Back to Blog Posts

Dean's Lecture, 8/28

Originally Posted on admin, August 28, 2009

News & Publications

Dean's Lecture, 8/28: The Able Rather Than the Learned Mind

Who:      Victoria Mora, Dean, St. John’s – Santa Fe

What:     Dean’s Lecture

Title:       Learning Beyond Learnedness: An Essay into Montaigne’s “Of the Education of Children”

Where:   Great Hall, Peterson Student Center
               St. John’s College

When:    Friday, August 28, 8 p.m.

Details:  This lecture is free of charge, open to the public, and followed by a question-and-answer period.   

In the lecture, Dean Mora addresses Montaigne's view that the aim of education should be to make one able rather than learned.  This distinction gains its sense via Montaigne's demonstration and treatment of judgment, which is a faculty of mind whose distinguishing trait is that it is always in motion.  It is this dynamic feature of judgment that moves Montaigne beyond his skepticism regarding education aimed at learnedness toward a vision of education that liberates the child by focusing on the cultivation of judgment rather than the filling up of memory.

This is the first lecture in the Fall 2009 Dean’s Lecture and Concert Series. Open to the community, the free lectures offer an opportunity to explore a deeper reading of books in the St. John’s Program as well as other topics.

Victoria Mora is Dean of St. John’s College, Santa Fe. She received a bachelor’s of arts in English and philosophy from the University of New Mexico in 1985, a master’s of arts and master’s of philosophy from Yale University in 1990, and a doctorate in philosophy in 1992, also from Yale. Mora has been a tutor at St. John’s since 1992 and dean since 2006.