0 822

Morality requires command-issuing universal law; ethics, on the other hand, demands natural and acquired personal qualities. One human being may indeed live with two moralities, one public, one private, and this duplicity is not always hypocritical; it may simply...
0 1360

Opposition to greatness comes from the kind of irrational irritation that made the Athenians ostracize Aristides because they were tired of hearing him called "the Just," or from egalitarian resentment, or from fear of the demands things of quality make on...
0 2588

For Socrates choices are of a life-pattern. Decisions, which are the deliberated choices that a particular occasion calls for, are not his mode, even at a crucial moment. Such choice, decision occasioned by the moment, will become the pivot of action.
0 2388

Every plan of education is fraught with implicit philosophical principle. Since the program of St. John's College is devoted to that peculiar kind of learning which of necessity includes a reflection on its own conditions, most members of...
0 2120

What is a Book? It is a special kind of body made to be inhabited by a curious kind of frozen but fusible soul, a body fit to mediate its own peculiar life… It is our tradition that the...
1 2901

This is what the study of Great Books does for us: First it makes us into what we were meant to be, then it maintains us in the life so achieved... First, I want to say how honored I...
0 1416

Odysseus has the art we need. I think he came by it through a rare combination of acutely honed cleverness and deep-souled imagination; we can acquire it by education. This art, the art of discovering significance, is the art of interpretation...
0 2768

“First attend to the adjustment of your own soul, particularly the regulative liberal learning of your intellect, then project your internal economy on the world as social and political justice. The other way around is headless.”  – Eva...
1 1978

Ask anyone what speech “is for” and the answer will be, “Speech is for communication.” To be sure. But not primarily! Speech is first for self-address... My first title for this little musing was “Silent...
0 1945

Distinguished scholar Eva Brann, of St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, shares her thoughts, discusses how St. John’s is truly unique among American colleges, why students should read Homer first, how Aristotle speaks to us today, and why Yogi Berra is one of her favorite philosophers. The first...
3 2336

When our dean asked me to lecture this September it was because I’ve just completed a book on time, and I’m happy to have the opportunity to talk about it. There seemed to be three possible kinds of...
0 1292

Respect is (1) an alternative to tolerance and (2) the better one. It is an alternative because it concerns the same issue: how to live with fellow humans who appear to be identically constituted in their...
0 2554

http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/partiallyexaminedlife/PEL_ep_079_6-22-13.mp3 In the above podcast, Eva Brann discusses her book The Logos of Heraclitus (2011). What is the world like, and how can we understand it? Heraclitus thinks that the answer to both questions is...
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Author's Note: I wish to dedicate this essay to a writer of books whose greatness is at once utterly at home in America and quite without spatio-temporal boundaries, Marilynne Robinson, who produces in reality the images I...