Have you ever considered your frame of reference?

in #philosophy6 years ago

Has your mind been captured?

You may be wondering what I'm talking about, if you are, please pay attention to what I'm about to say.

In classical times, learning and education were not for the weak-spirited. In Rome the teacher could beat you to help you remember things. They made you remember large bodies of material before moving on. While learning does not have to include those methods, we do need to consider frame of reference. In a classical education, one first learns how to think before graduating onto higher levels of learning. This was origiinally the trivium/quadrivium method of liberal arts. In the 1700s and 1800s the classical education really bloomed into one of the greatest systems that taught how to think. This is due to an expansive frame of reference.

Let's explore further. In Greek times, they had their own ideas, plus a certain amount of information from Egypt and Babylon. When Alexander conquered Asia, the flood gates had opened and philosophy/science loomed. The Roman Republic had the Greek systems, Etruscan systems, and their own writings. A good Roman education would include Latin AND Greek, plus understanding the literature of both. When we reach the 18th century, a classical education of high quality included your vernacular language, Latin, and Greek. You were to know the ideas of the day, as well as be caught up on your Greek and Roman classics. The frame of reference grew over time.

As someone who has read the classics and prominent writings from the 18th century, I can attest to the human spirit and flexibility of thought alive in those times. I often find that writers of the 18th century have a much more developed vocabulary than we do today on average. This is despite us having computers, spell-checkers, and thesaurii. This is because of their understanding of language and their broad frame of reference.

Fast forward to today. We have multiple choice tests to make people regurgitate remembered shreds and factoids. Is the year of the Battle of Hastings more important than the people involved, reasons it was fought, and the outcome? Is knowing a multiple choice answer more important than formulating and presenting your own answer? Of course not.

Schools and parents today DO not spend much time on HOW to think. I had an old-school education when I wasn't in the public indoctrination camp. My dad made sure I knew what a 3/8th drive deepwell 1/2 inch socket was by the time I was 4 years old. I knew how to shoot and clean a gun by that age too. By the age of 8 I was operating bulldozers, backhoes, and skidsteers. By 13 I was mixing my own mortar, laying my own stone, and acid washing it. My whole childhood I will never forget the sorts of lessons:

"You need to know how to reason!"
"There's a problem in front of you, how will you solve it?"
"This isnt plumb, how much should I move the base of the stud?"
"Find me a stone that would make a suitable cornerstone."
"This chainsaw isn't running right, whats the first thing you would check?"
"X, Y, and Z must be done, what order should they be done in for the best result?"

At the time I thought it was a hassle and unlike other kids childhoods. I now know I couldn't have even formulated that opinion if my father wasn't teaching me how to think the whole time. Now with enough trips around the sun, I have decided to amass a wealth of information and create my own classical/practical curriculum.

The sad part is, despite information being more available than ever, and having the broadest wealth of information ever, we seem to be denying ourselves the frame of reference to be as intelligent as we can. Despite throwing massive amounts of money at government educations, they are getting poorer in quality.

When you have no frame of reference, your mind is boxed in. When you only have one source providing your frame of reference, your mind is captured. We will touch on this aspect more in the future.


There's nothing like someone who can think how they want to.


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