Contrary to the belief of many in this age of radical presentism, much of what is in the past profoundly influences the present.
Foundational commitments, from the place of the human to the expectations of social interaction to the nature of law, all are being transformed in a short period of revolutionary change.
The hustling and corruption which I once celebrated as a sort of shady virtue that helped explain America’s spectacular growth now appear to me as a vice and, at its worst, a sin whose wages are death.
Kirk's conservatism was rooted in culture and community, in contrast to the individualism of libertarianism and the national greatness model of neoconservatism.
America’s political culture does indeed have deep roots in premodernity.
Much of modern psychology is based on discoveries made by psychiatrists and psychotherapists while observing their patients. But this is not the first time in history that a large group of professionals has been able to investigate the inner functioning of the human mind.
Civilization stands or falls with those who set the tone in society. Are they proper models for emulation? Do they inspire others to realize their better selves, or are they schemers manipulating others for their own benefit?
On its face, the promotion of tolerance, like the promotion of multiculturalism, is unobjectionable and even praiseworthy. Multicultural tolerance, however, has little in common with the traditional Western virtue beyond a shared name.
Rawls operates with a decision procedure for ethics that keeps corroborating the same moral outlook, a liberal one, whereas the objectivity he claims for the procedure might reasonably have been expected to be consistent with a wider range of moral, social, or political perspectives, or perhaps with a single position equidistant to polar extremes.
The rebel does not understand his sense of justice as subjective and arbitrary but as universal and authoritative.
Because these hostile ideologies rest on opposing (and unexamined) “abstract principles,” contemporary political discourse is usually shrill and fruitless.
Not even dictatorial rule can be sustained without the grudging acceptance of a populace whose anxieties and other propensities incline them to submit rather than to rebel.
There are people who, like Walton, will attempt to transform the state into an unrealistic paradisiacal land.
It is possible, then, to argue that Hayek’s basic formulas are defective in that they try to disconnect social policies from a moral order that transcends individual self-interest narrowly understood.
According to proponents, these new standards are “research and evidence based,” seemingly taking for granted that empirical data alone could provide sufficient warrant for the Common Core’s one-size-fits-all educational goals.
Though Bernardi cites authorities as disparate as Sam Francis and Dinesh D’Souza, the author of 'The Conservative Revolution' is neither a paleoconservative nor a neoconservative.
Transcendence understood as separate from the historical world of practice leaves the transcendent empty. It invites individuals to fill the emptiness with whatever personal desires and dreams they would like.
This article focuses on the relevance of early Christian writings on acedia and tristitia to the primary modern and postmodern maladies of the subject, i.e., chronic ennui, alienation, estrangement, disenchantment, angst, neurosis, etc.
While animals cannot reason, plan for the future, or think through a long-range plan of action, people can and should engage in these actions. Why should we choose to act like animals when we can choose not to and when we can create an environment in which acting like animals is unnecessary?
The idea that war might somehow be mediated by reasonable agreements, heroic values of resistance, and religious scruples, such as those governing the burial of the dead, has been reduced to a shambles by the internal dynamics of war and the logic of violence itself.
The relationship between tradition and modernity has been a central theme of postcolonial African philosophy. While African philosophers have examined this theme from many angles, several basic questions have become the focus of ongoing debate and discussion: What is the relevance of indigenous African traditions to the challenges of contemporary life?
McIntire’s study would have been better had the author provided a stronger historical context, but this deficiency should not obscure the fact that this is an impressive work of scholarly research and textual analysis. Herbert Butterfield is not a typical biography; rather, it is an analysis and explication of the subject’s intellectual achievement.
Culture has been degraded to somatic gratification, from which all meaning is now derived. Politically, this requires “using threats of high treason to silence doubt” about the status of the body as a justification for reshaping politics.
Peter Viereck was born in New York City in 1916. He died on May 13, 2006, at the age of 89 in South Hadley, Massachusetts, in the same house on the edge of the Mount Holyoke College campus where he and his family had lived since he started teaching at the College.
It was recently reported that a number of colleges, including Emory, Kenyon and the University of Rochester, were encouraging some of their students to experience the conditions of homelessness by sleeping outside on gratings or in cartons.
I shall argue, on the other hand, that Kant is not the final word on personal or political ethics. Indeed, his thought suffers from a fundamental weakness that is retained by both Habermas and Professor Day and, to a lesser degree, by Hayek.
I went down yesterday to the River. I wa...
Shakespeare has the Duke stage a brilliant Machiavellian parody of the extremes of the Christian apocalyptic expectation of rewards and punishments by demonstrating their political usefulness.
What is conservatism? Is it simply an older version of liberalism? Which traditions do conservatives “conserve” in an age of modern change? Is conservatism populist or elitist, democratic or aristocratic?
Because of the elusiveness of Truth, Strauss is tempted to doubt the existence of universality, and he flirts with nihilism.
In Panichas’ view, the critic’s responsibility consists, first, in identifying “the highest things,” and then in articulating how this time-bound aesthetic form can function as a means of transcendent revelation.
Babbitt’s influence has been substantial and salutary, and that there is a major resurgence of interest in Babbitt that may prove significant for the future of China and thus the world.
Concern about the ethical condition of m...
My late father, Wu Mi, had carefully kep...
Irving Babbitt and his intellectual ally Paul Elmer More played a crucial role in Liang’s literary battle with Lu Xun, who was everywhere regarded as China’s leading leftist or “proletarian” writer.
For Whigs, probably more than Democrats, literature and political rhetoric represented similar, closely related instructional devices for both individual and collective improvement. Whig literature was rarely ever for “idle” entertainment only and was almost always didactic.
They were in direct opposition to the New Culture Movement led by the New Intellectuals, and it is in this sense that I consider them conservatives.
Professors were the earliest victims of the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, but we went willingly to the barricades. We were the ones to make peace with what we should have fought.
Here are superbly imaginative treatments...
Mark Lilla held that for Kimball "the cause of the Sixties was quite simply . . . the Sixties. They just happened, as a kind of miracle, or antimiracle—Why did such a profound revolution take place?" In my opinion, Kimball’s reply is not entirely satisfactory.
Herder’s goal was to work against social fragmentation and contribute to restoring the human being to its “original unity,” which comprised more than the sum of its individual parts.
Perhaps it is no accident that reason and history, poetry, ethics, and religion are in such desperate straits in American education.
The Eikones is translated and transmuted time and time again by those who wish to 'recapture' antiquity.
Unlike most other texts, the “classics” have the potential to upend our typical modes of understanding, challenge our baser impulses, and confound our historically and culturally constituted presuppositions.
My own ideal, already partially fulfilled, is for my work to be made obsolete, of mere historic interest, by the much better achievements of my apprentices. That is the only way I know to surpass my own limitations.
This book, despite its solid scholarship and publication by a major university press, will be ignored by the author’s own generation of academicians because it truly is radical; that is, it goes to the roots.
Babbitt and the romantics agree that imagination is vital to the development of the educated person, but each school of thought advocates a different quality of the imagination.
St. Augustine and Karl Jaspers wrote about humanity as a whole, humankind, the human race—not only everyone around the world, but throughout time, the past and the future, in one shared purpose.
The ability of traditions to confer legitimacy on social practices helps to explain why cultural nationalists, states, and even radical movements have tried to invigorate their political projects by inventing appropriate traditions, symbols, and rituals.
A critical exploration of cultural beliefs will enable us to see how people make rational or justificatory connections among their socio-culturally structured evidence, counter-evidence, relevant alternatives, and beliefs.
In Qatar, my students are perplexed by this fixation American students have about eliminating suffering on a global scale. And they cannot quite escape the suspicion that something more than charity is at work in the minds of the Americans they meet.
To be modern is to give up the “sense of place” associated with the late medieval hierarchical world in favor of a space and time conceived to be populated by infinite numbers of entirely exchangeable loci.
The conflict between advocates of the free market and traditionalist conservatives dates from the beginning of the modern conservative movement. Never have traditionalists and classical liberals comfortably shared the same space.
March 1, 2012, will mark the 175th anniv...
Edmund Burke, the passionate defender of...
It is no accident that "The English Patient"—surely the best movie to come on the American screen in a very long time—chooses the Greek Herodotus as a leitmotif.
Yet an historical perspective reveals that the conflict over the family may only be beginning and that we may be on the verge of a wider confrontation that will decide not only the survival of the family but fundamental questions about the scope and nature of the modern state.
From Edmund Burke and Joseph de Maistre in the eighteenth century through such twentieth-century critics as Lewis Mumford, Karl Popper, and Isaiah Berlin, the utopian concept of a rationally planned or dirigiste society is viewed as one of reason’s most nightmarish monsters.
Liberalism “is now fading out of the wor...
It should also be stated that, needless to say, the socalled conservative movement has had many admirable features. Some of its members resisted the trends that brought it to its present low point. Unfortunately, as it tries to recover, it may ignore those voices again and repeat its old mistakes.
I wish to take issue with Bevir’s treatment of tradition precisely because it is so utilitarian. It reduces a social reality to an amorphous material with no meaning or purpose of its own.
In a non-didactic manner, the film offers a lesson that our time badly needs to learn: that all is not gold that glimmers.
The Romantics’ value pluralism anchored in virtue ethics is not an abstraction but a concrete negotiation with a world that is by turns beautiful, baffling, and outrageous.
There are pleasures too numerous to mention within literature, the fine arts, history, mathematics, science, and philosophy. We cannot say with any assurance, however, that these pleasures will dispose the person to virtue.
The student’s psyche must approach its beloved (the beautiful) with reverence, and under the discipline of the intellect.
“The Last and Brightest Empire of Time”: Timothy Dwight and America as Voegelin’s “Authoritative Present,” 1771-1787
His orations, sermons, and poems in the last third of the eighteenth century—during the critical years of the nation’s founding—reveal a framework of thought that situated America as the endpoint toward which all prior history had been tending.
As in his previous work, Gottfried is critical of the neoconservative project. Gottfried attributes the neoconservatives’ success mostly to their relentless self-promotion and what in the business world is called cross-selling, massive fundraising efforts, and their close ideological (and, in some cases, personal) connections with the liberal establishment.
There is much that is still alive in Santayana’s philosophical explication of Goethe’s Faust, especially Goethe’s appeal to the understanding to be derived from phenomena themselves.
Bacon asked that Nature be “put to the rack” and forced to reveal her secrets.