B.A., St. John’s College; M.A., Clark University; Ph.D., Clark University: Cognitive and Developmental Psychology
Office: 129A Carver Hall, Kentucky State University, 400 East Main Street, Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: (502) 597-6723
Background and Interests
I earned a B.A. degree in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Psychology from Clark University. Except for the freshman language sequence, I have taught all the courses in the Honors Program. My intellectual interests are wide and include mathematics, poetry, and philosophy. Earlier in my career I wrote on language development, educational uses of computers, the art of questioning in inquiry, and non-standard logics. More recently I have written on teaching and learning in liberal education, and have published a few poems. Before coming to KSU I worked in educational research, human factors, and artificial intelligence. While at KSU I have occasionally taught in the psychology department (statistics, cognitive psychology, and history and systems of psychology). One of my long-standing concerns is the relevance of liberal education to the contemporary world. My current focus is on mathematics as a part of liberal education. I live in Lexington with my family.
Texts of Talks
Below are texts of some of the talks that I have given over the years (along with citation information, should that be relevant). I have grouped them under three headings, and listed them in reverse chronological order. These pieces were written to be spoken, which in part explains some stylistic irregularities. Enjoy!
On Mathematics in Liberal Education
Four answers to the question, how much math is needed for wisdom?
Mawby, R. (2010, September). Dividing Lines. Talk presented in the ILS/WYS Lecture Series at Kentucky State University, Frankfort, KY.
Even the Flaws are Perfections
On the proper place of Euclid’s Elements in contemporary education
Mawby, R. (2007, March). Even the Flaws are Perfections: Euclid’s Elements as a Core Text. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for Core Texts and Courses, Williamsburg, VA.
Math and the Good of the Soul
On the Platonic claim that mathematics is good for the soul
Mawby, R. (2006, September). Mathematics and the Good of the Soul. Talk presented in the ILS/WYS Lecture Series at Kentucky State University, Frankfort, KY.
Math is to Platonism as the sacraments are to Christianity
Mawby, R. (2005, April). Sacramental Math. Paper presented at the Institute for Liberal Studies Conference on Science and Culture, Frankfort, KY.
Questions as the present images of their answers
Mawby, R. (2009, April). Questioning Looks. Paper presented at the Fifteenth Annual Conference of the Association for Core Texts and Courses, Memphis, TN
On Educational Fraud
Why it is so easy for sham education to replace genuine education
Mawby, R. (2006, May). On Educational Fraud. Paper presented at the Kentucky Conference on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Lexington, KY.
Seven Rules for Discussion Classes
Some pointers on how not to ruin seminars
Mawby, R. (2000, May). Seven Rules for Effective Discussion Classes. Paper presented at the Kentucky Conference on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Hebron, KY.
Tricks to use questions to help you think for yourself
Mawby, R. (1996, September). Adam’s Eyes. Talk presented to students and faculty at Kentucky State University, Frankfort, KY.
On Ethics for a Changing and Uncertain World
Grooves of Expertise and Questions of Wisdom
Whitehead on the danger of specialization, i.e., minds in a groove
Mawby, R. (2012, March). Grooves of Expertise and Questions of Wisdom. Paper presented at the 18th Annual Conference of the Association for Core Texts and Courses, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Faute de Mieux
Two ways to approach the question, what ought I to do?
Mawby, R. (2006). Faute de Mieux. The Midwest Quarterly, Winter 2006, Volume XLVII, No. 2, 182-195.
Evolvability in Whiteheadian Ethics
On ethical excellence in a changing world
Mawby, R. (2002, April). Evolvability in Whiteheadian Ethics. Paper presented at the Thirteenth Annual Institute for Liberal Studies Conference on Science and Culture, Frankfort, KY.
Serious Play & the Function of Reason
On Whitehead’s ethics and speculative play
Mawby, R. (1999, April). Serious Play and the Function of Reason. Talk presented to students and faculty at Kentucky State University, Frankfort, KY.
Ignorance and Bliss
This requires special explanation. Ignorance and Bliss is a collection of odd, rambling, unfinished essays from twenty years ago, some sections of which I have since polished into more conventional talks and papers. When I wrote these essays I was younger: more deft, more daft, on fire to think using my one gift of making analogies. Now I am older: simpler, more ordinary, more glow than flame, yet still mazed, and still open to wonder.