Mainstream academics are accustomed to viewing the moral-spiritual and cultural dimensions of the problem of war and peace as esoteric and insignificant. Studying these dimensions is actually indispensable to a full-bodied realism.
Only the nation, outlasting the life of individuals and private companies now present, is the proper vehicle for conserving the general welfare.
Women’s liberation is a concept that is almost always found at the heart of revolutionary thinking.
For nearly a century the cliché “publish or perish” has haunted the professoriate. This gloomy refrain lingers on in faculty lounges and doctoral programs. Why must the professor write, and for what purpose?
A German Tocqueville? The Unrecognized Importance of Francis Lieber’s Letters to a Gentleman in Germany, or The Stranger in America
Tocqueville commented on the American characteristics of equality, democracy, individualism, restlessness, and enterprise, but he was not the first foreigner to do so.
Look—look at all this empirical proof that interventionist policy has disastrous results! The anti-interventionist persuasion business kicks into overdrive, but with little long-term effect.
Many who have heard Reagan's words have not really listened to them. They have taken away vague impressions of his rhetoric and have not fully understood the meaning and significance of what he actually said.
Even though Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump could not be more different, there has been a remarkable continuity in their approaches.
Christian theology, Western civilization, and, above all else, mental discipline—Babbitt’s case for the humanities relied on none of these foundations.
Washington's greatness stemmed from his being grounded in historical experience, his philosophical realism, and his refusal to conflate the things of God and the things of Caesar.
More humanistic scholars recommend a return to history. This remedy, though, is incomplete. The statesman must learn from it, but what he must learn is not often clear.
Contrary to the belief of many in this age of radical presentism, much of what is in the past profoundly influences the present.
What is meant by ‘the rule of law,’ and why is it of value?
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.
Incorporation is a fact of modern jurisprudence; it is now interwoven into Supreme Court case history, having produced nearly a century of judicial precedents. A conservative cannot be limited to lamenting changes.
America’s political culture does indeed have deep roots in premodernity.
Citizens pine for statesmanship to rescue them from (often self-imposed) political difficulties, but frequently struggle with defining the characteristics of such leadership.
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.
What we might learn from Thucydides today does not relate only to worries about the rise of China in its new role as Athens. The main lesson comes from Thucydides as an Athenian who reflects on his own city. Graham Allison and American policy makers need to be as self-reflective about America as they are about the rise of China.
It is an understatement to say that the American intervention in Iraq in 2003 will have broad and decisive implications for how the administration of former President George W. Bush will be evaluated by historians.
Of the many thinkers who have had difficulty making sense of Burke’s historical consciousness the most celebrated in recent decades has been Leo Strauss.
Numerous jeremiads today about American higher education demonstrate a disinclination to examine their subject in a broad historical perspective. Thus many such works seldom cast their purview earlier than the academic culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s, and see these decades as the years that inaugurated the push to treat higher education as a business.
Although I have been an earnest admirer of Leo Strauss since I first started reading his books, Straussians have a tendency to bewitch themselves with words and phrases from the master’s lexicon in ways that are preposterous.
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?
Because constitutional rights were synonymous with the restraints on government embodied in customary law, the greatest threat to English liberties were governmental innovations that undermined centuries-old customs.
Under Polanyi’s revolutionary imaginary, we are deeply, even constitutionally, committed to truth. But in the “commitment to commitment” that Grene correctly perceives at the core of Polanyi, we are committed to some content.
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.
The inhabitants of utopia, their creators insist, are happy. But their lives are depicted as so relentlessly public, so entirely ordered and uneventful that their posited felicity is not something that many readers would willingly share.
Hawthorne’s tale is a finely crafted, perspicuous representation of aporia, that befuddlement or confusion. This is the kind of world we live in, and these are the kinds of creatures we are.
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.
A revolt against the dual tradition of Christian and humanistic self-discipline, and the substitution of a new basis of morality, lies at the heart of the breakdown of internationalism.
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.
Power Without Limits: The Allure of Political Idealism and the Crumbling of American Constitutionalism
For the framers of the U.S. Constitution no task seemed more important than to limit and tame power.
The dysfunction stems, in large part, from the fact that the Senate no longer performs one of the important functions for which the Framers created it.
Eric Voegelin does not offer us a formula but a temperate and mystery-respecting philosophy of consciousness.
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.
Augustinian Christianity is unable to sustain its own posture of radical transcendence. That position is so harsh, so immoderate, and so inhuman that it leads its advocates to succumb to an extremism of another kind.
Formalists separate the aesthetic and the ethical. In this article I argue that moral considerations may play a decisive role in our appreciation of particular works of art.
Rousseau’s political ideas were at once idealistic, “mystical,” and collectivist.
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.
I contend that Žižek does not deliver the insights that he repeatedly promises. I propose to subject one of his works Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism? to close examination.
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?
Ultimately, it is this reverence, this humility before God, and this faith in the goodness of life that are at the heart of Panichas’s long and productive career, and that also underlie the sort of conservatism that he has defended so admirably over the course of the past four decades.
Over a long and accomplished career, Peter J. Stanlis has often worked at the intersection of literature, philosophy, and political philosophy, and this emphasis is evident in Robert Frost: The Poet as Philosopher, a study that explores Frost’s relationship to developments in the sciences, the humanities, and politics from the age of Charles Darwin to the time of John F. Kennedy’s presidency.
Decision Procedures, Moral Philosophy, and Despair: The Response of Virtue Ethics and the Connoisseur
The problem is that Ryn, like others who have become desperate, must assume that those who do not read the situation in the same pessimistic light are blinded by some intellectual or moral flaw.
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.
More than twenty years earlier as a Nebraska congressman, "The Great Commoner" had joined the struggle to free the Senate from the control of corrupt state legislatures, and despite three failed campaigns for the presidency, he never wavered in his determination to make the Senate a popularly elected body.
Rose After the thorn I made myself such, Barbaric, forlorn To all that I touch. A rose has a way…
What separates Voegelin from most modern philosophers is not so much a difference of intellect as a difference of imagination.
Mill muddied the waters of classical-liberal philosophy by his conviction that the end of government is the “improvement of mankind” and not the preservation of individual liberty.
Sixteen hundred years ago, St. Augustine warned against the inherent idolatry of empire. To assign to one’s earthly nation the mission that by right belongs only to the Kingdom of Christ is to be guilty of the worst of disordered loves.
The Constitution cannot survive unless its conservative-liberal synthesis is respected and celebrated by all parties.
It is not the mere division of tasks that results in the collective good—there is no “invisible hand” in John’s functionalism.
The respect which Habermas accords to Kant’s moral and political ideals is what separates his interpretation of the Kantian project from Hayek’s.
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.
On the most general level, then, his response to modernity is not unlike many others in the post-War period: a rediscovery of some form of personal moral anchor, in opposition to the surrounding sources of disorder, as a way out of the nihilism of the twentieth century.
The story of the states that tarried in ratifying the Constitution helps us put an appropriate emphasis where the framers intended: on the State Conventions.
According to a perhaps naive, but still dominant positivistic view of science, scientific knowledge is the only reliable knowledge. It…
During the Protests We praise the clink of dinner plates Stirring in evening suds, and thank You for the snow’s…
Eric Voegelin’s treatment of Christianity is notoriously problematic.
Utopia provides the earliest antidote to utopian ideology, which it subtly ridicules by the ironic deployment of stylistic variation.
I went down yesterday to the River. I was walking along the park where today the barge will be landing…
At the conclusion of his writing career, Nietzsche ironically and unintentionally ends up affirming a perspective on life that resonates with what can be termed a “Christianity of Joy.”
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.
It follows, then, in the light of the Anthropic Principle, that, if man is to exist as a subject endowed with free will, the iniquity of nature, pain and suffering must also exist.
Frost’s perception of the continuity and unity in historical events came to him through an intuition, or revelation, expressed in “Kitty Hawk”: “Then I saw it all.”
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 mankind has exercised great minds from the beginning of time. In Biblical chronology, the…
The very purpose of the prudential tradition is to prepare men and women with the deliberative capacity to decide how to act in such situations.
My late father, Wu Mi, had carefully kept three letters written to him by his esteemed and beloved teacher Irving…
Most importantly, Ryn holds that I place such emphasis on contingency, particularity, and finitude that I have difficulty explaining the basis of the continuity and coherence, weight and responsibility, that I myself find necessary for the reconstructive middle ground.
Careful, in-depth attention to questions of knowledge is one of the preconditions for a reinvigoration of the humanities and social sciences. In the study of man as a social and cultural being, how is knowledge obtained?
How can people of ostensibly sound mind tender their support for the longest-running dictatorship in the world?
Praise of contemplation and speculation does not constitute a refutation of positivism.
Irving Babbitt, the great American humanist, was bound to the modern Chinese culture even though Babbitt himself might not have been aware of it. His erudition and glamour enticed a dozen young Chinese scholars into Harvard University to seek instruction from him.
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.
Professor Roberts and I may have not so much a fundamental philosophical disagreement as a difference of philosophical nomenclature and emphasis. Ideas in Roberts’s thinking that are still only tentatively stated could well evolve in ways that will reveal further consonance between us.
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.
Ryn asks the right questions but errs in his endorsement of Machiavelli. Machiavelli is not a tradition-minded "realist" but a political ideologue and a moral revolutionary.
The only way to do this properly, it seems to me, is to travel along with Homer, hitting the highlights and commenting as I go.
How does Locke understand language and its role in conveying information and meaning between persons?
The novel’s aesthetic and interpretive complexity, it will be seen, underlines the multi-layered meaning of salvation itself, in a modern world in which salvation is not necessarily one of divine grace, of deliverance from sin and damnation, in short, of redemption in the hands of an all-powerful God.
The cries of righteous indignation that I can hear show the force of ingrained habit. How could universality possibly express itself in particularity? This is surely “relativism,” “solipsism,” “historicism,” “nihilism” “situationism”! This reaction points to the need for rethinking not just morality but epistemology.
The prestige of historical figures rises and falls, and the tendency for the biggest to fall hardest may be especially prevalent in intellectual history. But there seems something anomalous about Croce's case, as René Wellek, the distinguished historian of criticism, recently emphasized.
At its core, the modern moral-imaginative dynamic is a rebellion against whatever interferes with our favorite desires. It is an expression of a great self-indulgence.
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.
Viereck, ever audacious, gives us an account of the poet’s dying and, in consequence, of what our own might be if we could pull it off.
Aristotle once said that “all men desire to know.” In modern philosophy, however, this “desire” has been ignored, and concern for this fundamental human experience has been replaced by a concern for epistemological consistency.
When existence is understood as boring and burdensome, often a more dangerous rejection of reality follows.
Many autobiographies are written with an eye toward settling old scores, but this is not one of them. These memoirs are striking because of the absence of any rancor or bitterness toward old intellectual or literary adversaries.
Here are superbly imaginative treatments of logical principles, the uses and meanings of words, the functions of names, the perplexities…
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.
His noetic mysticism makes him better equipped to transcend the ideological deformations of modernity and the Islamic world. Yet his mysticism is ultimately solitary, making it insufficient to accomplish its task.
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.
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.
Redeeming the Time is a pointed, prescient and at times disturbing collection. It is filled with the sense of "the unbought grace of life" by which Kirk lived his own life, and through which we renew our commitment to the permanent values of our civilization.
Moral nihilism and relativism seem not to carry the academic prestige that they once enjoyed. Philosophers and others are drawn…
There are many ways to re-read a classic. One can go to it to participate again in something permanent. One…
Introduction: Perennial Philosophy Historicized The mainstay of perennial philosophy is the problem of "the one and the many." In the…
Few parents raise their children from infancy to assume a specific occupation or role in life. Fewer still raise them to be radical reformers. This, however, is precisely what James Mill did with his first-born child, John Stuart Mill.
They have every luxury and convenience and no punishment—except one. The only torture visited upon its denizens is that they must live in solitary; no debates, conversations, gossip, faction meetings, conspiracies, cross-talk, backbiting.
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.
Tate argued against both censorship by Catholic authorities and what he termed the literary "angelic imagination," advocating instead the Dantesque "symbolic imagination."
While Rorty makes a sound move in attempting to defend democracy on a non-foundational basis, he goes too far in the Sophists’ direction.
Neither Hobbes nor Locke said much about the transmutations of human nature in the past because they were more concerned about how it might be transformed in the future.
In the view of many scholars, Leon Pompa has played a crucial role in reviving the study of Vico in…
The work of both Michael Polanyi and Alasdair MacIntyre contributes significantly to overcoming the problems posed by late modernity. They harbor no nostalgic illusions; neither do they believe that skepticism and despair are satisfying alternatives.
Central to Federici’s analysis is the distinction he makes between competing concepts of democracy.
Betrayal changes not only our sense of the world, but our sensibility toward the world.
Lionized in his early career by much of the historical establishment, Beard fell out of favor with his fellow liberal and progressive academics because of his opposition to the nation’s foreign policy in the years prior to World War II.
Reflection on the Old Testament diplomatic traditions could provide the starting point for a return to a more sober foreign policy.
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.
The Whig party had presupposed acceptance of the basic character of the country as it was. They sought redemption only through peaceful means and through the established constitutional edifice.
Though a sine qua non for good government, according to Fabius, a strong confederation alone is insufficient to ensure that government will live up to its “sacred trust.”
The respective governments, in Budapest and Bucharest, may sign many friendship treaties: still they will not be friends, allies, cousins.
The older, humanistic tradition look to literature for cultural self-criticism, while the postmodernists look for reinforcement of their pre-existing impulses.
This "most readable" of medieval authors was fascinated by execution. Why?
Though not a student of the history of testing for intelligence, I have always thought that intellectual ability, the ability…
Emerson scholars have long noted the ubiquity of change in his perspective on the natural and social worlds. They have…
At its core, the emphasis on communal perfection seeks to quell the religious anxiety generated by a faith that is demanding, uncertain, and absolutist in its claims.
Justice’s enemies, both Ancient and Modern, were not entirely wrong.
In an ironic turn, the highly imaginative Rousseau worries about arousing the imagination of his pupil. He regards the imagination as “the most active of all” the faculties, but also highly undesirable.
It is argued here that understanding Burke’s romanticism is an important part of understanding Burke. Understanding Burke’s romanticism also helps one understand the subtle ways in which aesthetics, ethics, and politics interact.
It is apt for Plato to describe the quarrel between poetry and philosophy as an ‘ancient’ one (Republic 607b). Art…
Until recently, the humanistic impulse has been central to literary criticism in the West. The works of twentieth-century American critics…
After Mill discovered Romantic poetry he decided to abandon the “mere reasoning machine” that was his old self—and he emerged from this period a changed man.
Slavoj Žižek occupies a dual world. He is liberated and imprisoned at the same time.
Introduction It is a truism, but nonetheless true, that modern philosophical discourse revolves around the question of how (or if)…
When Thucydides’ understated but crucial role in Strauss’s thought is fully exposed, Strauss’s philosophy as a whole starts to appear differently.
The intellectual power, originality and prescience of Irving Babbitt becomes with each passing decade more obvious. Scholars familiar with Babbitt's…
The alternative provided by Brautigan is a flight of fancy, an imaginary celebrity in dreamland, where self and world work out just the way we want them.
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 anniversary of William Dean Howells’s birth. Experience has disgraced my prophetic abilities more…
Edmund Burke, the passionate defender of the "ancient principles"1 of his forebears, might be surprised to discover that he originated a…
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 world,” Russell Kirk proclaimed in 1955 in the liberal Catholic periodical Commonweal. “And…
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.
The national debt is roughly 100 percent of our gross national product, and the people who lend to the federal government are beginning to worry that they will not get their money back. Yet without continuous borrowing, the nation cannot possibly sustain its accustomed lifestyle. Something has got to give.
Much has been written in the past century about the state of American constitutionalism and the political culture that serves…
When and why did I begin to bristle under the rigid codes of belief and behavior imposed by American politics, academics, and culture?
The mainstay of the Turkish modernization project in the twentieth century has been relegating religion to the private sphere. To…
Theodore S. Hamerow, historian at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, accomplishes with such remarkable wit and acuity the description, analysis, and interpretation of the field of history that we in other fields of the academic humanities gain a model and a message for our own thinking about what we do and how and why we do it.
Perhaps its unsparing analysis of the psychology of utopian reformers still strikes a little too close to home for it to make its way onto reading lists at most schools and colleges.
Does humanist individualism need supplementation by a form of reason that is not simply practical-analytical?
While applauding these Babbittian ideas, I have argued in various places that Babbitt unduly discounts reason’s contribution to the search for reality.
According to this “new thinking” about literary theft, plagiarism must go the way of other taboos that have been modified and redefined in deference to sensitivity and social progress...
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.
Marshall vs. Jefferson Then and Now: How the Intellectual and Political Struggle Over the Constitution Resonates Today
Clear and irreconcilable differences in the political and constitutional philosophies of Jefferson and Marshall sparked heated debate over such monumental issues as the use of judicial review over acts of Congress and the development of the doctrine of “implied powers.”
The Intellectual Kinship of Irving Babbitt and C. S. Lewis: Will and Imagination in That Hideous Strength
According to Lewis scholar Alister McGrath, “From about 1937, Lewis seems to have appreciated that the imagination is the gatekeeper of the human soul.”
In a non-didactic manner, the film offers a lesson that our time badly needs to learn: that all is not gold that glimmers.
If America seeks a future inspired by the virtues of its past, then it must derive inspiration not merely from the founders but also from the Hebraic and Roman Republics.
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.
Emerson sees his work as an extension of Plato's.
I shall concentrate on four themes in Babbitt’s writings that are relevant today to the discipline of comparative literature as well as to related disciplines for which the study of literature may be more important than is generally recognized, whether or not these themes have been reflected in recent critical texts.
It is upon small-scale values and practices—not the abstractions of cosmopolitanism or “global thinking”—that the literal survival of the world depends.
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.
A careful reading of Kundera’s observations about the novel suggests that they do not quite cross the border to unmeaning, but in any case it is the novels themselves that embody the deeper insight, as the author himself would no doubt cheerfully concede.
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.
Only these figures, their inner lives properly regulated, are meant by nature to rule the rest, just as the head rules the body. “A multitude,” Plato asserts, “cannot be philosophical,” a capacity reserved for a select few.
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.
Political Theology and the Theology of Politics: Carl Schmitt and Medieval Christian Political Thought
The Medieval understanding of theology and politics, rooted in Exodus, exceeds the limiting categories Carl Schmitt provides.
As such, the human world, for Sartre, is nothing but the aggregate of self-creating human beings.
Bacon asked that Nature be “put to the rack” and forced to reveal her secrets.
Among tall aspen—leafy, elegant—and spruce, severe, the road has crested over Willow Creek Pass,