a follow-up to that bleg

1) Sure wish I had remembered to say what we’re doing in math, science, and language (fourth year of Latin). Sorry about that.

2) Did not expect to get sixty-plus comments, but I am really thankful for them.

3) We’re not as ambitious as it might look. (Though at least one commenter thinks that all that material on Victorian sanitation, the problem of evil, and Chinese printing technologies is Easy Street.) We’ll be simply introducing Wes to a lot of this stuff, and nobody in our household expects him to be writing books on these subjects. The idea is that trying to get your head around the full scope of a particular issue — or set of interrelated issues — is useful in itself. The problem of sanitation in Victorian London was brought to the attention of English society as a whole by novelists like Dickens, but it is also a matter of ethics, sociology, science, technology, medicine, politics, city planning, and Lord knows what else. Most of the really interesting and really important issues people study are like that: they have a dozen or more points of entry, each of which gives you a different angle on the overall topic. There’s no way for Wes — or for me, if it comes to that — to get the whole picture. But learning just how much there is to the picture, and learning to fill it in as completely as you can — those are goals eminently worth pursuing. And when you get a sense of the complexity of one such issue, you just might learn to be a little less confident that you thoroughly comprehend other equally complex issues. In short, we want to teach our son a little bit about disciplined research and epistemic humility.