reliable knowledge in the domain of ethics.

So at reading group this week, let's take a look at the short
preface to his book. We will meet at my Glenview home. Hope to see you there!

Liberal Arts Reading Group, Sept. 28

For the past few weeks, our little liberal arts reading group has been discussing Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges' Labyrinths. One of the recurring themes seems to be the nature of time (see, for example, "The library of Babel" and "The Garden of Forking Paths").

So I think it would be fun for us to read an article from
Nautilus magazine entitled Albert Einstein and Henri Bergson's Great Showdown About the Nature of Time . As is apparent from the title, this article describes the early 20th century debates between a famous psychologist named Henri Bergson and the physicist Albert Einstein.

Let's meet at 4pm, as usual. The Ebeling have kindly offered to host. I hope to see you all there!

Liberal Arts Reading Group, Sept. 14

This week at our Liberal Arts Reading Group, let's plan to discuss "The Garden of Forking Paths" by Jorge Luis Borges. This short story can be found in Borges' anthology entitled Labyrinths. We will plan to meet at 4pm, as usual.

Additionally, I found an interesting book review entitled "
The Tyranny of Personality Testing"— it's a review of the new book Personality Brokers: The Strange History of Myers-Briggs and the Birth of Personality Testing. I think we'd all find this review rather enlightening.

Sean Grady wins Kepler Scholarship

Sean Grady, (a physics minor at Wisconsin Lutheran College) was recently awarded the 2018 Kepler Scholarship. Congratulations Sean!

The Kepler Scholarship is awarded annually to a student who is pursuing a major or a minor in physics at Wisconsin Lutheran College, and who exhibits virtues of the intellect and of character. The Kepler Scholarship is valued at $1000.

Liberal Arts Reading Group--Friday May 11

This week at our Liberal Arts Reading Group, let's plan to discuss Jack Frost by Josephine Jacobsen. A scanned pdf file, provided by RPF, can be downloaded by clicking here. We will plan to meet at our usual time: 4pm; the location is the Kuehn home on Glenview.

LIberal Arts Reading Group---Friday April 27

This week at our Liberal Arts Reading Group, let's plan to discuss Crucifixus Etiam by Walter M. Miller. A scanned pdf file, provided by RPF, can be downloaded by clicking here. We will plan to meet at our usual time: 4pm; our location will be announced shortly.

LIberal Arts Reading Group---Friday April 13

In chapter 4 of On Education, Formation, Citizenship, and the Lost Purpose of Learning, Joseph Clair begins by observing that every educational system aims to produce not only a certain kind of human being but a certain kind of citizen. In other words, it aims to establish a distinctive political community.  Let's plan to discuss this topic on Friday at LARGe.  Read More…

New soap film photos

Check out these images recently obtained by undergraduate student Amelia Lauth and myself in the fluid dynamics labs at the College. We are developing an apparatus to help us better understand the motion of spinning soap films. By studying thin soap films, we hope to obtain a more general understanding of how thin layers of fluids behave. This has applications from laboratory micro-fluidics to the study of meteorology and evolving weather patterns. Read More…

Liberal Arts Reading Group--Feb. 16

At our LARGe meeting on Friday, why don't we take one more look at the first chapter of Reading Augustine: On Education, Formation, Citizenship, and the Lost Purpose of Learning by Joseph Clair. This will give us a bit more time to acquire our own copy of the book, which is part of a series of books "for people who see Augustine everywhere". A scanned .pdf file of our first chapter is available by clicking here.

Also, be sure to bring along your Genres of Films "homework assignment" given out by Paul last week. Read More…

Galileo, Harmony and Piano Tuning

In his Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences (1638), Galileo raises the question: why it is that certain combinations of notes sound good together, while others do not?

For example, two notes separated by an octave, or three notes forming a major chord, will sound pleasant when struck simultaneously. On the other hand, if one were to randomly pick out two keys on a piano and strike them simultaneously, then they would typically sound dissonant. Why is this?

Perhaps most interestingly, it seems that the identification of "pleasing" or "unpleasing" combinations of notes is not a subjective process, in the sense that people throughout history and from vastly different cultures come to similar conclusions on this topic. Why might this be?
Read More…

Liberal Arts Reading Group--Feb. 9

For our LARGe meeting this week, let's plan to take a look at the first chapter of Reading Augustine: On Education, Formation, Citizenship, and the Lost Purpose of Learning by Joseph Clair. This is part of a series of books "for people who see Augustine everywhere".

A scanned .pdf file of the chapter for our consideration is available by clicking here. I suspect that we may wish to pursue some more chapters from this book, so you may look into obtaining a copy for yourself.

Also, we might take a look at a short commentary, recommended to us by our local computer scientist and linguist, entitled Who's Afraid of the Liberal Arts.

Chapel talk: The Presentation of Our Lord

Here is a link to the (drastically cut) chapel talk I gave at Wisconsin Lutheran College on February 2, 2018. Since the video was accidentally cut, I've provided the text of my talk in pdf form here.

Liberal Arts Reading Group--Feb. 3

This week, we will at LARGe, let's plan to discuss the last of the three articles from Touchstone Magazine. The article is an overview of the relationship between the church and society, paying particular attention to western political thought. Below is the citation, which provides a link to the article (pdf format).

Hitchcock, James.  The Great Divorce: Christianity and the Liberal Society. Touchstone, November/December, 2017.

The Lehningers have kindly offered for us to meet at their home at 4pm.

Honors Lecture: Aristotle, Ptolemy and Medieval Astronomy

ptolemaic

Today, I am giving a presentation on Aristotle, Ptolemy, and the Medieval worldview for an Honors class at Wisconsin Lutheran College. Read More…

Liberal Arts Reading Group--Jan. 26

This week at LARGe, we will be meeting at the Kuehn Home to discuss an article from Touchstone magazine:

Esolen, Anthony.  The Greatness Commission: Christ, Individualism, and the Meaning of Cultural Diversity. Touchstone, November/December, 2017.

The article, which is available as part of a larger packet by clicking here, explores the "diversity of the saints" and the "sameness of the wicked."