Chris Swanson

Chris Swanson has been a tutor at Gutenberg College since it opened its doors in 1994, and in 2016, he became president of the college. He has a B.S. in physics and math and both an M.S. and Ph.D. in physics. He has also done post-doctoral research at the University of Oregon.

Articles

  • Lady Temperance. Extols the virtue of temperance in a culture obsessed with bodily appetites. (11/15)
  • The Skill of Wisdom. Makes the case that wise living is a skill acquired much like other skills. (4/15)
  • Proof. Discusses the definition of 'proof' and compares the validity of everyday experience with mathematical proof. (1/14)
  • How Do You Get To Carnegie Hall: A Skill-Based Life. Makes the case that wise living is a skill acquired much like other skills. (2/14)
  • An Algebra Apology: Or what has algebra got to do with anything anyway?. Explains why studying Algebra remains an important thing to do. (7/14)
  • Four Dangerous Ideas. Discusses social and cultural beliefs that have become so ingrained in our cultural psyche that we cannot see them for what they are. (6/14)
  • Religious and Intellectual Commitments. Responds to Jack Crabtree's paper, "How to Follow Jesus When You Cannot Kill the Beast" (Summer Institute 2013), by looking at factors that affect how people commit to their beliefs. (8/13)
  • A Dialog on Education: A Socratic Approach to Choosing the Right College. Discusses the nature of education by using a fictional conversation between friends. (5/13)
  • Truth Detectors. Proposes that people are born truth-detectors and that they are very good at it. (01/13)
  • Chaos and Order. Discusses the shift from the view of the natural world as chaotic and to ordered and the ramifications of that shift for Western civilization. (09/11)
  • Disconnected Consequences. Discusses the separation between social actions and the consequences of those actions. (6/10)
  • Analysis and Meaning. Describes how historical assessments can differ so dramatically. (10/08)
  • Persuasion. Discusses two important aspects of persuasion—trust and evidence—and the relationship between them. (11/09)
  • Is Design Science?. Looks at the philosophical assumptions behind the scientific community's view of intelligent design. (11/05)
  • Measuring Up. Discusses the human desire to conform to worldly standards and how that desire relates to trusting God. (9/06)

Audio Series

  • Democracy: A User's Manual (Summer Institute 2010). We all love America's Founding Fathers, but what did they really say? Does their plan still work? Gutenberg tutors and SI 2010 participants explored through discussion of assigned readings and these lectures the history and future of American democracy. [Works discussed at the Gutenberg College 2010 Summer Institute: The Brothers Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoyevsky); The Federalist Papers (James Madison); Individualism and Economic Order (F. A. Hayek); Democracy in America (Alexis de Tocqueville); The Political Illusion (Jacques Ellul).] (Also on iTunes)
  • Faith & Science (Summer Institute 2006). Using the intelligent design debate as a test case, the Gutenberg College 2006 Summer Institute, Faith & Science, explored through discussion of assigned readings and these lectures the relationship between faith and reason, between the principled reading of the Bible and the principled pursuit of scientific inquiry. (Also on iTunes)
  • How to Follow Jesus When You Cannot Kill the Beast (Summer Institute 2013). American culture is quickly, and inexorably, becoming an anti-Christian state. That's the thesis of a paper by Gutenberg tutor Dr. Jack Crabtree in which he explores what it will look like to exist as a follower of Jesus in the emerging hostile society and how believers can prepare for such a future. Is he right? Gutenberg tutors and others in the Gutenberg community presented responses to Jack's paper. After each presentation, a lively dialog between presenters and participants ensued. The Summer Institute, in the spirit of Gutenberg College's approach to education, was a conversation about ideas and their consequences. [The papers from the Summer Institute will be available on the website as each is ready for publication.] (Also on iTunes)
  • Mastery Not Factory: How We Learn What Matters. Modern education increasingly resembles a factory-line. Students are shipped in and shaped to populate the market with products and buyers. Gutenberg believes a good education does more than prepare a student for the market: A good education molds our desires toward goodness and provides the skill to pursue goodness. In February 2014, Gutenberg hosted a conference on education. Speakers included Gutenberg tutors Chris Swanson and Tim McIntosh as well as Andrew Kern, founder and president of the CiRCE Institute, and Brandon Vance, two-time U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion. (Also on iTunes)
  • Paychecks, Politics & Paradigms (Summer Institute 2009). Economics is not just about dollar signs and balance sheets. It's about what we value. Gutenberg College's 2009 Summer Institute asked questions like these: What was ancient Israel's economy? What did Karl Marx really say? What was Adam Smith's "invisible hand"? Who is today's most influential economist? Lectures and small groups discussed a biblical approach to our economic and political world. (Video recordings of these talks are available at iTunesU.) (Also on iTunes)
  • What the BLEEP Can We Know? (Summer Institute 2012). Oceans of data now lie at our fingertips, but deep understanding seems farther and farther off. Science and faith seem divorced. Philosophy and everyday life seem completely unconnected. Can we bridge these chasms? Gutenberg tutors explored these questions at the Gutenberg College 2012 Summer Institute, "What the *Bleep* Can We Know?" (Also on iTunes)
  • What We Have Learned (Summer Institute 2014). Gutenberg College celebrated its 20th year at Summer Institute 2014. During this time of celebration and reflection, tutors who began the journey with Gutenberg when its doors opened in 1994--David Crabtree, Jack Crabtree, Charley Dewberry, Ron Julian, and Chris Swanson--shared some of what they learned along the way. (Also on iTunes)
Chris Swanson

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