What Matters/fundamentals for living
In addition to the tools of learning, there are several facts and skills that enable us to live our lives, relate to others, and provide us with background and context for further learning.
Basic Life Skills:
Discussion of the questions: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am for myself alone, what am I? If not now, when?”
Exploration of human virtue.
Characterization of well-being.
The Natural World:
In addition, the graduating pupil ought to have a grasp of the essentials of the scientific vision of the world. An awareness of the overall history of the cosmos, as we understand it, birth of galaxies and stars, origin of the chemical elements, evolution of life, the theories of Charles Darwin, some understanding of basic biology. A feel for physics: atoms, molecules, the atomic nucleus, elementary particles, awareness of basic theories, such as those of Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell, statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, special and general relativity, and the standard model of particle physics.
The ability to solve, or even write down, the equations of these theories is unnecessary for the lay person, but some awareness of, roughly, what these theories say about the world is important.
Our Political World:
An awareness of what our current global problems are and what we might do about them and are (or are not) doing about them, plus relevant background knowledge. Some history, local and global. Exposure to political ideas, philosophies and programs, and the arguments and counterarguments about them.
Understand moral virtue. Complete a course on moral virtue. Practice and apply moral virtue.
Commerce is the environment that allows exchanging goods and services. Important topics include:
- Establishing fair value of goods and services,
- Fair exchange,
- Allocating scarce resources,
- Supply and demand,
- Positive and negative externalities,
- The essential distinction between economies—the exchange of goods and services—and economics—an approximate money-based model of an economy.
- Preservation and allocation of the commons.
- Negotiation skills.
Finding Value in Life:
Discussion of the question: what is of value in life, and how is it to be realized?
Exploration of the fundamental problem: How can our human world, the world as we experience it, imbued with consciousness, free will, meaning and value, exist and best flourish embedded in the physical universe?