Santa Fe Liberal Arts Preceptorials
Spring 2016


Descartes: Discourse on Method and Passions of the Soul                            David Levine

Segment: Literature/ Mathematics


A first look at the human by the new science.

Discourse on Method – Kennington translation preferred, Focus Publishing

Passions of the Soul – Voss translation, Hackett – or any other translation


Jorge Luis Borges: Ficciones                                                               Michael Wolfe

Segment: Literature/ Mathematics

“My taste runs to hourglasses, maps, seventeenth-century typefaces, etymologies, the taste of coffee, and the prose of Robert Louis Stevenson.”

In this preceptorial, we will read all of the stories in Ficciones. These stories can be found in either Ficciones (published by Grove Press) or Collected Fictions (published by Penguin Books). Either edition is acceptable.


The Concept of Equilibrium – Archimedes to Maxwell                     Philip LeCuyer

Segment: Mathematics


We will undertake a series of readings and lab practica which will trace the notion of physical law from essentially geometrical to statistical.

Archimedes’ paper and the classic baros experiment

Selections from the collection What is Heat compiled last year by Howard Fisher. This would include practica on Pascal, thermometry and calorimetry.

Essay by Richard Feynman (Xerox to be made available)

Readings will be available from the bookstore


F. M. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov                                   David Starr

Segment: Literature


The great novelist’s most famous novel concerns a dysfunctional 19th century Russian family, featuring a wicked father, three adult sons of very different characters, two or three passionate women, sundry children, and a controversial monk. It is a murder mystery with social, political, spiritual and psychological  implications. Read it to see how useless this or any brief description has to be. Pevear/Volokhonsky translation recommended.