Why We Write Well

We in Torrey speak with great devotion about the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. These—or it, as ‘these’ should be understood—are what we aim for. We want to produce and consider good ideas, true arguments, beautiful forms, and so forth. We want a union of Goodness and Truth and Beauty in all that we do, and our writing program aims to get us a little closer to that union.

We understand the archetypes (articulated first and best in Aristotle’s Rhetoric as the qualities of a persuasive orator) of ethos (or, for our purposes, the Good), logos (the True), and pathos (the Beautiful) as what come together to complete a good argument, since it takes the qualities of ethical authority, reason, and passion, of Goodness, Truth, and Beauty, together as one, for any great task to be completed well.

And so it is with good writing. All three, each—no matter which of the infinite forms they might take—must be in service of the others, must belong to one another. This is a good approach to living well, to flourishing, as much as it is a good approach to producing good writing.

The Torrey Paper, therefore, is assigned as a reflection of these values.