". . . It is important, nevertheless, in any analysis of learning to emphasize that learning is a
subjective process, its function being to constantly present to the discriminative mind impressions of
reality, as gained by the mind's ability to perceive and interpret.
The validity of an impression obviously cannot be
tested by reference to a single objective reality. The criterion is rather the impression's agreement with
the whole of consciousness, or the total system of all past 'correct' discernments--- percepts,
concepts, and inferences--- which, together with universal and empirical laws derived from them, are
believed to describe the true nature of phenomena.
It is this quality of agreement, self-consistencey,
or uniformity of consciousness that makes learning possible . . . "
~~~ This essay was written when Virginia was 16.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Political investigative reportings, opinion pieces, in-depth interviews, cultural articles, during Virginia's one-year tenure as Editor-in-Chief of the
Rockford College Anvil (1974-1975)
". . . But at Rockford College conflict of opinion is viewed as an unfortunate occurrence.
Whatever independent thought may be contained in the student newspaper, has almost a fugitive
status and exists in a kind of limbo. Independent thought on important issues is not encouraged
by the administration.
So as part of the answer to the faculty member who asked what the solutions were to the fact that
students are not required to think here and thus rarely do: if the administration would stop badgering
the few students who do try to think, maybe more real independent thinkers would step forward and
make their opinions known . . .
. . . Unfortunately, the intellectual and educational decisions and policies of Rockford College are made
without regard for the views of the student. Rockford College could help students to think; as an
institution, it could encourage literary, journalistic and other pursuits. Articulate exchange of opinion
could conceivably occur between the administration and students. I believe a student newspaper
could play a part in that exchange; but until the administration comes to encourage active, independent
thought on the part of the students--- I am not personally optimistic."
An analysis of Trotsky's views of the Mensheviks (title & date unknown; part of essay missing)
"Unlike the Mensheviks, Trotsky does not believe that free labor can exist in a truly socialist society. Trotsky sees the major task of the socialist system as one in which a completely planned economy involving compulsory labor eventually evolves into an ecconomic system far more productive than capitalism. Indeed, if the socialist state cannot do this, the revolution has no real purpose and is doomed to failure."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Justice as a Metaethical Absolute" (Rockford College, May, 1976 -- juried honors paper, Dept of Philosophy -- drawing on concepts of justice in Aristotle, Plato, Rousseau, Kant, Nietzsche & others )
"It is the purpose of this essay to enquire into the function of justice as an ethical category in language. While
such an approach does not contribute any new normative speculation concerning the ethical correctness
of solutions to certain current moral problems, it is hoped that such a linguistic analysis might help to
clarify the nature of Justice as an ethical concept, its role as an ideal or absolute in a system of knowledge--- as well as
shedding light on why we accept as a matter of course certain normative propositions that we intuitively
relate to the idea of Justice."
~~~ This essay was the basis for awarding Virginia the first honors degree in philosophy in the long history of
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Rare Books and Manuscripts: The Silent Stewardship" (University of Chicago, 1976)
Considers " . . . whether the economic and political power of the major corporate communicators in American society, has so destroyed any possibility of a marketplace of ideas, that some reconsideration of the traditional understanding of freedom of speech and tolerance, is necessary."
~~~ The professor (unidentified) who graded the paper wrote the following assessment: "Exceedingly thoughtful,
and expertly presented. --a highly superior paper."
Eventually all of these writings will be availabe as pdfs, linked to the titles above. They are currently in typescript, generally of quality too poor to be converted into digital form by OCR technology, so I am typing them all out by hand as time permits.
If anyone knows of additional writings by Virginia not listed here, please contact me. Also, I lack copies of Virginia's editorial pieces written for the Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph. If anyone can provide copies of these, I would be most grateful.