Eva Brann

The Dispassionate Study of the Passions

By |2019-06-14T17:02:37-05:00June 10th, 2019|Categories: Apology, E.B., Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Philosophy, Plato, Socrates, St. John's College|

Ancient pathos, passion, was an affect emanating from an object; the object elicited the responsive affect, from the outside in. Modern emotion comes from inside out; it emphasizes expression; subject prevails over object. It is the Romantic worm eating its way out of the Enlightened apple... Plato’s dialogue Gorgias ends with a long speech culminating [...]

Hegel & Spirit: The Logic of Desire

By |2019-05-27T22:40:14-05:00May 27th, 2019|Categories: Books, E.B., Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Literature, Peter Kalkavage, St. John's College|

Peter Kalkavage’s “Logic of Desire” is a full-scale narrative, a readable yet faithful retelling of “Phenomenology of Spirit” by Hegel. It is in a class of its own for its engaging, distinctly American-flavored accessibility. Peter Kalkavage, The Logic of Desire: An Introduction to Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, Paul Dry books Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit is [...]

Reflections on Imaginative Conservatism

By |2019-07-10T10:46:39-05:00May 21st, 2019|Categories: Conservatism, E.B., Eva Brann, Featured, Imagination, St. John's College, The Imaginative Conservative, Timeless Essays|

Pine by Albrecht Durer (Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Dr. Eva Brann as she examines imagination, conservatism, time and eternity. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher) I wish to dedicate this essay to a writer of books whose greatness is at once utterly at home in America [...]

Dreams Belong to the Now: Time to Commence

By |2019-05-20T14:47:46-05:00May 20th, 2019|Categories: E.B., Education, Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, St. John's College|

All over the country this spring graduating seniors are being told that the future is before them, that they are the future. This is heady but dangerous talk. The future is not a place or a being. You can’t get there from here or be there except through a series of fulfilled nows. This [...]

Graduation Day: Do You Want to Change the World?

By |2019-05-14T00:45:01-05:00May 13th, 2019|Categories: E.B., Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, St. John's College|

Across the nation commencement speakers bid the graduates, “Go forth and change the world” or “make a difference.” But should you want to change the world? Parents and Relatives, Fellow Tutors and Mr. President, Board Members and, above all, Santa Fe Seniors and Graduate Institute students! Some of you will remember that radio-telephone distress [...]

Plato’s “Timaeus”: A Unique Universe of Discourse

By |2019-05-06T12:41:15-05:00May 6th, 2019|Categories: Books, Classics, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, Philosophy, Plato, St. John's College|

Plato’s Timaeus is less a dialogue than a short tale of antiquity by Critias followed by an account of the cosmos by Timaeus, in which, the question is asked: Why is the greatest philosophical work on the cosmos framed by politics? Before reviewing Peter Kalkavage’s Focus Press translation of the Timaeus, I must, in [...]

The Wonders of the “Odyssey”

By |2019-09-19T13:10:10-05:00April 22nd, 2019|Categories: Classics, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, Homer, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Odyssey, St. John's College|

The “Odyssey” is a wondrous poem. Joe Sachs’ Afterword to his translation is a thought-inducing meditation on wonder, on Homer’s imaginatively and artfully conceived wonders and on Homer’s people, who are—above all, Odysseus—open to wondering and to its ensuing wisdom… the Odyssey by Homer, translated by Joe Sachs (Paul Dry Books: Philadelphia 2014) Joe Sachs’ [...]

“Paradise Lost”: Hidden Meanings?

By |2019-09-19T13:49:34-05:00April 15th, 2019|Categories: E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, John Milton, Liberal Learning, St. John's College, Wisdom|

I keep having the sense that something is going on that runs right counter to the overt text of John Milton’s Paradise Lost. There seems to be a separate, opposed meaning. Should it be called a hidden agenda, a subtext? Milton’s Paradise Lost is a poem of such panoramic grandeur and such human acuteness [...]

Intellect and Intuition: Longing for Insight?

By |2019-09-17T15:26:54-05:00April 8th, 2019|Categories: Classical Education, E.B., Education, Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, St. John's College|

We say of people that they have intuition. We ap­parently mean that they apprehend things directly without belaboring them by analysis or even without accosting them with too close an inspection. Intuition is what we long for, thinking is what we can do. What follows? You asked me to speak about “Intellect and Intuition,” [...]

“Little Places” and the Recovery of Civilization

By |2019-06-15T09:52:00-05:00April 1st, 2019|Categories: E.B., Education, Essential, Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, St. John's College, Wisdom|

It is mainly little places which permit the modesty of pace needed for long thoughts, and the conditions of closeness under which human beings begin to stand out and become distinct in their first and second nature. These places are the veritable harbors of refuge and recovery for civilization… Today, the same day on [...]

A Manifesto for Liberal Education

By |2019-06-08T10:10:12-05:00March 25th, 2019|Categories: E.B., Education, Essential, Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, St. John's College|

Since liberal education is non-academic, in my sense, it has real gravity, moral gravity. And so it is, finally, also concerned with questions of “good and evil.” The college years are the time for students to frame those moral allegiances that will help them decide more sure-footedly how to act when leisure is over [...]

Momentary Morality & Extended Ethics

By |2019-03-18T22:32:13-05:00March 18th, 2019|Categories: E.B., Ethics, Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, Morality, St. John's College, Virtue|

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 make life livable and prevent it from becoming worse. You have been reading and talking about [...]