Podcast #245: The Trivium (Part Three) – Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric


This is part three of a series about the Trivium Method for self-teaching. Gene Odening will accompany us through the next three episodes.

Covered today:

Grammar Review (4:50-16:20)
-parts of speech
-the Golf analogy of wisdom

Logic Review(16:20-29:35)
-the term dialectic
-induction and deduction
-the syllogism

Rhetoric Introduction (29:35-38:30)
-compassionate communication
-self esteem
-the best way to learn is to teach?

The three types of discourse: (38:30-46:47)
-deliberative (political),
-judicial (forensic),
-ceremonial (epideictic).
-related to time: future, past, and present
-common and special topics

The Five Canons of Composition - Cicero (46:47-49:46)
-invention (creating ways to be persuasive)
-arrangement (structuring argument effectively)
-style (appealing to emotion)
-memory (speak extemporaneously)
-delivery (presentation)

The Socratic Circle/Method and the Delphi Technique (49:46-54:52)
-abuse of the Socratic circle, Rand Corporation
-illusions of choice and consensus

Science vs. Scientism, and the Trivium (54:52-1:17:12)
-Global warming: Thom Hartmann vs. Marc Morano
-Hegelian Dialectic
-Kant vs. Galileo
-the trials of Galileo and Bruno
-theoretical science

Review (1:17:12-END)
-Rhetoric - the time factor
-Logic - the big picture and the small picture
-Grammar - what is reality?
-teaching children the Trivium

Look Closer:

Trivium and Quadrivium Cliff Notes by Gene Odening by 8thestate

Trivium Method of Critical Thinking and Creative Problem Solving by 8thestate

Jan Irvin's Site, Trivium Education - http://www.triviumeducation.com/

T&H Trivium Resources - https://www.tragedyandhope.com/trivium/

The Lost Tools of Learning, by Dorothy Sayers - http://www.gbt.org/text/sayers.html

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  1. The last 20 minutes or so of the podcast are apparently truncated.

  2. Sorry about that; it should be fixed.

  3. Can you please refer me to a book that explains the principles of english language/grammar as clearly as Gene explained, or give some book titles from which he learned. I have never heard of any language teachings that make so much sense as Gene did explaining.

    Before I can dive into the Trivium I have to master english language first in a systematic way, rather by memorizing words as it is thought in non english schools.

    Here is a fun fact, out of curiosity once I contacted the owner of trivium.com and asked if he would be interested in selling his domain, and he said that many have asked him that already, and the approximate price that he would want to see is around 10.000 dollars. πŸ™‚

  4. Hi Brett, thanks for the thought provoking material. I want to recommend what I think is a good, modern day introductory book on rhetoric:

    Thank You For Arguing, Revised and Updated Edition: What Aristotle, Lincoln, And Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion

    The author, Jay Heinrichs, has a blog here:

    He also runs this website:

    Malevolent rhetoric (think Big Finance Capital financed two political party subdivision representatives) loses its sting when one understands the anatomy of their verbal weapons. Heinrichs does a good job making the subject interesting without sacrificing content value.

    A bit off topic to this podcast, but very on topic to life in general…

    The “grammar” and “logic” make it crystal clear to me that Henry Ford, Sr. and William Jennings Bryan were both spot on when identifying the root cause of society’s current structural faults (for society, the people running the system make out like the bandits they are)…

    “The youth who can solve the money question will do more for the world than all the professional soldiers of history.”
    ~Henry Ford, Sr.

    “If they ask us why we did not embody all these things in our platform which we believe, we reply to them that when we have restored the money of the Constitution, all other necessary reforms will be possible, and that until that is done there is no reform that can be accomplished.”
    ~William Jennings Bryan, Cross of Gold Speech, 1896

    Read the whole speech – you’ll notice the issues then mirror the issues of today. You’ll also note that Bryan addresses the “trickle down theory” being espoused by his opposition. Reagan’s rhetoric was almost 100 years old by the time he got around to giving it another spin. If people only knew history.

    Back to the “money problem.” At its core, it is very simple.

    If I lend you $20 at 5% interest, in 1 year you owe me $21 due to a double entry beookkeeping adjustment that adds $1 interest liability to your balance sheet and a $1 interest asset to my balance sheet.

    The whole balance sheet adds up to $21 and this balance is ostensibly the reason why economists have their perception managed away from analyzing the debt distribution within society.

    The problem for you (borrower, society) is that you only have $20 of the $21 you owe to me (lender, international banking cartel) and I have the $1 you need in order to avoid being forced into bankruptcy by me.

    In other words, well, I think Napoleon put it much more eloquently than I could…

    β€œWhen a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.”
    ~Napoleon Bonaparte

    Adding a little more detail is Robert Hemphill:

    “If all the bank loans were paid, no one could have a bank deposit, and there would not be a dollar of coin or currency in circulation. This is a staggering thought. We are completely dependent on the commercial Banks. Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash or credit. If the Banks create ample synthetic money we are prosperous; if not, we starve. We are absolutely without a permanent money system. When one gets a complete grasp of the picture, the tragic absurdity of our hopeless position is almost incredible, but there it is. It is the most important subject intelligent persons can investigate and reflect upon. It is so important that our present civilization may collapse unless it becomes widely understood and the defects remedied very soon.”
    by: Robert Hemphill, Credit Manager of Federal Reserve Bank, Atlanta, Ga.
    Source: In the foreword to a book by Irving Fisher, entitled 100% Money (1935)

    People have a hard time contextualizing an abstract weapon of mass debt. Debt is the destruction – and that’s not a hypothetical. It literally destroys quality of life and even life itself.

    Biggest Finance Capital is building the Debt Star and, when it is fully energized, it will destroy the world’s economies so only Biggest Finance Capital’s TBTF&Jail corporate fronts will be left standing.

    At least some people understood the Death Star was an actual threat. Unfortunately, the abstracy Debt Star isn’t recognized as the biggest threat facing humanity for, if it was, then people would have a hard time discussing anything else.

    That is the issue that trumps all issues – and no 2nd place issue is even close.

    I know that the Gene Odening has said that one of his interests is in the nature of money. I’d love to hear him discuss his thoughts and ideas on money and I’d be more than happy to share to my input into what I refer to as Debt Money Tyranny.

    Debt Money Tyranny is, in my estimation, the highest form of Sun Tzu’s Art of War ever waged against a people and the Federal Reserve is their version of the Trojan Horse.

    The quality of our futures may well depend on how well we get the word out about the prima facia fraud that is the Biggest Finance Capital (the people who defined money as debt and who ultimately control this system) debt based money, societal asset stripping mechanism.

    “Money is a new form of slavery, and distinguishable from the old simply by the fact that it is impersonal – that there is no human relation between master and slave.”
    Leo Tolstoy (1828 – 1910)

    Keep up the good work.

  5. Where do i go to vote for your Podcast?

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