Friday, September 28, 2007

Founders College Curriculum - Novels I

Novels I has six novels:

1. Walter Scott, Ivanhoe
2. Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
3. Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
4. Victor Hugo, Ninety-Three
5. Edward Cline, Sparrowhawk Book One
6. Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

This list is broadly Randian. Ivanhoe, The Scarlet Letter, and Ninety-Three are books that Rand read, and Ninety-Three was perhaps her favorite. It doesn't appear that Rand said anything about Dickens and Austen.

Most notable is the first volume of Edward Cline's book Sparrowhawk series. Cline, who is associated with the ARI, is quite dogmatic, even for an ARIan.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Founders College Curriculum - Writing and Grammar

Here is the course.

There are four books that are required or recommended:

(1) Writing and Thinking: A Handbook of Composition and Revision, Norman Foerster and J. M. Steadman Jr., with foreword by Jean F. Moroney. Paper Tiger, N.J., (2000).

(2) Rex Barks: Diagramming Sentences Made Easy, Phyllis
Davenport, Second Renaissance Books, (1999).

(3) The Elements of Style, William Strunk and E.B. White, 4th
edition with foreword by Roger Angell, Longman (1999).

(4) A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, H.W. Fowler, 2nd
revised edition, Oxford University Press (2003).

The first two are ARI-approved texts. Writing and Thinking is published by ARI-associated The Paper Tiger. Jean Moroney is the wife of Harry Binswanger, Official Objectivism's number 2.

Rex Barks is also published by The Paper Tiger, and is favored by ARIans.

Founders College Curriculum - Ancient & Medieval History

The course syllabi for this semester at Founders College are now on-line.

Ancient and Medieval History has the least overtly Objectivist slant.

The required books are:

Hans Nissen, The Early History of the Ancient Near East, 9000 BC-2000BC (University of Chicago Press, 1988)

Charles Freeman, Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean (Oxford University Press, 2004)

Plato, The Complete Works (Hackett Publishing, 1997)

William H. McNeil, The Rise Of The West (University of Chicago Press, 1992)

Chris Wickham, Framing The Early Middle Ages (Oxford University Press, 2007)

William Chester Jordan, Europe In The High Middle Ages (Penguin, 2004)

Most interesting is that students will be reading Plato's Republic in its entirety (a fairly long work). Given that Prof. Garmong has assigned some Plato for his Philosophy I course, wouldn't a book containing primary sources or a work such as Herodotus' Histories be better? This appears to emphasize the Objectivist view that philosophical ideas are the main drivers of history.

The time-span of the course is also of note. It starts with the beginning of history and ends at about 1300. However, the second year, second semester history course at Founders is Great Figures of the Industrial Revolution, a course with an explicitly Objectivist tilt. I'm all in favor of studying Edison, Ford and Vanderbilt, but the inclusion of a separate course on them has resulted in what should be a two semester course reduced to a one semester course.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Founders College

Over at Greg Nyquist and Dan Barnes' blog, Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature, folks have been discussing Founders College. For those who don't know, it's a new liberal arts college in Virginia which obviously has ties to Objectivism (of the ARI variety), but doesn't want to come clean on its connection. (Which isn't to say that it is supported or sponsored by the ARI, which I doubt.)

Here is further evidence of the Objectivist connection.

Compare Founders' logo:

With this cover to Rand's The Romantic Manifesto:

For what it's worth, I think a college with a moderate Objectivist tilt would be a step up from what Russell Kirk called Behemoth State University.