Tag Archives: Synthetic Thinking

Wholes and Parts—Which is Which?

applegraphicIn chapter two of Poetic Knowledge: The Recovery of Education, entitled “The Philosophical Foundations,” Dr. James Taylor traces the historical “Great Conversation” of Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, and others on the validity of poetic knowledge from its known roots to the present. The topic crystallizes in a few key ways. To begin with, poetic knowledge is closely allied with love. Education is concerned with “ordering the affections”—teaching us to know and love that which is beautiful and good.


Augustine wrote:

Because love is a movement [of the soul] and every movement is always toward something, when we ask what ought to be loved, we are therefore asking what it is that we ought to be moving toward….It is the thing in regard to which possession and knowing are one and the same.

Poetic, or synthetic, knowledge is not a thing that can be accomplished by systems, lesson plans, or direct command. Continue reading Wholes and Parts—Which is Which?