Category: Writing

Rhetoric, Writing, Dialectic, Education

Overcome Writer’s Block: The Common Topics

Writer’s Block You’ve had it, I’ve had it. It’s not pleasant. As far as I can tell, there four reasons for writer’s block: Trying to sound profound (This is part of the game in fiction and poetry.) Poor research An inability to make an argument Nothing to actually say Bonus Reason Five: You’re just procrastinating. …

Rhetoric, Writing, Dialectic, Education, Intellectual Virtues, Pedagogy, Philosophy

Rhetoric and Dialectic: The Difference and Why It Matters

Summary: Rhetoric is the art of persuasion, dialectic of verbal reasoning. Knowing the difference between the two will make you a better reader, listener, thinker, writer, and speaker. Introduction Sometimes a tool becomes so important to us, it’s impossible to imagine not having it. I tend to think of shoes, my pocket knife, and my …

Writing, Dialectic, Education

Arthur Whimbey on Intelligence as a skill

Arthur Whimbey’s definition of intelligence: “Intelligence in an attentional/processing skill used in analyzing and mentally reconstructing relations. The distinguishing feature of this skill is breaking down complex relations (or problems) into small steps that can be dealt with fully. The major components of the skill are extensive search and careful apprehension of all details relevant …

Basics, Writing, Dialectic, Education, Pedagogy, Philosophy

Simplify Complex Problems Like Descartes

Ever Feel Stupid? Many of us wish we were smarter than we are. Rene Descartes even felt this way:   “For myself, I have never fancied my mind to be in any respect more perfect than those of the generality; on the contrary, I have often wished that I were equal to some others in promptitude …

Basics, Writing, Dialectic, Education

Dialectic: The Second Art of the Trivium

Introduction: What is dialectic? What is logic? The second liberal art is logic or dialectic. Dialectic typically refers to the practice of precise discussion, using a question and answer format with facts or apparent facts, to explain or get at the truth. It has another, less academic, use I’ll explain later. Logic is a more …